Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Malaysia Take Nine: Kuala Lumpur

Like I said in the last post, after 5 long and glorious days in the wilderness, we were ready for a change by hitting up the big smoke of Malaysia's capital, Kuala Lumpur. It's the most populated city at over 1.8 million people and the fastest growing in Malaysia. "It's curious that a city where you still have to watch your step for pavement cracks and pot-holes can also feel cutting edge, but cast your eyes to the skyline and around the streets and you'll see what we mean. In just 150 years, KL has gone from a tin prospector's hovel in the jungle to a thoroughly modern metropolis..." (82 Lonely Planet).

KL definitely kept us entertained for a few days with the gorgeous parks, impressive colonial-era building remains, the food and cheap rip off markets, and the restaurants representing cuisine from China to India to the middle east.

The hostel we really wanted to stay at was completely booked, so we wandered around and ended up staying at a place with a giant padlock on the outside and plastic sheets on the bed. The price was right and owners were new and eager to please (ie: coming back to folded clothes one day). Awesome!

Here are some city scenes from Kuala Lumpur:

Lake Gardens.
Pitcher plant fountain.
School's out!
Tandoori chicken on the skewer.

Cruising through Merdaka Square, we got a great view of the city and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
The Little India bazar, where we proceeded to get ripped off with our fake makeup purchases.

Dinner at a Lebanese restaurant. Sooooo good.
The Petronas Towers: the biggest attraction in Kuala Lumpur because of its 88-stories of steel-clad twin towers rising 451.9 meters above the ground and also offering (of course) a huge mall and a world-class concert hall which Brooke's friend actually had the honor of playing in less than a week before we arrived.
Not many people know this, but I am actually the main support for the two buildings. It's a pretty important job, so I don't mean to brag or be boastful about it. But, it's kind of a big deal.

Loved the aesthetic of this.

Back to Lake Gardens for some cheesy senior pictures to kill time before our ticket allows us to get up into the Petronas Towers.
Back at the towers to be a true tourist. I got my pass to prove it!
The Sky Tour visit included a free video in 3-D!!! More exciting than it sounds. It talked a lot about oil and looked more "blurry" than "3-D". But, we looked awesome in the glasses and it was free, so it was totally worth it.
View of KL from the Petronas Towers Skybridge on the 44th floor.
Looking down over the park.
Persuaded by a gay guy from Florida to eat at this Indian restaurant while we learned about his dramatic life history. Great food, great price, 'interesting' guy.

I wouldn't say KL is a "not to be missed" destination in Malaysia, but it is a major hub for flights and relatively entertaining if you've got the time and energy. We got our tummy's fed, our tourism ticks checked, and our clothes cleaned. I'd say it was a success!

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