Kuala Lumpur, to me, is the land of high rise buildings and affordable shopping. The architecture is modern and pleasantly pleasing to the eyes, but one can easily get a strain from craning their necks looking up at all the tall buildings. Plus, they are so very close in proximity to each other. In contrast to the modern structures, there are some buildings that are very old, like their Central Market, dating back to 1888 when it was first opened.
Travel by metro, bus, taxi, or motorbike is very easy. The metro is clean and comfortable. KL Sentral is the main hub for commuter trains and buses traveling to varios parts of the county, including connecting to the country of Singapore to the south, where I am currently. There transport system offers a free bus service only in the city area called GOKL (purple, blue, green and red lines).
Streets like Bukit Bintang, Jalan Alor, Petauling Street are major attractions and must-sees for the curious tourist. Most persons are interested in seeing the Petronas Towers. It is amazing and the view from the deck is worth the 87 ringgits you pay to get there. It is not a disappointment. Also the Menara Tower, a free standing structure ranking the seventh tallest in the world is worth visiting. At this time of the year its sky deck is subject to closings because of the inclement weather, which comes like clockwork in the afternoons. Heavy downpours lasting for more than a hour to an hour and a half limits visibility and causes some activities to close. The observation deck is still an option though. Word to the wise, if going to either tourist attraction, go in the morning. You will stand a better chance of seeing a 360 degree birds eye view of the beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur.
Ringgits is the currency in KL and I’ve come to believe it is every sellers job to relieve me of it. The USD goes a long way here too. Haggling is a norm, even in some stores. Places like Petaling Street in the Chinatown district, Jalan Alor, and other areas, everything you can think of is sold. It is tempting and I can tell you I’ve spent some money on bad purchases already. I bought a selfie rod and I’m ready to throw that thing in the garbage. It still works but the handle is already broken. All that glitters is not gold. Another purchase that I should’ve known better not to do, this time not a fault of the seller, but my own curiosity, I decided to get a pedicure using the Garry Rufa fish. I paid my ringgits and was allowed to soak my feet for 15 minutes in the tub with the dead-skin eating fish. I could not handle the tickling nibbles and did not keep my feet in for one whole minute. No matter how I tried, I could not get comfortable to the slippery fish nibbling around and under my feet. I chalk that up to experience and something I will not do again 😀.
Overall, my experience in KL as it is affectionately called, was pleasant. The people are friendly and helpful, willing to give directions to clueless tourists. Some, usually the older store owners will engage you in conversation once they realize you are a foreigner and coming from the western world. These are my observations: Food is not served steamy hot. Rice is a staple here too and served with every meal. Fast foods, street foods and fruit or juice bars are abundant, salad bars less apparent. Milo is a popular breakfast and anytime drink, it is even served at KFC and McDonalds. Every where in terms of distance is far if you ask a local for directions, but could turn out to be a short walk if you love to walk like I do.
Community Peeps, readers, friends and family this Southeast Asia tour has been truly wonderful so far. The cultural experience alone and interaction with natives have been priceless. As mentioned earlier, I am currently in Singapore and will leave mid-week for Bali.
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