Southeast Asia trip I: Malaysia

Petronas Towers


I arrived at Kuala Lumpur on the 6th of August, after 2.5 + 11 hours of flight, I flew KLM, they are ok for short flights, the plane to KL was old and the movies were crappy.
Some say KLIA is the best aiport in the world, I haven’t been in that many airports, but I think this one the coolest one I’ve ever been too. I then took a train from the airport to the city, it’s pretty far, about 40 minutes, but the train is super nice and you get a glimpse of whay Malaysia is all about, I’d say rubber, since the palm tree plantations covers pretty much everything in sight. On the train I also got a glimpse of Putrajaya and Cyberjaya, two new cities planned to be the administrative and technology hubs.
I arrived at KL Sentral, the hub for transportation in KL after lunch, as I was starving I had a Prawn noodle soup, which was my first experience with Malaysian food, it was very spicy, but very tasty.
To get around we used mainly the monorail, a train that moves above the streets in little cars, it’s great because you get to see some hotspots from above. Kuala Lumpur is kind of a pedestrian nightmare because there are a lot of crossroads and crossing them is kind of an adventure. There are street lights for pedestrians, but waiting for them to turn green might take you some time, I think some of them never turn green. Motorbikes also use the sidewalks, I got a couple of scares from that and also saw a girl in a moped getting rammed by a taxi.
They call it the garden city, the streets are mostly wide, with trees and gardens surrounding them, and you never get that claustrophobic feeling from all the skyscrapers around that you get in cities like New York. Fortunately, due to the vegetation, the street has a lot shade, I swear I almost melted at certain times. The humidity is ridiculous, and the temperature doesn’t seem to go down, day or night.
I wont get in to many details about site seeing, but I must point out the Petronas Twin Towers of course, which are even more breath taking than they look on pictures, specially at night. They might be the most beautiful building of modern architecture. My hotel room had a direct view to it.
The Chinatown market was fun too, with all its imitation Adidas shoes and fake jewelry. And the shopping malls let me tell you about those, they are dozens around Bukit Bintang, and they are all huge, and they have all the expensive shops and only Muslim women seem to get into. They even have a mall just for IT stuff, and let me tell you, you get crushed in there.
Although the Petronas Towers are the highest building in the city, you can only go up to the 40th something floor, and only if you get there at 7am, so we opted to go up the KL tower, which is slightly shorter, but since it stands on a hill, it’s the highest point in the city. Awesome scenery from up there.
Malaysia has a mix of Chinese, Indian and Muslim people, and they all seem to get along, although I had the idea that they don’t exactly mix.
The food is great, and was my favorite from the three countries I visited on this trip, it’s really cheap and good quality.
I was a great place to spend my birthday, we had dinner at a fancy restaurant with Malaysian food, but nouvelle cuisine, which is awkward but good.
On the 8th we took the train to Singapore in the morning, it was an 8 hour journey, but we got to see a little more of Malaysia that is off the main roads.
We got back to Kuala Lumpur on the 20th and spent another day just shopping around buying useless crap that didn’t fit in out already overloaded bags.

Check out my photos at my Flickr.

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