|My writing spot in the mall|
|Night in Chinatown|
As I write this, I’m sitting next to a giant terracotta figure in a nice mall in the Chow Kit area of Kuala Lumpur, one of the prettiest cities I’ve been in yet in Southeast Asia. Malaysia has taken a tad of getting used to because of its distinct multi-culture, dominated by Muslim sensibilities. Oddly, it is the most different from the other countries I’ve visited and at the same time the most westernized in its infrastructure, especially Kuala Lumpur.
This is a city of sparkling new sky-scrapers, an ultra-modern mono-rail system and highways that look like they are also brand-new or nearly so. However, I spent six days in their wonderful Chinatown, where very little is modern. If it wasn’t for the designer apparel for sale in most of the vendor stalls along the streets, this could be a throw-back to the 60s.
|Lion dancer performs before an excited crowd|
|View from KL Tower|
Today is my last day here in KL (as the natives refer to it) and I feel like I got a good, intimate look at the city. I rode the mono-rail, the free city bus and the tourist Hop-On-Hop-Off bus. I walked a few streets in the Chinatown area and discovered two temples; one was my first Hindu temple, an amazingly beautiful building (if not as elaborate as the Buddhist temples I’ve seen far and wide). I rode the elevator in the KL Tower to the observation deck 250 feet up and looked out over a hazy maze of giant buildings. I couldn’t perceive the pollution from the street and it’s nothing in comparison to cities I my own country.
|Lovely old buildings are revered here too|
I spent 6 nights in a perfectly pleasant hotel in Chinatown, but changed to a dismal dump because I thought I should expand my horizons and didn't know it was a pit. But the change did get me next to the Quill City mall, which has provided me with good meals, a movie and a bunch of experiences talking to locals during my hardship. I'd insert smiley face here if this wasn't a super-serious blog.
The Bird Park – Aviary – was something I couldn’t resist but probably should have, however, again you don’t know until you know. It was very much like my disappointing experience in the Chiang Mai Zoo. Not many varieties of birds led to the same feeling of being cheated.
|Inside the Hindu temple|
|The transportation hub KL Sentral|
There truly are at least 20 other things to see and do here, which I didn't get to. Just observing such a gorgeous, well-designed city is a real treat. So, I’m off to Melaka next, taking a host of memories with me.
If you get to Southeast Asia, make your way to Kuala Lumpur! You won’t be disappointed.