2 weeks in Kuala Lumpur
So, everyone seems to think that Kuala Lumpur is a lowlight of Malaysia, so we thought we would spend 2 weeks there and give it a good hearing! We both love big cities – especially those with an interesting history and a lot of cultural diversity so we knew it wasn’t going to be too bad. We were also staying in a sweet (and small!) air b and b apartment close to the centre and with its own pool!
Another advantage of where we were staying is that it was near a famous hawker food street called Jalan Alor, which Im sure Ryan will talk about more when he does his KL food blog! The food was a major highlight of the 2 weeks, with large Malay, Indian, Chinese and Middle Eastern communities you are spoilt for choice!
One night we walked around the central part of the city, including the famous Merdeka Square, where there happened to be a food truck festival on (shame we had just eaten!)
There was also a big festival on in the square, which was designed to showcase all the tourism in Malaysia. It seemed like a big deal with a very large stage and even larger (mainly local) crowd. It went on for several hours, finishing with some impressive fireworks!
We spent the two weeks enjoying the city at our leisure. Sadly for most of the time the city was completely suffocated by the terrible haze that had spread across most of Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia due to the annual forest fires in Indonesia. They were particularly bad this year and there were lots of health advice warnings about how to stay safe with the haze. It also had the added annoyance of making everything look as grey as London (despite being a very hot and humid 30 degree and over every day).
We managed to do quite a few excursions though (mostly food related excursions, but we did manage to squeeze in some local life and culture too), this included:
- Trying to navigate the endless malls, interconnected by raised walkways and underground tunnels.
- Visiting the central market and other markets around the centre, including through Chinatown and Brickfields (Little India)
- Visiting the Islamic Arts Museum (HUGE and very interesting)
- Walking to the National Mosque of Malaysia (also huge!)
- Enjoying the activities in the malls (MANY very cheap cinema trips, bowling and even visiting an indoor theme park!)
As mentioned previously, one of the best things about KL is its cultural diversity. It has some of the biggest and most impressive collection of Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist temples in close proximity that I have ever seem. We visited a couple in particular:
We also did a separate day trip out to Batu Caves, which I took too many pictures of so will showcase that in another blog post!
Our trip to Kuala Lumpur was not complete without getting a good view of the Petronas Towers. It just so happened that we could enjoy a fancy cocktail or two across the park to be able to do this! Somehow the towers looked equally as beautiful through the haze…..
All in all we enjoyed KL a lot. It was a great introduction to Malaysia, and to the food in particular. It also gave us the opportunity to just stop in one place for a little while and to soak up the atmosphere and to plan the next stage of our trip…. a few days in Singapore before returning to Malaysia and exploring a little further afield.