Few weeks ago I took a long week-end from work and went to Kuala Lumpur. Before arriving in the capital, I knew there was not much to do except shopping, eating, or simply wandering around; nonetheless, my first impression of the city was positive, a crowded place with a variety in faces, in dresses, and in food.
Since my hotel was located nearby a major shopping area, my first trip outside the hotel was at the SOGO Kuala Lumpur (Japanese department chain store). I spend few hours in there; nothing much to say, if you like shopping you’ll adore it if you don’t like shopping don’t go there. (For all the pictures below, click to enlarge)
Next I went outside to see the very few landmarks of Kuala Lumpur or KL as the local call it. I went to the Old Centre, also checked-in at Pedaling Street, Central Market, and other places in the center of the capital.
Later in the night I went to Bukit Bintang, an area quite famous for tourists. It is the centerpiece of Kuala Lumpur when it comes to shopping, eating, drinking, clubbing, and sexing. I checked in at several bars, pubs, and restaurants. Overall it’s a good vibe, but not as good as other places I’ve been in Asia.
Sunday afternoon I went to the Petronas twin tower (Petronas is the national oil company of Malaysia). A bridge links the two skyscrapers in the middle of the “sky,” although it is possible to go up there and admire the view I’ve decided to stay on the ground and enjoy the tower view from the esplanade.
On the basement on the towers, there is a mall named Suria KLCC. It’ a very nice mall, with mostly high-end brands such as Louis Vuitton, Chanel…the real ones. If you’re looking for fakes, KL also has, don’t worry!
I spend few hours in the complex (window-shopping) then went back to the hotel to get ready for my “dinner in the sky.” Not at the Petronas tower though, rather at the nearby Kuala Lumpur Tower.
The KL tower is another landmark of Kuala Lumpur; it is a tall tower used for communications purposes. However, at the ground and top floors there are several entertaining activities. My friend and I booked a dinner reservation at the Atmosphere 360, a revolving restaurant in the middle of the sky, or almost (282 meters).
The food was good, the view amazing, and, of course, since it’s revolving we had a 360-degree view of Kuala Lumpur without moving a foot.
Monday and Tuesday:
I decided to take my camera and just walk around the city. Moving in the city is easy, you can walk, take a cab, or use the public transportation. Walking is great but be aware of the heat, and dehydration. Taxis usually have a meter, but sometimes (or often I guess for tourist) they don’t use it. So try to know how much the trip should cost if not just assume the driver is an honest person. Taxis are for the most part safe; you will usually have an interesting conversation with them (that is when the driver speak English, or maybe you are able to speak Malay)! Public transportation is fine, if not too comfortable with maps/directions use only the subway or the monorail. For the latter, make sure to go on the front, it’s pretty sweet ride!
While wandering around, I did not encounter anything amazing, except seeing a lot of malls, building in construction, and occasionally locals interacting with me with a “Whats up bro”, or “Yo bro”, or “you want some watch bro?”, etc. Always in an amicable way.
I tried local food; nothing surprising since there is already a major Malaysian community in Singapore, nonetheless the food was delicious as expected.
Overall I think Kuala Lumpur is one of those places where you need to know someone to enjoy the city. As there are no major historic landmarks, activities for tourist are limited to shopping, eating in fancy restaurants, or going to theme park type of things.
What I did like in Kuala Lumpur is the vibe. Aside of the United Arab Emirates where I have lived, it was the second time I actually spend some time in Muslim country, and of course, things are different and very interesting to see. I leave you with several shots from the city.