Another 60 days, another visa run.
Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, reminds me of Bangkok: over-developed and hectic. So many people from so many places. KL, as it is often called, blends Chinese, Indian, Arab, and indigenous influences into one big multi-lingual, multi-cultural city. Pros: I ate some awesome Indian food, falafel, and shawarma!
People say, and I think it’s true, that NYC is always under construction. By the time one project ends, another one pops up. Scaffolding and traffic cones are a constant presence on NYC streets. Construction in KL makes New York’s look tame. The whole city is under construction at the same time. To cross the street from the monorail to my hostel I had to actually cross 3 streets.
I definitely picked right with my hostel. Really nice and in a good location. When I checked in I was invited to ladies’ night. A night of free drinks because I’m a lady? Sign me up! A good opportunity to meet fellow travelers. We started the night at a swanky rooftop bar with a pool and a view of the Petronas Towers. We ended the night with 3 am shawarma! You know it’s good when your drunk and sober selves agree how good it is.
Islam is the main religion here in Malaysia. The Islamic Art Museum is a beautiful museum and building. Since Islam in Malaysia is influenced by so many places and traditions, the museum has displays and educates about Islam around the world. Calligraphy, printing, fashion, architecture, and decorative arts from Islamic cultures all over the world. Fascinating and beautiful!
One of the must-see attractions in KL is the Batu Caves. A temple in a cave, a cave that is a temple. We climbed a bajillion stairs, while trying to avoid monkeys. They’re cute, but I kept having flashbacks to having my smoothie stolen on Koh Phi Phi. Devilish little monsters!
For me, the main cave didn’t really live up to the hype. It was cool, but not unbelievably amazing, as I had been told. What made it all worthwhile though, was a baby wearing a huge turban/flower headscarf. Her parents definitely trekked all the way out to the caves to have her blessed (the caves are a Hindu pilgrimage site). She was beautiful and that turban was epic.
KL seems to love its shopping malls. Big, bright, and very Western. One even has an amusement park, with a huge roller coaster, inside. Step it up Roosevelt Field! We didn’t really care about the rest of the park, we just wanted to ride the roller coaster. The entry fee gets you a ticket for 3 rides on the roller coaster. So we rode the roller coaster 3 times. In a row. I think the idea is that you explore the rest of the park in between rides. We didn’t do that.
My original plan was to go to the top of the Petronas Towers. That’s what I do when I travel, I go to the tops of things. The Petronas Towers was the tallest building in the world until very recently. I also wanted to walk across the bridge between the towers and pretend I was Catherine Zeta Jones from Entrapment (but a safer inside version instead of on top). However, it’s expensive and the KL skyline is nothing special without the towers. Instead we went to a bar on a helipad to watch the sunset over the towers. Yep, I drank a cocktail on a helipad on top of a skyscraper while watching the sunset. I think my Friday night was better than yours.
All in all another successful visa run.