Published: June 17th 2012June 12th 2012
Whenever I arrive in a new part of Asia I keep waiting for it to assault my westernized senses with dirt and poverty. Malaysia being a predominately Muslim country I was also expecting to not see another female except for eyes peaking out from holes in a black sheet. Kuala Lumpur was a nice surprise. I have to say other than a confusing lack of pedestrian crossings, this city is quite nice. It is clean and has a useful transit system. There are about a million things to do here, and I wish I had scheduled more time here. For the museum geek such as myself there is the National Museum,the Islamic Arts Museum, the Textile Museum, and I could go on.
I even went through the trouble of donning a purple cloak and head scarf to see the inside of the National Mosque, even though subverting my outward identity like that for the sake of sight seeing makes my skin itch. Of course, that could have been the copious amounts of sweat oozing from my pores under jeans, a shirt, a cloak, and a head scarf in 100 degree heat. The National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur is pretty spectacular
though, so maybe it was worth the sweat. The amount of women dressed in full burqua in the city was pretty minimal. Even though most women were wearing head scarves they are very fashionable. I even saw a shop in the mall called "for the fashionable Muslim" that had coordinated outfits from scarf to toe. Maybe it is just because Asian women seem to embrace color in their wardrobe but I often think clothes here, though more modest, are much more attractive than the fashions at home.
Another great attraction in Kuala Lumpur was the Batu Caves which have a gigantic golden Buddha statue guarding its stair case. Inside the stair case is a Hindu Shrine and there are more extensive ''Dark Caves" that you can tour. The Dark Caves were closed on the day I was there and I didn't get a chance to go back, but it was still a highlight.
The Petronas Twin towers are also a fun place to check out including the surrounding park. For about US$40 you can take a trip to the 87th floor and walk the bridge between the towers. If you arrive early in the day you can get
Coolest fountain ever
designed around a plant that only grows in a small part of Malaysia.
a free ticket, but by the time I found out about the free tickets it was too late for me. Sigh. For some reason I am not so enthusiastic about city skyline pictures as I used to be. It might be because I have looked at so many of them from my Europe trip and wondered where on earth it was taken. I had to go back and check the picture folder.
Probably the best part of the stay here for me was the hostel. The dorms had actual mini rooms for each person. Basically a bed surrounded by three walls and a curtain to pull closed for complete privacy. Each room had a light and power point. This is probably the most privacy I have had since I left home more than a year ago.
All in all, I loved Kuala Lumpur and I hope I get a chance to go back. I know I won't be bored.
There are more photos below