After visiting the two powerhouse capitals of Indonesia and Malaysia I thought a comparison of the two is due. This is just my opinion and my better might be the opposite from another's. Here's some comparisons and contrasts that I saw between the two cities.
1. SIZE: Jakarta's population of almost 10 million dwarfs KL's 2 million, but KL has a more concentrated city feel.
2. TRANSPORTATION: KL has an excellent mass transit system that Jakarta will hopefully one day imitate. KL's street traffic is organized, while Jakarta's is chaotic and filled with smog. It is cheaper in Jakarta to get around, but that is only if you get the normal price which is never the first price offered.
3. CLEANLINESS: KL economy is doing much better. The result is well maintained streets and buildings. Trash is picked up instead of burned.
4. NIGHTLIFE: KL has more upscale choices, but the people do not party like in Jakarta. There, everyone goes out on the weekend. Also prices for drinks and covers are at fraction of KL's.
5. THE PEOPLE: The people of KL are friendly, but are not as open to just talk to a
stranger like in Jakarta. The only downside is that it's a 50/50 chance that they're trying to sell you something when the're talking to you in Jakarta.
6. FOOD: KL's Malay style Indian food puts up a good fight against Jakarta's Makasan Padang joints. The food in KL is more expensive, but you'll get meatier portions. Eating in Jakarta is more adventurous. You're more likely to use antibiotics after, but that's why you packed them. For me, the risk adds a bit of flavor to the meal.
7. SITES: KL's Petronas tower are a world known site. Sorry Jakarta's Monas monument.
8. GIRLS: Had to put this one in. Sorry KL, but your girls are starting to get chubby. They should take Jakarta's lead and start dancing more.
9. INTERNET: KL has more access points, faster connections, and slightly lower hourly rates.
10. HONESTY: In KL the price given to you is the price given to everyone. True it's higher, but it's doesn't change by which countries' ID card you have in your pocket.
So it's up to you which you like better. KL is cleaner and much easier to get around, but lacks
a foreign feel. Jakarta will give you a little bit of adventure but you'll have to fight a little along the way. Personally, I had more fun in Jakarta than Kuala Lumpur. The time I spent there was shorter than KL, but was filled with more excitement. It's up to chance which city you'll like more.
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