Day 17th of September, we left a couple of teardrops in Milan looking at our families while walking towards our gate. Destination Malaysia.
Once arrived at destination, the day after, we experienced straight away a crazy taxi drive, saw our lives passing through our eyes a couple of times, and eventually got in the city, in Kuala Lumpur. We made it!
Our stay would last only 3 days, but it was enough to have a look around and get in touch with the local culture.
As every big city, the CBD is ultra developed, modern and well mantained. There are a wide variety of venues offering local food as well as european specialties, clubs, fast foods…exactly what you would expect from such a metropolis.
The Petronas Towers, needless to say, are a spectacular view especially when the lights of the day go down, and they start to get lighted up by countless artificial lights. The tour on top of (one of) them is quite interesting, it lasts about an hour and offers the chance to walk on the skybridge (41st-42nd floor) that links the two towers and up with the elevator until the 84th floor (372m) where the view of the city is just unbelievable.
Insider’s tip: book the tickets online to save time and choose the hour you like. Visit the towers at sunset time, you won’t regret it.
Let’s focus on the local culture: although the streetfood culture is not as strong as in other places of Malaysia and Asia in general (we’ll get there in the next articles), walking around we found an infinity of small and tiny shops cooking whatever asian specialty: from thai to chinese to indonesian and so on.. Chinatown with its Petaling Street, the street of the markets, is absolutely peculiar: an infinity of stands selling clothes, electronical devices, gadgets, souvenirs and everything that comes up in your mind, a must see.
Walking in between the stands, where 2 people almost can’t fit in those narrow corridors, you hear people calling your attention everywhere and trying to offer you something to buy. Negociate on the price. Attention: everybody is smiling and kind at you, they just want your attention, afterall we felt pretty safe walking in those streets even late at night.
Insider’s tip: get used to the local timetable, if you want to have dinner with local food don’t go out too late or you’ll have to stay hungry for the night!
One of the top attractions in KL, just outside the town, is Batu Caves. This is a Hindu temple, built inside some natural caves and is a sacred place for people of that religion. It is possible to visit the caves through a 272-steps stairway that leads you to the entrance of the caves. Presiding the place, you cannot miss the enormous statue of the God Murugan, a 42m high golden statue of the divinity that sits at the bottom of the stairwa
y. On the way up, and inside the caves, you’ll meet the locals: little playful monkeys that inhabit the place and like the contact with humans hoping to be fed. Funny primates that jump around and climb everything. Whatch out for phones or cameras, they like technology!
Batu caves is a nice place to spend a few hours and feel in contact with nature just outside the city centre, it is also free of charge and can be easily reached by train in a short ride.
Insider’s tip: wear pants down to the knees and at least a t-shirt, it is considered an offence going there with shorts and tank tops and the monks won’t let you in.
As our first stop in Asia we had very good feelings. Life is absolutely cheaper than Europe, even in such a big city, their culture is very interesting and everybody is helpful and smiley.
…but the best is yet to come!