Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

On our way out of Indonesia we flew through Kuala Lumpur and had a two day stopover. With a short stay in the country, we tried to make the most of our time in Malaysia. 

Kuala Lumpur - Jen and JeffHere we are in front of the Petronas towers, arguably
Kuala Lumpur’s most iconic structures.

It is currently the rainy season here, so we do get a fair bit of rain.  Luckily for us, it hasn’t hampered our traveling too much.  During our initial explorations of KL though, the weather did give us a reason to take a twenty-minute break. 

Kuala Lumpur - UmbrellaWhile most people waited for the rain to pass under
overhangs, shelters, and anything that would  provide
some respite, this man ventured out to close the shutters
to his building.
 

Kuala Lumpur has some amazing pieces of architecture throughout the city.  All the different styles that are apparent here give the city a very distinctive character, which is certainly a reflection of the people here.

Kuala Lumpur - Merdeka SquareDataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) where the Union Jack
was lowered and the Malyan flag was flown for the very
first time on August 31, 1957.  This is where the British used
to play cricket.

When walking down the street, one could see a woman wearing a full burqa exposing nothing but her eyes.  She would be walking by a woman who covered almost nothing at all in her short shorts and midriff-bearing tank-top.  Behind her would be woman draped in a traditional sari.  And next to her you would see a woman dressed in the latest, hottest fashions.  A sight like this was not uncommon on the streets of KL.

Not far off, just outside of KL, in Gombak district, Selangor, are the Batu Caves.  Natural caves in a limestone hill, the Batu Caves are a Hindu shrine that receives about 1.5 million pilgrims each year.  After taking the 272 stairs (they advertise this like it’s a really big deal, but it’s not that many…) to the caves, we were greeted with dozens of macaques wandering around and scavenging the garbage bins.  They can be quite aggressive and when they think they can get food, they will assert themselves without hesitation.

Not thinking that the caves would be full of macaques and forgetting that we had some snacks in our pack, we were surprised when a macaque climbed onto Jen’s side and began pulling aggressively on Jen’s pack.  Seeing Jen in distress, I quickly acted and used my camera as a club and bashed the macaque off of Jen.  It was none too happy with my actions.  Having landed on the ground next to Jen, it quickly forgot about the food and focused its entire attention on me.  Eyes wide.  Teeth bared.  Muscles cocked and ready to spring.  It was on.

Whoops.

We both stood there, staring at each other as the seconds slowly passed by.  It bared its teeth and hissed several times.

Luckily, no longer feeling threatened and satisfied that he had made his point, the confrontation ended.  It quickly jumped back onto Jen.  Snatching the food out of the outside side pocket of the pack with great speed and dexterity, it scampered away to enjoy its spoils.  Close call.  Whew…

 

Kuala Lumpur - Batu CavesJen’s ready to make the trek back down.  Below, you can see
the world’s tallest statue of Lord Murugan, a Hindu diety.

Kuala Lumpur - Batu Caves (Pigeons)The pigeons visited the Batu Caves for a different reason.
A man was throwing bags of crumbs into the air, with each
handful thrown out came a new flurry of action from the
pigeons. 

One thing that was great, after our time in Indonesia, was the great variety of food that could be had in KL.  Other than the local Malay fare, there were great Chinese and Indian options.  Our hostel was located in Chinatown and was also within easy walking distance to little India.  So other than all the interesting sights, we were also treated some great food in KL.

Kuala Lumpur - Jen Taking a PhotoJen being a tourist and taking photos of the Petronas
Towers. 

We didn’t really know much at all about the Petronas Towers when we arrived in KL.  We definitely didn’t think that there was a gigantic shopping centre inside.  It was a pretty overwhelming experience.  After spending the past year in Mongolia, then traveling through Indonesia for a couple of weeks, it was a bit of a shock to suddenly be surrounded by such intense corporate commercialism.  All of the shops were very upscale.

Kuala Lumpur - Shopping Inside PetronasThe shopping centre was one of the biggest I’ve seen in
a long time. 

Two days wasn’t a lot of time, but it was enough to get a taste.  It didn’t take long for us to get comfortable in the city and I could see us coming back here one day, maybe for a good chunk of time.

Kuala Lumpur - Petronas TowersNot wanting to get back at to the airport too late, we
didn’t wait around until it was dark to take the typical
night photo of the towers.  Fortunately, this one turned
out ok.

 


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~ by dawseng on July 22, 2009.

4 Responses to “Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia”

  1. Wow, the night photo of Petronas looks like something out of a sci-fi movie.

  2. Um, you said the macaque bared its teeth and hissed “several times,” but you didn’t mention baring your teeth or specify how many times you hissed. I trust your display was just as terrifying and aggressive. It’s like I always say: “It’ll be a dark day when Jeff Eng can’t throw twice as much feces as a monkey.” But it still got the snacks . . .

  3. Yeah, the sky above the towers has a pretty interesting character. More often than not, the best light is at dawn and dusk.

    Don’t worry Pat, your trust isn’t misplaced. I didn’t write how about how many times I hissed because I trusted that you would already know. I basically gave it the snacks. It was hungry. I wasn’t. I’m living the Pat Hanley Wisdom.

  4. Sir, the Pat Hanley wisdom puts a much greater priority on demoralizing and incapacitating enemy primates than it does on charity. You must pay more attention in your studies if you are to be my heir.

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