Trip to Malaysia - March 2006
Kuala Lumpur

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A short summary

THe KL skyline: Petronas twin towersThis trip report will focus on the trip that my wife Nikki and I took to Malaysia in the period March 16th to April 1st 2006. The trip report is split into different sections: this first part will focus on our stay in Kuala Lumpur; our trips to the Perhentian Islands and Langkawi. Please get in touch with me on if you have any questions or comments. All pictures are taken by Nikki and Gard with our Canon Powershot S1 IS camera. Click here to see a KL Google map that I have made.



We first traveled to Malaysia in November 2000 but back then we only had a short stop in Kuala Lumpur. When we started planning a spring trip we wanted to go to a beach destination. We first looked at the Philippines but we came to the conclusion that we wanted something more “mainstream”. So since we have friends in KL we decided to give Malaysia another try and check out the beaches there.

Map of west Malaysia. Map provided by


Planning the trip

Stavanger weather before we left to KLWhen we decided on a destination we checked out prices from different companies and in the end we decided to go with KLM (as “usual”). We had to pay about 7800 Norwegian kroner (about 1000 €) for the round trip from Stavanger in Norway to KL. We also had to decide which islands to check out and we came to the conclusion that we wanted to check out both the east and west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. On the east coast we decided to visit Perhentian Islands as these were supposed to be pristine islands which are not totally overrun by mass tourism yet and on the west coast we decided to visit the more main stream Langkawi.


We also had to organize the transportation and hotels of course. In KL it was not a problem as our friends Meena and Tim were kind enough to let us stay with them. (In Perhentian we finally booked with Perhentian Island resort on Perhentian Besar (the bigger island). On Langkawi we had a hard time deciding which hotel to go for and we checked out places like Sheraton, Casa del Mar but we ended up on Pelangi Beach Resort.


We booked tickets online with Malaysia Airlines to fly from KL to Kota Bharu (to reach Perhentian) and flight back to KL again to go to Langkawi. Please note that there is also a low cost carrier called AirAsia that can be used.


The trip begins

Duty free shopping at SchipholMarch was pretty cold in Stavanger this year and when we left our flat it was -5 degrees celsius outside and snowing. The trip to Amsterdam Schiphol was fast and painless as usual. Schiphol is a great airport and if you want to get a lunch we can recommend trying out some of the spicy Thai inspired dishes at the HotWox. The Malaysia Airlines plane to KLAt about 1 pm we were off to Malaysia in a Boeing 747-400 operated by Malaysia airlines and the 10.500 km trip takes about 12 hours! It is the first time we have flown Malaysia Airlines and we were very impressed. The service on board was excellent, I had enough leg room and the in-flight entertainment was also impressive. We had a tiny screen each with access to video on demand and there must have been 30-40 movies to choose from ranging from new movies to classics like Casablanca. And there were lots of games to be played too…I even did a short French course since we already had booked tickets to Paris at the time J


Welcome to Kuala Lumpur (aka KL)

Just arrived and having a banana leaf rice mealWe arrived in KL (as it is known to most visitors) at 8 am in the morning. The KLIA airport is fairly new and getting through immigration and customs was extremely efficient and fast. Right after we got out of customs we were offered taxi transportation by quite a number of people. We went trough the airport quite a few times during our stay in Malaysia and in the end we got pretty good at avoiding them J We got picked up by our friend Meena but it is pretty easy to get into town from the airport. Just follow the purple signs to find the KLIA Express – you’ll be at KL Sentral in 28 minutes.


Merdeka square with a view to KL tower and Petronas twin towersIt was quite a change for us when we walked out of the airport. Inside the air-con atmosphere of the airport it is always hard to tell what the weather out side is like. We were met by 25 degrees Celsius and it was a welcome change after the winter back in Norway. Coming to the humid weather of south east Asia is always a special experience, at least for me. After the long trip we were jet lagged but it was nice to see Meena again and to check out the scenery as we drove from the airport. The question about avoiding jet lag comes up from time to time on travel forums but I’m not sure there is a real remedy. We decided to stay awake all day long and I can assure you that we were very tired when we finally went to bed at about midnight!


It is not only the weather that is quite a change for a European coming to Malaysia. There are of course different smells, different fruits, they drive on the “wrong” side (the left hand side) and their culinary treats are a bit different than ours. We had only been in KL for hours before we started eating the local cuisine. We had amazing taste experiences, like roti canai for breakfast and banana leaf rice for lunch. But I’ll get back to more details about food later on.


Note: If you need a great hotel I can recommend Traders hotel. I have stayed there twice on business. Here is my hotel review of Traders.


How to get around KL?

The KL monorailIt is possible to get around to many parts of KL by using the public transportation system. There are elevated train lines known as LRT (Light Rail Transit) - three LRT lines cover parts of downtown KL (check out this map on Wikipedia). Combine this with the KL monorail, KTM Komuter trains, and the KLIA train and you can cover a good chunk of the city. One of the LRT stations in KLAnd it is also important to keep in mind that it is very low prices when it comes to taxis so that is also an option if you can’t figure out where on the map you are and going to J Just make sure that the driver uses the meter and actually wants to drive you to your destination. We tried to get a cab to drive us to Batu caves one morning but they just refused. So in the end we took the LTR to get closer and from there we took a taxi. We also saw quite a lot of buses (Rapid KL) that might be an option but we never did figure out the routes and so we stuck to LRT/KTM and taxis.


What is there to see in KL

I have always felt that KL is a bit of an anonymous capitol compared to many other capitols. I guess most people that head of to south east Asia end up in Thailand or Vietnam. But, surprisingly enough, KL also has a few things one can check out.


The Petronas twin towers

The Petronas twin towers seen from the park behind KLCCWhen I went to KL for the first time I arrived by bus from Singapore. I took the night bus and as we approached KL I could see the newly built twin towers light up the sky. The buildings were the tallest buildings in the world for a while and even if the 452 meter buildings now have been surpassed by Taipei101 they are still very impressive in the KL skyline. The Petronas Twin towers are located in the KLCC complex and many people visit as there is a big mall there (Suria KLCC). It is not possible to get to the top of the buildings (well, unless you have some business in the building) but tourists can get to the skybridge that connects the two buildings. You remember the film “Entrapment” with Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, right?


If you want to check out the skybridge you have to show up in the morning at the towers. Admission is free but they only accept a limited number of visitors each day. Tickets can not be reserved, you need to get there early and it runs on a first-come-first-served basis. Remember that it is closed on Mondays by the way J


Walking over the skybridge at Petronas twin towersWe took the LRT from KL Sentral to get to KLCC. We came there about 9 am but we did take some wrong turns and we had some problems finding the ticket office. But just ask and you will get told where to go. We got tickets to get up to the skybridge at 10.15 am so in the mean time we just walked around on the mall and had some morning coffee.The skybridge seen from inside KLCC There is a short intro film about the building of the twin towers and there is also a hands-on room where you can learn more about tall buildings and the towers while you wait for the lift. The lift up to level 42 located 170 meter above ground level went pretty fast. We only got about 10 minutes on the skybridge, before being hearded back into the lift for a speedy trip back down, but the view was great. Well, it is always a bit hazy in KL…I guess you can blame the traffic for some of it but from what I understand it is forest burning in Indonesia that causes this haze.



Nikki won the lego car race at PetrosainsApart from being a huge mall the Suria KLCC also contains some other fun stuff. We stopped by Petrosains a discovery center for kids…and adults of course J. We checked out a section called Speed first which was inspired by KL’s annual Grand Prix Formula 1 race. In the Speed section we could try to build our own cars of Lego to see who could get the faster car (Nikki won), there were interactive tests where you had to guess the outcome (which ball rolls faster type) etc. There were also lots of helpful people there that explained the different experiments and interactive tests to visitors.


Petroleum science explained at PetrosainsThe second part of the museum is a more traditional discovery center with subjects ranging from energy, geology, chemistry etc. There is a lot of focus on the oil exploration and production since the whole thing is sponsored by Petronas, the national oil company of Malaysia. But I think the message that came across was pretty good and clear: we need you (the kids) to go to school and help bring the country forward. I thought Norway and Stavanger was the only place where you could find a petroleum museum but in the Petrosains we found something that was very similar.


All in all this is a fun place to visit and be sure that you have enough time when you visit because the place is pretty big and there is lots to see and do.


KL aquarium

While we were in the area, we visited the KL aquarium. It seems like we always end up going to aquariums…it is always fun to see sharks and colorful fish up close. The only thing that is better is snorkeling and seeing fish through your snorkel mask J The KL aquarium is located in one of the buildings that surround the park at KLCC. It only takes about 5 minutes to walk there from the mall. We paid the 38 RM per person to get in and started the walk. The first thing that met us was a big special exhibition of different reptiles. We found Nemo :-)There were lots of snakes and lizards and it is a bit spooky where there are big “Venomous” signs and only a glass window separating us from the deadly reptiles. Apart from that the highlight was walking through the tunnel where we could get a close up view of sharks swimming by. According to their website you can also dive with sharks now if you want some more excitement.


Batu caves

View to the Batu cavesThe Batu caves are one of the most famous attractions of KL. The Batu caves is actually a Hindu temple and hence it is visited by many Hindus looking to pray. Each year there is a festival called Thaipusam and there is a procession that ends at the caves. You have probably seen some pictures from this procession as some of the participants pierce different parts of the body with needles or hooks to carry or drag different kinds of burdens as a part of the pilgrimage (read more about it on


Getting a taxi from downtown KL was almost impossible - the taxi drivers refused to drive us there. Eventually we took the hint (not entirely sure what the underlying hint was) and went to KL Sentral. We took the Kelana Jaya LRT line to Terminal Putra (end station) and from there we jumped into a taxi and 10 minutes and 8 RM later we were at the cave.


Numbers to keep you on track on your position in the stepsOnce we got there we were faced by an enormous 40 meter golden statue of Lord Murugan (read more about the history on Wikipedia) which was not there the last time we went to the cave. The statue is located right next to the 272 steps that lead up to the cave itself. 272 steps are not that much but when you have to climb it in 30 degrees Celsius and in humid conditions it leads to a bit of sweat…at least for me. On the way up we passed a number of small monkeys that wanted to be fed. They can be a bit aggressive so be careful - don’t openly carry drinks or snacks unless you’re planning on sharing with the monkeys. View to Cathedral Cave at BatuWe even saw a monkey stealing something from a pocket of a guy that walked by J At the top of the staircase we entered the cave itself and I guess you can walk about 100-200 meters into the cave and at the end you reach the Cathedral Cave which houses shrines under a 100 m vaulted ceiling. For me it is fun to visit a place like this because it is so different from religious places that I’m used to from back home. There are small temples with colorful and strange figures; a chicken was walking around looking for food near one of the temples and speakers blasted out music which sounded like it was taken right from a Bollywood movie. One of these days I have to find out what these colorful figures mean, why they have several arms and how the elephant comes into the picture.


Make sure you visit the Batu caves. You might pick up a sweat on the way up the staircase but it is worth it.


A Malay wedding

Celebration at the Malay weddingThe last time we went to KL was actually to attend a wedding. In 2000 Meena and Tim got married and we had the pleasure of being a part of their christian wedding with an Indian and Chinese celebration. This time Meena was invited to a Malay wedding as one of her colleagues were getting married and we had the pleasure of tagging along J I guess we were invited to what is know as “bersanding” which means sitting in state. When we came there at about noon the married couple was sitting in a room that was highly decorated and the bride and groom looked like a king and queen. Gard and Nikki and the married coupleEach guest was supposed to shake the hand of the bride and groom and bless them and in return we got an egg and a flower (bunga telur). Outside the room there was a big group of people singing and beating on hand held drums (hadrah troupe). The celebration took place under tents that protected us from the strong sun and there was lots of food. We had some excellent, spicy beef rendang at the wedding and I would recommend that you try this dish out. It must be hard planning a wedding celebration like this because invitations are spread around and lots of people can show up. But it seemed like everything went according to the plan at this wedding J We only stayed for an hour or two but it was fun to have witnessed a wedding celebration that it very different from the Norwegian tradition.


KL Tower

The KL tower seen from belowThe KL Tower is another building that defines the KL skyline. This tower is 421 meters high and it is also located on a small hill and it makes it stand out even more. Menara Kuala Lumpur (which is the official name) View to KL toweris a telecommunication tower but for 20 RM you can take the elevator to the top. The view from the observation deck is great and you even get a free audio/video guide that you can listen to while you browse around. From the windows we got a great view to the Petronas twin towers, the historic Merdeka Square etc. The only thing that can prevent you from enjoying the view is the smog that can occur in the city. There is also a revolving restaurant above the observation deck. We never got to try it out but I can imagine that it must be nice having an evening dinner there. But I have a feeling that you might be paying more for the view than the food. Notice the architecture of the tower if you visit it. It is a modern tower but the decorations are inspired by traditional Islamic forms.


You can reach the tower by taking the monorail. I think that the closest station is Bukit Nanas and from this station you can walk to both KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers.


Merdeka Square/ Dataran Merdeka

The flag pole at Merdeka SquareKuala Lumpur is a fairly young city and Malaysia is a fairly young nation. As many other places in this world the British Empire is involved in the history of this nation and it was not until 1957 the union jack was lowered for the last time. The “birth” of the new nation took place at Merdeka Square. The big field was once the cricket field of the Royal Selangor Club and it is actually a nice quite place when they close the roads for traffic on Saturday night. At night the buildings are lit up with thousands of lights. The building Sultan Abdul Samad looks like it is taken right out of a fairy tale. At the one end of square is a 95 meter flag pole with a gigantic version of the Malaysian flag.


Merdeka Square by nightI guess this is also a hang out spot for couples in love. Meena told us that she had been there in her youth together with her husband Tim and she was approached by Muslim men that reacted to her behavior around him. She is Chinese/Indian but the men thought she was a Muslim so they didn’t want her to be alone with him without a chaperone. This was a reminder for Nikki and myself that we were in a Muslim country and that there are other rules to follow.


Fast fun – Formula1 at Sepang

From the race: Fernando Alonso in actionOK, I admit it: I enjoy watching Formula1 and every second Sunday afternoon is often spent in front of the TV watching fast cars. When we started planning the trip I noticed that there would be a F1 race in KL during the stay and naturally I started looking into the process of getting tickets. The Sepang race track seen from our seatsI was hoping to find some tickets to a very cheap price on the net but it was hard to find other tickets apart from the ones that were sold on . I hesitated in the buying process and in the end they stopped selling tickets online. So once we reached KL we got Meena to take us out hunting for tickets. We found what we were looking for at KL Sentral. The Sepang Circuit has a small office there were we lined up to buy (after standing in the wrong line for a while). We ended up buying tickets to be seated in the K1 gold area.


Kimi Räikkönen at Sepang race trackOn Sunday March 19th we made our way to KL Sentral to take the train out to the race track. The circuit is located near the airport so they use the airport train KLIA transit to transport people out to the airport. From there we were guided to buses that were waiting and it was only a 10-15 minute ride. There was lots of people and activity at the main gate area. There was a F1 car on display; there were lots of support shirts and hats for sale etc. And it was total chaos when all of a sudden Kimi Räikkönen walked into the Mercedes tent.


Eventually we found our seats on K1 (J L 1-2) and the seats were not bad. They are located at the first turn of the track and we were seated in the shadow and had view to a big screen. The noise from the F1 cars is unbelievable by the way so make sure that you have some protection for the ears if you go to a race. We came prepared with ear plugs but in retrospect it would have been a good idea to buy one of the headsets that we sold outside for 100 RM with a radio in it. With this it was possible to listen to the race commentary. For us it was impossible to tell what was said over the loudspeakers. This made it very difficult to make out what was happening in the race. The big screen that we looked at was not very good either and I could not read the score on that even with binoculars. I was hoping that we would see some spectacular crashes in the first turn but it turned out to be quite a …well…a bit boring race L We were hoping for some heavy downpour in order to shake things up a little bit but it only started raining when we were on the train back to KL.


Gard in front of a F1 car at SepangConclusion: if you are going to a F1 race go all the way and buy great tickets. For us it would have better with K1 Platinum tickets so that we could have seen the start grid and first turn. If not just buy the cheap tickets where you don’t have access to shade, big screen etc. The main arena (mall area) at SepangBy the way…the race was won by Giancarlo Fisichella and with Fernando Alonso on second. My favorite Michael Schumacher only got a 6th place. But even if I sound a bit negative it was a fun experience. It was possible to buy drinks during the race (water was about 5 RM and beer (only Foster’s of course) was 14 RM per. can. The food that was sold for 25 RM was terrible and overpriced, according to Malaysian standards. They sold ‘western meals’ - (dry) hamburgers/hotdogs with potatochips on the side.


Chinatown / Petaling street

Gard checking out the selection of fake watchesMany tourists end up going to the market on Petaling street in Chinatown. We went there several times as it is a pretty fun place to check out. Here you can find everything from fake watches, bags, t-shirts, DVDs…The famous Petaling street in KLbut you can also find places to get something to eat or drink, walk through wet markets or check out temples. When we first came there I browsed around the fake watch section to look how close they can come to the real watches. I was checking out brands like Breitling, IWC etc and in some cases it is impressive to see how well the replicas are made. But it looks like it is illegal to sell (and buy also?) because when we were there someone started calling out that the police were coming and many of the stalls closed pretty fast. It didn’t take many minutes before the place was very quiet compared to normal.


Scenes from the Sri Maha Mariamman TempleIf you want to check out a Hindu temple check out the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple located near Petaling street. As other Hindu temples it is filled with colorful statues (and visitors) in different shapes. Check out the tower above the entrance…there are so many details. Remember to take off your shoes before you enter the temple :-) . Wet market at Petaling streetIn one of the side streets to Petaling street we found something completely different compared to the fake products on sale in the main streets. We came across a wet market and it is always fun to walk through places like this even if Nikki was a bit skeptical due to the bird flu breakout in the world at the time. In the wet market it seemed like you could buy all sorts of stuff…meat were being chopped up, in a cage there were lots of chickens and on the table right next to them we found their “cousins” already slaughtered and ribbed, etc.


You can get there by taking the LRT line. Jump of a Pasar Seni and you should be able to find it. You can also reach it by jumping off the monorail station Maharajalela (not that easy to say when you order the ticket) but it is a bit longer walk to get to Petaling street. When we took this route we walked through a street where it was pretty obvious that some of the people hanging about were prostitutes. I was a bit surprised by this…being a Muslim country I would think that it would be more “under cover”.


Bukit Bintang

Gard in KL tower...Petronas twin towers in the backgroundWhere is downtown in KL? I get a feeling that there is no distinctive downtown area. But the Bukit Bintang area is one of the downtown areas at least. We tried to walk there from Petronas Twin Towers one night but we only reached one monorail station before we realized that we would pick up a serious sweat if we were to walk all the way. So we jumped on the next train…aha…finally some air condition. When I came to KL for the first time in 1997 I stayed at Jalan Bukit Bintang and I arrived at like 4 am and it was quite a shock to wake up to a pretty noisy street. In this area you will find lots of shopping malls, hotels etc. But you can also find some fun for the kids here..the mall Berjaya Times Square has its own roller coaster inside of the mall.



Scenes from PutrajayaA few years back Malaysia decided to build a new administrative capital outside KL…it is called Putrajaya. The cool thing about taking a totally empty space for a new capital is that you can plan everything so that it becomes “perfect”. And that is how it felt when we arrived at Putrajaya by car. The roads are wide, the homes built to house the workforce looked very nice, the bridges and lakes are well designed…it did feel a bit artificial but I guess things that appear perfect tend to make us more uneasy than anything. But it is fun that they have tried to create a place that can be both a place to run the country and a place where people can come for a day and have fun.


Scenes from the botanical garden at PutrajayaWe started out at the botanical garden and we paid about 6 RM per person for the entrance fee and a tour guide. Let’s face it…botanical gardens can be dead boring but having a guide with us made a huge difference. The guy that took us around knew his stuff. He showed us which palms have water inside the trunk, small bananas with a sticky substance when you crack them open etc. Make sure to rent a guide if you go there as it makes it into a great experience.


Lunch at Shangri-La at PutrajayaAfter the trip to the botanical garden we had decided to treat ourselves to a SPA treatment at the Shangri-La hotel located in the middle of Putrajaya. Meena had booked the spa in advance and we paid about 160 RM per. person and that was including the all you can eat buffet lunch at the hotel first. So we had wonderful lunch first where we got to try out a few of Malaysia different dishes and later on we moved over to the spa area. We were basically alone when we got there and we got told to go in and change and then relax in pre-spa room. Pool at the Shangri-La hotel at PutrajayaBut it only took a couple of minutes before Nikki and I were led into a room where we got a comfortable body massage that lasted about 1 hour….phew….life can be really beautiful J We tried out the steam room, jacuzzi and sauna together. The spa area was really nice with small cubicles for each shower and they were all equipped with shampoo, soap, conditioner…even tooth brush and a shaver. I’m not very used to good service from back home in Norway and I was really impressed with the Shangri-La hotel. I also lost a memory card for the camera while I was there and I asked if the management could maybe check in the restaurant where we had lunch earlier on. They really made an extraordinary effort to retrieve the missing memory card.


The Putra mosque at PutrajayaWe also had time to visit Masjid Putra (the Putra mosque). It is a huge mosque with a big dome and the 116 meter minaret makes it stand out in the landscape. As we are not Muslim we were not allowed to enter the mosque itself but you are allowed to come into the mosque area after you put on a robe. The color of the robes this season is pink so Meena, Nikki and myself were all walking around looking “pretty in pink” J The whole area was amazingly well kept and the tiles on the outside were so clean - they were reflecting us and the sun’s blinding light.


Dressed up in pink at PutrajayaI said that everything was well planned in this area. Well, not everything. We dropped by a place called Taman wetlands but we decided that we didn’t have time so we wanted to drive back to the center but the road lead us straight back out onto the highway J So we basically had to drive in a loop around the city to get back in again. Well, I guess everything can't be perfect :-) You can read more about what to see and do at Putrajaya on this page.



When you get to KL you will have lots of shopping options…these vary from buying fake stuff in Chinatown to buying more luxury stuff from malls. Here is a little info as we saw it J


Inside Suria KLCCKLCC Suria: A nice mall indeed which should have something for all. Not only does it include shops but also places to eat, and entertainment (Petrosains, aquarium). But when there are shops like Cartier, Tiffany & Co., Chanel etc you know this is not the place to go to find the good bargains J But due to the location we did browse through a couple of times. A mall that was more to our liking was the Mid Valley Megamall .We got there by taking the KTM train from KL Sentral and it is only a couple of stops away. The mall has lots of shops ranging from sports stores to big department stores. It also has a huge cinema, bowling, lots of places to eat etc. Another big mall where I would have been totally lost was if it wasn’t for Meena’s excellent guiding was 1Utama.


In the center of town you can find lots of places to shop at in the Bukit Bintang area. We never did get to Berjaya Times Square but from what I understand you can find a roller coaster inside of the mall.


The park outside KLCCKL is an excellent shopping destination indeed. Selection and price wise, Nikki was very satisfied and managed to find quite a few bargains at Midvalley and 1Utama. Of course Gucci is over priced whether you’re in KL or NY but the service was commendable in the upscale stores - none of that cold shoulder and frowns at “no thank you, just looking” type of customers. China Town was very much a lot of the same merchandise from different stalls but if you have an eye for detail, time and energy then you’re bound to bargain your way to the right price. And if you do get a little overzealous there is an oversized / extra baggage service at the airport:-)


About visiting KL

The amazing Petronas twin towers seen at nightIt was great fun visiting KL again. For me it was actually the third time but each time I feel that I learn something new about the city. I think that it is great fun to just walk around and look at people and the city…but KL is not always a walkable city. We did take a walk from KL Sentral one day and we went toward the old railway station towards Merdeka Square. Transportation of ice in a street in KLThere were some road work being done (as always in larger cities), buses were roaring by and lots and lots of small motorcycles made it a challenge to cross the roads. People might think that because you are in a Muslim country you have to watch out. We went there right after there had been lots of headlines in Norwegian and Danish newspapers about the printing of the Mohammed drawings. But this never came up as an issue when I talked to people. The people are friendly and smiling. In Norway if you look an unknown in the eyes on the street I think they will probably think “Why is the person looking at me” and get a bit nervous. In KL it was great fun to look at people because most people would break into a smile and greet.


Sign in KL indicating a place where you can take cover from the rainWhen walking around in the city, remember that this is a south East Asian city and you can be surprised by heavy rain. The best thing is just find some shelter while you wait for it to pass by J There are even signs showing where motorbikes can take shelter if they get caught out in a bad shower. When we came to KL by bus a few years ago there had been a shower and there was a huge gathering of motorbikes under one of the highway bridges J


It is pretty much always hot in KL (see stats on Weatherbase and hence you have air conditioning everywhere. I guess most visitors welcome the heat…at least for a while. But the people who live here enjoy the coolness in their homes, in their car going to work, in their office and when they shop. Even the smallest cars seemed to have air con as pretty much standard equipment.


Malay women in KLI think it is great to see that people of different races and religions can live together as they do in Malaysia. Maybe there is some tension but we didn’t feel that when we were visiting. It seemed like the Malays, Indians, Chinese etc were able to live side by side without major problems and I think that is an example to follow. I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated to see women all covered up when we went to Dubai a few years back. The Malay women also cover their hair but in most cases they don't cover the entire body. The head pieces are often in bright colors.


Other things to do in the KL area

If you are in the area you might want to consider these things too.

Genting highlands – I went there during my first visit to KL. I think I took a bus out of town and it was nice to get into the jungle and up to a higher altitude.


Sunway lagoon – we visited this water park during our first trip in 2000. At the time we were not that impressed as the place looked a bit worn down, there were very few people and not all the slides were open. But maybe they have improved since then J


We planned to take a canopy walk at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia but we never got around to that. We also had plans to see the fireflies at Kuala Selangor but we didn’t have the time for this either - plus it rained on many of the evenings during our stay.



The choice of Indian food in KL is amazingSo is KL a place to stop by? For me this is a pretty easy question to answer…if you haven’t been to a place before it is always worth stopping by J But has KL got much to offer for tourists? Yes, there is stuff to fill your days if you want to have a bit of a city break before you head of to some of the Malaysian islands. The only problem is that I think most tourist only end up visiting the modern malls, Petronas twin towers and maybe the Batu caves. I think that we got a special treat as we got shown around by Meena and Tim and hence we got to experience more of the local culture. So if you go there you should make an effort of being adventurous…especially when it comes to food. Try to eat the local dishes, eat at a place where only locals hang out, eat at the open air café on the side walk that probably would have been shut down for many reasons back home.


Some people ask “Where should I go…Thailand or Malaysia?” . It is not that easy to answer as it depends what you are looking for. I fear that most tourists are just looking for a low price level, nice beaches, good parties etc. If those are the criteria I think that Thailand is the winner. But I hope that this trip report also shows that Malaysia and KL has something to offer. I want to thank Meena and Tim for taking good care of us during our stay and for showing us a piece of their culture.


Please continue reading on the next page. The next chapter covers our trip to Perhentian Island on the east coast and then Langkawi on the west coast.


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