There isn’t much to jump up and down about in KL. It’s another big city, but unlike other cities, it’s a little backwards. There are so many half completed and abandoned buildings, which apparently haven’t had any work done since the 90s.
It’s difficult to walk around on foot in sections of KLCC, as footpaths are obsolete, rules are a little extreme, it seems less and less expats and tourists are present, I was quite surprised to see the number of very young girls wearing a hijab. My understanding was that girls usually start to wear the hijab once they reach puberty in an attempt to dress modestly according to the Quran. I was a little taken back to see girls as young as 6 wearing them.
Thankfully we found a big playground next to the Petronas Towers, where I could let the boys let loose while Jason went to sort out the train tickets for tomorrow morning. I’ll come back to this one!
It is a fairly big open playground with various sections and then there is a kids water play/shallow pool with a little waterfall. All seems pretty reasonable at first, until you notice the security at the playground. It’s difficult to miss their whistle blowing. Either to stop splashing, or stop swinging on the swings too high, older kids (ages 7+) are told to get off the swings and I got the whistle blown at me for laying on the grass. Apparently you are “not allowed to lay down or sleep”. I was a little annoyed, as I wasn’t sleeping but ‘resting’, and it was so nice to do in the shade, away from the heat – but I guess I wasn’t going to push my point too hard in a foreign country.
The streets haven’t been designed very well. One has to travel a long distance just to get to a certain point that is not very far away. So you will often find taxis travelling down a long road only to have to do a U-turn back up the road
The traffic is horrendous at all times! We found that there are so many holidays and if you don’t know when these are, you get caught in peak hour traffic at 2pm!! It is just unbelievable how crazy it is to get around by car. One is better off walking – oh wait – but the footpaths are not great!
The impressions of those we came across, and of my husband (who was here years ago) is that the place seems run down. A large population of the Chinese malay have left, so it seems the country is being run by the Malay who don’t seem to be doing a great job, according to most. We spoke to our taxi driver who is Indian and he says the government is corrupt, the Indian and Chinese were the ones driving the place economically, but since most have left, the place is going downhill by incompetent and lazy workers. There are so many holidays, they stop working for prayer and on Fridays the Malay workers clock off very early, hence it is no wonder the country makes no advancements economically.
What to see/do
There are a lot of places to go and see, but we were tight with time and so we only go to see the Batu Caves, the Chinese markets, Petronas Twin Towers and the Aquaris.
1. Batu Caves
Batu Caves is a limestone hill and series of temple caves in Selangor, KL. It is one of the most popular Hindu Shrines outside India. It is the focal point of Hindu festival Thaipusam in Malaysia. The Hindu diety Murugan stands outside the Batu Caves 42.7m tall. It is quite an impressive sight to see, and the stairs are also a good workout to climb.
We end up catching a taxi to the caves as our uber cancelled and we didn’t want to waste any more time. It turned out to be more expensive than we had anticipated.
Upon arrival you cannot miss the Murugan statue and the stairs that you know you have to climb. For women wanting to go, if you are wearing shorts/skirt shorter than ‘appropriate’ you will be given a garment to wear around your waste for 5RM, and 2 RM given back upon return of the garment.
It’s an interesting cultural/religious place to visit. I don’t know much about Hindu, but there is something about it that intrigues me to learn more about their belief system
2. Petronas Twin Towers
A beautiful building that is the epicentre of KL and is difficult to miss. It looks especially impressive at night when lit up. Although it was the tallest in the world for six years it will soon no longer be the tallest in KL. There are already construction of new buildings that will overtake the Petronas twin towers as the tallest in Malaysia.
3. The aquaris
4. Chinese markets
Unfortunately I didn’t get any photos here because Mr 5 was complaining of a sore tummy and was quite sick. It ended up pouring rain and so we stopped at a Chinese restaurant for dinner. The food was delicious. We caught a cab back to the unit and it was a little difficult as Mr 5 was unwell that night.
In summary, the crux is Kuala Lumpur, is just another big city. If you (like big cities, then you will like KL. But if you are like us, looking for a cultural experience, chances are this will be experienced in the smaller towns.
Penang is next and hoping this will be different.