Arriving in Kuala Lumpur was something of a surprise. We have been spending a lot of time in small towns and capitals of much less developed countries in recent times and I had no concept of what KL would be like. Somehow in my mind I was expecting the cosmopolitan, efficient and orderly atmosphere of Singapore blended with the friendly but energetic pace of Bangkok, but KL has its own style.
It is a huge Asian city with ultra futuristic glass and steel skyscrapers as well as a crazy collection of architectural styles with some heritage buildings thrown in for good measure. There is an incredibly modern and efficient transport system, which we were forced to become acquainted with immediately due to the masses of construction going on. We prefer to familiarize ourselves with new locations on foot but this simply wasn’t an option in a city this size with very few accessible footpaths, at least in the area in which we stayed. Unlike Bangkok, which we have frequented and are very familiar with KL was new, confusing and initially a challenge.
I am not someone who enjoys shopping but my main aim for this first brief visit to KL was to acquire some Birkenstocks. The pair I have been wearing for the last 2 years and almost daily for the last 7 months were beyond dead and our research informed us that there was an outlet in this teaming metropolis. Within an hour of checking into our tiny cubicle room in the district fondly referred to as the “Golden Triangle” (It is the business, shopping and entertainment area) I had acquired not one but 2 new pairs and was feeling pretty pleased with myself and the price. Shopping done we retraced our steps on the monorail and spent almost as long trying to relocate the hotel from the station as we had shopping. Phew!
The next day we tested our new found confidence on the monorail and successfully added the LRT into the equation, to reach the central market area and locate a vegetarian eatery. However we were really just passing through KL on a shopping mission on this occasion and our sights were firmly set on reaching Melaka and discovering more about heritage and the Baba Nyonya traditions there and that is exactly where we headed.
The major sights and museums are now on the hit list for our return with less trepidation to KL tomorrow.