Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
I went to Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it’s known, without much expectation. The strongest association that I had with the city was seeing it on the Amazing Race many years ago–I have a vague recollection of the contestants racing to get to the Petronas Towers–and that may actually have been the first time that I had really heard of the city, which happens to be the capital of Malaysia. (Side Note: The Petronas Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world, but now just the tallest TWIN towers.)
Right before taking the long(ish) trip from Krabi, Thailand to KL I met three girls who had just done the reverse journey and categorically did. not. like. Kuala Lumpur.
So basically I didn’t have huge expectations for the city.
As it turned out, I quite liked all of the different parts of the city that I visited.
Glitzy downtown and shopping district
Probably the highlight of my time in KL was a little excursion to the Batu Caves just 13 kilometers out of the city. The site is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India and the massive Murugan statue at the base of the steps was truly impressive.
Monkey at play on the stairs up to the caves. These little guys sure know how to work the tourists. I saw one snatch a bottle of water from a lady’s hand, twist of the cap and take a swig before chucking the empty bottle over the railing.
Even though I found a lot of things to like about Kuala Lumpur, I can’t say that it captured my heart the way Bangkok (and later, Singapore) did. I can’t think of anything that I really disliked about the city either; I guess sometimes you just click with a place and other times you don’t.