Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

We just got back from a short trip to Kuala Lumpur. Lyndon had some business in KL and so I joined him on Thursday for a long weekend. We had been to Lankawi Malaysia back in 2011 but never to KL.  I was very pleasantly surprised at how nice it was.  There are great museums, skyscrapers, food, and culture.

I arrived Thursday afternoon and took the KLIA Express train from the airport to Sentral Station, then the LRT to KLCC.  The key is to pay for the express train at the airport with a credit card but exchange some money because the LRT does not take credit card. The tickets were only 2.6 ringgit which is only about 50 cents USD .  AT the KLCC station it is really easy to get to the Mandarin Oriental if you know where you are going.  Unfortunately I wandered a  little out of my way but eventually got there.  All you need to do is channel your inner Amazing Race Contestant !

After checking in I went to the mall and checked it out. They love their malls here! Dinner was arranged with a workmate , Ramzi, who is the brother of our friends from Tokyo and Hong Kong.  We went to a great Lebanese restaurant and ate way too much. After dinner we walked around the area and tried to get the lay of the land.

Friday morning  we took  a taxi ( take a blue one only) to the Batu Caves. To get to the top of the temple and into the caves you climbed 270 stairs.  Inside there was the temple and some other holy places .  On the way up there were many monkeys climbing the stairs and jumping around. One was a mother monkey carrying her baby which was so cute.  Then we went to the “Dark Cave” tour.  It was quite educational to hear about the environment in the caves and the conservation efforts they are employing to keep them in good condition.  It was very hot that day and we were starting to wilt a bit.  We took the train back into Sentral, grabbed a bite to eat (at the mall) and then walked to the National Museum.

The National Museum is a great way to learn the history of Malaysia.  The Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures have mixed and  coexisted peacefully for quite a while.  I was surprised to learn about the history with Thailand and Singapore.  I guess I was not aware of the fact that Singapore and Malaysia were one until only about 50 years ago.   Lyndon was having some work issues so we headed back to the hotel to cool off and let him do some work.

At night we had reservations for the Petronas Bridge tour.  The views from so high were amazing.  There was a storm rolling in so there were some openings in the clouds, emitting sunshine, and then the dark clouds on the other side. It made for some interesting pictures.  Then we walked to the Pavillion ( another mall) and found a restaurant there.

On Saturday morning we walked around the KL Park which is right outside our hotel. It is quite beautiful. The children’s playground was huge. There were some pretty fountains, ridges, running trails, and quiet space.  They had the nicest drinking fountain you have ever seen in a park. Then we trained to the station nearest the Islamic Arts Museum and National Mosque.  There was some protest or meeting going on at the mosque.  There were hundreds of people at the Mosque wearing purple shirts.  Yep I felt out of place. The Islamic Arts Museum was done  so well. The first section all focused on the Islamic Architecture.  There were models of mosques from around the world.  Then there were Chinese, Indian and Malay Galleries, areas on textiles, wood, jewelry, etc.  I would highly recommend going there.

It was very hot again but we walked over to the Central Market for some shopping and lunch.  The fish at the Thai restaurant was so good but very spicy .  We walked around the area and headed to some temples and Chinatown.   We were going to walk some more but once again the heat got us.  We taxi’d back to the hotel to cool off. That night we had plans with Ramzi and his wife Najwa for dinner.  Once again so much good food.  I think we have eaten half of Malaysia.

Sunday morning we got up early to go to church. There was a marathon running that morning so it was tough to get to and from the cathedral.   After mass we had breakfast and had to pack for our flight back home.  It was a quick trip but loads of fun  and food. We were very impressed how three very distinct cultures ( Chinese, Malay and Indian) lived in such harmony.

We are great at walking  around and taking public transportation but I think I might take the hop on hop off bus if I were to do it again. There is so much to see and do and even though it is not a huge city it is spread out enough and hot enough that the bus would be easier.




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