I arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, about 2 hours* ago and I immediately lined up a planned city tour with the Sheraton Imperial hotel concierge, after checking into the hotel. Due to this being a “quick and dirty” 2 day layover, I wanted to make sure everything was planned for my one free day tomorrow. All thanks go to Gaiyathre, the concierge who assisted me in lining up this tour.
Consequently, I’ll be a very busy bee tourist tomorrow. Kuala Lumpur is a fast developing, busy and modern city, as well as the economic and cultural center of Malaysia. One of the world’s tallest buildings (Twin Towers) right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur is indeed a sight to behold. I will be visiting that, along with a visit to the largest Pewter factory in the World, so tomorrow promises to be an educational and interactive experience . I will also visit the Batu caves or Lime Stone Caves, which is a major tourist attraction here. Inside the caves, visitors climb a steep flight of steps, where I’ll be able to see various stalactite and stalagmite formations.
Along with the aforementioned, I’ll visit Embassy row; the King’s Palace; Parliament House; the National Mosque, which is the largest in Malaysia; and, Independence Square, which has a statue that is quite similar to our Iwo Jima Memorial statue. This evening I am going to see if I can find a middle eastern restaurant (hopefully, Lebanese) – which should be easy – since most Malaysians are Muslim.
Kuala Lumpur is in competition with Singapore. You name it, they both are locked in this competition where it extends to all facets of their respective culture and society. For example, when one country built the tallest building, the other one followed suit. Same deal with shopping malls and their international airports. Kuala Lumpur’s airport is very modernistic and more important, efficient. I was awed by how modern it was.
However, the most amazing aspect of this “competition” is the fact that Kuala Lumpur is going green . . . The environment improvements are readily apparent as I drove in the taxi from the airport. Which by the way, is approximately a 50-60 Kilometer haul. Quite a distance, especially in lieu of the fact that I have an early flight to Kathmandu, Nepal, the day after tomorrow. Ugh. However, I digress . . . It was quite apparent that the government is very serious about pollution, as I didn’t see any garbage strewn along the highway and the air was quite clean. Bangkok in comparison is always hazy and you feel like you’re breathing some sort of dirty “soup.” It’s no wonder that many commuters wear masks. Here in Kuala Lumpur, you can actually see a blue sky and the sun.
I have been in “pamper” mode for Thailand and now, Kuala Lumpur. No hostels on these two legs of my trip. Before I started this round the world trip, I had about 100,000 Starwood Preferred Guest reward points and used them all on the Bangkok Royal Orchid Sheraton; Imperial Sheraton I am at now; and, a boutique hotel in Athens, Greece. This place is quite nice, with both a large bath tub and a glass shower, with all the free amenities that come in handy when I run low or forget toiletries. I love that they all come in small sizes, e.g., shaving cream, sewing kit, tooth paste and brush, mouthwash, etc. Yes, I hoard them (if only because I am traveling light and anything small means less stuff on my back).
I will probably have one more post about Malaysia tomorrow. Until then, enjoy your day! 🙂
* I was too tired from staying out late last night and am posting this the next day, March 7th, 8:31am.