The Lonely Planet guidebook always offers recommendations of itineraries for one or two weeks for each country in the guide. We were surprised to see that Kuala Lumpur (KL) was not part of the recommendations for Malaysia but we decided nevertheless to conclude our trip in the capital. Anyway, we had a few free days before we left for London, why not spend them in the capital.
Like many cities in Southeast Asia, KL offers many markets, temples, churches and caves to visit. However, we did not feel like visiting them since we have seen so many already. KL is also an important economic city which also means that it has an impressive number of shopping malls, restaurants and nightclubs for expats and tourists. Unfortunately, as you know, our pack of four limits us a lot for doing those kinds of activities. Still, we had a pleasant few days in the city.
You will never guess what was our first activity in KL … We went to get a cleaning at the dentist, yipee !!! We must admit that it was well needed after all that time on the road. Without going in the details of our appointment with the dentist, we would like to point out that it was more economical than in Canada, twice as fast and at least as effective. For those who are worried that we might catch hepatitis, know that dentists are trained in Australia and that standards of hygiene are recognized by legitimate associations. We would not hesitate to get more elaborate dental care out there at a much more reasonable price than in Canada.
Did you know that Kuala Lumpur is the only major city in the world with a natural humid forest in the heart of the city? Urban development has encroached on the reserve, but “KL Forest Eco Park” nevertheless has an area of about 9 hectares. We went for a walk in this large park that surrounds the tower of Menara (1379 ft). The park is very interesting to visit and offered us an oasis of greenery nearby. We had the opportunity to go through a system of suspended walkways that gave an interesting view of the forest and the city.
We also visited the Chinatown and the Historic District. In the Chinatown we visited the Petaling Street Market where we took the opportunity to eat some succulent street food and shop a bit. The stores were offering products identical to what we saw throughout Southeast Asia. We managed to find an adult sized t-shirt identical to the Rolling Stones t-shirt that Hugo had bought in Thailand and a very similar one for Kolya to please our little Hugo who absolutely wanted us to wear the same t-shirts and be “bros”. A $10 well invested for to make such an amazing little boy happy. The historic district was fine. We saw a museum on the history of textile in Malaysia which gave us a different appreciation of the art of textile. We also visited Merdeka Square, home of the Malaysian Independence.
We spent the rest of our time in the neighbourhood where we lived, right at the foot of the impressive Petronas Twin Towers (1483 ft). We actually found a small Airbnb on the 31st floor of a downtown tower right next to the towers. We took the opportunity to visit the urban park at the foot of the towers where the boys took the opportunity to play in the water or in the dozens of play structures available.
The last day was so stormy that we stayed cloistered to regain strength before our long journey of 17h of flying plus a 4 hour stop in Hanoi 🙁 We took the opportunity to plan our stay in London & downloaded guided walks on the ipod. It looks like a thrilling week, but cold!
It’s hard not to compare KL with the other major city on the peninsula, Singapore. Our opinion is that while KL is a very interesting city, the comparison is not very favorable for KL. We would strongly suggest anyone spending time on the continent to go in Singapore rather than KL. KL was the last city we visited in Asia. Tomorrow, we will be back in Europe for the conclusion of the journey that is approaching at great speed. Have a good week everyone !