Flying in on an overnight flight from India, we arrived in Kuala Lumpur at the bright and early time of 5:45 am, took a one hour bus from the airport to the city center, found our guesthouse, and passed out. The only thing we really knew about Kuala Lumpur before we arrived was that the Petronas Towers, formerly the tallest buildings in the world, resided here.
By chance, our guesthouse was near a gigantic mall named Berjaya Times Square. We figured that this would be a good place to hang out and people watch. We didn’t take into account that this mall might have some fantastic surprises. Complete with a gigantic roller coaster, this mall had a couple key features that we really enjoyed: Papa John’s and Wendy’s. I’d be lying if I didn’t say that we were excited to see two American chains after months of ethnic foods. Not that we don’t enjoy the food we’ve had every place else, but this was a nice surprise to have a frosty and cheese pizza that tasted close enough to home.
We spent the next day checking out the gleaming Petronas Towers. Dana and I took the monorail and headed out to see them. It turns out that the bottom five floors or so housed a very upscale mall in them. It didn’t take long to realize that retail shopping was a popular pastime here. Pretty cool buildings, but unfortunately I think we prefer the ancient structures over the more modern ones. We finished the day seeing a Christmas holiday show at the mall, which had Christmas trees, gingerbread houses, and all sorts of other holiday themed decorations. We thought this was pretty interesting because Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country.
Unfortunately, Kuala Lumpur doesn’t have any must-see things outside of checking out the Petronas Towers. It is a clean, quiet, efficient, well-planned city… which actually reminded us of life in the United States. In fact, I consider it one of the easiest places to live in if I was forced to live abroad. The main reason we were in Kuala Lumpur is because it’s the hub of the budget airline Air Asia. We’ve been using them to connect to places throughout Southeast Asia. Our original plans had us travelling north back into Thailand, but there were bad storms for while and a few places experienced flooding, so we skipped that and headed to an unplanned destination… check back in a couple days to see where we ended up!