This blog post is just going to be a short one to round up just my 3 days in KL, a city of such huge contrasts! I felt it really deserved a post all of its own as it is hard to marry Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia in together with Vietnam, the experiences from the two countries being so distinct and unique!
Kuala Lumpur was a fast frenetic introduction to Asia, with a coming together of its myriad of Malay Chinese, Indian, and Arab cultures. From one side you see the huge aspirations to the west; the towering skyscrapers, the upmarket shopping malls, the obsession with the latest technology and so many Malay people speaking English really well.
On the other side, you see underneath this veneer to a completely contrasting perspective of Malaysia. China town with its street food and central market, the crazy traffic which has a life of its own, the colourful vibrant Asian and Islamic influences over the music, architecture, and the people. It was, for me as a first timer in Asia, all at once overwhelming but exciting!
During my three days there I came across all of these aspects of Malaysia; from the tallest twin towers in the world- the Petronas towers, spectacular especially lit up at night, to the hustle and bustle of central market and China town. The peacefulness of the call to prayer at the national mosque and the hive of activity that erupts as the prayers finish and the mosque empties and the hundreds of worshippers take to their motor bikes. The Batu caves at Diwali festival, which turned into a little India as the flower garlands, monkeys , Hindu shrines and giant statues of Krishna and other Hindu gods.
And finally my fantastic farewell to Kuala Lumpur dinner with new friends including a local Malay guy who took us to sample some local food away from all the tourist haunts of the city. Such a great end to my stop there and all the better to know will be back here again on my route home!