Kuala Lumpar in pictures
This is part of a series of posts where I look back at some of my favourite pictures from different cities that I have visited. You can read the rest of the series here.
Kuala Lumpur ranks highly when I think back to all the cities that I've visited. It has all the positives that I love about cities in south-east Asia like good food, culture, it's relatively cheap and the people are friendly. It manages to do all that despite not having the history that cities in places like Thailand and Vietnam have. You can read my full review of Kuala Lumpur here, and the 5 things I loved about Kuala Lumpur here.
Travel advice for Sikhs
I didn't experience anything here that's uniquely problematic for Sikhs. The airport takes drug smuggling seriously, so it isn't the friendliest place - but when are airports ever meant to be friendly?! The locals are friendly enough, but try not to get lost in sketchy neighbourhoods like I did (read the full review for the story). The only thing that I will say is for those Sikhs that eat meat, it's worth remembering that as a predominantly Muslim country, the meat here is halaal and therefore not suitable for Sikhs.
Where else to start but with KL's most famous landmark. I'd been seeing pictures and reading about the Petronas Twin Towers since I was younger, and to see them in real life was an absolute dream come true. This is pretty much where my love affair with skyscrapers began.
The view from the KLCC park was the best I found, and a fountain show in the evening framed the towers beautifully. Still, the towers are tall and from this close, I needed to switch to panoramic view on my phone and turn the phone horizontally to fit it all in.
Even 20+ years after construction, the Petronas Towers look futuristic. This picture makes me think of sci-fi films set in the 1980s when they imagine a future world. So many people were crouching low to find a way of getting most of the structure into frame.
The food courts in this part of the world are always amazing and Kuala Lumpur is no exception. Here's the most famous one, Jalon Alor. It's actually more than just a food court, it's an entertainment district centred around an outdoor food court. The closest thing to Jalon Alor I can think of is Khao San Road in Bangkok.
There's singers, massage parlours, desert stalls and a vibrant energy in the cramped roads that you'd be hard pressed to find anywhere else. Just remember, people will tell you anything for a sale, including that the food is halaal when they think you're Muslim, and that it's not halaal when they find out you're not (read the full story here).
The food is colourful - there were so many flavours of dumpling in just this one stall. While cheap compared to the UK, the food at Jalon Alor is more expensive than other parts of town.
Here's a different type of food court - much more laid back and focused purely on the food. The Tapak Urban Street Dining experience was launched by a few Malaysian school friends and brings together cuisine from around the world, although the focus is on South East Asian food.
The lights at night gave it a magical feel, and the live music gave it a more cosy ambience than the bustle of Jalon Alor.
I've seen more southern Indian style Mandirs in south-east Asia than anywhere else and the Sri Mahamariamman Temple is every bit as intricately decorated as other Dravidian temples. It's also one of the oldest places of worship in the city.
This guy got caught off guard as I took a photo of a local restaurant that did cheap (and good) food. Check out Kedai Kopi Lai Foong if you ever visit.
On the southern fringes of the city is the Thean Hou temple which combines styles from Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. It's a little out of the way, and I had to wait a fair while for a taxi back into the city.
But the time spent in the temple was pretty amazing, almost every corner had something beautiful.
The roof of the temple had the best architecture with deities and dragons battling it out.
Of all the markets I visited, Kampung Baru was the smallest with an almost exclusive focus on local food. It was significantly less busy and I didn't see many tourists at all.
I really liked the sight of the modern superstructures in the background of a very low rise market. It's these types of juxtapositions that I most enjoy when modernity and tradition come together.
You'll never see my face because I want this blog to represent any Sikh traveller, but here's the back of me on one of the coolest infinity pools I've ever been in at the Sirocco Red Hotel. Best of all, it only cost £30 a night.
Sunset from the KL Tower was special with buildings being soaked in gold, and the clouds providing the whole sky with a fiery glow.
My favourite landmark in KL is the Petronas Towers - so it wouldn't make much sense to see the view from inside there. After all, if I'm in the towers, then what am I looking out to see, right? The KL tower gave me the opportunity to see the Petronas Towers from a different perspective.
It might sit outside KL, but I couldn't share photos of KL without mentioning the Batu Caves (you can read my detailed review of the Batu Caves here). The large statue of the Hindu deity, Murugan is the most famous landmark, but the true beauty lies inside.
While the statue of Murugan is only about a decade old, the cave has been used as a place of worship for over a century. The centrepiece is the beautiful temple of Murugan, which is small but intricately decorated. It sits inside a limestone structure formed almost half a billion years ago, with the temple underneath a small opening to the outside.
I really loved KL, from the old town, to the more modern city with incredible skyscrapers. As a city I preferred it to Singapore; it's cheaper, there's more character and it feels less sterile. If you have the opportunity to visit, I'd definitely recommend it.
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British Sikh, born in the Midlands, based in London, travelling the world seeing new cultures.