As soon as we landed in KL (Kuala-lumpur) the capital city of Malaysia I was flabbergasted by the size of the airport and it took us some 15-20min to understand from where we need to collect the baggage. We boarded a subway-metro which took us to the point where we had to collect the baggage. The first thing we did was to search our cab driver who was holding placard with our names on it. After a tiresome journey in Srilankan airlines and tasteless food we were so relieved to find him . Of course we had no idea then what all food options we will be having in forthcoming daysJ The cab driver Raja is from Tamil Nadu and got settled in Malaysia . It was my first international visit so like anybody else I was also surprised by the clean – wide roads and neat traffic and more surprised by seeing too many Indians especially Tamilians who were settled there from long. Am not sure on this but may be the reason being TN the nearest Indian state to Malaysia Tamilians were high in number there.
Raja dropped us at hotel Ancasa saying another Guide Christopher will be picking us from hotel next day in the morning. Meanwhile we can roam on our own in areas around the hotel . He told just adjacent to hotel there is China town which is good time pass as it is Chinese Newyear. We baded bye to him and were greatly relieved as soon as we entered our magnificent and luxurious hotel Ancasa. One thing to mention here is "Kolaveri" was played in high volume in the cab :D Our room was in some 11th floor and the view was great from there as we were able to see a huge Bank – May bank and KL tower and also Petronus- Twin towers from the room window.
Hotel An-Casa , KL tower & MAY-bank (in order) from the hotel room window
After a satisfactory meal we headed to China town which was all glowing in red with various decorations and too much of hustle bustle in shops . The note worthy things there were chestnuts which were yumm and also guavas which were the size of small coconuts. The person who was selling them seemed to be Yo-Yo with all his DJ kinda pics pasted to his cart. He was very vibrant and gentle when he was dealing with usJ and did not mind posing for us.
KL-tower in the night below
Before describing the city tour we had next day let me brief Malaysian History for those who are interested J
Malyasia is a country of southeast Asia consisting of the southern Malay Peninsula and the northern part of the island of Borneo. Malays probably moved into the penisula eventually reaching northern Borneo and displacing the indigenous Dayaks. Europeans arrived in the 16th century. Gaining independence in 1957, it joined with Singapore, Sabah, and Sarawak to become the Federation of Malaysia in 1963. Singapore gained independence separately in 1965. Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city. Population: 24,800,000. This is what our guide MR. Christopher briefed to us on the first day of the tour which covered the city tour. For more information you can google or go to wiki ;) I also referred the same for the figures!
Christopher also explained that type of Govt in Malaysia is constitutional monarchy nominally headed by paramount ruler (commonly referred to as the King) and a bicameral Parliament consisting of a nonelected upper house and an elected lower house; all Peninsular Malaysian states have hereditary rulers (commonly referred to as sultans) except Melaka and Pulau Pinang (Penang); those two states along with Sabah and Sarawak in East Malaysia have governors appointed by government. Sabah and Sarawak retain certain constitutional prerogatives (e.g., right to maintain their own immigration controls).
Our first stop is Istana Negara which means National palace, the royal residence for the King and queen. They did not allow us to enter inside , so we took some snaps at the entrance of the palace where there were details of the palace, constitutional monarchy as well as the hierarchy of all the sultans who ruled till then.
Our next stop was a monument built in the memory of dead warriors in 1st and 2nd world wars. You can check it in the images below
Then we visited Masjid-negara which means National mosque, one of the largest mosques in the world. As we entered inside we realized that wearing a burqa is must to walk inside till the point where tourists are allowed. All foreigners maintained hijab as they entered inside. It was very bright to watch all sea of people dressed in purple.
As told by our guide Christopher and as we roamed we realized it’s a strict Islamic country and we were told that there Muslims are even punished if they are caught eating food in day time during the month of Ramadan! They can carry food items to their homes but shouldn’t eat in open. There were even Islamic museum and one of the largest bird watches in Asia but due to time constraint we couldn’t stop by L
We went to the top most floor of the tower from where we had amazing views of the KL city. Petronus towers were also visible from the windows of the KL Tower
We had lunch in Little India where there were shops selling clothes from Mumbai, Kerala etc. We had some south Indian food which tasted lousy! Next stop was obviously Petronus/twin towers .The night view of Petronus towers is extremely beautiful. There are offices inside and you are not allowed to go in. Tower 1 has Petronus offices and Tower 2 is given for lease to other offices like Accenture, Mc Kinsey etc . It was tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004 till it was surpassed by Taipei-101 in China but they remain the tallest twin towers so far. Both towers are connected by Sky Bridge and it’s an amazing sight to watch in the night where the zenith of the towers shine like twin stars competing with the sky!
That night we picked up courage and tasted veg noodles full of vinegar in China town. They were edible but the surrounding crab and frog dishes were not so welcoming. Hence we finished the dinner asap and enjoyed the rain outside. Being a tropical country there is sun as well as a daily evening drizzle in Malaysia. The two day stay was enjoyable with occasional drizzle , little India (which almost gave the feel of home :)) , China town, visiting all the tall towers, knowing the history of the country etc. One more thing is hibiscus is national flower of Malaysia and we could see lampposts in the shape of hibiscus almost everywhere and you can see the hibiscus flower on the currency note too (check in the image above)!The 2 day stayal was noteworthy if we keep aside the food and the whiffs or sight of the food ! We thought may be they will react in a similar way when they come across Indian spicy food.:)
The next day we packed and were all set to go to “Genting Highlands” .Its my most fav place in the whole trip . On the way we also visited “Batu” caves which is to the north of KL city where there is a Hindu shrine of lord Muruga. It acts as a focus of Hindu festival Thaipusam which was happening when we visited Malaysia . You can witness many Indians there , mostly Tamilians and it’s a famous pilgrimage site for Hindus all over the world. While climbing the steps to go inside the cave you will come across many ferocious monkeys scaring you and trying to snatch things from you .I almost ran on the steps to escape from all the mischievous monkeys! Outside there is 140ft worlds largest lord Muruga’s golden statue , a golden shrine and inside the caves also there is a shrine.
We visited Robert Ripley’s Believe it or not museum and also scary house which was lot fun! As in any scary house there were only people who were scaring each other and it’s needless to say Ripley’s was very interesting .It was fun to know some facts, face some illusions and solve puzzles , capture our shadows , feel dizzy inside a room as it was slant and many more. We spent long time there.
Genting sky way (Cable car ride) was good and theme park was extremely interesting to people who want to enjoy all the rides where as I was just spending my time shooting here and there and observing people who were having food the odor of which was so unbearable to me that I had to cover my head and nose with my scarf. I saw people eating some thing called herbal egg a boiled egg dipped in brown solution packed in a plastic bag!! Well I don’t want to mention the smell of it J
We were very relieved when we found a north Indian food outlet in a vacant un-occupied corner among all Chinese, Thai food outlets. I couldn’t bear the smell any longer so we almost ran to that outlet and ordered some biryani and pakodas and satisfied our eyes , nose and stomach even if the food was not so great! After a half-hr to 1 hr stroll in and around the hotel we came back to room and packed our bags as we had a bus the next morning to Singapore!!Will detail the Singapore trip in another post as already the post is too longJ
Genting highland was awake even after midnight !
Our memories from Malaysia are firm and wide awake even now. All in all a historic country populated by very kind people, amazing traditional silk- ware , attractive colorful flowers mostly orchids, scarfs and pretty women wearing the baju kurung, a knee-length blouse worn over a long skirt. The add-on during our trip was Chinese newyear which made Kualalumpur even more bright with beautifully decorated lights, lamps and dragons (This time Chinese newyear is the year of black dragon)
Few words I learnt from the Malay language are
Keluar – Exit
Kedai – Shop
kiblah (also an arabic word) - Orientation or direction of Mecca
terima kasih – Thanks!
A word of advice ( Very Imp) : Do carry lot of fast food along with you if you go to malaysia (It can range from biscuits to fruits:))
That’s all for now friends and terima kasih for reading my post !!
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