A day back home?

Day 62
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

KL, with 1.4 million people, is a rapidly growing metropolis set in a jungle landscape. It’s a compact city, and for Asia, very cosmopolitan and Western. With what seems like a Starbucks on every block, English well and widely spoken and luxury shopping complexes (a la Time Warner Center), this is Dubai-light, and it reminds me a lot of home.

We were up early this morning to queue up for a visit to the Petronas Twin Towers, this country’s most recognizable landmark. These were the tallest buildings in the world (at 451.9 meters) until 2004, when Taiwan’s Taipei 101 took over the honor, albeit only temporarily, as Dubai’s Burj Dubai now nears completion. After waiting around a half hour, we got our free tickets and were told to return at 12:45 p.m.

In the meantime, we had a Starbucks and then a nice Western breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and fruit before heading to Aquaria KLCC, a nearby aquarium. It is purported to have the longest “underwater tunnel” in the world — a 90 meter moving sidewalk that offers a unique underside perspective to sea life, including this monster, swimming above.

We walked back to the Petronas, global headquarters of the national petroleum company. After a brief propaganda video extolling the virtues of natural resource consumption, we boarded a high speed elevator for a 45-second ride to the 41st floor Sky Bridge connecting the towers. This is an engineering marvel and offers a great view of the surrounding city as well as a detailed look at the structure itself.

We took a cab to Bintang Walk, a stretch of malls in the entertainment and shopping district. Our first stop was the Pavillion — a largely upscale yet desolate place that would give the Westchester or Tyson’s a run for the money — and got blue-cheese burgers at the American institution, Tony Roma’s. It should be noted that after two meals, we still had not ate local food.

Not interested in leaving the air conditoning, we passed a multiplex and decided that devoid of Hollywood entertainment for two months, it was time to take the plunge. The new Indiana Jones was playing in English. Tickets were 8 ringgit ($2.50USD). The movie was okay, Harrison Ford is old and I’m not sure what the deal was with the space ship.

Back at the hotel, we showered and then returned to the Petronas for dinner. One of the restaurants there had sushi on the menu (from where, I’m not sure), but we needed a Japanese fix and ordered anyway. It was delicious. Hopefully, I’ll feel the same way tomorrow morning, when our bus to Melaka, our final destination in Malaysia, departs.


  1. lottieb says:

    Did you know that they filmed scenes for Indiana at Iguazu? Did you see it?

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