Category Archives: kuala lumpur

Hello from KL!

(Most of this post was written when I was in KL.)

Despite being accustomed to the slow and lazy island life of Bali, I am enjoying the hustle and bustle of Kuala Lumpur a lot. It’s fantastic being in a big city where there are hundreds of food options. I feel like a recovering addict suddenly thrust in the drug of my choice – food. My belly will definitely agree with me when I say that I am overdosing on eating. I’ve eaten a lot of Chinese food, Indian food and fast food. In fact, the McDonalds food here is pretty bang on – a hundred times better than Bali. I’ve also fallen in love with a coffee chain called Old Town. Mmmm, the steamed bread with chicken curry is to die for (picture below).

Claypot chicken with Chinese sausages -from a cart on the side of a street in Chinatown

For you Ros…

Roti Canai w/ 3 different curries – Heritage Row

@ KLCC

Teh tarik – Jl. Alor

Curry chicken w/ steamed bread – Old Town @ Pavilion

Lamb rack – Shook @ Star Hill

Besides the food, KL also offers a lot of malls – no surprise there. However, it’s different from Jakarta (read my review on Jakarta here). The malls are definitely nicer (more attention to detail) and it seems there’s a larger concentration of them within the downtown core – all within walking distance. That brings me to my next point: transportation. KL is a city set up multiple forms of transport. Besides driving, you can take the extensive train system (composing of 4 or 5 different lines), walk, bus or taxi. I’ve forgotten how nice it is to walk around a city since I’ve spent the last 4 months on a bike.

Medan Tuanku monorail station
Star Hill Mall – amazing!

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed my time in KL. I found the food choice excellent, the city planning efficient and the people incredibly friendly and intelligent. I’ll definitely be back.

Petaling Street – Chinatown

Petronas Towers at night

Hindu Temple – Chinatown

These things are amazing. They flip you on your back and have over 30 different kinds of massages. 70% off – only $3000 CAD

View from the Skybridge (66th floor) of the Petronas Towers. The 86th floor view is even crazier

Batu Caves

It’s 272 steps up to the top (where the caves are). Even this guy is tired

Skybar – Trader’s Hotel

KL Skyline – slightly touched up in Lightroom
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No Nyepi…

This Saturday (March 5th) marks the Balinese New Years also known as Nyepi. There are several parts and rituals to the celebration including:
Melasti: This happens a few days before Nyepi and involves the purification of all sacred objects. Taken from all the temples, the objects are then purified in the sea.

Bhuta Yajna: In order to appease the evil spirits, the Balinese make ogoh-ogoh (paper statutes made from bamboo and shaped in grotesque forms). Then, on the day before Nyepi, many of the major streets are shut down for the ogoh-ogoh parade. The young village men will parade these statutes around all day until they are burnt at night. This symbolizes the death of all evil spirits.
Nyepi: This is also known as the “Day of Silence” because the ENTIRE island shuts down for 24 hours (6am-6am). That means absolutely no one is allowed to leave their homes (hotels if you’re a tourist) or make any noise. No electricity should be used either – that means no a/c, no lights, no TV etc. If you must switch a light on, it cannot be seen from outside or else the Pecalang (the traditional security force) will come by and demand you turn it off. If they find you outside of your home, they will physically escort you home. The airport is even shut down for the day and all Indonesian television stations are asked not to air anything in Bali.
The reasoning behind this is because the Balinese people do not want to attract the attention of any evil spirits that may be flying over the island. If the entire island is ‘dead’, the evil spirits will fly away because they’ll think no one lives there.
I’m actually quite sad that I’m missing out – I would have loved to see the ogoh-ogoh parade and the chaos that it creates. Apparently in years past, they’ve made the ogoh-ogoh look like George Bush, Osama bin Laden and even Godzilla!
It would have also been very interesting to experience a quiet Bali – no cars honking, no scooters whizzing by, no one screaming at each other…
But, because of a few different reasons, I flew to Kuala Lumpur 2 days ago and won’t be back in Bali until the 8th – well after the island is back to normal. More on my thoughts of KL next…
(Click here to read more on Nyepi)
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