Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

After nearly 48 hours of travel, we touched down at the Kuala Lumpur airport. This trip was arranged by my sister using Selective Asia, so we didn’t do this one free style on our own. I was relieved to be met by a driver at the airport and whisked to our hotel in town. We are staying at The Majestic Hotel, and it is quite nice.

In our itinerary I was wary of the 5 pm evening walking tour, having just traveled two days to get here. I would have preferred to decompress in a quiet spot, but my sister talked me into the tour reasoning the walking would do us good.

I was pretty much a zombie but we met our guide and began our Malaysian adventure without further ado.

The muddy confluence of two rivers, Kuala Lumpur. The government has been doing cleaning and restoration of the river.

Our guide was knowledgeable and understanding of our less than enthusiastic demeanor. He explained where the name Kuala Lumpur came from (muddy confluence), walked us through several markets, fed us street food, and used the Malaysian equivalent of Uber (Grab) when I just couldn’t go on.

Rice with vegetables served on a banana leaf. We had this in Little India.
A market near the river.
You can be arrested for “indecent behavior”. After questioning our guide we found that it refers to more than a peck on the cheek or holding hands.
A market in China town. The intense sights, sounds, and smells took their toll and we headed back to the oasis of our hotel.

I had to apologize to our very wonderful guide for my lack of enthusiasm during our walking tour. I do like to see the real parts of a city or country, but lack of sleep will dampen anyone’s spirits. We headed back to the hotel and collapsed.

The city is very clean, cleaner than my own home town of Portland Oregon right now. It has several ethnic areas including Little India and China town. We were told that on the street any type of clothing is acceptable and we saw the range from burkas to shorts and tank tops. The local currency is the Malaysian Ringgit, which right now is 4.4 to the US dollar.

The traditional Malaysian breakfast buffet at the hotel. The buffet included many selections, from a Western style (thank the gods) to many Asian breakfast favorites.

After a restorative ten hours of rest and a stellar breakfast buffet at The Majestic Hotel, we met Patrick, our guide for a morning city tour. We couldn’t have asked for a better guide. Enthusiastic, full of information and years of experience, when we mentioned our number one sightseeing wish of the Batu Caves, he quickly shifted gears, ditched the scheduled tour and expertly sidestepped the long queue of cars and deposited us near the entrance.

Although my attire was suitable for around town, I would not have been allowed into the Hindu temple with knees showing. No worries. Patrick loaned me a covering, fixed me up, and away we went.

The Batu Caves are not far out of town. It was a Sunday, and very crowded. We climbed the 272 steep steps to enter the caverns. Monkeys scamper between the tourists and the worshippers. Incense is burning, music is playing, and despite the crowds, people are respectful and polite. I skipped the parts of the temple that required shoes be removed.

The entrance to the Batu Caves. You climb 272 steep steps to the entrance. It is nothing if not colorful.
Climbing the steps up to the caves.
Inside the caves.
Many people were barefoot.
One of the monkeys and I make faces at each other.

It was quite warm. Daytime temperatures routinely reach into the 90s F, with afternoon rains. We drank many bottles of water and relished Patrick’s air conditioned car. After the Batu Caves, Patrick showed us a Mosque, the new palace, and a Chinese temple.

Patrick explains that the hibiscus is the state flower. It is also in the crest.
The new Palace.
A guard at the palace. The horses have 1 1/2 hours duty, then go back to the stables. The floor of the guard house had a thick rubber mat for the horse and a large fan.

We visited the worshipping places of the local religions, (so colorful compared to my Lutheran background!), then asked to see a batik handcraft shop. Malaysia is known for Batik. Patrick took us to a handicraft spot where we could see the artists working on batik pieces.

An artist works free hand with a wax pencil, creating a design.
Painters fill in the artist’s work. The paint must dry for several hours, then it is set into the cloth.

I did have to buy a few beautiful pieces. From the batik shop we headed to the very modern and glitzy part of downtown to tour the tallest twin towers in the world. This is something we would not have chosen to do on our own, but we were given tickets, and the Petronas Twin Towers are a proud symbol of Kuala Lumpur so we did the tour. This is also where we said goodbye to Patrick and thanked him for his efforts.

I do not enjoy elevators, so it was an uncomfortable trip to the observatory on the 88th floor. The towers are 451 metres tall (1,480 feet) and do give you a great view of the city. The best part for us was the thunderstorm that passed while we were on the top floor.

We watched from the top floor observation area as a thunderstorm passed over the city. There were lightning strikes all around.

We made our way back to the hotel via the underground system. It was very similar to Europe and easy to navigate

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4 Responses to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

  1. augie's says:

    Very colorful city. Your guy certainly took good care of you and Becky. The twin towers are impressive. Twice the height of my hometown St. Louis Gateway Arch!

  2. Hisae says:

    The sign of kissing says “Indecent behavior is prohibited”. Does it include a light kiss? At first I thought it was a covid warning.

  3. Teresa Favazza says:

    Nice seeing artists doing their artwork
    Such a colorful city and going to the top of Petronas Twin Towers what a view and higher than the Eiffel Tower!
    Now I hope that guard Horse got to move around some and not spend hour and half in one place.

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