Sunday, May 16, 2010

Back from KL

And yes, once again “we come back from” …. I actually am happy to think I’m going to stay put for the next few months!
This time, we come back from 4 days in Kuala Lumpur, a metropole which really surprised us on many levels. What I was most taken aback about was the modernity of the place. After 9 months between Hanoi, the country side of Vietnam and a few visits to Bangkok, I was not ready to expect such contemporary structures: massive shopping centers and skyscrapers everywhere, clean streets with brand new buildings, sky train, massive advert screens like in Japan or NY etc… and brands such as Mac, Zara and even Debenhams to be found in every shopping center. Debenhams! I mean, I hadn’t ever seen Debenhams outside of England, and those brands aren’t even in Australia. The other thing about KL, is that it really reminded me of Sydney, in its architecture, the salmony colour of some of the skyscrapers, the cuteness of some ornated buildings next to the financial towers. So many times from the sky train I thought I could be in Town Hall or Central train station really. Don't these little house remind you of Newtown?

We have also noticed how well everyone speaks English in Kuala Lumpur, which I am sure has a lot to do with the fact that Malaysia is a very much mixed raced country. There is a huge Indian and Chinese population, and even middle Eastern. People are mainly muslim, middle eastern muslim or Indian muslim, we visited a couple of beautiful mosques. The food was amazing, with very clear Indian characteritics: I can now say that I enjoy hot and spicy, it took me years of training but I can handle pretty much any curry now!
We looked for old districts that could make us feel like we were in Malaysia and not just another capital city but honestly we didn’t find that many. Everywhere we went the infrastructures were massive, sleek and modern. There was chinatown which was very typical if you don’t count the thousands of tourists and the fact that it’s typical, yes, but of China, really, not Malaysia.
We stayed in cheap hostels as we couldn’t find available couch surfers hosts on short notice, and if our first hostel was rubbish the second one was awesome, with a really good vibe, in a nice neighbourhood full of little street restaurants and guest houses.
The last day, we jumped on a two hours bus to Melaka, it used to be the main port of Malaysia during the golden years in the middle ages, and we had a wonderful time there, the city very cute, still bearing witness through architecture of the Portuguese and Dutch invasions. After Melaka we went straight to the airport where we spent a very unconfortable night on the floor, sleeping on our bags under newspaper sheets. Yes, we’re bums. Our flight was at like 5am so we tought we might do that.
I’m going to write a few posts on KL I think, starting from day 1, but this was just a little summary.

1 comment:

  1. comme dab j'ai pas tout compris....mais vous avez raté l'avion ? pourquoi ?
    en tout cas, j'ai bien senti que tu as apprécié la civilisation et les chouettes boutiques !!!!
    je vous embrasse très très fort !