Kuala Lumpur was so removed from my radar that I all but forgot we were going there until we actually landed. It was my very first Asian visit (if you don’t count the Maldives) and oh boy, was it a Baptism of Fire. The city seems to pulse with energy and life, the air is so unbelievably humid that at times, it feels like you could cut it with a knife (I sported a rather impressive ‘fro for 4 days), the traffic is so dense and moves so fast that it is virtually impossible to cross the road – you just have to kiss your butt goodbye and run for it. I have to admit that I was incredibly overwhelmed on that first day, the heat, the breakneck pace of life, the smells, the poverty, it all just felt a little too much for me but by the last day, I was heart-sore to leave. It grew on me, got under my skin like no other city before. KLites (as the locals are affectionately called) are super friendly, we had more than one stop us to hand out maps, directions and photo ops – they are BIG on photo ops in Asia. I also had no idea how diverse the culture would be as Malaysia is made up predominantly of Islamic Malays, Chinese and Indians (there are also large numbers of foreigners). It makes for an extremely interesting mix of neighbourhoods, foods and languages. For me, it’s a city of vast contrasts, from the abject poverty and rundown buildings in the old quarter, to the city with its unashamed displays of wealth and glamorous high rises. I’ll start with Chinatown and the famous street food market, Jalon Alor. We ate like kings during our few days there but the princess in me just couldn’t bring myself to eat in Jalan Alor, especially not with the giant rats that scuttle around your feet. No siree.
(I couldn’t resist a bit of editing with these photos, as they served as the perfect backdrop for some filters).
All images via Wishful Thinking