Kuala Lumpur

by Andrew Stein

Kuala Lumpur has a recognizable skyline with its bridge-connected twin towers and its telecommunications tower. Although I wandered to this part of town so that I could take a few too many photos of these famous landmarks and so that I could walk through nightlife-heavy streets, I stayed near Chinatown, where the price of hostels decreased and the activity on the streets increased. I stayed in Palmmers Guest House, where the hosts were very accommodating and the rooms had A/C, both important criteria when picking a place to stay. My bed, unfortunately, suffered from Wobbly Table Syndrome (WTS). WTS occurs when only two or three legs of a four-legged table can touch the ground at the same time either because of a manufacturing error in the table or because the ground is uneven. My bed having WTS meant that each time I rolled over, the bed would rock and make a substantial noise on the ground below. And if that hadn’t woken me up, a little after 4am one night, the rain came on so strong the the metal awning just below my room window sounded like a hundred people were dancing on it. Most times, I love listening to the rain while warm and dry in bed; however, this particular time, I knew I would be having to find my way to the airport that morning. Spending time in airports and on planes with wet clothes, although bearable, was something I wanted to avoid. Luckily, when I ventured out the hostel, the rain was only a small drizzle and I dried quickly.

Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers, the tallest buildings in the world between 1998 and 2004

These types of rain storms demonstrate how Kuala Lumpur is such a green and lush city. Any space unoccupied by a building or by road was full of tropical vegetation. The lookout point at the top of the Kuala Lumpur Tower highlighted the greenness of the city through not only the city’s several parks, but also through the greenery that existed interspersed in every nook and cranny.

kuala lumpur

Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers

Kuala Lumpur Tower

Kuala Lumpur Tower

My last quick comment about Kuala Lumpur is that everyone was friendly and helpful except for the taxi drivers, many of whom refused to use the meter and forced me to haggle. That said, I tried to avoid them as much as possible and use the monorail system instead, and if I did have to take one, I would not get in unless they agreed to go by the meter. Luckily, unlike China, almost everyone spoke English, so communication was much easier even if that meant using it to negotiate prices with taxi drivers..