Kuala Lumpur: Architectural and Colourful
Trip Start Sep 15, 2012
138Trip End May 01, 2013
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It didn't take long before the sights and sounds of Chinatown made up for the inaudible commentary on the tour bus and the fact that it wasn't an open top vehicle.
With pink, red and orange lanterns, flowers and fluff hanging from every available electrical cable it was a real sensory overload, even from the bus, and we decided we would have to return on foot to immerse ourselves in the atmosphere.
As if this wasn't enough, we then turned a corner and Paula pointed out (knowing the excitement it would bring...) the 'Ringgit Shop' which is equivalent to a fifty pence store
We continued on the city tour loop of KL central which included monuments, features, and buildings of architectural significance such as the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur Tower, The Grand Mosque, Palaces and Government buildings, Botanical Gardens, a transport hub which boasts the only station with its own airport code and a cricket pitch and gentleman's club right in the heart of the city....good old British Empire.
Tudor buildings overlooking a village green to the right and elegant Arabic/Islamic influences to the left. The city was quite amazing with an eclectic mix of styles and fragrances (the open street sewers make hot days an ordeal for the nostrils...).
As has become customary, we had picked one of the busiest times to stay in KL. An important religious festival was imminent where tens of thousands of Hindus descend on the Batu Caves located just outside the city to give praise - as with the numerous Kings birthdays we hadn't foreseen the chaos this would bring but it also brought a vibrancy and colour that made the place buzz with excitement and we were happy to get swept along with it all.
After we had completed a full circuit of the city to get our bearings we jumped off the bus at Chinatown to explore a little more and treat ourselves to some exotic street food and peruse the craft markets - and of course the Ringgit Shop got ransacked for bargains
Feeling like we had earned our tourist stripes for the day we walked back to the hostel and hit bar street just as thunder began to rumble and took shelter under the canopy of a decent looking bar just as a full on storm came our way. The rain was torrential but it was still relatively warm so we were happy to sit it out as an extended version of happy hour seemed to keep all the punters staying in their seats as they 'waited out' the storm! One table of revellers nearby included a Hindu guy who had obviously overindulged in his 'praising' and promptly vomited all over himself, his friends, the table and the floor....he was gently escorted back out into the rain and told to find shelter elsewhere.
When the storm eventually died down we found a place to shoot some pool and doubled up with a couple of guys from behind the bar who were enthusiastic to partake in the competitive spirit and kept racking the balls up. It was only when the bill arrived that we realised they had been charging us for each game. We made some constructive comments about where they might like to stick the section of the bill associated with the pool games and left the establishment for a few more drinks along the way.
After a while we felt suitably saturated and decided to call it a night ahead of further explorations of the city planned for tomorrow....