Yes, I had never thought that one day, I would end up in Malaysia. Until a week ago, all I knew about that country was that the capital city was Kuala Lumpur, and the few things you can learn from The Garden of Evening Mists, a novel by Tan Twan Eng I read back in Bali. Let’s face it, I’m not sure I know much more today, but I’ve now seen a few things here. So, what have I learnt?
– KL is an enjoyable and multicultural city, full of life, with some amazing architecture (the Petronas towers are quite a sight at night), beautiful temples and mosques, quite easy to walk through despite the crazy traffic. The gardens are very relaxing, Chinatown never sleeps, and you can find a theme park in Berjaya Times Square mall. There are so many different types of food due to the mix of cultures you’ll wish to be able to eat every two hours (and it’s cheap). Beer (and alcohol in general) is very expensive though… Germans are very sad here! (Kidding, but there’s a lot of them here – as everywhere else in the world – and I had a lot of fun with a few of them over the past days).
– Taman Negara means “national park” in Malay. And it is the oldest rainforest in the world. And it rains a lot there. But I took a very good walk through the jungle, climbing down rocks, trying not to fall, gripping on slippery ropes … I ended up covered in mud (and leeches, yuk), but it was worth it. I’m happy I followed Dave and Tom’s – whom I met in Bali – advice to go there!
– Nestlé cuts down the trees to grow palm trees. Not good.
– The Batu Caves are incredibly impressive. And normally full of quite aggressive monkeys. I’m glad I only met 4 of them!
– In Malaysian trains, it is forbidden to fly a kite, to kiss in public, and there are coaches exclusively reserved for women.
– if you wanna have a good look at the Petronas towers, don’t go up the KL tower: you only see one of them from the side. I didn’t do it, we went to the roof top bar of the Regency hotel with two Germans, and it’s the same view. Expensive cocktail, but according to them, the best toilets they’ve ever been to!
– And finally, if you want to send packages back home, it’s very cheap, if you can understand how the general post office works. I spent one hour and a half to send two boxes, going up and down and right and left… Maybe I was not really awake. But the girl at the info counter was really nice and helpful.
I’m going back to Singapore tomorrow. I don’t know what I’ll do there, but I’m sure I haven’t seen it all.