Snaps from Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur. I remember as a kid I heard the name and thought it sounded like a made up place, somewhere funny.  It could easily have been the faraway country the Oompa-Loompas in Roald Dahl’s “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” came from. But it’s not, it’s “just” another big metropolitan city, the capital of Malyasia, the place that houses the Petronas towers – what was once the tallest buildings in the world.

Kuala Lumpur, KL for short. I manage to get lost in a shopping mall (a big shining mall, with chain shops and price tags). Finding your way from a metro station to the office selling tickets to the sky bridge is not meant to be easy.  But the price has risen from zero to 85 ringgit since my Lonely Planet got published. It’s more than half of my daily budget. It’s more than what we pay for our slightly crappy, three-bed room in Chinatown. I’m a cheapskate, so I drop it – no city views for me, not from above at least. But just walking around is nice, who need sky bridges?


(1. Petronas towers 2. The dome at Suria KLCC shopping mall below the Petronas towers 3. The tunnel at Aquaria 4. Little India)

Somehow I end up at the aquarium instead. At the bottom of a huge skyscraper. Who thinks of putting an aquarium in a skyscraper? I walk through the tunnel; sharks and manta rays and turtles and fishes swimming around and above me. Blue. It makes me want to dive again.

There is downtown and Little India, bazars, skyscrapers and people. I like walking around, observing, seeing. Small backstreets, big main streets, old houses, new houses, young people, old people. Walking through the bustling streets of Chinatown; small shops, market stalls, real fake everywhere, hagglers, tourists, locals, and open-air restaurants.

KL isn’t too bad.

(The entrance to the Petronas Towers).