After two and a half weeks in beautiful Thailand, we said goodbye to this amazing country, boarded a plane in Krabi and flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Originally, we did not plan on going to Malaysia; however, it seemed like every flight we looked into had a lay over in Kuala Lumpur so we decided to stay there for 4 days and experience a new country. When we landed in Kuala Lumpur, it was close to 7pm and the airport is located a good 60km outside the city. We grabbed a taxi and finally, after 9 pm arrived in our apartment located on the 29th floor of a high rise in the heart of the city. After a quick dinner and shower, we all were fast asleep.
The next morning, at exactly 5:48 am, I woke up to the sounds of some strange voice coming from outside. First, it sounded as if someone was giving a speech but I finally realized it was prayer time. Malaysia is a multicultural and multi confessional country, whose official religion is Islam. So there it was, an Islamic prayer at 5:48 am then again 7:04am and 5 more times during the rest of the day.
Once we got going, we decided to go and see the world famous KLCC Petronius Twin Towers. This landmark with 88 floors and 375 meters in height is pretty impressive, reminding us a bit of the Empire State Building in NYC. We walked around for a bit and admired this amazing piece of architecture. Inside the building there was an enormous high end shopping mall. It seems like in the USA malls are slowly dying since most people prefer to shop online...however, here in Asia these shopping malls are a central and main hub for both locals and tourists. They are packed! We came outside and walked through the adjacent KLCC park where Leo and Mila found their calling- a water park and a huge playground. So the next hour we spent watching our kids running like crazy ants in 95 degree weather...now I understand why the local malls are always so packed :-)
It was way past lunch time and we were running on empty stomachs. We stumbled upon a very cute place where I had one of my best meals yet! It was a vegetarian dish called Buddha Bowl filled with brown rice, roasted mushroom and pumpkin, green beans, peppers and tofu, topped with caramelized nuts and the most delicious red curry sauce. Bon appetite!
Since Leo and Mila were getting tired, we went back home to give them a nap. 5 minutes after closing the door it started to rain or rather pour! We opened our balcony and all fell asleep to the sound of a Malaysian tropical storm.
After dinner we found our second wind and decided to walk over to the KL tower. It's the other main attraction in this city. We bought tickets and took the elevator to the observation desk. It was pretty cool to see this city light up at night. When you get off the elevator at the top, they ask you to take a picture with the landmark behind you and then try to sell it to you. So when it was our turn, a super nice lady showed us a fridge magnet with our picture on it and asked if we would like to buy it...I looked at her and responded that we did not have a fridge! She looked at me all puzzled and said " what do you mean? How is it possible you don't have a fridge!?". I did not want to get into the whole story and politely declined her offer :-)
The following day we decided to take the metro to the Central Market. It was located only one stop from our apartment but the metro ride is always a huge hit with our kids. This market was much smaller than the one we experienced in Thailand, nevertheless, it was really a cool experience. First of all, most of the vendors were situated inside in the air conditioned building - major points right here. The variety of sold goods ranged from clothing, art pieces, ethic jewelry, cosmetics, toys, and of course food! For a while we were scanning deliciously looking cheese tarts from company called Hokaidoo. We bought a sample pack of regular cheese flavor, chocolate and matcha green tea. Heaven on earth, so delicate yet simple, it melted in our mouth. Since it was very hot we needed to get some refreshments in the form of ice cream ( they even had sweet potato flavor) and fresh juices. Rick and I also took a shot of a wheat grass :-) It was an early afternoon and the sky started to look pretty angry. We walked back to the metro station and took a ride back home. As we were leaving the station, it started to pour...we waited for a while hoping the rain would come down - not a chance! By the time we reached our apartment, we were all soaked, but it kind of felt great to get soaked. Hey nobody has yet melted from a little rain :-)
Kuala Lumpur was a really cool place to visit and we are glad we ended up spending a couple of days here. The city vibe reminded us a bit of New York City, with all the high rises, bill boards, sky scrapers, and the way it lights up at night. Yet it is much smaller in stature, it was very clean and not nearly as many people as NYC. I absolutely loved grocery shopping here since you can find pretty much any product, including my beloved millet and pumpkin! Interesting fact: chewing gum is illegal due to littering. This ban was partially lifted for people who chew a dental gum but for the rest of mortals, better buy mentos or tic tacs!