I don’t like cities! A decision I made pretty early on in my life. They simple just aren’t for me, the craziness of the rushing around & the closeness of the buildings, air & traffic really stress me out. So you might be wondering why I decided on spending 4 days in Kuala Lumpur? Truth is I used it as a stepping stone. A stepping stone full of awesome curries, interesting skylines & another culture to experience.
After spending a month in the Philippines I knew was soon to be heading back to the alps. But I still had time for one last little adventure. Kuala Lumpur somehow intrigued me so I decided it was worth a trip whilst I was on that side of the planet.
At first glance Malaysia was clean & seemed pretty regimented, I mean the drive from the airport to KL was lined with seemingly perfect rows of some sort of palm, huge billboards stretched across the motorway. It was clear this was a wealthy city, building works covered the skyline showing how fast this city is growing. I’d read that KL had a fast growing economy driven mainly by islamic finances. This is obvious when you arrive, its streets are busy, there is malls on every corner & high-rise bank towers dominate the skyline.
I decided to stay at a hostel called ‘Reggae Mansion’ purely down to the fact it was top on hostel world & I like reggae, so that seemed as good a reason as any. The hostel was central to KL & it was nice but just too clean and had no character in my opinion. Great rooftop views though & fine to crash in a little capsule for a few nights.
So I arrived & decided to chuck the bag & explore. At ground level its crazy busy, shoppers & workers shuffle through the busy streets avoiding traffic, I found a couple of street markets. Markets are always fun, you get a chance to soak up loads of culture in a small area along with great atmospheres. I stumbled upon a park with a tree top walk which was really enjoyable for me, a way to get off the busy streets for a little while & breathe. At the end of the tree walk was the Menara KL Tower. The Menara is a place we all have seen photos of. I have friends who’ve BASE jumped off of it & standing beneath it gave me new appreciation for what those guys do, again feeling insignificant, this time by something man-made.
Finding Beauty in the Beast.
As I said im not a fan of cities but there’s something magical about a city at night, the glow of the lights make them romantic somehow. Who doesn’t love driving through a city at night with the windows down & dreamy music playing? So I knew that I needed to experience KL at night. I cruised around till I found the Petronas Towers around 5pm. Still light out I decided to chill in the gardens with my sketch book, just absorbing the life of the city & looking back on the trip I had taken. Then night fell, lights began to glow, people began to gather, workers were finishing. That twilight time is really special & one of my favourite times, there’s always an air of relaxation like the day has taken a huge sigh.
Its pretty twisted that a huge corporation drilling for oil can be seen in such a beautiful light, when these towers glow at night. A real beauty & the beast situation.
What a show the city gave me. With the lights for entertainment I began to once again stroll through the city hunting for Malaysian curry. The best veggie curries out there can probably be found here.
Whilst in the city I also visited the KL Bird Park, as a lover of wildlife I had to go. It’s not even out of the city so definitely check it out. I went as early as possible, Im pretty sure i was the only visitor in the park, perfect. Theres around 200 different species & over 3000 birds. The concept is to enable ‘free’ flight. The enclosures are for sure big enough for flight although the word ‘free’ is debatable. Never the less they are clearly looked after by the many rangers. As a kid I remembered having a toy Toucan, I finally got to see one in person which was easily a highlight, along with running along side a Cassowary.
Searching for Freedom.
Looking back at the birds in the park it really is an oxymoron for freedom. We see birds as a symbol for freedom & seeing them under what is essentially a huge net is pretty depressing. I could empathise at the time as I felt the city was my net. Searching for freedom I had made the continue decision not to get myself into this position again, I feel lost in cities, I like distance, horizons & being able to ‘spread my wings’. I had decided it was time to leave the city. So I told the messaged people close to say I was heading off again this time into the “Malaysian mountains”…