17 June 2012

Kuala Lumpur: Life in the Concrete Jungle


The habitat of metropolitan Malaysians 🇲🇾 comprises multi-level shopping centers. The shopping centers are air-conditioned to such an extent that one has to rely on a jacket despite the tropical temperature of 35-37 ℃ on the streets. It is impossible to get used to the labyrinths of the corridors right away. Only after wondering in them for two or three weeks, one starts finding that precious escalator that leads to the right mangoes quicker.

In addition to the huge and complex buildings, there are streets above which — in the city center at least — there is likely to be an elevated walkway (a skyway); air-conditioned as well. This helps a lot against getting a heatstroke under a hot Malaysian sun ☀️.

And here are the Petronas Towers — skyscrapers built by an oil refining company for its offices. They are symbols of Kuala Lumpur, and the whole of Malaysia 🇲🇾. From 1998 to 2004, they were recognized as the tallest buildings in the world.



Another famous part of the city is Chinatown. In fact, this is basically a street block populated by locals (mainly Chinese) and tourists. It consists mainly of 2-3-story houses, traders between them, and even more tourists again.




There was also a small Chinatown area in the Bukit Bintang neighborhood where we lived. Jalan Alor (Alor Street) comes alive and bustling in the evenings, hosting foreigners and locals at the tables of the open-air Chinese restaurants (or rather cafes).

Of all these Chinese delights, we were attracted by one little cafe near the Low Yat Plaza shopping center. The area wasn't the cleanest overall, but pu-erh served in a plump porcelain teapot was blowing our minds away with its flavor and strength.


We often attended that cafe also because of the proximity to the Low Yat Plaza — a miracle market, where we bought several irreplaceable things. This shopping center is a must-visit for all tech (computo-photo-mobile) maniacs. Well, the details won't be uncovered so as not to spoil the first impressions 😉.

In addition to Chinese cafes, Kuala Lumpur has a lot of restaurants with different types of oriental cuisine, and just local eateries (the so-called “food courts”).

We were addicted to the Japanese restaurant in the same Low Yat Plaza. Take a look at a few dishes from there:





In general, we found living in Kuala Lumpur to be quite uncomfortable, at least in the central part of the city. It was noisy and dusty. Air conditioners were configured to overdo their job. In addition to an overall relatively high cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, the mentioned disadvantages are likely to discourage us from staying in this city for a long time in the future.

But there were also extremely pleasant bits in it. Without them, as it seems to us, the percentage of crazy people in Kuala Lumpur would have increased sharply. But the number of such parts is limited, and they won’t always be around the corner.






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