Sentral Station- Kuala Lumpur- Malaysia

Sentral Station- Kuala Lumpur- Capital of Malaysia

K.L.s Central Train Station


Kuala Lumpur (KL), the capital city of Malaysia is a modern, bustling multi-racial city full of interesting sights, sounds and tastes. Every time I arrive in KL- from some extended travels in rural areas of SEAsia (beaches, villages, jungles, mountains)- I always feel like I’ve been instantly blasted into the 21st century, if not the space age!

ceiling of K.L.s Central Station

I particularly felt this way the first time I arrived in KL via the overnight train from Thailand, into KL’s super-modern Central Station. After spending months and months island hopping around Thailand, living in thatched huts, snorkeling on reefs, and hiking on jungle trails, then sleeping on my cozy train bed…

beach life in S Thailand
I awoke in the morning, stepped off the train, and: WOW! BLAST! I was zapped back into modern life PRONTO! Central Station looks very much like the modern, industrial-style airports with vast glass windows and geometrically-placed steel beams jutting everywhere. HOLY MODERN, BATMAN!
another view of Central Station
Most recently, I arrived from 6-months in Bali, where buildings can only be as tall as coconut trees (about 3 stories high). As soon as the plane landed I could see a noticeable difference between Bali and Malaysia. The vegetation colors and smells were different. The airport is much much larger and more modern. The drive into KL city revealed how much wealthier, more developed and modernized Malaysia is.
typical resort in Bali
We approached the city via a massive divided super highway, the likes of which does not even exist anywhere in Bali. Nor do the vast vast spaces of the Malaysian countryside. We passed palm plantation after palm plantation, none of which exist in Bali either. Coming from little Bali, the overall impression was of vast spaces, wealth and development.
The world’s tallest double towers: Petronas Twin Towers. in KL
The airport bus dropped us at KL’s Central Station and, BLAM!, there I was in that super modern glass and steel structure once again. This time the bustling throngs of people and modern, sleek, efficient overhead train system reminded me of my days working in Japan! And THAT’S definately modern city life!!

Whenever I’m in KL I set out on my usual ‘KL routine’ which consists of cycling around the beautiful tropical Lake Garden Park, stretching and calisthenics in the lush spacious gardens overlooking the lake, stopping over in ‘downtown’ for Indian food at my favorite little restaurant, returning to my friends’ house.

K.L.s Lake Garden Park
tropical tree in Lake Garden Park
In the afternoons  I often relax at my friend’s fabulous house, lounge in the sun on their rooftop terrace, complete with private swimming pool and views of Petronas Towers, read, write and get online.
Here I am on my friends’ rooftop deck with views of city skyscrapers
 K.L. is full of big shopping malls. There are shopping malls dedicated to electronics, trendy teen clothing, hair and beauty supplies/salons, and designer boutiques among others. There are even streets jam-packed with mall after mall. While I don’t generally enjoy shopping malls, there is one fabulous mall in K.L. that I frequent when I’m in town. It’s K.L.s most upscale shopping center: KLCC, which sits at the base of the world’s tallest double towers, the Petronas Twin Towers.Believe it or not, I often spend the entire afternoon. there! The main draw for me: amazing Kinokuniya Book Store!.I easily spend hours and hours, even days, reading books there. It’s one of the few places in SE Asia with an excellent collection of books in English. I also usually visit the Petronas Gallery with it’s constantly changing art exhibitions, grab a delicious cappucino at one of KLCC’s many cafes, watch a movie, and occasssionally browse the boutiques. Sometimes my stay in K.L. consists almost entirely of days in KLCC!

‘welcome’ sign, written in Arabic, ‘English’ and Malaysian
 Malaysia is officially a Muslim country, but practices religious tolerance and freedom of religion. Indeed, a large percentage of the population are Indian Malaysians, who are Hindu or Muslim, and Chinese Malaysians, who are Buddhist. There are also Christians and a significant number of western ex-pats living in the country.

Chinese Buddhist Temple in KL
In KL and several other places in Malaysia you can see the strong presence of all these groups via buildings, temples, shops, food and clothing.
shop in India town in KL
You can also see and feel the Muslim presence everywhere- in the architecture, signs, clothing, food, daily prayer calls and plentiful ‘serau’ (prayer rooms).
Muslim women walking in ‘downtown’ K.L.

Many of KL’s buildings feature Muslim-inspired design and detailing. In ‘downtown’ KL are several colonial British buildings that incorporate the Muslim design, the result being really unique and beautiful massive stone buildings, now mostly used as administrative buildings.

Colonial British buillding incorporating Muslim design.
More Muslim detailing

Downtown there’s also the super cute old ‘ Mosque’ which looks like a miniature model, esp surrounded by Kls tall skyscrapers.

K.L. has lots of other attractions, neighborhoods and activities, including the very touristy, arcade-like Chinatown, India Town, all kinds of temples, several excellent museums, interesting architecture, and some decent clubs for dancing.
Entrance to the Chinatown arcade
Colorful shops ‘downtown’
Whenever I’m in K.L. I always have plenty to occupy my time, which is good because I pass through the city 2-6 times/ year! And my visits are always made more special by my friends, Sephanie and Thomas,who invite me to stay with them whenever I’m in town. Merci beaucoup Steph! Dankeshe Thomas!
Stephanie, Thomas and Leo

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    […] COSTA DEL SOL, SPAIN » 10 FREE THINGS TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR MALAYSIA 2011/04/01 by Lash Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, is a colorful modern international city filled with sky-scrapers, huge […]

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