Kuala Lumpur is one of those cities I don’t know why I never made it to before. It has all the good and bad bits of a city in spades. There is lots of growth, contrasting scenery (jungle/skyscraper, local markets/world-class shopping, heart-wrenching poverty/gratuitous wealth) all packed together in a relatively small space. There are different cultures living right next to one another while still maintaining fiercely independent cultures. It is the type of place that really makes me curious. Parts of it are very hard to see, others wonderful. We got a chance to see an aviary with so many superlatives in the description I think it might be the largest bestest
most birdiest place in the world (or something like that). We visited the oldest mosque in the city and met volunteers who were there to help explain the history of the mosque, construction of mosques in general and Islam to visitors. I thought the program was really very cool. Liz and I have visited many places of worship on our travels and that was the most welcoming and informative reception we have received at any of them. We also visited the National Mosque, which was huge and very modern looking. We saw the city in miniature at the National Museum and even cooler got to watch the visualization for what the city growth and development plans are for the next 20 years. It was exciting to see city planning to that degree, especially because of the cool stuff (significant mass transit and greenery additions) that are slated for the city. It is a little strange that so much of the greening of the city is funded by oil dollars, but it did seem there was at least a public push to get beyond that oil and move more towards other more sustainable options.
Our first guesthouse in the city was awkward and small with shared bathrooms directly behind the front desk. Made all the more awkward by a very anxious man who ran the place and apparently only slept in cat-naps while sitting at the front desk. We thankfully weren’t able to book more than one night, and ended up snagging a gem of a hotel a block away for the same price. Private bathroom, really well laid-out room, good outlet situation and working WiFi, plus one of the coolest bathrooms we’ve had yet.
Between the city and the great rooms, I would have happily stayed there a little longer. But, there are so many more places to explore. Maybe we’ll make it back to KL before we head back home.