The Petronas Twin Towers, an iconic KL landmark.
The address this time around is Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, the stop is very much itinerant, hence the necessity to see the city on a whirlwind tour. The question is, just how much could be crammed into half a day in the Malaysian capital? The answer is, a fair amount, since this was my third visit to KL, and the basic layout of the city still remained stuck in my mind since previous visits. The most iconic symbol of KL happens to be the twin Petronas Towers, and if you haven't seen them in person before, then you're in for a sizeable treat, since this structure still wows and awestrikes like never before, and is also a companion piece to the single-structure of needle-like KL tower, and hints at the dynamic edge to the Malaysian capital city. From the grounds of the Petronas towers, a short walk will bring you out at the northern side of Bukit Bintang, which is Malaysia's premiermost pedestrian street, and a must for walking down, if only to get a feel for how far the city has developed in recent years.
Side street off Chinatown's Petaling Street arcade.
This area is positively peppered with commercial centres and all kinds of shopping malls, the cream of which, for my money, had to be the Sungei Wang Plaza, which was populated with shops representing affordable shopping and the kind of diversity which renders shopping centres wholly valid and deserving of the land space they occupy. Staying at the Citin Pudu hotel, a short walk from Chinatown, was a strategy in itself, since the location proved to be a winner, and getting around was facilitated by a combination of the use of clear maps and the comprehensive KL transportation system, which includes the state-of-the-art monorail, which really lifts the city's status to a more sophisticated level. As evening descends, a short walk through the market-style shopping area of Chinatown's Petaling Street gives you an insight into the closest KL comes to the quintessentially Asian night market culture and it is fair to say that the westernized elements of KL don't appear to out-of-place alongside the elements of the city which are more firmly rooted in an Asian context.
Pristine-looking church in central KL.
All in all, it was pleasing to see how KL had developed from one visit to the next, and it is only when it is considered how much of a comparative backwater the city was 20 years ago does it become achingly apparent how much progress has been made in terms of development of infrastructure. A plate of Malaysian food at a local food court also reminded me of how much of an underrated cuisine Malaysian food really is, and with KL's status as a major flight hub for the Asian region, you'd probably want to consider if a layover here should really be as much of a fleeting visit as mine was.