Kuala Lumpur: Arrival and a busy day (very delayed entry)

Kuala Lumpur Travel Blog

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Entry originally typed up March 13th, 2010.

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Getting into Kuala Lumpur once again took a little longer than I had anticipated again. And this time, it was a little harder to get my bearings as I got dropped off right in the middle of a huge intersection. Fortunately, I managed to get figure out I was near Chinatown and managed to get a double room for 30 ringit. Still cheap enough. The rest of the night had me take a quick look through the street that I was staying on. Petaling Street is the major night market street for Chinatown and once again, it was like most other night markets I had seen. At this point, I had gotten past worrying about buying anything and just walked through the area.

The following day, I decided to take a walk through the nearby areas. The first stop was Merdeka Square, the site where Malaysia declared its independence in the 1950s. It's a huge open courtyard and boasts what I hear is the tallest flagpole in the world. And yeah, it was pretty tall. There's a National Museum next to the square as well as a building called the Sultan Abdul Samad, but amazingly enough, both places were under rennovation so there wasn't much else to see there. I then wandered north into the area of Little India. If I hadn't mentioned it before, it's that Malaysia seems to be subject to freak downpours. There's no such thing as consistent rain here. The sky just darkens and the rain just comes down real hard and maybe lasts for 20 minutes and then completely stops. It's all or nothing in a sense. So while I got caught in one of these downpours, I decided to step into an Indian shopping center for silk. And wow... there's a lot of silk. Scarves, dress shirts, dresses, even bed coverings and pillow cases. All at prices way beyond my budget. It was quite extravagant and just shows to remind me that there are pockets of wealth in even a 3rd world country.

While not being able to completely outwait the rain as it would come down again, I made my way to an area called the Golden Triangle. While the Golden Triangle in KL is mainly known for its huge shopping malls and night life, I was only visiting the outskirts which features a small rainforest in the middle of the city. So, yes, I did get to see a few square kilometers of rainforest on this trip. And of course, the humidity absolutely drains me here. But it was neat, and salvation was just up ahead. For within the Golden Triangle, there is also the Menara KL Tower, one of the tallest radio towers in the world. When I got there though, it was more than just a Tower, there was also an animal conservatory there as well as a replica small village as part of the entire entertainment complex. So I went up the Tower first. I have to rue my luck when visiting 300 meter towers because every time I've gone to one (like Tokyo Tower years before), it always seens to be cloudy or hazy. And this was no exception. All in all, it was eerily similar to how Tokyo Tower was designed. The animal conservatory however was really neat. They had all sorts of uncommon animals there including a wide variety of snakes, reptiles, birds, and primates. You could also buy food to feed the animals. This included, by timing, someone buying a live chicken to give to a Burmese Python. When the handler brought the chicken (it cost 20 ringit) and set it on the python's body, it coiled around the chicken instantly and started to suffocate it. Despite there being no blood, you can still say it was gruesome as the chicken twitched every now and then and after a few minutes, stopped moving. It took some time before the python decided to actually get around to swallowing the chicken. Even then, it was a long process as it wrapped its jaws around the head and tried to work on swallowing it whole. It was going to take too long to actually see the whole thing so I left after awhile.

That pretty much concludes my first 2 days in KL. The next entry will cover the rest of KL which isn't actually much, but I'll go into some detail about something that happened.
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