Abracadabra Petronas - Malay Style

With only a few days left before heading to the land of Oz, I decided that 3 weeks in Vietnam were enough (for now, because what is really 'enough'?). Malaysia is where I was headed; I'd only been to Kota Kinabalu on separate amazing trip that may never get a post, but who knows, so I wanted to check out Kuala Lumpur for exactly one day and then meet my friend J who was island hopping off the west coast of Malaysia.

Kuala Lumpur is a city that is just OK, in my humble opinion. It's hot. It's land-locked. It's developed -- paved roads are my barometer for 'developed'-- and has a booming expat population. There is a lot of money that floats over the top of the population but doesn't quite trickle down to the lower parts. Rooftop bars, swanky hotels, and good restaurants dot the highrise/office areas but again, so do food markets in alley ways behind the buildings that come up and down on a daily basis. KL also has an extensive and CLOSELYPACKED, enclosed Chinatown.

The Petronas Towers
Yea, they're kinda cool. As I was approaching them, the towers seemed like they were quite close, but after a few blocks... and a few more blocks... and perhaps a few more, the towers were still quite far away. In the blistering heat, I finally reached them. Meh. I guess the buildings are cool because of the bridge that connects the two, but from an ant's height of 5', how different is 443m (Empire State) to 452m (Petronas Towers)? Yea.. not much.

After roaming arund the entire city in the heat, I still had an hour or so to kill before my bus, ferry, helicopter situation to the next destination, so I walked over to the Towers to see them at night. I clearly underestimated the time/distance again. WTF, how did this happen? I finally get there, take my completely touristy photos and grab a cab back to home base since I've run out of time. While chatting with the cabbie, he finds out that within my itinerary of running around the city, this was my first cab of the day. "Really?? You walked around all of that?? Ha! We Malaysians never walk! We are lazy people," he says with a giggle. It was at that point that I realized that I had not seen many locals walking around any parts of the city I had been visiting, touristy or otherwise. I guess that's what happens when you have a fully integrated road system and 36+ degree heat.

Meeting my friend J before going to the land down under was what brought me to Malaysia again. Langkawi was going to be a beachy respite from the hustle and bustle of Saigon. It was also Langkawi that I and three other cohorts over the age of 25 waltzed into a 5-star resort and enjoyed its beach and pools for the evening. The name will not be disclosed because I do eventually want to go to one of its other locations...legitimately. And here I thought that this kind of behavior was limited to those in university or younger. Pish posh.

The pool was tiered, infinity, and stunning, as expected. The break-in crew even surmised that the sand, both on the beach and beneath the water, was specifically brought to this resort. Even with our subtle giddiness and attention offered by the staff with towels and water, we are confident that the staff was aware of our trespassing. They were all smiles, regardless of that fact!

When we weren't breaking and entering, we circled the island on scooters and though I was riding shotty, it was my first time on a motorized two-wheel contraption. Thanks for the safe driving LM! The first stop was a gondola/cablecar ride up the peak of the island. Wowie. I'm afraid of heights and boy, was this a steep drop. Because of the tree cover and my inablity to estimate heights over, oh, 3 meters, I can't possible guess how high we were. Trust me, though, it was stupidly high.  On our way out, in the same arena/park area, we happened to come across a bunny farm. I could not contain my glee for fluffy little guys, and luckily, neither could the other three (two dudes!).

As for Langkawi itself, the atmosphere is laid back and while it is not rural, it is also not a tourist trap of an island. I write no more. I don't want it to 'develop'. A+.

PS -- I'm sure many of you can tell that the writer of this blog is blog-illiterate slash lazy. In my next chunk of 'free' time, my pictures will hopefully be grouped into thumbnails so you don't have to wait for them to all load & kill your bandwidth.


Check out the photobomb. Oh, the irony.

Ok so they're kind of cool.
Idyllic Langkawi

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