Although I’ve been growing increasingly eager to move on from KL, I didn’t actually start any tourism until nearly 6pm – of my sixth day there. The combination of bedbugs, heat, and noise from outside has meant I’ve been sleeping pretty poorly, translating in turn to later and later starts.
…Not to mention the guesthouse WiFi is unusably slow, so getting anything done seems to take an eternity. But late or not I didn’t want to delay any further, so I decided to just do my best at an early-evening tour.
As far as Lonely Planet tours go I’d rate the “Chinatown Walk” pretty high up, though admittedly I had seen much of the route while looking for lodging or meals during the preceding few days.
And interestingly enough, despite its “Chinatown” title, Malaysia’s diverse cultures are so intertwined that the walk actually covered just as much Indian and Muslim sights as it did Chinese.
(Though to be honest, virtually everywhere I’ve been in Malaysia – Chinatowns, Little Indias, or otherwise – does seem to have at least some hint of Islam).
The only real dampener to an otherwise wonderful walk was an unusually long tropical downpour. Although the day had started sunny and clear, by the time I was halfway through thick black clouds were beginning to roll in. Moments later I found myself scrambling for shelter.
Luckily I happened to be right across from a large Western bookstore – housed in the famous Lee Rubber Building – where I waited it out.
By the time the rain subsided it was just after dusk, which offered some unexpectedly colorful photo-ops at the nearby Sri Mahariamman Temple.
From here the walk looped back towards home,
Taking me through the familiar Petaling Street Market.
Petaling Street, only a few meters from my doorstep, is a densely-packed covered market selling “fake everything imaginable.”
In fact, at times its narrow walkways can get so packed that you literally find yourself trapped inside. Not really my cup of tea, but still well worth a peek – especially if you’re into souvenirs.
Personally I find the streets around Petaling to have far more appeal than the market itself, as they’re populated by loads of cheap, delicious snacks.
By the time I made my way through Petaling and reached the walk’s last few temples they were already closed for the day, so I decided to hop on the monorail and wrap up my evening in the KLCC. Time for a few night shots of the iconic Petronas Towers!
You know, one thing I’ve learned about travel is that sometimes even the most well-known monuments can be a bit of a letdown. The Sphinx in Egypt, for example, is shockingly smaller than most everyone assumes. The Petronas Towers are not such a monument. WOW are they incredible – like two glistening rockets just waiting for launch. They absolutely dominate the city skyline.
Too bad I arrived just minutes after the park out back had closed; looks like I’ll have to return once more if I want any reflecting-pool shots.
…Which I most definitely do 🙂
Note: These posts are behind realtime; the above took place on Monday, January 24th.