Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is capital of Malaysia and like the rest of Malaysia it is hot, sunny and humid all year round.

We have always quite enjoyed long haul flights. Yes, they are tedious at times but you generally get well looked after and there is the added excitement of going somewhere new but today all that changed with a nine hour delay in Amsterdam followed by an eleven and a half hour flight time followed by a taxi ride from the airport that should have taken one hour but in the end took three. Apparently heavy rain had caused gridlock in Kuala Lumpur city centre. After trying several different routes our poor taxi driver could only drop us off at the back entrance to the hotel. The good news was that the Shangri La Hotel was excellent and for some reason we were upgraded to a fabulous suite on the top floor.

It was in 1857 that eighty seven Chinese coolies rowed up the Klang River. When they came to a fork in the river and the waters became too shallow they continued on foot through swamps and hostile jungle. Luckily they were rewarded with the discovery of tin. Unluckily they all died of malaria. However, the fork in the river became known as Kuala Lumpur – literally translated into ‘muddy estuary’. If they could see it now just 150 years later – a capital city with global aspitations it would be way beyond their wildest imaginations.

Doing a city can be hard work and they are always best done with a combination of public transport, taxis and of course on foot. KL has a great free bus service which we made good use of. Of course the first stop had to be the iconic Petronas Twin Towers which are clad entirely in stainless steel and glass which is quite an amazing sight, especially at night. They are billed as the highest buildings in the world which isn’t quite true. At 452 metres they are actually the fifth highest buildings in the world being dwarfed by the Burj Khalifa in Dubai at 828 metres. They are, however, the highest twin towers in the world. They also boast the highest sky bridge in the world. First stop was the sky bridge which is on level 41. This actually floats between the 2 towers allowing them to move in the wind and offers fabulous views of the city. It was then up to level 86 where the views really are quite spectactular and we were looking down on other huge sky scrapers. The best views of the towers are to be had at night from the Sky Bar at the Traders Hotel where we booked a window seat nad spent the evening enjoying cocktails and truly unbelievable views of the towers and the city at night.

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