A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Sunday, 27 September 2009
“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.” - Mark Twain
Kuala Lumpur is capital of Malaysia and is located in western-central Peninsular Malaysia, midway along the west coast tin and rubber belt and about 40 km east of its ocean port, Port Kelang, on the Strait of Malacca. It is the Malaysian federation’s largest urban area with about two million people, and is also its cultural, commercial, and transportation centre. In 1972 Kuala Lumpur was designated a municipality, and in 1974 this entity and adjacent portions of surrounding Selangor state became a federal territory.
Kuala Lumpur lies in hilly country astride the confluence of the Kelang and Gombak rivers. its name in Malay means “Muddy Confluence.” Malaysia's Main Range rises nearby to the north, east, and southeast. The climate is equatorial, with high temperatures and humidity that vary little throughout the year. The area receives about 2,400 mm of rain annually; June and July are the driest months.
We are staying in central Kuala Lumpur in the Crowne Plaza Hotel and it quite a good hotel in a very handy location. As soon as we arrived here today we took a taxi from the airport, which is about 70 km to the South of the capital. That’s quite a long way, but fortunately the taxi fares are very reasonable (about $33 AUD). The way the system works is that there is a central taxi booking desk inside the terminal where one prepays the fare and gets a voucher. The taxi driver gets the voucher instead of cash and then redeems it later. The traveller is well protected and there is also protection of the taxi industry from scalpers and touters that sometimes work illegally, as I have seen in other places around the world.
On the way to the city, the heavens opened up and a good lot of rain fell, making us very glum indeed as we believed we would be unable to have a walk around and see the city a little on a Sunday afternoon… However, as soon as we checked in and settled in, the weather fined up and we were able to go “Jalan Jalan” (on walkabout!) and see some of the city. It is a vibrant, busy place with much going on all the time it seems, even on a Sunday afternoon!
We ended up in the Sungei Wang Plaza, an enormous shopping centre in the Asian style. Numerous shops are arranged on several floors and one can wander through there for quite a long time, not necessarily shopping, but rather taking in all the activities, the comings and goings, the people, the hustle and bustle. In fact while it is all very fascinating, one can only take so much of it, so after a couple of hours there we decided we had enough and we started to walk back to our hotel. The temperature was quite high, as well as the humidity, but nevertheless it was a pleasant walk. Tonight I think we’ll have an early night as the trip from Melbourne to KL via Singapore was quite a tiring one…
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.