Sunday, October 29, 2006

Menara KL and Chinatown

The Menara is a tall communication tower - the 4th tallest in the world, it seems. You pay 20 Ringgit to go to the observation deck at 236m above sea level. From there, you can see all of KL. KL seems to be in some sort of a valley and is a relatively green but nondescript city, except for the Petronas Towers.

Those Twin Towers are something else. There's nothing comparable in majesty and uniqueness on the Manhattan skyline, for example.

I got drenched while walking to the Menara from the nearest lightrail station. But the rain predictably stopped thereafter and by the time I got to Chinatown, it had stopped completely.

The visitors to Menara either spoke Bahasa or Gujarati. Gujjus are all over KL.

The food courts and streetside stalls in Chinatown are kinda like those in Jakarta, minus the lovely drawings of birds on the walls. I went up and down a couple of 6-storeyed malls nearby. The first one was pretty boring and a waste.

I went to the top floor by elevator and then climbed down the second (called S&M Mall). The S&M Mall had one floor which was like a Mini Fry's - pretty cool actually. Hard disks were damn cheap. WiFi gear was pricier.

There were no Gujjus in Chinatown or at either of the two malls. I conclude, therefore, that I didn't quite go to the cheapest places. Oh well...

My trip cost me less than 100 Ringgit (USD 1 = 3.66 Ringgit). 70 for round-trip ticket for the express train from airport, 20 for the Menara, 4.10 for light rail and 3.30 for a drink and mints. 2.60 for souvenirs. :)

My thoughts on KL:
* It doesn't seem to have all that much poverty.
* It's quite a pleasant place to live in, from what I can tell. Cost of living seens to be higher than that in Mumbai, but incomes must be higher too (I hope).
* There are way too many stores selling 20-packs of Ferrero Rocher.

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