Saturday, November 04, 2006
Waiting for transit visa @ KLIA
LOTS of tourists coming to Malaysia! Wow! The hordes keep joining the visa line, relentlessly.
Friday, November 03, 2006
I'm flying thru Malaysia for the first time and I'm already hearing a lot of Gujarati. Am waiting for the visa to enter the City. Mehul said it'll be a fun trip. So I'm quite looking forward to it.
Lakshmikant said the airport is aflatoon. It's great, but not all that much better than the new terminal I at Dallas-Fort Worth. Seriously.
Big Gujju groups visiting. I could be in Ambaji or Akshardham! Very cool...
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.
Express train to KL
Waiting for the express train to KL Sentral. 7 min to go. Plan is to check out ChinaTown, Petronas Towers and the Communication Tower. it's too late to go the Orchid Park etc. I guess.
More than half the women are wearing head-scarves. Haven't seen a single burqa/hijab or anything tho'.
Now on the train...
Green - like Singapore... So green! Lot of the vegetation seems new.
Cool looking indoor stadium and a huge mosque-like structure. Lots of construction too. Very cool looking bridge. Big apartment buildings, tennis courts. No Mumbai- or Jakarta-like slums or shanty-towns yet. Quite a few little hills here.
3-4 huts by the railway track. Is this rail trip real or Disney-fied, I wonder. Amazing-looking golf course. I like the name of the currency - Ringitt - I also like Renminbi. Tired of dollar and rupee, how boring.
Shoot - it's raining... Now what! I guess it'll rain for a bit and stop and clear up. That's at least how it's supposed to be. Lot of big cars on road.
The airport is far, far from the city center. Should I go the communication tower or Petronas Tower? Either case I have to take the Putra line.
KL Sentral coming up.