Sunday, January 24, 2010

10 Random Things on KL

Inspired by this posting, a faithful indonesian blogger who constantly blogs on things related to Japan only, here are 10 random things about KL:
1. KL's air is pretty unpolluted (esp. compared to Jkt). It is easy to get the light blue clear color of the sky here, except during the dry season when forest fire smokes fly from Sumatra. Around the vicinity of the city, it is easy to see greens & forests. In fact, from Carrefour shopping center, which is just 5 mins drive from my place, the view from the gate is limestone hills covered by dense tropical forest.

2. KL itself is actually a small area. The hustle bustle happens much in its surrounding area, more popularly called the Klang Valley, consisting of districts like PJ (Petaling Jaya); Subang; Shah Alam... This would be something like Bekasi or Cikarang or BSD, but much more integrated to the city center & same level of infrastructure. Malaysia's manufacturing industries, residential areas of people who work in KL, hyper-sized malls are spread out in this area.

3. KL & the country has an excellent road infrastructure standard. Highways are all of the same quality in all parts of Malaysia, with well manicured trees along the road & lightings are excellent.

4. I do still get confused of some Malay words, which sometimes just make me smile. eg: Toko Hiasan Dalam: I've thought this is a lingerie shop, but actually means interior design office. A building with signboard on its roof writeen "Ibu Pejabat Kepolisian": thought this was a building where all the wifes of the policemen gather for meeting (macam Dharma Wanita). Actually Ibu means "Main", pejabat means "office". ie. Main Headquarter of the Police.

5. I am very pleased with the existence of the LRT (mrt-like) network, which i can take btw office & home, rather than going thru the packed roads by car (+nightmare in finding carpark space). It's clean, cold, and they are expanding the wagons from 2 to 4, yippee! Plus, they stop right in front of my condo & in front of my office, so it's very very convenient for me :).

6. Malaysia has received about 25millions of visitors last year, whereas Indo has made it to barely 6 millions. I can name you so many wonderful places in Indonesia & so much more beautiful & captivating (and i do mean this objectively)..., lots of them still untouched by international mass-tourism, especially the beaches that I so love.... from Pulau Weh, Belitung, Ujung Genteng, beaches past Wonosari, Amed in Bali, Gili Islands, Raja Ampat, Derawan, Wakatobi.... In brief, they are countless. But what a contrast, in terms of numbers of visitors, isnt'it? Even if let's say i cut the number of visitors by 1/2 because 50% of them are Singaporeans, which I presume most of them go to Malaysia to see their relatives or just short educational school trips, it still leaves the number at 12 mio, 2x than my country's visitors :(. It does show something though, that Malaysia tourism campaign & tourism management has been successful. Also, the feeling of personal security and ease in finding places is also an important factor for a tourist when visiting a country i guess.

7. The other thing about Malaysia that makes it a favourite place for tourists to hop to, is it is the homebase of AirAsia air carriers. Its location is perfect for connecting flights to other gems of South East Asia: Thailand; Cambodia; Burma; Vietnam; even Aceh/Sabang is nearer from here than from Jkt

8. While KL is located west of Jkt, it is geographically-illogically following a later time zone than Jakarta!. It follows the timing zone of Sabah/Sarawak, which is GMT+8. As a result, i feel hours in KL are a bit out of sync with the sun's position. Eg. When it's 6.00 pm it is still pitch dark like 5.00 am. Only at 7.10 the sun rises. 7pm is the time when the sun is just about to start... so the night gets dark pretty late, and before u know it, it's already time to sleep :)

9. People dress more casually & practical here in malls, compared to Jakarta. Most women/girls wear flat shoes & casual clothes, even in upmarket malls. while in jkt, going to the malls make u feel glamorous, just by looking at the nicely dressed girls with their high heels & made-up hair. Ooo, I do actually miss those nice sights :) (not that i am one of them, but i got to say that nicely dressed ladies are pretty sights to your eyes & do inspire me to try to dress more tidy :) ).

10. I have found some good local foods here, but sadly they are not very healthy & most of them lack the vegetable ingredient: Bak Kut Teh (braised pork in soya sauce soup); Crab in butter sauce; Prawn in salted egg; asam laksa; fried kwey tiau, oyster omellete; nasi lemak (even the name is sinful already); roti prata with mutton curry.... they are yummy, but no wonder my cholesterol level has gone up this year!

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