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Last updated : Nov 2009
Kuala Lumpur
Rating:  ( 4.8 ) ( 97 votes )

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
May 01, 2003 02:21

great shopping place, good food, trendy people
Cons: nothing cultural

I've missed coins! Unfortunately I know how tragic that sounds but after using Mickey Mouse notes for so long (Vietnam's Dong is a currency where you could lop three noughts off the end and make it much more manageable and stop having to get 2,000,000 every time you go to the bank) it's a relief to be using something sensible and coins. Also tragically though I've inadvertently become a bit of a numismatist as coins are accumulating in every pocket as I always forget to use them because they're such a novelty.

I never thought I'd enjoy shopping so much! Starved of shops where haggling is not a pre-requisite for the last three months, being able to pick something up (without hassle), take it to the counter and pay the amount on the price tag without worrying that you are getting ripped off is a real luxury. As is to be expected, the bank balance has come in for some heavy punishment but it's relieving to know that your purchases are not going to fall apart at the first sight of a washing machine. As may be evident, we've achieved nothing cultural in KL, spending all our waking hours either shopping or eating.

KL is a city of young, trendy types, shopping plazas, and coffee bars. It's the antithesis of everything I've come to expect of South East Asia and we've had great pleasure abusing that fact - we've even had our first McDonalds since leaving the UK and I didn't even feel guilty.

We'll be returning in a week or so and have conveniently postponed everything you're supposed to do in KL until then. We have seen the Petronas Towers close up (although admittedly because there are more shopping plazas in the vicinity) and I love them. Although they've had a greater impact on me than Kirsty I can't help but feel that twenty or thirty years from now they will suffer the same fate as most modern buildings in that they will look dated as someone builds something bigger and better.