First impressions of Kuala Lumpur

We are back from a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur, and here are my first impressions about Kuala Lumpur:

  • It’s hot in Kuala Lumpur – temperatures always around 30 degrees and humid. Still, people are dressed properly, some even in long-sleeves – and the religious ones are covered from head to toe
  • Kuala Lumpur is more spacious – there are some high buildings but a lot of empty spaces that are turned in parking lots. It does not seem that space is at a premium
  • Kuala Lumpur is a building-site – there are lots of modern buildings, and hundreds more are being build – next to our hotel (Le Meridien), next to Sentral Station, the main station) we had two huge building sites, so we could not even cross the street

  • People from many different countries live and work in Kuala Lumpur – on our first day, we saw Chinese, Indian, Philippines, Indonesian, Malaysian, African and many other people – the city is a big mix and melting pot
  • There are many moslems in Kuala Lumpur – halal meat, places without alcohol, women covered from head to toe, mosques and generally a different but very interesting atmosphere
  • People in Kuala Lumpur love to shop – the city has more than 60 shopping malls and even US brands like GAP and Banana Republic as well as UK brands including Debenhams, Paul Smith, Paul Frank, Dorothy Perkins that are not (yet) present in Hong Kong
  • People in Kuala Lumpur don’t seem to walk – everyone owns or drives a car or motorbike. It’s a packed city, with big streets and highways and not made for pedestrians and walkers – it’s like an American city. But I guess that’s because of the heat and humidity, people don’t want to (or can’t) walk in these temperatures

  • Food prices in Kuala Lumpur can be cheap – when eating on the street, or also really expensive – in some of the high-end shopping malls and restaurants. We fell in love with Nasi Lepak, the national dish (more about food in a later post)
  • Kuala Lumpur has some high buildings – including the Petronas Twin Towers and the KL Towers
  • Kuala Lumpur has a king – and people are very proud of him. He celebrated his birthday on June 4, and all the newspapers were full of congratulations!

One response to “First impressions of Kuala Lumpur

  1. Pingback: It is June… and? « bluebalu: Living in Hong Kong·

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