We are on our way to South Korea, michael and me. We know each other from our student days in Koblenz and Michi’s interest in East Asia and my thirst for adventure bring us to this goal. The journey is long. There’s a whole world in between. Countries. cultures. We have to change planes on the way and use this stay to broaden our horizons.
It’s early; our plane lands around 6am. We have a whole day for Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. In Couchsurfing I met a local who wants to meet us and show us around the city.
The city near the equator differs from our home in Germany not only in the tropical climate. A train takes us from the airport to the city center and the pink signs on the platform tell us which carriages are clearly reserved for women.
We leave for our host. He doesn’t live in the center but in a suburb far from the city center. It’s a world away from the glittering glass palaces and reflects a more realistic picture of Malaysia.
Small, flat houses, half made of corrugated iron, are lined up close together. In between, huge residential fortresses rise up. Michael and I are invited to one of them.
We are greeted and given tea. Then we are a bit irritated: our host retires to sleep. There we are, sitting in someone else’s apartment away from the city center, where we expect all the attractions, and we don’t know what to do with ourselves. We didn’t sleep on the plane and would have a night to catch up. But we are too filled with adrenaline and anticipation for that.
We talk, lie down a little too, get up again and look at our host’s furnishings. It seems to us to collect the best of Thai and Chinese culture.
Finally our host wakes up at lunchtime and a friend of his takes us into town.
In the city center we witness a very bizarre exhibition. The army advertises itself and exhibits weapons, tanks and their associated soldiers. Fun for the whole family.
We then compensate with a visit to an art gallery where you can admire models of the city.
What we naturally want to see is the real landmark of Kuala Lumpur: the Petronas Towers. Visible from afar, these twin icons are what better way to admire them in their full glory than from another tall building next to them.
Conveniently, the city offers a TV tower here, on the top of which you can ride and enjoy the view over the city and the two towers.
We admire the towers from an ant’s perspective and also take a look inside. For the general public it offers a view of a shopping mall. Hotels, apartments and offices can be found further up. A world of its own.
In front of the towers there is a beautiful park that suits the tropical climate. Unfortunately, Michael gets caught and devoured by some mangroves. Too bad.
I take a little more time and look at the city’s landmark in the splendor of its radiant lights even after the sun has set.
We end the day in Chinatown, which promises a turbulent hustle and bustle in the streets and good food.
We take the train back to the airport and take the sleepless flight to Seoul, from where we will start our trip to South Korea.