The Champagne Backpacker: Michael's Round the World Trip 2005-2007-- The Adventure of a Lifetime travel blog

Merdaka, Central KL

Petronas Twin Towers--The Symbol of KL

View Of Petronas Twin Towers From The Shopping Mall

Petaling Street--Chinatown's Main Drag

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2006. KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA. I have arrived in Kuala Lumpur, or "KL" as it is usually referred to, and have found accommodation at Wheeler Guesthouse in Chinatown (40 MYR/Single A/C w/o bath; $11). I arrived on the night of a free Indian buffet on the rooftop--This was the first time dinner has been free at a guesthouse (They make it up by selling drinks). At dinner, I met a nice Australian and American couple, Nick and Wendy, moving from Holland to Melbourne, Australia.

My plans tomorrow are to visit the Petronas Towers (currently the second tallest building in the world after the Taipei 101 building located in Taipei, Taiwan) and explore KL.

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 2006. KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA. KL is a modern Southeast Asian city, though not quite as modern as Bangkok. The must-see sight in KL is the Petronas Twin Towers. On the upper levels, the building has a five prong star shape which represents the five pillars of Islam. The buildings used to be the tallest in the world until 2004, when the Taipei 101 building was constructed. They are, however, still the tallest twin buildings in the world. The public is allowed to visit the 41st floor sky bridge which connects the two towers. Unfortunately, I arrived after all the day's free tickets were given out, so I spent my time in the modern shopping center at ground level. The shopping center has many of the same stores found in the West including Starbucks, Armani, and Sony.

From the towers, I walked a kilometer to the Golden Triangle, KL's business and shopping district, and continued back to Chinatown. American coffee and fast food restaurants are definitely popular in KL: Starbucks, The Coffee Bean, McDonalds, KFC, 7-11, and even Kenny Roger's Roasters. Food in Malaysia is largely Indian, Chinese, and Malay--just like the ethnic makeup. Earlier I mentioned one-third each as an apparent breakdown of ethnicity. This was from personal observation in the places I've travelled (large cities), rather than any accurate statistic. The actual breakdown is Malay-63%; Chinese-27%; and Indian-7.6%. The percentage of Indians seems a lot higher, probably because many choose to live in the cities. In contrast, the percentage of Malays seems a lot lower, probably because most live in rural areas.

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