08 May 2013


I decided to take on another form of travel that would allow me to visit a country for just a short period of time – I would get long layovers!  I like to think of it as flash travel.  Why sleep in an airport when you can get out and see the city?!  So when I left Australia, my next stop was Kuala Lumpur.  The thing is with my flash travel (and cheap ticket), I had only 6 hours to check out the city from 11pm-5am, and I would have to be on foot for the majority of the time since most public transportation was not open.  Of course I didn’t do any homework as to where I should go and with those constraints, I decided to just wander around the city taking in whatever adventure had in store for me.   

As I stood in line at immigration, I looked around and noticed that most of the people there were wearing Islamic attire. I honestly did not know that nearly half of Malaysia was Muslim (see, I really didn’t do any homework), so I suddenly felt very inappropriately dressed in my shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops – not the way to travel inconspicuously and especially where perceptions of women are a bit… different.    Had I done my homework, I would have dressed a tad more appropriately (i.e. more clothing) for a single gal to be wandering the streets in the middle of the night in a city I had never been to. 

After getting through immigration, I grabbed a free map then headed to the last train out of the airport to the city.  I got to the KL Central Station to take another train another part of town, but unfortunately for me, they were all closed.  So one sketchy taxi ride to the Bukit Batang area where supposedly there was some form of nightlife.  The taxi drops me off and I just start walking around with no idea of where to really go.  Safe to say, Bukit Batang is a whole lot of (closed) expensive shopping malls - definitely not what I was looking for!  I decided to walk to the Petronas Towers knowing full well my visit would be incomplete if I did not go there. 

The towers are gorgeous!  And the best part, I was there as some clouds were rolling in creating this ethereal setting around the towers.  It was such a beautiful experience to be there and watch the clouds come in, drizzle a little rain and mist, lie below looking up at the towers from a bench, and just listen to the sounds of the city.  As much as I would have liked to have seen the towers in the day and even go inside and up to the top floors, I wouldn’t have traded that moment.   It was truly unique and special to me.

I continued to walk around the city, absorbing what little I could see, observing life at night, admire the gorgeous styles of architecture reflecting the Muslim, Chinese, and Colonial influences, made it to some mosques, government buildings, a food market area, Chinatown, and even the old railway station.  The very little time I was there, I covered a lot of ground and would definitely like to go back, perhaps during the day next time.  And maybe figure out where to go or at least put a few days aside to travel by subway and foot all over the city wandering yet again.

In regards to my flash travel, I enjoyed the few hours I had to check out the city and would definitely do it again.  I took advantage of the little time I had and I loved it no matter how tired I was for my flight!  It was such a different experience to walk around and see a city for the first time under the cover of night all damp and misty with not many people around, no tourists, no idea of what was where, and allow myself to be immersed in Eastern and Middle Eastern cultures – it was simply other-worldly. 

P.S. Sorry for the not-so-great photos.  Night photography is not my strong suit.

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