The last time I was in Kuala Lumpur, I was confined to a bed with a bad back for almost a week. We had to skip a trip to Borneo (Sarawak) to see the famous orangutans. I was happy to get well enough to fly home, after Sheri nursed me back to some decent functionality. I have since had a minor back operation, and no worse for wear.
The main reason to re-visit KL is our friend Angela. She is a friend of a friend, Sohbee and Tom, now residing in Shanghai. She showed us around KL after Sohbee moved to China, after a short time in the U.S. Besides her skills as a chef and baker, she is quite knowledgeable about KL, and its finer (not necessarily expensive) places to dine.
However, I would suspect that many of you do not know much about KL, the capital city of Malaysia. It is the largest city, with almost 1.8 million people. It remains one of the fastest growing metro regions in all of SE Asia. And though it is the financial and cultural center of Malaysia, the judicial and executive branches moved to Putrajaya back in 1999.
But rather than bore you with details and statistics, I would rather focus on the nature of religious harmony here. The main religious groups, Islam, Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian. Yet, 87% of the Chinese population identify with Buddhism. Bahasa Malaysia is the main language spoken here, those most people in KL are quite literate in English.
Most people do not remember that Muhammad Ali fought here in 1975. He fought an Englishman from Hungary, named Joe Bugner. Many forget also that he spend a month here in preparation for the fight. I am sure he also did this for publicity, since the fight was only shown here in the U.S. on pay per view. But locals recall the roads were empty, since most people either went to the match or watched on TV.
The most iconic sight here in KL is the Petronas Twin Towers, also known as the tallest twin towers in the world. From 1998 to 2004, they were the tallest buildings in the world. A huge shopping complex, Suria KLCC surrounds the ground floors of Petronas. A Skybridge connects the two towers at the 41st and 42nd floors. It is the highest two story bridge in the world.
KL is the sixth most visited city in the world, with about 9 million tourists yearly. Personally, I think the attractions are the culture, food, and shopping. My personal favorite is Chinatown, around Petaling Street. It is where we first met Angela, and our first taste of durian, the king of fruit, also known as the “stinky” fruit. It is now one of Sheri’s favorites, and is a real acquired taste in my opinion. I still do not like it!
It is with a heavy heart that news of my dear Uncle Sab reached me at 3am this morning. He is the last of my Dad’s family remaining. We had many, many wonderful memories together, family dinners, golf trips, and mostly a joyous, laughter filled time.