Muddy flats of Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, a bustling metropolis of South East Asia, is well-worth a stay. Not as avantgarde hi-tech as Singapore and not as overwhelming as Bangkok, KL offers an unique blend of old and new in a single package.


Muddy flats of Kuala Lumpur

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 24, 2002

${QuickSuggestions} ${BestWay} KL has got an excellent public transport system, including automated LRT (Light Rail Transit), city buses and commuter trains. Taxis are inexpensive and readily avaliable - be sure to ask the cost beforehand - again, don't be afraid to haggle, if the fare is steep. Walking is a good option, if you're exploring the city centre and are not afraid of the heat and sore feet.

Grappa Soho

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 24, 2002

An excellent italian-style restaurant in the heart of Bukit Bintang, a popular area bustling with shoppers during daytime and youngsters looking for fun in evenings. Contemporary New York-style decor, great service and good quality food make it a great place to visit.
Grappa Soho
First Floor Wisma Peladang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 55100
+60 3 2145 0080

Ipoh Chicken Rice

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 24, 2002

A small take-away/budget restaurant place with the absolutely greatest chicken rice (nasi ayam) in town. Worth visiting, if you're in the neighbourhood (near University LRT station). The service is very fast and efficient, the place not much to look at (a standard lot restaurant), but the food is great.
Ipoh Chicken Rice
Jalan Gasing
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Tabush

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 24, 2002

A lebanese cuisine restaurant in the middle of Bukit Bintant. The place was fairly packed, mostly with middle-east tourists looking for a taste of home. The service was slow and rather confused and quality of food so-and-so. To avoid rather than frequent.
Tabush
Bukit Bintang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kikusakura

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 24, 2002

Excellent japanese cuisine. Friendly atmosphere and a great ambience to the place. The food is moderately-priced - my all-time favourites in Kikusakura were Goyza and teryaki chicken. Service is fast and leaves little to be desired. Definitely worth a visit.

And since you're already at the top floor of the Mid Valley, you can continue your evening with bowling, clubbing, skateboarding or a visit to the local cinemaplex - altough be prepared for the heavily-censored movies.

Kikusakura
Mid Valley Megamall
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Chopstick Noodle House

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 24, 2002

A good place for a great selection of chinese cuisine - far wider range of dishes than most budget chinese joints in town, including some speciality dishes found in few other places. Good to visit for a quick snack after a hard shopping spree in Mid Valley. And if you're there in late evening, check out one of the many cafés in the immediate area, or down a cold one at the local sports pub.
Chopstick Noodle House
Mid Valley Megamall
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Street stalls & markets

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 26, 2002

As usual, some of the best foodstuffs are not to be found in expensive restaurants, but way down on the street levels, in the local stalls and night markets. This is where you can really dig into the malaysian multi-ethnic cuisine, with fork, spoon and chopsticks. Start your lavish meal with a few satays, the absolute malay speciality (delicious small meat kebabs on skewers, served with peanut sauce - the recipe varies from place to place), skip through the variety of rice, noodle and fried dishes. Need to be full fast? Get a murtabak, a malay-style meat-and-curry-filled crepé - a single one is bound to keep you going for hours. Start your day with a nasi lemak, the favourite malay rice dish or end it with a penang laksa, a strong fish gravy with steamed local-style noodles.

Still hungry? How about some deserts? Choose between the huge variety of more-or-less usual cakes, sweetmeats and fruit products or something more suprising, like the aiskrim goreng (fried ice-cream). Made by rolling a ball of rock-hard, deep-frozen ice-cream in sweet dough and dumping it into boiling oil for half a minute, aiskrim goreng is worth a taste. Too heavy for your stomach? Well, hit a bowl of Chendol, a delicious icy red-bean-and-jelly desert (the best ones are definitely to be found in Penang, but trust Kualaites to make a worthy copy).

Wash it all down with some sugarcane juice, soybean milk, coconut water or one of the many fruit juices. Be sure to grab a teh tarik, a smooth, sweet, creamy tea on your way out and pick up some local fruits, if you against all likehood should experience the hunger pangs during the night.

And should your senses suddenly be assaulted by a strong smell of sewage, don't despair - it's merely the local durian seller, pushing its foul-smelling royal fruits to the local audience. Taste it at your own risk.

Street stalls & markets

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Rock-solid faith at Batu Caves

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 25, 2002

An absolute must for everyone experiencing Kuala Lumpur, the Batu Caves is a set of huge cathedral-like caverns in limestone hills just north of Kuala Lumpur. The magnificent natural formation have been converted to a Hindu temple and it will leave even the most hard-core atheist humbled.

Getting to Batu Caves is pretty straightforward - city buses drive past on regular basis, taxis are readily avaliable and a newly-opened LRT station nearby makes the transport a lot faster (you'll still have to change to a bus after the railway). Driving north on the Ipoh freeway will also get you to the area, or (as was our case) straight past it, if you're not observant enough. How hard is it to miss a 300-meters tall limestone rocks? Apparently, pretty easy.

The square in front of the cave steps is surrounded by small indian restaurants, shops and stalls selling religious paraphenalia, souvenirs and suchlike and covered in tourists, sellers, taxi drivers and local citizens excercising by running up and down Batu Cave stairs. A fresh drink of coconut water at the stall is an excellent idea before the climb. You can also get some excellent grub there or visit the toilets, should the need arise.

To the left of the main stairs is an entrance to a side-area, where a walkway over a pond populated by a multitude of fish and turtles leads to a small cave-temple, filled with statues of Hindi gods. A small entrance fee is charged, but the visit is well worth the money.

Standing at the bottom of the main stairs, you get an magnificent impression of the cave entrance high above you, the limestone formations reminescent in odd way of a cathedral thoursands of miles away - the Sangrada Familia in Barcelona, a masterpiece of Gaudi. This masterpiece is entirely by the free hand of nature. Climbing up, you're likely to be hustled by the local monkey population, especially if you're carrying anything even remotely edible. A crowd of pigeons stands by to finish you after the monkeys are through with your bag.

The caves themselves are to be experienced rather than read about. They're simply magnificent. The man-made constructions inside the rock cathedral are dwarfed by massive limestone columns and stalactites. Light filters through an opening high in the central cave, lending the place a weak glow and leaving you feeling utterly and absolutely insignificant.

You'll probably need that coconut drink on your way down after all.

Batu Caves
Batu Caves Sri Subramaniam Temple Selayang
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 68100
+60 3 6089 6284

Movies in K****a Lumpur?

Member Rating 1 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 25, 2002

Travelling 10 thousand miles just to catch a movie? Well, as a self-inflicted movie-phile, I can't resist checking out the local theatres of wherever I am. This is where Malaysia's greatest weakness truly comes alive.

The movie theaters are great - magnificent sound systems, huge screens, pots of sweet and salty popcorn, Coke containers the size of minor industrial silos. Red carpets muffle your footsteps, as you slip into the soft plush seats and eagerly await the comming of the dark.

Alas, the magic ends there. After a few minutes of any moderate movie, you're bound to notice the sudden jumps and shifts in the scenery, as well as the odd hick-ups developed by some of the characters. What's going on? The answer is - censorship. Movies in Malaysia fall victim to the cold steel of Malaysian Board of Censorship, which leaves no swearword uttered and no kiss exposed. Dialogue is mangled by blank-outs and cuts and even entire scenes are headlessly cut out of the movies. The net result is aggravation, altough the main argument for the censorship is removal of bad influence from the material. Funny enough, the free-flowing violence of modern movies is left mostly untouched.

Luckily, you can always take the long way home and slip by Petaling Street nightmarket for a 5 RM pirate Video CD of the movie to fill in the blanks on your home video system.

But it just isn't the same.

Golden Screen Cinemas
Mid Valley Megamall
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 59200
+60 3 8312 3456

Lake Gardens

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by ManFriday on October 26, 2002

Lake Gardens form a green band stretching across the south-western end of city centre. Landscaped hills surround the central lake of the Gardens, Tasik Penara, where - should you feel the sudden need for a low-andrenaline urban water activity - you can rent boats for a brief paddle.

Altough walking is obviously the preferred mode of locomotion in this area, a shuttle bus is thoughtfully provided to those weak of foot.

A few attractions speckle the large area; worth mentioning are the Orchid Gardens, where you can find a blessed shade from the noontime sun and saturate your senses with the explosion of colors. Just across lies the Bird Park, a large area, where a multitude of magnificent, tropical birds spend their time watching tourists with a smug expressions of superiority.

A Deer Park and Butterfly Park are also to be found in the immediate area, where a number of cute, colorful and/or furry animals are kept on display for your pleasure. No dangerous, disgusting or creepy beasts have hitherto been found worthy a park of their own, which might prove a slight disappointment for your 10-year old son. The zoological gardens might be able to help you there, tho.

The National Monument is placed on a hillside in the northern part of the Lake Gardens, commemorating the ass-whopping delivered to the Communists during the Emergency (for more info about these troubled times, consult your local guidebook). Worth a brief look, as it provides a great view of the Gardens and KL itself.

National Planetarium is one of the other sites worth visiting in the nearby area, offering science shows and IMAX movie performances.

Lake Garden (Taman Tasik Perdana)
Jalan Perdana
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, 50480
+60 3 2691 6011

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