It has been more than three months since I left home on this expedition and it seems like forever since I was able to unwind and relax. The last month has been frenetic, but I was meeting with an old friend in Kuala Lumpur. I knew we would definitely have some good old fashioned fun.
The night I arrived, we went out and had a bite to eat on a patio at an Arabic restaurant and did some people watching in one of the most happening and Chic areas of KL. It was a very relaxing and fun night, catching up with my old friend.
The next morning, Bob picked me up and we went for a traditional Malaysian breakfast at a Mamak Restaurant. First we enjoyed Teh Tarik (pulled tea) which is hot tea prepared with milk and then poured back and forth in a showman-like way between two stainless steel containers. Nasi Lemak was the main part of the breakfast, consisting of fragrant rice prepared with coconut milk, fried chicken, a fried egg and a spicy onion sauce that was absolutely delicious. The final part of breakfast was sweet Roti Tisu that was prepared by hand and was sculpted into a large pyramid shape. It reminded me of a very large and crispy crepe.
From there it was off to the central market, a little bit of a touristy area, but I was able t see handicrafts that were produced all over Malaysia. I wish I had more room in my luggage as there were some very cool masks from various Borneo tribes for sale.
As I made my way through Asia, I had seen countless spas offering various services. One service in particular that caught my eye was the fish spa pools. People would sit on the edge of a pool full of small fish as the fish clean dead skin off your feet while providing you with a massage at the same time. I had been sceptical and was worried about the cleanliness of the water through the third world countries I had been traveling through, so I never got to try it, until now. I wish I had discovered this earlier in my trip. For about $1.00, you are given 10-20 minutes to submerge your feet into the pool of fish where they clean up every shred of dead skin. At first, I could not stop laughing as it was very ticklish, but after getting used to the weird sensation of hundreds of fish nibbling at my feet, it was actually a very relaxing and therapeutic experience.
From the spa, we made our way to the KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre), an enormous shopping complex at the base of the Petronas Towers. Attached to the complex is the convention centre where the Pikom PC Fair was being held. Coming from a background in IT, I have been to many computer shows and fairs, but I have never seen anything like this. There were literally thousands of people walking through the various halls, looking for the latest in technology. Spokes models for all of the manufacturers were showing off the latest cameras, mobile phones as if this were a fashion show.
Seeing as it was a Saturday night, my friend and his wife wanted to show me a little bit more of the nightlife in Kuala Lumpur. We planned a night of bar-hopping starting with “Euphoria” by Ministry of Sound. The club is three years old and has won the award for best sound system in Asia every year since it opened. The sound system itself costs over four million dollars! By 11:00pm the place was already packed to the rafters and the mix of R&B and Dance music was stirring the crowd into a frenzy. On May the 7th Deadmau5, one of my favourite DJs (and Canadian no less) will be performing at Euphoria. It is a shame that I am going to miss this show by only a few weeks as there are more than 30,000 people expected to attend.
Because we were out exploring the city’s night spots until after 4:00am, I had slept in to recharge the batteries. After which, we headed out again to explore the city. Breakfast consisted of Beef and Chicken Satay Skewers with spicy peanut sauce and an ABC to drink. ABC is a great local drink that consists of shaved ice and everything else under the sun. You can pick from condensed milk, lychee, molasses, grass jelly, nutmeg strawberry ice cream and many other ingredients.
I have used up almost all of the 150 gigabytes of memory cards that I brought on this expedition, so I needed to pick up a little more to get me through the last leg of the trip. Bob brought me to the Low Yat shopping complex which is seven floors and two city blocks of electronics. I was able to pick up the latest and fastest compact flash card for less than a third of the price back home.
I then wanted to get some images of the beautiful Petronas Towers at night. These majestic stainless steel and glass buildings are joined by a Sky Bridge over 40 floors up. They are the landmark of Kuala Lumpur and were made famous by Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones in the movie “Entrapment”.
The last thing on my list in Asia was to try Durian, the so-called King of Fruits. It is an exotic fruit that is banned in most public places in Canada and can only be sold frozen because of the strong and pungent odour. Each bite tasted different to me. There was a sweetness and a slight heat to it, but the flavours were unlike anything I had ever tasted. It had hints of BBQ onion and garlic and it was nothing like what I had expected. The texture also surprised me, the outside of the fruit was more like a weapon than a fruit, I actually cut myself on the thorns while picking up a wedge. The large sections of the soft and creamy edible portions were more like cream cheese than fruit. To finish off the experience, I was treated to Mangosteen, another very exotic fruit. The hard shelled, purple fruit had a soft, white centre that was very sweet and reminded me of the taste of black cherries.
I thought Kuala Lumpur was just going to be another big city, but with the help of an old friend, I was able to experience it as a local and bring the best to you.