The next country on our travel itinerary was Malaysia which we were drawn to from the rumors of great diving and tasty cuisine. The country is composed of a collage of cultures including Malays, Chinese, and Indian creating an enchanting multicultural setting . Our plan was to spend two weeks on the mainland peninsula of Malaysia and then fly over to the island of Borneo for some world class scuba diving.
Flying in from Bangkok we landed in the capital, Kuala Lumpur, also known as KL, and we made our way to Chinatown to find a guesthouse. The area was busy with food stands and street stalls and we squeezed through with our massive backpacks in search of accommodation. After finding a room we went to a nearby Indian restaurant where we ordered a few dishes that were served on large tin plates and without cutlery. We had been warned of this custom and proceeded to eat with our right hands using a scooping method that left us, the inexperienced, messy yet satisfied.
With limited time in Malaysia and a hankering to get to the coast for diving we spent only a short time in KL. One of the must-see sights is the iconic Petronas Towers located near the Suria KLCC mall so we hopped on a local skytrain that zipped us over and under the busy city. The skytrain stopped directly under the mall and the towers could be seen from the courtyard outside, but when we arrived our plans altered slightly as the rain outside started pouring down in buckets. We wandered around inside the mall and killed some time in the food court until the rain subsided enough to take a photo outside. After snapping our pictures we walked around a gorgeously lush park and past the Menara Tower on our way to an alternate skytrain home.
The city of KL impressed us both with its cleanliness and modernized streets and businesses. Compared to the other large cities we had seen in Southeast Asia it seemed really western and it was definitely a pleasure to visit.