The region around Kuala Lumpur looks like, and imagines itself being, Florida. From the air, you see subdivisions, expressways, and lots of trees. On the ground, there are elevated trains, busy malls, and lots of self-congratulatory billboards extolling the country’s international rankings in things like ease of doing business in an attempt to attract foreign investments. (However, there were none of the familiar “Open for Business!” road signs.) The airport is shocking, not for its cleanliness, though everything is impeccable, but rather for the silence – there are no announcements and no one speaks above a whisper.
I had a few days to spend on a layover but I mostly just rested. There are a few experiences I thought were special though. You can see the entire city lit up from Helibar, a helicopter pad by day but a meet up point at night. There is still a rainforest preserved in the center of the city that you can walk through. The National Museum is walking distance from KL Sentral, if you can figure out how to exit it (I found it confusing). As for food, I was lucky enough to stay only a block away from Jalan Alor, a small street famous for all its restaurants and food stalls.
If there’s anything that was annoying, it was the constant construction. In other words, if you aren’t paying attention, you might fall into an unmarked hole in the sidewalk or miss the walkway you need to take since a green construction wall makes it seem closed. This criticism isn’t fair though – what modern city isn’t full of activity building new skyscrapers and roads?