Malaysia wasn’t on my list of places to visit on this trip but it just so happened that the cheapest flight to India was out of Kuala Lampur (Air Asia). Now that I have spent a couple of days here I’m really glad that I had the chance to explore KL which seems to be the Toronto of Asia due to its diversity in cultures, languages and cuisine.
As soon as I stepped into the airport I felt the assimilation begin; Indian Tamils make up part of the cultural fabric of KL so I was taken for a local from the moment I arrived. It was really interesting for me to be seeing Tamil signs and hearing people speak it as well everywhere I went. It’s the first time in over a year I haven’t felt completely lost in a new place.
I couchsurfed with a Malay Tamil girl the whole time I have been here and it’s been interesting learning about this culture. I feel that my generation and the next of Tamil Canadians will be very similar to what the current culture is in KL – a mix of tradition with modern mentality. KL is made up of Muslims and Hindus who speak Malay (which is similar to the Indonesian language), English, Mandarin and Tamil. Almost everyone speaks at least 2 or 3 languages which is incredible!
KL’s city center is easily accessible with loads of public transport which I have learned to appreciate more after being in Cambodia. Being here feels like you are easily in a western country; it’s ultra modern with lots of life. People also enjoy their nights to the fullest regardless of having a full-time job so the nightlife is alive and thriving.
Through couchsurfing I was able to hang out with heaps of locals which has been a rewarding experience. I have tried Chinese, Malay and Tamil cuisine. The choices for food are overwhelming in the city.
I was also able to visit all the main sites in one day: Petronas towers, Medeka Square, National Mosque. I spent half a day at Batu Caves which is a Hindu temple situated inside a cave a few kilometers outside of KL.
The other main attraction in KL is the shopping although I’ve been quite disappointed with this. Then again I think shopping is hard to beat after being in Thailand.
Malaysia is a beautiful country which is rich in nature and a melting pot of cultures. I have only seen the capital so far so I am intrigued to explore the rest of it on a future trip.