Winter Vacation Part 8 – Kuala Lumpur


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The last stop on our one month long vacation through Osaka, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Bali, was Kuala Lumpur. A city made famous by the 1999 crime, romance, action movie Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones.


We landed at the airport in the evening and took a cab to our AirBnB, which was incredible. It was an apartment on the 20th floor of a steel and glass skyscraper. The apartment was massive, 3 bedrooms, floor to ceiling windows, a balcony that looked out over an incredible pool. The apartment building also had it’s own store and dry cleaning facilities. This probably says more about me, but this was by far the nicest apartment I’d ever been in. In stark contrast, there was a slum immediately next door made of rusted corrugated metal. Ironically there was a tennis court in the middle of it.


Our AirBnB hosts were out on vacation themselves, they were teachers at an international school. However, there were two other guests staying there. A venture capitalist from South Africa named Jacques Van Heerden and his wife. They were looking to set up an office in Asia somewhere and had recently begun their tour around the world. Jacque and I talked quite a bit in the few days we were there. I can honestly say he is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. I encourage you to check out his website.

Nicole gets sick

I mentioned this a little bit at the end of the Bali post, but Nicole got sick, really sick. She couldn’t keep anything down, or in, and felt really nauseous. I suspect it was some of the food we had at the place with the Balinese dancer. It’s called Bali belly and literally 100% of the people I know who visited Bali got it (6 out of 6 people). I felt alright, not great, but alright. Progressively throughout our stay in Kuala Lumpur I started to feel sick as well. Eventually Nicole and I visited the ER across the street and got her checked up. They gave us some hydration salts and we spent most of our time laying around the beautiful apartment feeling terrible.

Petronas Towers

On our last day in Kuala Lumpur we finally made it to the Petronas Towers. We took a guided tour up to the skybridge between the two buildings and to the top of the towers. The view from the top was incredible because sections of Kuala Lumpur aren’t built up so depending on which way you look, you can see straight over the city and for miles outside of it. The towers are the tallest pair of twin towers in the world and for awhile they were the tallest buildings in the world. Each tower was built by a different company. A japanese company built one and a Korean company built the other. Since Japan and Korea are bitter rivals it was a pretty clever way to get the buildings built in a hurry. I found conflicting information on which building was finished first. However, I do know that the Korean one was a little bit crooked and had to be corrected part way through construction.

Nicole and I had a bite to eat at the mall in the base of the towers. The mall was filled with really nice designer shops and a ton of people. However, the vast majority of people were just loitering. No joke, most people were just standing around. Almost no one was actually shopping. Funny story, after lunch Nicole goes to the bathroom and I’m waiting in the mall just checking my phone. This group of Malaysian guys walk up to me and ask to take a photo with me. I oblige and it takes a few minutes to take the photo. While they’re trying to take the photo a line forms. I can’t make this stuff up. After they get the photo another group of people ask to take a photo with me. At this point I realize I’m going to be here all day if I say yes so I tell them I have to meet my girlfriend and politely leave. Nicole told me later another group of people approached her when she exited the bathroom. It was a weird experience that reminded me of Bangkok when we got that really great service and tons of free food seemingly for no reason.

Burger Night

After we got back from the Petronas Towers Nicole and I ordered burgers delivered to our AirBnB. It was glorious, delicious, and came with a truffle sauce for the fries, best burger in Kuala Lumpur. Which leads me to another point, food selection. What is up with the selection of food in Korea? Literally everywhere else we went in Asia, with the exception of Bali had a wider selection of international food than Korea. Heck, Hong Kong had Marks and Spencer. Hong Kong, Tokyo, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur: their selection of beers, wines, cheeses, and meats were incredible, and reasonably priced as well. While Korea has some of those things, they’re often harder to obtain or steeply priced.

Returning to Korea

After our burger meal, Nicole and I packed the last of our things and took Uber to the airport. Our flight was around midnight and we arrived with plenty of time. We flew all through the night and got to Busan, South Korea around 8am the following morning. From there we took a bus back to our apartment in Gwangyang.

Overall, it was an awesome trip. We saw Japan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bali, and Kuala Lumpur. I’ll remember this vacation as one of my best vacations to date, and one of my longest. Here’s to many more!

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