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Radiation levels in Kuala Lumpur

Posted by on Sep 17, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia, Radiation levels around the world | 3 comments

Radiation in Malaysia is disturbing – in Kuala Lumpur at the Geo Hotel. That is where we stayed for a over a week, because the hotel was brand new and not yet worn down and dirty, like most hotels in Kuala Lumpur. I am being fair. We visited an enormous amount of hotels in Kuala Lumpur, from low to top end, and in the end, we were happy to spent more than 50 Euros per night for a clean room, without moldy walls, noisy aircon, gross carpets, crap furniture, no windows, aged and smelly interiors… Geo Hotel also offers superb location, close to the Central Market. Okay, let’s not sidetrack. Here is to radioactivity. After check in, we found radiation levels to be really high. Because internet wasn’t working at the first floor and a major bus station right...

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Traditional and Trendy fashion in Malaysia

Posted by on Aug 8, 2012 in All posts, Beauty and Fashion, Malaysia | 2 comments

Fashion of Malaysia can be described as a clash and mixture of traditional Malay garments, conservative Muslim clothing and western influences. Malaysia is an ethnic fusion of Malays, Chinese and Indian minorities. You will see Muslim modesty, interspersed with the occasional Indian Sari and Malay patterned garments, but mostly, globalisation brings familiar, casual outfits into the streets. The influences of western styles is pervasive and part of fashion’s foothold. TRADITIONAL MALAY FASHION MEN wear the Baju Melayu, which is basically a loose shirt worn with a pair of long trousers. A Sarung or  Sampin is wrapped around the waist and left hanging half-way down over the pants. For the head there is a dark coloured fez-like cap, the  Songkok. Frankly, I have rarely seen Sarung and Songkok outside museums or tourist souvenir shops. Traditional WOMEN wear Baju Kurung, an...

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Transport & taxi scams in Malaysia

Posted by on Jul 31, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 1 comment

Hey folks, this post is a summary about all means of transportation we used when traveling in Malaysia and mainly around the capital, Kuala Lumpur. You will also find out why I now have taxi phobia. Arriving by PLANE. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is the main gateway into the country, operated by most international airlines, from where you can get the KLIA Ekspres train and make 55 km to Kuala Lumpur Sentral Station in 28 minutes. We came in via the Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) flying Air Asia, a budget carrier, 20 km from the main airport, from where we took a ten minute bus ride to Salat Tinggi train station.   Airport Bus Transit from LCCT Budget terminal.   Salat Tinggi. From here, trains frequently run to the city. We boarded the KLIA Transit train and...

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Peanuts and Tokyo Street – Shopping in Kuala Lumpur

Posted by on Jul 30, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 1 comment

Malaysia’s shopping experience is full of contrasts pleasing Westerners and Muslim conservatives alike. We visited Kuala Lumpur’s most swanky malls, which are huge lifestyle centres for the rising middle and higher class, featuring branded designer goods, internationally known brands, expensive restaurants with international cuisine and food courts with local bites. Some have got theme parks incorporated and you might find yourself surrounded by a roller-coaster speeding above the shopping grounds. Malaysia is also home to many local street shops, some pretty horrible ethnic style attire, open air bazaars, such as at Petaling Street/Chinatown, where you have to bargain hard for belts, watches, bags and the whole range of fake merchandise or a wider variety of souvenir crafts at Pasar Seni/Central Market. More chic shopping malls, such as Suria KLCC and Pavilion are located on Bukit Bintang and Jalan Ampang...

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Eating out in Kuala Lumpur

Posted by on Jul 27, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 4 comments

For some the highlight of the day, for some the energy source for the pursuit of travel adventures. Food – was never my favourite act but after I discovered Asia’s cuisine that has changed. I am still not a big eater nor psyched dining companion. I remember my grandma’s urging words to ‘eat properly’ while I was hovering around my plate as a kid in Szczecin/Poland, postponing the consumption of the main meal, already filled up by granny’s delicious entrée, her famous and by all family members acknowledged as best tomato soup of all times, topped by divine hand made (!) noodles. After two, at good times, breaking my own record, three rounds of noodles with tomato soup (I still consider soup a supplement for noodles or rice), I was going to disappoint grandma, again. Driven by the selfish...

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Malaysia – people, prayer, politics and parades

Posted by on Jul 25, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 0 comments

Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country, with Malays making up the majority of about 50% of the population. About 30% of the population are Malaysians of Chinese descent, while Malaysians of Indian descent comprise about 8% of the population. All ethnic Malays are declared Muslim by law of the constitution. The Malaysian constitution mentions freedom of religion, at the same time making Islam the state religion. However, the majority of the Chinese population identify as Buddhist and the Indian population follow Hinduism. Malay is the national language. This is how Malaysia likes to present itself. A multicultural society with equal status of all minorities. Interestingly, the Indian girl, representing a small minority is placed in the centre, then there is the Chinese girl to the left and then a Muslim Malay kid, a boy, so there is no female dress...

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Segway and Hibiscus at Perdana Lake Gardens

Posted by on Jul 23, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 0 comments

This is what tourist brochures say about Kuala Lumpur’s Perdana Lake Gardens: ‘The green lung of Kuala Lumpur features a jogging trail, exercise stations and a children’s playground but the star attraction is the man made lake at the centre of the park, on which you may indulge in boating or kayaking activities or take a leisurely stroll along its perimeters.’ Yawn. This is what it should read: ‘Screw jogging, strolling, kayaking or boating and go for the super Segway ride with super-visor Vic. Ride up ramps, push the speed limit and try out doughnut driving. The winner is, who finds out about Bunga Raya and gets there first.’ Alright, I am going to tell you. Bunga Raya is the word for hibiscus and Malaysia’s national flower. Flora fans check out the Orchid & Hibiscus Garden in the park....

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British colonial Beauty in Kuala Lumpur

Posted by on Jul 20, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 0 comments

In the 1850s tin was found in a small settlement, which eventually became known as ‘Kuala Lumpur’, literally meaning ‘muddy estuary’. Chinese immigrants came to work in the mines which caused tensions with the Malay rulers and led to a decade of violence and civil war. Apparently, there is a positive side to Colonialism, in that it was due to the interest in tin of the British and their implementation of law and order, that the town began to prosper. Kuala Lumpur was appointed capital and gained important city status as banks, hotels, restaurants and the Chinese commercial district emerged. After early Chinese wooden settlements burned down in a major fire, the British insisted that the town was to be build in tile and brick. This gave birth to the construction of Chinese shophouses, that are a manifestation of...

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Art Deco Central Market

Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 0 comments

The nice thing about countries like Malaysia and Singapore is that they haven’t managed to demolish all of its bygone architecture of early Chinese and Indian immigrants and, that remnants of British colonial buildings are still standing. Malaysia, trying really hard to catch up with Singapore, pays little attention to beautiful but crumbling shophouses and old buildings that reveal Malaysia’s prosperous past. It is a miracle that the Central Market, a fine Art Deco original in Malaysia’s capital, survived plans of demolishment. Once the busy centre of wholesale and wet retail for local citizens and tin miners, it was renovated and reopened to function as a souvenir outlet for tourists. The construction of Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market began in 1888 under British rule and was completed in 1936, when it acquired its Art Deco style. The new features were...

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Must Dos: Gallery, Museum, Muslim house

Posted by on Jul 16, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 0 comments

The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is the newest attraction in town and has the best ever written up infos on Kuala Lumpur’s past. It is housed in a 114 year old beautiful building right in the face lifted centre of Merdeka Square. The Gallery provides a surprisingly entertaining description of Chinatown and its peculiarities. Presented on a big poster page with lots of small writing about shophouse heritage, the rest of Kuala Lumpur’s history rests on round columns… it was an easy and pleasant read in understandable English – such a rarity I got so exited I read all of it!     Sitting in front of the Gallery and standing next to the Kuala Lumpur’s skyline wood veneer mural.   The gallery is operated by a private company so the gift shop exceeds the size of the exhibition...

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Petaling Street and Chinese shophouses

Posted by on Jul 14, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 2 comments

Old Chinatown and it’s shophouse architecture, build during British colonial times, are the most beautiful sights in Kuala Lumpur and a gem in modern Singapore.  In 1896 Kuala Lumpur was the capital of British colonialism. The British instructed that all wooden houses shall be replaced by brick and get tiled roofs. The British residential system also required all shophouses to be exactly five feet from the road and to have a verandah side walk, to be able to bypass traffic, rain and sun light. The lower a side walk of a shophouse the older it is. The shophouses were constructed by business smart and hard-working Chinese immigrants who lived and worked in those narrow and long houses. The merchants kept their shops downstairs and the living quarters for their family upstairs. The façades reflect the popular architectural style of...

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Pride of Malaysia – the Petronas Twin Towers

Posted by on Jul 12, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 0 comments

If you enjoy modern sights, then this huge structure with its 33,000 stainless steel pieces and 55,000 glass panels will make your heart jump. The Petronas Towers are on every postcard and can be seen from almost anywhere in Kuala Lumpur. The Twin Towers are 451,9 m high and are the world renowned icon of Malaysia. It was the tallest skyscraper in the world for about six years until Taiwan build a taller one in 2004, so that now the Petronas Towers are advertised as the world’s tallest twin structures. That kind of competition between countries has got a tragic funny element. I really wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t the tallest building in the first place. The Petronas Towers still capture tourists in mass numbers to enjoy the view over the capital. And it has got some neat features...

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Gorgeous gloom & graffiti

Posted by on Jul 10, 2012 in All posts, Malaysia | 1 comment

I remember going along a high school student my age, with growing graffiti affiliation, packed with spray paint but no masks or stencils to create a man size graffiti of a cartoon like spray can.  It worked out nicely, with me, some of the time filling large gaps of the graffiti with paint and, most of the time, passing cans to ‘the artist’, watching out and listening to my thumping heart. I was an exchange student in Lakewood Colorado and by no means enrolled to learn the art of graffiti. It was the nineties, a time when graffiti was considered to be an act of vandalism and crime. Graffiti was seen on the streets, not in museums, art auctions or homes, like today. Street art was fascinating then, because it had that underground feel, today it is fascinating to...

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