Kuala Lumpur and Port Klang, Malaysia

Port Klang, or sometimes Kelang, is another major port, not as major as Singapore but major and not much else. It is the gateway to Kuala Lumpur, which was 45 minutes away on a good day; two hours on other days; and sometimes unreachable. We were advised against arranging our own transportation because the ship doesn’t wait unless you are stuck in traffic on its bus. Trains apparently are even less reliable. It took us a little over an hour each way (it was a school holiday so traffic was light.) That left us with six hours to figure out the transit system, stand in a couple lines, have lunch, and see the city. It was nowhere near enough time.

While we opted for the cheapest package, which was advertised as transportation only, the bus had a nice young woman named Sarah, who talked pretty much all the time we were on the bus explaining what we should see and how to get there (and back before the bus and ship left without us.)

DSCN0132The bus dropped in front of Petronas Towers, which you have seen if you have seen any pictures of Kuala Lumpur. Owned, built, and half occupied by Petronas Oil and Gas, designed by Cesar Pelli, they are the tallest twin towers in the world (1,482 feet) and were the tallest buildings from 1998 to 2004.

DSCN0166There were some impressive plazas and gardens (and a lot of construction) near it, but after you’ve seen Singapore…

Malaysia in just over 50% Arab, who are Muslim. There are also some non-Arab Muslim so about two thirds of the population are Muslim. While Islam is the state religion, they seem remarkably tolerant. We saw a handful of full Burkas (a ‘handful’ is almost none compare to the number of people we saw,) most women (and girls) wore headscarves and ankle length skirts. At the other extreme, there was a significant percentage determined to show as much leg as possible.

The food was overall an eclectic and delightful fusion of most Asian cuisines. Although there are some Asian ingredients that I do not find delightful. And of course, a few American fast food places.

We didn’t have time to stray far from the Twin Towers, but still walked nearly 10 miles. (Doré took some breaks and bought a refrigerator magnet while I explored the gardens.) Things we didn’t get to include Merdeka (aka Independence) Square, central market, Chinatown, Little India, Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque (capacity 24,000, height 141 meters, aka Blue Mosque,) Royal Selangor, National Museum, and Batu Caves. We didn’t get to those so Wikipedia knows more and has more pictures than I do. Next time we are in town.

Next stop Phuket, Thailand, which is nearly as large as Singapore; who knew? The name can cause trouble for English speakers, but they seem to ignore ‘h’ and sometimes ‘t’, so it is pronounced ‘Poo kay’ and ‘Tie Land’. But “Poo Ket’ may be more common.

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