Nadi and Ming’s Kuala Lumpur

Greetings, city-lovers! Nadiah and Ming live in Kuala Lumpur, and they tell us that their city is bursting with things to do, see, and eat.

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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is Our City

The first place I take a visitor from out of town is The KLCC Twin Towers because that is the first thing people recognize.

When I crave random tidbits and knick knacks I always go to a night market where i can get anything from kimchi to DVDs.

To escape the crowds and hot city air I head to the Genting Highlands where I can drive really fast along abandoned winding roads.

If I want to eat banana leaf rice I go to Krishna Curry House in Section 14.

For complete quiet, I can hide away by having a picnic and reading a book at the various waterfalls and rivers just outside town.

If you come to my city, get your picture taken with any one of the random mat rempits (illegal motorcycle racers) that roam the streets after dark.

If you have to order one thing off the menu from Werner’s in Changkat Bukit Bintang it has to be the rum raisin pancake.

Low Yat Plaza is my one-stop shop for great deals on electronics.

Locals know to skip Putrajaya and check out Petaling Jaya instead.

When I’m feeling cash-strapped I go to a kopitiam and order a white coffee and kaya toast.

For a huge splurge I go to the Spa Village KL.

Photo ops in my city include the night markets, the twin towers, and the decaying poorly maintained alleys, and the best vantage points are petaling street corner, the KL tower, and behind any mega-shopping complex.

If my city were a celebrity it’d be Drew Barrymore, we don’t take ourselves seriously and sometimes we’re not the most efficient, but we’re charming nonetheless.

The most random thing about my city is the way traffic and pedestrians interact, watch out!

My city has the most Bangladeshi/Nepali/Burmese/ Indonesian immigrant men.

My city has the most diversity between mainstream female groups: there are the transsexuals along chow kit and in the clubs, and the chaste Muslim women.

In my city, an active day outdoors involves hiking through the forest, which you can do at the Forest Research Institute.

My city’s best museum is The Islamic Arts Museum.

My favorite jogging/walking route is around the KLCC park where you can stop and dip your toes in the splash pool afterwards.

For a night of dancing, go to Zouk or Velvet. Or, for live music, check out No Black Tie.

Any mamak (Indian Muslim) shop open 24/7 is the spot for late-night eats.

To find out what’s going on at night and on the weekends, read the KLue website.

You can tell a lot about my city from the music playing in shopping malls because they tell you which festivals are approaching.

You can tell if someone is from my city if they speak Manglish with cantonese instead of hokkien words.

In the spring and summer you should carry an umbrella, because it rains every afternoon.

In the fall you should carry an umbrella, because it rains every afternoon.

In the winter you should see above, because when you’re three degrees above the equator, there’s no such thing as seasons.

A hidden gem in my city is the Petronas Art Gallery in KLCC, where admission is free.

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For a great breakfast joint try Village Greenpark in Damansara Utama, they have good coconut rice with a variety of dishes.

Don’t miss the Thaipusam Festival in February as Hindu devotees skewer themselves with metal objects carrying heavy loads to pay respects to Lord Muruga.

Just outside my city, you can visit Malacca, a historical city port once colonized by the British, Dutch and Portuguese.

The best way to see my city is by motorbike, horse, or on the back of a pack-slave. the pavement is so uneven they’ll break your ankles, plus you’ll sweat a bucket by walking. And if you sit in a car, you’ll see the traffic jams and nothing else.

If my city were a pet it would be a cat like Garfield, it’s slow, lazy, can occasionally surprise you and likes nothing better than to eat.

If I didn’t live in a city, I’d live in a chalet on the side of the mountain with amazing views of the sea; a spot that has seasons and no traffic jams.

The best book about my city is The KL and Klang Valley Street Atlas, because without it, even the locals would be lost.

If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the Petrosains Museum in KLCC, the Sunway Pyramid outdoor park, and if your kids are car nuts, the Malaysian Grand Prix.

Driving down the road downtown and having both a durian (a ~5kg, hard shelled, spiky, noxious-smelling fruit) and an unripe coconut fall on your car could only happen in my city.

My city should be featured on your cover or website because it’s the only place in the world which you can see the continuous process of physical development actually happening, while enjoying some rather developed cusine. It isn’t quite finished yet.

Photos: Fredrik Nyberg, Tim Stelzer, and Robert Wilson via the Intelligent Travel Flickr pool

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