PART 1: Kuala Lumpur
Last month we went on a little trip to Malayasia. Our main purpose was to attend a wedding, but we have to admit that the food, culture and the chance to see Orangutans and other jungle wildlife were a big draw too.
Malaysia offers an amazing mix of cultures from Malay, Chinese and Indian, to traces of the British Empire (the three pronged sockets being a minor example of these).
One example of Indian Malaysian culture is the Batu Caves, not too far from Kuala Lumpur. It consists of huge 400 million-year-old limestone caves, several Hindu temples and a whole lot of steps. There are 272 steps to be exact, which in the humid heat, are a little bit daunting. Fortunately, there are lots of little monkeys to distract you on the way up, running around on the steps, fighting and playing with each other and attempting to steal food from the odd unsuspecting tourist's bag.
For someone who is usually drawn to grey and other subdued colors, I was won over by the joyfully vibrant patterns and colours.
Here are a few snaps of the mix of architecture and general vibes around the city. KL has some of the most reasonably priced 5* hotels in the world, so you can enjoy a bit of luxury without blowing all your spending money. Food is cheap and cheerful and very varied, we ate a lot of Rendang curry (breakfast, lunch and dinner practically) but we also enjoyed some Chinese dishes in the bustling China Town market.
Have you ever tried durian? It's the king of fruits apparently, but it's definitely an acquired taste. It wasn't in season when we were there but I'm not sure if I would have been brave enough to try it straight. Instead, we opted for a chocolate durian cake experiment. Inside this rich chocolate ganache and sponge is a heavy cream centre filled with durian pulp. As soon as you cut into the cake, the unique smell hits you. Some say it smells like old socks but I found it to be kind of garlicky, rather strange in a fruit. Something about it reminded me of vine tomatoes and the custardy texture was quite confusing! Even though it was downright weird, and I could feel the garlicky smell emanating from me after, I kept going back for one more bite.
That's all from the Kuala Lumpur leg of our trip. We also scooted over to Malaysian Borneo, a short plane ride away, to see a bit of island and jungle life. I'll pick some photos out from the 1000s of monkey pics I took and post here soon