En route to meet a boat, I had the opportunity to visit Kuala Lumpur, the capitol of Malaysia for a couple of days.
Pretty well exhausted after 36 hours in transit, I was grateful to be delivered at 2 a.m. local time to the Hotel Majestic by my cheerful driver Vieky ( pronounced just like Vickie) . Wow. I almost never travel in high style like this, but for less than the cost of a stay at a Hampton Inn, I got to stay in this beautifully refurbished and expanded colonial beauty, originally built in 1932
|For some reason, I kept thinking of the "Hotel Grand Budapest" |
and the "Best Exotic Marigold Hotel". I had a delightful stay, even without
the charming concierges from those hotels!
|The lobby in the new wing, where I stayed.|
Leaving my immediate neighborhood in the Colonial District, I crossed over the railroad tracks and river into Chinatown, the old-fashioned market area of town where food vendors sold everything from boiled peanuts, rice mixtures roasted in banana leaves, fruit smoothies, packets of fresh sliced fruits to shoes, bags, carvings and all kinds of goods.
|The facade of the old Central Market.|
|A view from the mezzanine inside the Central Market building.|
|Some of the old colonial street fronts in the Market area|
|Fresh fruits of every description...rambutan, sugar apples and other tropical fruits.|
|The famous gate to the Chinatown shopping district. A guy offered to take my picture, |
and deftly wove through moving traffic to get this shot!
|A main street in the Jalan Petaling area.|
|Fresh fruit and veggies everywhere. It's mango season! just look at those beauties.|
|Some Buddhist monks checking out the swag.|
|The lady was cooking a layered rice and meat dish over screaming-hot charcoals|
She finished it with sprinkles of savory scallions and other greens, and some sauces.
It sure looked good. I was sorry not to be hungry at the time.
|The brightly painted front of the colorful Hindu Temple in Chinatown.|
You can smell the incense and burning flowers from the street.
|Inside the temple. There are small shrines all around the walls, too.|
|The pantheon of the Hindu gods and goddesses.|
|Ganesha the Elephant headed god.|
|A blurry shot of musicians playing a tabla drum and a kind of oboe-like horn. What a sound!!|
|The faithful buy fragrant garlands of flowers to offer at the shrines. They smell wonderful.|
|A family enjoying themselves at a temple outside the caves.|
|Hanuman, the monkey headed god who is Rama's right-hand man.|
|More of the fabulous cityscape of KL. Lush landscaping enhances it.|
|Oil nut palms reflected in a glass skyscraper.|
|My driver Vieky. I teased him that he was Batu Man driving the Batu Mobile. He cracked up.|
|After lunch and bidding Vieky farewell, I walked to the KL Botanical Gardens, the Bird park , |
and the Butterfly gardens. The rain held off and it was lush and beautiful, an oasis of quiet in this busy city.
|Tree flower at the botanical garden.|
|A butterfly landed on an Ixora flower and posed for my picture.|
| I made my way to Merdeka Square, where Malaysia formalized it's independence from Britain.|
Again, here is more fabulous architecture , old and new.
|A mosaic of the famous photo of the signing of the declaration of Independence of Malaysia.|
|Merdeka Square, lined with buses full of tourists.|
|From here I walked back to Chinatown for something to eat and to see the Chinese Temple, which was closed yesterday.|
The people in the doorway were saying their prayers.
|An incense burner inside the temple.|
|In the background of the photo above, you can see these two yellow columns, When I got close up,|
I could see that they were filled with lighted boxes containing hundreds of little statues of the Immortals. Cool!
|I have no idea who this is, but he's the main attraction.|
|I enjoyed my two days in Kuala Lumpur!|