It was a hard act that Kuala Lumpur had to follow, coming as it did straight after Singapore. You can see that it’s trying hard with its impressive Petronas Towers, which until recently were the highest in the world, and clutch of new buildings. It has a long way to go, though. The centre of Kuala Lumpur, known as KLCC, has been dubbed Kuala Lumpur Continuously Constructing for good reason. You can barely walk down a pavement without having to negotiate a mound of rubble or the scaffolding of yet another new edifice, while dodging the traffic, which is so congested that it makes travelling around the city, and indeed outside it, prohibitive to those short of time.
The bus service is clean, efficient and free, but the same can’t be said for the rudimentary train service, which is definitely due for an overhaul, as is what’s known as the Golden Triangle – a hodge-podge of dilapidated shops and stalls, and the Central Market which once used to purvey wet goods like fish and meat but is now just another conglomeration of stalls selling cheap clothes, food and tourist trinkets. Perhaps I’m being unfair about the latter, but having waded through so many of these at almost every port, what might have looked interesting to begin with is now getting tedious. I suppose It’s inevitable after three months of tourist shopping. Had we just arrived only here, we might have been happy to hunt for bargains. But in this heat, I just can’t bear to look at one more fridge magnet or T-shirt