Was looking through my records and came across this diary scrap from a media trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in early 2009. Add some photos and - bingo! - instant blog post. Hope you enjoy it...
Friday 6 February 2009
- Visit to Thean Hou, a big Taoist temple, decorated with lots of colourful figures for Chinese New year.
- Lunch at Menara KL, allegedly the fourth tallest tower in world, though a little shorter than the Petronas Towers. Revolving restaurant, choice of Malay or Western food. Lots of excellent choices involving curries, roti etc. Also desserts with a twist, like soupy durian and a creme caramel with strips of banana baked on the top.
- Visited the amazing Starlight Gallery mall on Bukit Bintang. Was sceptical at first (not being a keen shopper), but its Feast level was impressive. It's a ritzy type of food hall, borrowing the hawkers' traditions and giving them the five star treatment.
The architecture draws largely on traditional Malay designs but uses unusual perspectives and arrangements to give them a thoroughly modern look. Wandering through Feast, down defined walkways that only reveal the next eatery once you’ve passed the previous one, is like walking through an Aladdin's Cave - dimly lit, cool, full of gleaming treasure.
- Skybar at Traders Hotel, 32nd floor. Spectacular! Has an open roof so the afternoon tropical rain falls through into the swimming area. Along the side are cushioned alcoves right up against the glass windows looking across to the Petronas Towers. Had a swim, then sat in alcove with a very nice martini and a book, occasionally glancing at the view.
- Staff at the hotel have the balance just right - they’re attentive and efficient without ever seeming obsequious. Being among Malaysians makes me feel cheerful, they're generally relaxed and open people. And you can't fault the view...
Tim Richards travelled courtesy of Tourism Malaysia and Malaysia Airlines.