Kuala Lumpur – March 2011
Kuala Lumpur was the first leg of my first trip to South East Asia, and although I didn’t love it think it could be a really great city to visit. I think going to any part of SEA is always going to involve culture shock on some level, and although KL is a fairly modern city it is still in a developing country. I have come to realise that although you can live in a multicultural city like Melbourne and eat a selection of food from all around the world, it is always going to be a different and probably westernised version of that dish. Unfortunately I discovered that while I love Malaysian food in Melbourne, traditional Malaysian food is quite different. Traditional Malaysian food tends to be quite fishy and very tangy, it’s certainly an acquired taste. Although I feel I am now much better at trying new food and mostly liking it, I still don’t love the Asam style of cooking.
Anchovies are a predominant flavour in Asam dishes, and they are the last thing I still won’t eat. Anyway – KL. Myself and my BF at the time caught the train into the city and found our way to our hotel, dropped our bags and went searching for the Chinese markets. We bought some knock off clothes, ate some delicious mango with chilli, and wandered past some folks getting some rudimentary ear cleaning in the back streets of the market.
We were only in the city for one night and although I didn’t love it I think I might enjoy it better a second time around if I planned the day a bit better. I find that you will have a great time anywhere you go in the world if you loosely plan your day around where you want to eat.
Being in a city that is supposed to have amazing food and having nothing but an endless procession of average meals is incredibly frustrating. I followed this rule on my next trip to Europe and it greatly improved my experience.
KL isn’t my favourite place on earth but I think that if you plan it right you could have a really great time.