Kuala Lumpur Diaries: The first few hours
It was 12.45 am when I left Bangalore for Kuala Lumpur, my eyes groggily scanning the lights below as the flight took off. Shucks, I have chipped nails, was the last thought on my mind before I dropped off to sleep. That’s how I had left for my first trip overseas, with one hand bag and one luggage where I had hastily dumped a few clothes. Chipped nails and a splitting headache came (or went to KL) free.
I woke up just as the captain of the flight announced that we shall be landing shortly. I squinted blearily through the window and saw a carpet of dark green trees below. So, the city is not all concrete, ran through my mind.
I passed through the customs fairly fast and decided to wait for Deepa, who was representing Tourism Malaysia, near a Dunkin’ Donuts at the exit. Mumbai flight had landed and soon a flurry of Bollywood stars passed me by, pushing their heavily loaded trolleys. I did tell you I had come to attend the IIFA awards, didn’t I?
I recognized some of the actors, even without make-up, and thought it would be interesting to see them perform later during my stay in KL. It was a long wait and I kept myself occupied clicking random pictures. Finally, Deepa turned up and we left for our hotel - Renaissance, Kuala Lumpur.
It was a beautiful drive from the airport and I realized that the rows of dark green trees that I had seen from my flight were palm trees. Somehow it reminded me of the highways of Karnataka where the roads were bordered by coconut and areca nut trees. Before long, I fell fast asleep and woke up only when we were about to reach the hotel. The palm trees had been replaced by tall skyscrapers and I craned my neck to take a good look at them. All of them seemed to have 40-plus floors. The highest I had been to in a building was till 32 floors, I think.
We checked into our hotel, a fine-looking, sprawling structure that was quite close to the famed twin towers, which I had briefly glimpsed through the car windows. The hotel was choc-a-bloc with IIFA crews, dancers and media persons. The mood was clearly that of high energy while all I wanted to do was to curl up in a bed and go to sleep.
I was given a room in the west wing of the hotel and although a tad disappointed, (east wing had a beautiful, unhindered view of the twin towers) I lugged my baggage towards the 6th floor. The room was a good sized one and I parted the curtains to let daylight in. Since I had been deprived of a view of the twin towers from my room I did not expect much. But the view that greeted me gladdened me to the core. For, it was another key landmark of the city (besides the twin towers) – Menara Kuala Lumpur, aka Kuala Lumpur Tower.
The KL Tower is the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world. The tower has a stairwell and an elevator to reach the upper area, which also contains a revolving restaurant, providing diners with a panoramic view of the city. Races are held annually, where participants race up the stairs to the top. The tower also acts as the Islamic falak observatory to observe the crescent moon which marks several holy periods of the Muslims.
I had planned to take a better picture of the tower during my stay but you know what they say about procrastination, don’t you? Thankfully, I took a night picture of the tower just when the lights had changed to a shade of pink from a brilliant green. Yes, the lights on the tower keep on changing from time to time. Beautiful sight to behold. I had a good view, after all.
And with that, let’s draw the curtains to our story. We shall continue with it in my next post. I have so much to share!
PS: I had won an all-expenses paid trip to Kuala Lumpur, courtesy Tourism Malaysia and BlogAdda.