I landed at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport early in the morning and Payal was there to pick me up. I was slightly cranky because I couldn't really sleep on the flight, probably because of how excited I was. And then I was told that it was an hour-long drive to the city centre. But, the roads, the scenery and the music elevated my mood. Of course, my first impression was that the city is so clean and proper unlike any in India but when we entered the city centre, I felt like a kid in a candy store. I watched the city speed past me and I couldn't help but be a little more excited than before. So much so that when we reached, I wanted to head out and explore! My over-enthusiastic self probably surprised Payal and her family. But very patiently, she took me shopping that evening. It was all so cheap and affordable that I wanted everything! No, really. Malaysia is so cheap in comparison to India that my shopping spree didn't burn a hole in my pocket!
In a place like Kuala Lumpur, there is so much to do that I didn't know where to start. I was going to be in Malaysia for about 20 days so, that night, Payal and I roughly planned out our itinerary. It was only my first day but I couldn't have been anymore excited than I already was.
Malaysia has a mixed population of Indians, Chinese and the locals, Malays. The people of Malaysia are extremely sweet and hospitable. Even when I walked down a street, clicking pictures and just taking in the place, I didn't feel like a tourist even once (except of course at tourist sites where you have to pay a little more). What was most intriguing was the fact that I heard Bollywood music in taxis, cars, shops and other public places. Even Payal's mother very carefully put together two CDs of Bollywood songs and that was her way of missing India, I guess. How sweet, no?
Three and the most important dishes you must try when in Malaysia are the Nasi Lemak, Chicken Satay and Kway Teow. Nasi Lemak is considered the national dish of Malaysia. It is a rice dish cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaf. However the Chicken Satay and Kway Teow were two of my personal favourites! These two are otherwise famous in Thailand, Indonesia and the other Southeast Asian countries. Another food I was told to taste was the Durian fruit which is again, a popular delicacy in Malaysia. However, the smell of the fruit made me want to run away so I never got to trying it but if you have the courage to, please do and let me know the experience!
Must visit Restaurants/Cafes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
Papa Rich - Best known for Malaysian desserts, Chendol and Sago-gula-melaka.
Secret Recipe - Head to Secret Recipe for the best Tom Yum Seafood Soup and best cheesecakes in the whole world! The blueberry cheesecake and Tiramisu are for the win!!
Sin Ling Kee Restaurant - This restaurant is in Petaling Jaya. It's It serves the best combination of prawn curry, steamed bun and Tiger beer! It was truly one of the best meals I relished in Malaysia.
Aunty Annie's - Throughout my trip to Malaysia, I lived on the Pretzels from Aunty Annie's and terribly miss them here in India. Try their Cinnamon Sugar Pretzel and Pepperoni Pizza Pretzel, and you will be sure to love them!