Back in Kuala Lumpur

It’s weird to actually return to a place.

After a fond farewell to Tanah Rata and the rest of the Cameron Highlands, Indi and I boarded a bus bound for our final stop in Malaysia. Returning to Kuala Lumpur was always in the cards, as our first visit left so much unexplored territory. We are once again staying at Alex’s Guesthouse – one of the best places we’ve experienced in our travels. As you may recall, Alex is a kind-natured Indian fellow with a booming voice and a keen interest in hospitality. This time is no different.

As we got settled and talked to Alex about our Malaysian Adventures, he asked if we’d be interested in going to Putrajaya with him. Putrajaya is a new city about 30km from Kuala Lumpur. By ‘new city’ I mean that in every sense of the phrase. In 1995, the Prime Minister decided that the government center needed to be moved from congested Kuala Lumpur (KL) and commissioned this entire city be built. Most buildings are 2000 or newer construction. As a fan of architecture in general, I was eager to take Alex up on his offer.

I’m so glad I did. After a 30 minute car ride, we arrived in the unassuming city of Putrajaya. We were dropped off near the Prime Minister’s Palace and waited to take a river boat ride, which didn’t get started for an hour. Next door to the Prime Minister’s place is the Putra Mosque, the primary mosque for the city. It is beautifully crafted and it’s obvious that a lot of attention went into it’s design. Once 10 AM rolled around, we boarded a boat (we were the only passengers) and toured a few of the fabulous bridges built for symbolic purposes down the river. Some are even in honor of bridges in other parts of the world like Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Once our too-short tour was over, we took a long walk down the main street. All of the buildings are fancifully constructed, and as we later learned the Prime Minister insisted that all buildings be different from one another with their own architechtural flair. We also quickly noticed there were no restaurants; the few cafes we saw were closed since Ramadan just started. I was able to distract my hunger by frequently gawking at the modern design, though.

A few hours later, we were back in KL and napped happily. Tonight we work up a loose schedule of sorts so we don’t miss out on what we want to do this time.

Oh, and monsoon season has officially started. Been raining a lot. Indi’s poor Teva shoes got peat moss’d back in the Cameron Highlands and haven’t had an adequate chance to dry out. Any suggestions on properly drying waterproof shoes?

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