Saturday, April 28, 2007

Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands

Spent 3 days in Kuala Lumpur after Melaka. I didn't expect to spend as much time there as I did, but it is a fun city and I liked it a lot. Some really nice architecture, people were friendly, and a relatively laidback backpacker area near chinatown where I kept bumping into and hanging out with people I'd met in Thailand. I spent a day wandering around Chinatown which is basically a large fake clothes & other crap market. Partied the first night, and quickly realized the bar prices are as high as the US due to high Malaysian sin taxes...spent all the cash I had on watered down drinks without realizing how fast it was going.

Next day I wandered around Little India had a nice India set meal for lunch and checked out the indian market, which was a lot more tame than the Chinatown one. Took it easy that night and hung out with a couple people I met the night before, ended up having a long conversation about the of many I've had on this trip. People don't hold anything against me personally, but of course everyone hates the US right now.

On the third day I went on a mission for my dad's uncle wanted me to check out the Kuala Lumpur wholesale fruit market and report back what companies were there. So I asked a fruit vendor on the street and after getting a malaysian waiter to translate for me found out where it is located, which is a few blocks away from a huge malaysian market, Chowket Market...took a taxi there and enjoyed the familiar asian market smell of fresh fruit mixed with freshly butchered beef/chicken and both recently beheaded and still flopping fish and squid. I actually love these markets, but this was not the wholesale market...asked a vendor in the market where that is and he pointed me across the street. Mosied over there and found myself in not just the wholesale fruit market, but also KL's red light district. I took a couple pictures of the fruit companies and soon had hookers standing in doorways going "psst" at me, whistling at me, and calling me from every direction. Walked down another street and a man grabbed my arm and started dragging me to his brothel "come on, sex, massage, beautiful ladies, 20 ringgit (~$6), come come come" I said no but he wouldn't let go of my arm...really had a grip. After a a full minute of arguing with him he finally let go. So I got out of that area pretty quickly and took a cab back to chinatown.

Yesterday I took a bus up to the Cameron Highlands, a mixture of jungle covered mountains and farms. Very pretty here and much cooler than KL, which is a big plus. Checked out a scenic tea plantation today and plan on doing some hiking along the mountains tomorrow.


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