Kuala Lumpur – Aiming for Knowledge driven Economy

The Southeast Asian country of Malaysia is occupying the Malaysian Peninsula and a part of the island of Borneo. The country is known for its beaches, rain forests, mountains and a mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian influence. Kuala Lumpur is both the economic and political capital of the country. Home to old colonial buildings in China town, the busy shopping district in Bukit Bintang and skyscrapers like Petronas Twin Towers around KLCC. All over town, you can find mosques and temples representing the Islamic, Buddhist and Hindu religions.

 

KL is an important city in Asia. Ranked as number 32 in the 2016 ICT list, this modern metropole will be at the forefront of the next generation of advances in science and technology. The government is working towards their 2020 vision of being a knowledge-driven economy. The shift from a developing country to a producer of knowledge is giving the population a better education and possibilities for a brighter future through introducing the inhabitants to the importance of science and technology. The Government works to foster academia-industry cooperation and commercialization of innovations. If you are in KL next week, February 16th – 18th 2017, you can experience one of these events linking universities, innovation, business, and commercialisation at Malaysia technology expo http://www.mte.org.my/index.php

The best way of getting around town is to use the sky train, called Monorail and the subway, RapidKL. This monorail starts from KL central, where you enter the city from the airport by express train. From the Monorail, you can reach many of the places you would want to visit in KL, and you can shift to the RapidKL subway from several stops when you need to go in other directions.

Kuala Lumpur is a great city with many facets. Downtown or the city center is the old part of town and where you find China Town and central marked. The best Monorail stop would be Maharajalela by the stadium. You will come up Jalan Petaling street towards the entrance of China town marked after a five-minute walk. This is a huge marked, a fake heaven of Gucci, Prada, and the likes in most of the stalls selling merchandise. Try the snacks they make in the food stalls like Chinese pancakes with peanut something filling, fried bananas or bean filled dumplings. It is all really good.

From Chinatown, it is a short stroll to reach Central Marked, with some of the same bags and clothes but also more arts and crafts, and accessories inside an air-conditioned building. A nice cool break from the heat. If you look straight ahead from the entrance of the central marked, you will see a subway station one floor over the city. Walk up the stairs and follow the connection bridges to go to the old Central station. Here you can buy tickets to the commuter train to Batu Caves for  RM5 one way. The train takes about 30 minutes to Batu Caves, and you arrive at the entrance. Get your palms read going through the salespeople to enter the road that leads to the cave stairs and the big golden Buddha. Be sure to not have any food in your bags. The monkeys will smell it and attack your bag to get to it. Take your pictures from the top of the stairway to the caves and go in and check it out. One hour is enough time here. Head back to town the same way but buy a ticket to KL central at Rm5.50 and stop by the roof terrace of Aloft hotel for a cocktail and watch the sunset, before taking the Monorail or RapidKL to your next destination.

If you stop at the old central station on your way back, you can follow the connection bridges over and under the road for about 10 minutes and reach the National mosque. You can see the turquoise zigzag roof from the connection bridge by the station. You must put on a hijab if you are a girl and cover your body with a robe. It is free to borrow and the entrance is free too. I felt like I was in a masquerade wearing a Muslim costume, so we tried to suppress the giggles out of respect and enjoyed the architecture and symbols making the mosque. Across the street, you can see the old mosque, Aljazeera headquarters in Asia, and just up the hill, the planetarium is located if you are into stargazing.

Bukit Bintang is the heart of the city. This is where you find the hawker food, Chinese style in Alor Jalan, and the party street with all kind of bars in Jalan Ceylon and Lorong Ceylon. If you get off the sky train at Bukit Bintang you have all the malls to your right. Check out the food court in the basement of lot10. It is a combination of a supermarket and restaurants and they cook what you pick in the shelves. When you get to Sephora on the main street, walk over the zebra crossing and enter Pavillion where it says connection bridge. You will then go through an area of restaurants cafes and bars from all corners of the world and end up on the first connection bridge. You can walk all the way to KLCC on these air-conditioned bridges above the city.

The aquarium is in the first building you get to when you get off the connection bridge. Going through this building you will find lots of food stalls and get out in the KLCC park on the other side. Once you reach KLCC park, walk over to see the Petronas towers. Walk through the shopping mall to get to the lobby before you go one floor down to buy tickets to the Petronas bridge walk. You get great views of the building from the park and from the front of the buildings. Before you leave, check out the view from Trader hotels sky bar.

From the front of the towers, walk right and enter the mall where you see a big H&M store. The subway station is in the basement. Take the Rapid KL subway from KLCC to Masjid Jamek station. Walk over to the Masjid Jamek Mosque and see this beautiful piece of architecture from 1909. It is one of the oldest mosques in KL. Cross the river to Jalan Raja to see the Sultan Abdul Sama building with beautiful copper towers and a clock tower. The open square across the street is Merdeka square. This is the independence square, where the Malay flag was raised for the first time august 31, 1957.

From a nomad’s perspective, this is a great city to stay in. They have several coworking spaces and great coffee shops with Wi-Fi that can double as an office. Malaysia’s capital is a study in Architecture, religions, shopping, and food from all over the world. The infrastructure makes the city easy to get around and Wi-Fi hotspots are available throughout the city. If you have some extra time and love views and rooftop bars I would recommend you visit the KL Towers and Heli Lounge Bar. Both accessible from the Raja Chulan Monorail stop.

 

 

 

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Norwegian Nomad

Norwegian Nomad

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