Kuala Lumpur – I'm Misty and Too Much in Love

The iconic Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur are the tallest twin towers in the world; so tall, in fact, that they can be shrouded in mist and virtually invisible if the weather is poor. Amazingly, our tour guide for Kuala Lumpur took us first to the Blue Mosque outside of the city centre using up about 20 minutes of precious time for an early photo stop. Considering how quickly the rain clouds would descend, many of us were deeply annoyed when we realised it would later be impossible to view the towers.
As Kuala Lumpur was merely a tin mining camp 150 years ago, the contrast with the modern skyscraper metropolis I visited yesterday is astonishing. When the first tin prospectors (who were most likely Chinese) went up the river to find tin – they encountered stagnant water, mud and mosquitoes which lead to most of them dying from malaria. But soldiering on, a few of the men finally survived long enough to build a camp and begin the mining.
One of my first impressions is the grey rusty look of many buildings, a result of daily showers. But it was the rush of brown water down the Klang River and the utterly torrential monsoon rains we encountered that day that made the biggest impression. A horrendous traffic jam ensued (there is virtually no public transport in KL) and it was nearly impossible to get to our designated stops in time. But the tour company tried their best.
Drenched, sputtering, everyone had to walk several minutes in the downpour to reach the National Museum. Ponchos saved the day allowing us to get to the building. The exhibits were well presented but it would have taken two hours to have a good look around, so the exercise was limited and a bit disappointing. *note to self – spend time at the museum when next in KL*
A drive by the Arabic designed railway station built by the British in the 19th century was well worth seeing. The Independence Square was blocked off and the rain prohibitive so few got to see the historic buildings there and the cricket pitch. Next time.
It was the Central Market, with shelter and handicrafts that saved the excursion. No haggling is allowed but the prices are fair and the market is vast. I bought two nicely mounted Chinese pictures for about 45MYR. Result.