so just some pictures from KL to close out the year.
i've found that South-east Asia especially has got a rather preculiar charm to it... not least because of its relative undeveloped nature in comparison to cultural and economic giants like HK, korea and who can leave out the powerhouse Japan.
i'm just gonna do this chronologically for ease.
merdeka means 'freedom' in Malay, and mainly i found the architecture of thsi area really interesting. in a Muslim country like Malaysia, lots of religious elements are usually incorporated. in this case, the building just reminded me of the middle east.
or trying to. just one of those very many poseur photos you take, especially in front of a graffiti-covered wall in teh middle of the city.
we kinda tried our hand at f1 racing. yawn.
but of course, one of the highlights of the trip was seeing the petronas twin towers, which are the tallest twin towers in the world. they are due to be eclipsed by... the dubai tower, but since that's only under construction, KL wins for now.
doing the classic pose: "i held up the tower bridge!"
the place was absolutely crawling with tourists, and i suppose the towers were much prettier at night because of all the lights.
petronas is acutally Malaysia's state-owned petroleum company, so you can imagine why the towers are as magnificent as they are. they also house the company's HQ offices.
we got to watch an introduction to the towers in a plush theatre.... next to us are our friends from Australia and NZ. they are a couple we met at our hostel one night over drinks-- how predictable. but we all got along really well so we decided to see the towers together!
to get up to the tower bridge, one has to line up early in the morning in the hope that you are one of the first 800 people there-- becaues they give out 800 free passes a day.
and NO, you cannot buy your way up to the bridge. so here's the view of the towers close up. pretty intimidating.
more of the city.
at one of a few observation decks.
i own you.
guess who got stopped by some chinese/honkie/taiwanese/etc tourists??!?!?
i'm still not sure how to react to this bizarre event.
backstory: it took MANY attempts to get this right. the photog was a really good sport about the whole thing, thou.
in any case,
this cast iron structure really reminded me of the iwo jima one in washington, D.C. its the very famous structure where the men are raising an American flag? if you know this, good. clint eastwood would be proud. if not, erm-- google it.
this one in Malaysia was meant to commemorate the soldiers who had fought in the war of independence. (i htink). either ways, it was a war memorial, and to get there we had to climb a winding path but it was so worth it when you got to the top.
and the batu caves. the reason why we went to KL in the first place!
we debated over whether that giant buddha was gold or not...but upon closer inspection, the most it could've been was gold-plated. and even then, we didnt think it was.
it was just absolutely MASSIVE.
there were a total of 300+ steps (i think), each of them being numbered as you walked up. the steps were steep and narrow, with no rest stops.
my quads were burning but how i loved the burn. haha.
the caves were filled with many animals, from monkeys to roosters to dogs, and my personal favorite, 2 snakes. this is the second albino python i've been privileged to get acquainted with...
the maiden experience was in venice beach in cali over summer.
snakes are warm and luxurious, and not at all gross or slimy. that being said, i do acknowledge that they are an acquired taste.
and finally, we went on a cool-ass dark cave tour, where our guide let us experience TOTAL PITCH DARKNESS.
never in my life have i had that opportunity. i was frantically waving my hand right in front of my face, but to no avail. i saw nothing, and felt for once, that somehintg absolute could exist: absolute darkness.
we saw tons of creatures of the dark too.. and a cockroach castle.
i wince now even just saying that. mind you, not a nest, not a hive, a BLOODY CASTLE. when i heard those words i relly couldve just dropped dead there and then. the bats and cave forms were pretty cool though.
in other news, christmas has been a very happily busy time of seeing family and old friends. its amazing how the debauchery carries on from pre-xmas through to post-xmas, with the NYE parties coming in just in time to ride that same wave to inevitable inebriation.
have a good start to the new year everyone!