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Kuala Lumpur, 2016

I remembered that I once considered of Kuala Lumpur (KL), the capital of Malaysia, as one of my travel destinations in 2010, which was six years from now. At that time I just searched in Google to see what I could go in the city, and I made a conclusion that 'KL is like Singapore and there is nothing special for me blah blah blah' so I didn't go there but the other places.

Starting from the following year I began to travel in Malaysia, and I had already been to Penang (for twice), Melaka and Kuching but not KL. 

Is KL not a good place to travel? A local I met in Taipei said so.

How is KL for me actually? I realize that the best answer is from my real experience. Neither from Google nor the others.

That is why I finally visited KL last month (January 2016), together with northern Thailand!

2010年曾有打算去馬來西亞首都吉隆坡的念頭,但是因為當年以Google搜尋結果為建立印象的準則:吉隆坡像新加坡而沒什麼特別。翌年我開始去馬來西亞旅行,幾乎每年都有到訪這國家:檳城、馬六甲、古晉,偏偏沒有吉隆坡。吉隆坡旅行真的不是好提議嗎?有一位我在台北遇到的在地人說是。為我而言呢?是否親身經歷才是最佳答案?於是在一月遊泰國北部後,順道拜訪這城市才回家。

Traffic | 路面狀況

I usually walk and even ride a bicycle in a city, and so I have deep impression on the road of every place. In Kuala Lumpur, crossing the road is somehow a nightmare! They do have traffic lights for pedestrians, but there are not many and they are always unreliable. I discovered that there is a traffic light near to Masjid Jamek subway station which NEVER turns green! People end up in crossing anywhere when the road has less vehicles at that moment. This is not only the case in old areas, but also in newly developed commercial and residential districts which still lack a friendly road system for pedestrians and cyclists.

在一個城市裡我通常走路甚至騎單車,所以對每個地方的路面狀況尤為深刻。在吉隆坡,過馬路是惡夢,因為那邊的行人路燈不多,且不可靠。在Masjid Jamek鐵路車站附近,我發現有一個行人路燈居然從沒轉綠燈。最後只有趁車少的時候過馬路。這個情況不只是在舊區,新發展區也一樣欠缺對行人甚至單車使用者友善的道路設施。

 

Lunar New Year | 農曆新年

Chinese are one of the major population in KL, and they have great consumption power. I went to the city before the Lunar New Year, and every shopping centre does have decorations related to the Chinese New Year, which is believed to attract a large amount of Chinese to visit them for shopping. There are also shops selling lanterns and flowers for people to celebrate their own festival.

It seems that the festival atmosphere of Chinese New Year in KL is much stronger than that in Hong Kong, at least in terms of the related decorations in shopping plazas.

吉隆坡這個城市有不少華人,他們也有很高的消費能力。在到訪該城市時是農曆新年前,已經有很多商場有了相關佈置,相信是為了吸引華人前來購物吧!在街道也見到不少商店在賣農曆新年相關的燈籠和鮮花。

似乎在吉隆坡的新年氣氛,比香港還要濃厚,如果後購物廣場的佈置來看。

 

Street food | 街邊小吃

When I visited different cities in Malaysia I could always enjoy various kinds of street food. But in KL there are much less hawkers on the streets. You may find them in Chinatown and Jalan Alor, but the new soho and commercial districts usually don't have space for the street food.

馬來西亞本來有很多街邊小吃,它們的食物很多都不錯吃。不過在吉隆坡,路邊檔似乎就很少了,似乎只有在茨廠街和阿羅街較多。新的發展區就沒有留下空間讓給他們了!

 

Old buildings or heritage | 舊建築

There are not many old buildings or heritages in the city when compared to other cities like Penang. Some of them I saw have become ruins and I am afraid they will be all demolished when I come to KL again.

不像檳城般,這裡舊建築很少,即使有,有部分是廢墟,恐怕日後再來吉隆坡時已經被拆掉。

 

Transport | 交通

The transport system in the metropolitan is comprehensive. There are subways, trains and buses covering most areas of the city, while you can choose free city shuttles in downtown.

However I was shock when I still saw many bus stops without the relevant signs and information. I know this is a common phenomenon in the whole country, but I don't expect the capital does have this problem. The problem is that the bus stops' locations are already fixed, and you can't get on anywhere you like (they will never stop for you).

I also had an interesting observation that some drivers like using smartphones or tablets for social media and videos. In Penang I saw one checked Facebook when the bus stopped at red light. In KL I saw a subway driver watched videos while driving!

市內交通網絡完善,除了鐵路和巴士還有免費車穿梭市中心。不過「軟件」或是設計方面卻有待改善,巴士站沒站牌或相關資訊提示人們,已是馬來西亞常見的情況,想不到在首都仍屢見不鮮。遊客以為沿途一直沒巴士站,或是以為有些路段可以像香港小巴隨意上落,但原來錯了是有固定位置,究竟在哪裡呢?

我也發現在馬來西亞,有些司機喜愛玩手機,有次在檳城看到有個在停車時看Facebook,這次則看到有名鐵路員行車時看影片!

 

New towns | 新發展區

It seems that there are so many new towns for residential and commercial uses. Their architectures are stunning, and the gardens are so nice.

這裡似乎也很多新發展區,有很多很吸引的建築物和花園。

 

Cafe | 咖啡店

There are lots of coffee shops and it is easy to find one you like. See so many customers bring their laptops and order a cup of latte. They are not all Malaysians but many of them are from all over the world. KL is really an international city!

咖啡店有不少,總有一間讓自己喜歡。很多人帶自己的電腦前來店內工作,當中有不少人是外國人。吉隆坡無疑是國際城市。

 

Climate | 氣候

It's too hot to walk in the sun during the afternoon, but I feel comfortable if I go out in the early morning and at night. The city with modern architectures mainly does not have so much shade for one to cool down outdoors, and force people to stay inside with air conditioning. Almost every day afternoon I was in a cafe enjoying the delicious flat white and doing some sketching.

在下午陽光猛烈下步行是最辛苦的,但晨早和晚間不會太熱。現代化城市建築設計沒有考慮室外的遮陰空間,迫使人們要逗留在冷氣的室內。下午天最好就是在咖啡店喝Flat White或是畫畫。


Kuala Lumpur is a modernized international city. Kuala Lumpur City Gallery told visitors that there will be more high-rise buildings and trees, which may imply that the city is going towards a giant garden.

It may not be as attractive as other cities like Penang, Chiang Mai and Bangkok, while it is not that boring and 'there is nothing to do' as some people said. If you still think it's a place bridging other parts of Malaysia, try to stay one or two more days to wander around and see.

I have created two guides about KL in Townske, a travel social media with guides and places of different cities. Hope they can give you more ideas about Kuala Lumpur:

View Kuala Lumpur

Eat, Stay, See In Kuala Lumpur

 

吉隆坡是一個現代化的國際都會。吉隆坡的Kuala Lumpur City Gallery告訴到訪者,這個城市將會有更多的高樓大廈和樹木,是要變成花園城市嗎?

吉隆坡未必像檳城、清邁和曼谷一樣吸引,但不代表它是沉悶。如果你仍覺得它只是作為連接其他馬來西亞城市的中轉站,不如試著給自己多一兩天去探索一下。

最後,我也在一個名為Townske的旅行app中上載了兩個吉隆坡旅遊指南,希望它們可以給予更多有關吉隆坡旅遊的靈感(只限英文):

View Kuala Lumpur

Eat, Stay, See In Kuala Lumpur