Monday, September 17, 2007

twin towers and tremendous cheese ...

We arrived in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to the aftermath of the 50th anniversary celebrations of their Merdeka (or independence to me and you).

Of course it had only been a warm up for the main event of the week - Mel's birthday. They'd left the bunting out for us.

So for the first time in a long while we treated ourselves to some 4-star luxury with a 21st floor room in the Renaissance Hotel, complete with picture postcard view of the Petronas Towers.

KL is a very unique place indeed. It's a mix of 3 distinct ethnic groups - Malay, Chinese and Indians - so during an average walk down the street you'll see the locals wearing either burhka's, sari's or miniskirts - it all seems a bit incongruous at first, but you get used to it.

We visited the Petronas Towers skydeck for fantastic views of the city. It's free to get in - the only cost being the 7-minute Petronas promotional video you have to watch before taking the elavator up there. Like all good corporate video's they decided to shoot it in 3D (?) - but unless you're into 3D petrol pumps it's a fairly tedious experience.

The real highlight was the birthday meal at Carcosa Sri Negara - the former mansion of the British General to Malaysia - a superb colonial building now converted into a luxury hotel that caters to the likes of HRH Elizabeth II and Prince Phillip.

A recurring theme amongst our conversations with other Europeans in Asia is how much we all miss decent cheese and wine. Just for once, in the award-winning French restaurant that evening we were able to take advantage of the very best in both.

After all, if it's good enough for the Queen ...

1 comment:

Kaz said...

While you are in the KL area, try a trip to Bangsar, a suburb of KL, and go to Devi's. It's a locals' place, scrummy food and silly prices. The Nescafe Tarik is fabulous and the Tea Tarik is addictive. Try Kuantan on the east coast - there is a Hilton on the beach, again, silly money. Also Tasek Chini is beautiful and you can go to an elephant sanctuary on the way and ride an elephant into the river. I do envy you out there, whatever you do. Kaz