03 Jun Travel Edit: Explore Malaysia in 2 days
Kuala Lumpur in a hurry!
Business travellers do not have the privilege of time to explore a country they are visiting.
I recently visited Kuala Lumpur for one week; looking forward to a hectic business trip: with meetings, a fashion show and my talk at AIFW. However, I always allow at least a day to explore the country I am visiting and make sure to invest my evenings in absorbing the culture and cuisine.
Barjis 1st impressions
1.It’s so quiet at the airport, don’t people talk?
2. Wow I feel tall here! For the first time in my life, I did not feel short. This really boosted my confidence and gave me the permission to keep the heels in the suitcase.
3.Then it is the rain – I thought I left that behind in LONDON!. To my disappointment, it rained quite frequently, but the rain felt different and like the monsoon in Karachi – I actually wanted to get wet and dance in the rain. The fresh earthly smell with the warmth makes you fall in love with the rain!
4.The sense of order, everything is organised meticulously: the prayer mats in the prayer area in the mosques – neatly folded by everyone who uses them, the fleet of lorries parked outside, to the day to day running of the city. Very impressive!
5. Finally.. if you are a Nandos lover ( like myself), it’s the best in the world! But make sure to shout out Nandos every few minutes (strict orders from the staff!).
Where we stayed.
Where to go if you are short on time.
If you are a busy bee like me then it is worth visiting the Iron Mosque (Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin Mosque); the 13 metre high glass panel is imported from Germany . Putra Mosque – walking distance in Putrajaya. The Prime Ministers office is also located nearby. Visit the KLCC to the PETRONAS Towers and China Town for bargains.
A little history of Malaysia.
Malaysia has become one of Asia’s fastest – growing economies, improving traditional industries such as rubber production and developing new ones such as electronics. It is a country of contrasts, in East Malaysia, the indigenous peoples still live in the forests, while in West Malaysia cities provide very modern lifestyles. The different peoples of Malaysia are: ethnic Malays,Chinese,Indians and tribes. This is why there is a huge choice of cuisines. Malays are called Bumiputera and their official language is Bahasa Melayu.
Independence was gained from Britain in 1963, the official religion is Islam. Malays make up half of the population and they hold a position of advantage in Malaysian society. In 1965 Singapore separated from Malaysia. As most of the population of Singapore were Chinese, they did not want to be ruled by Malays. Malays also feared the influence of Singapore because of it’s high Chinese population. The split therefore benefited both Singapore and Malaysia.
If you have an extra day or two, visit the British colonial – era KL Railway Station, Sultan Abdul Samad Building; a late nineteenth century building and the magnificent Batu Caves. The cave is one of the most popular Hindushrines outside India and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. These are on my wish list when I next visit Kuala Lumpur in September. I have been invited to speak at the Annual OIC World Muslim Business Summit in Kuala Lumpur from 18th -20th September 2017. Looking forward to visiting this amazing country again!