Kuala Lumpur – one of the most famous Asian cities, one of the most popular travel destinations in Asia for many, is a city I have never really learned to like, despite the fact that I have been in the city a total of five times now. I’ve always travelled to KL because it is one of the easiest destination for a quick city-break between Europe and basically any destination in SE Asia. Every single time in the city, I’ve been transiting, giving the city a few days time to win me over. But no, it has left me cold every time. I’m not saying I don’t like the city, I just do not feel it. Every time it has left me with that ”okay, but nothing special”-kinda feeling after the visit.
I was not craving to see the city again when my sister told me that she would be spending a few days in the city over new year, but as we were to travel from Myanmar to Sri Lanka anyways via KL, I thought it would not be a bad idea to spend a few days with them. And when my parents informed that they would also be joining us, I started looking forward to the few days in the city that still was not my favorite. I mean, New Year’s in KL, spending some quality time with the family in a nice hotel before continuing to Sri Lanka – sounds good to me!
It turned out that the two weeks we had already spent on the road, traveling around Myanmar, had been so intense that all I really wanted by the time we arrived in KL was to just relax. I felt like I had already seen most of the city’s major attractions, so I could afford to be a ”lousy tourist” and just take it easy. And I did. And loved every moment of it. I realized that sometimes it is good to just take it easy, chill by the pool and spend time with the others, instead of bouncing around the city, trying to squeeze in the days as many attractions and experiences as you can.
I spent a good three days doing nothing most of the time, relaxing by the pool, chatting with others, eating and drinking. I was a bad tourist even when all the others left for a visit to the twin towers and stayed at the pool – and enjoyed it to the maximum. Apparently the others had some fun too, when they were spying on me from the towers…
Despite consciously leaving the sightseeing on the background on this visit, I did manage to tour around the city a few hours each day. But again, the Mosque was nice, the shopping centers huge, and the food on the streets delicious. Still, the city left me with a bland feeling again. It was ok, but nothing more. That is, excluding one experience – the new year celebration.
As the midnight was approaching, we headed towards KLCC. I had read that the KLCC park was one of the best places to witness the New Year’s fireworks. Apparently so had also a few thousand others. When approaching the park, we soon discovered that the entry to the park was forbidden. I was confused, but followed all the others to the outskirts of the park. Soon, I discovered the reason as the show began. The park was loaded with the fireworks that were shot up on the sky during the next 15 minutes. Fireworks that left me speechless and with a sore neck the following day as I could not stop looking up in awe. This was fireworks like nothing I had seen before. 15 minutes of pure mind-blowing party on the sky. I expected a lot, but nothing like this. We got to witness the fireworks right next to where they were shot, feeling the ground shake as the sky kept exploding above us.
Once the silence fell after the show was over, all I could think of was WOW! Even if the city did not offer much to me this time, it really was worth the visit just because of this.