I kept this diary of things we have done in Singapore for 2 years. I have now moved some of it to other travel pages but you can still find links to many of our activities here. I have also created a reading list of books we have read about the region.

Western Japan

Birds in Singapore

Kuala Lumpur stopover

Thai Diving

Singapore Liveaboard

Local Residents

Beijing Summer

Diving with Sharks

Shanghai Heatwave

Taiwan Tourists

An Indian week

Where U bin?

Island hideaway

Steamy running

A Trip to the Zoo

Gardens by the Bay


Singapore walks

Mind the bus

Flower power


Early weeks


Vicky's Blog


Petronas TowersI have visited Malaysia a few times but never been to the capital. As I am working Wednesday to Friday in KL this week and Vicky is in London I decide to stay on over the weekend to do some exploring. But what is there to do in KL? I (unhelpfully) leave an FT article in Singapore so arrive with only my South East Asia Footprint guide which has very little info - a hint perhaps.

The first thing you discover is that KL is very spread out. We were working in Petaling Jaya, a neighbouring business district. I have booked into a trendy hotel (Aloft) in KL Central (or Sentral in Malay) above the main railway station but it turns out that the main attractions are spread all over the place.

Admin buildingFirst outing is to the Golden Triangle for dinner. Lots of restaurants in huge malls, rather like Orchard Road in Singapore. The next morning I head for Merdeka (Independence) Square. Sadly they are renovating the green (and cricket pitch) but there are still several great examples of the Moorish/Moghul architecture favoured by the late Victorians like the Sultan Abdul Samad building (right), which once housed the British colonial administration and is now the Ministry of Tourism. Other buildings in the same style include the old railway station and the headquarters of Malaysian railways (KTM). From the square you can walk into Chinatown and the Central Market - now full of tourist stuff.

Street marketMalaysia is a great mix of cultures. The streets are a mixture of Malay, in their headscarfs and colourful clothes, Chinese and Indians. I am told that many of the jobs and university places are easier for the Malays to get but this hasn't stopped the Chinese taking many of the higher paid private sector jobs or the Indians dominating construction and engineering. The food is the same with places selling Nasi Lemak next door to Indian curry houses and Chinese restaurants. No wonder KL is famous for great places to eat.

CanalOther points of interest include the inevitable visit to KLCC to see the enormous Petronas Towers. I can't go up them because the day's visits are sold out already. Book online if you want to go! Some great grafitti along the rather miserable river bank - KL's two rivers are enclosed as rather grimy canals - reminds me of the Grand Union Canal in London. Smelly too! Good meals including Malay, Indian and Italian meals out. And to keep Tommy happy I stop at a bar on Saturday night to watch Liverpool beating Arsenal 5:1. What a great result. The CFO I met on Friday is also a great Liverpool fan!

I am glad that I visited but next time I have some free time in Malaysia I will head for Penang or Ipoh or perhaps the highlands. Check out the slideshow below for more shots of KL...