Around the World 9 Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur

January 13th
We spent a lazy morning walking a little, checking e-mail and then getting to the airport. I had heard that Air Asia could be late or cancel flights so when our flight was first delyaed, I wasn’t surprised. When it became three hours worth of delay, I was realy upset. It turned out that the Thai air force was practicing in Bangkok, our destination, for an air show and it closed the air space around the airport. Then, when we finally got on our way, we had to circle the Bangkok airport for thirty minutes because there was such a back log of planes waiting to land. So, there went our evening in Bangkok.
Our hotel, the Swissotel le Concorde (just taken over by Raffles) was huge and very grand. We had a buffet dinner downstairs that looked better than it tasted. We decided to never again eat a buffet meal, other than breakfast, as it is almost always disappointing. There is something about food sitting over heat for a long time that takes the taste out. After a drink in the bar with some music we were in bed for our six AM wake-up call. I didn’t see much of the area that the hotel was in but it looked rather industrial but there was a huge Carrefour down the street. There is usually a little security at hotels but this is the first one I’ve ever been to where the underneath of the car, even a taxi, is checked with a mirror.
January 14th
Up early to the airport. being a Saturday morning, we didn’t need to pay for the toll road as traffic was light. As we approached the airport the fog was very thick and low on the ground leading me to wonder if we will take off on time. Sure enough, I was right. We were about an hour late, probably because of the fog. We took a train into what is called Central Market in Kuala Lumpur (I will now call it KL), then a taxi to our hotel. KL looks very clean and very modern with skyscrapers everywhere although there are colonial style buildings left here from when it was an English colony. It got its independence in 1957. we are staying at the Crown Plaza which is very nice and we have a huge corner room. It started pouring rain in the afternoon and, being on the 23rd floor, we seemed to be close to the thunder and lightening. The temperatures are very high-90’s-as is the humidity. As it stopped raining, we headed for a lively part of the city with malls everywhere. In this heat it seems a good idea as they have a/c. We found in internet cafe, had a drink and were back to the hotel and in bed early.

The flag of Malaysia resembling the American flag, I thought.

One of the Colonial buildings left from English rule.

Malaysia is famous for these towers, once the highest in the world and seen in a movie where the hero and heroine in a bank heist, were hanging from the bridge connecting the two. Most on these towers later.

The gate to the China Town there which, in my opinion, was the most interesting, real, non-western place in the city. KL is so modern and western that it doesn’t have it’s own “feel”. The Muslims are in the majority here and they don’t build the type of temples that this tourist likes to see and visit as in Thailand. I was disappointed, on the whole, in Malaysia.