Kuala Lumpur: Saving the best for last

December 18: Today we spent the entire day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. What a fab city. We had to ride an hour each way from the cruise pier in Port Klang and it was well worth the trip. We just had a really great day. What a superb way to end a cruise.

We started with a great city, Dubai, and ended with Kuala Lumpur. What a creative itinerary. (Yes, yes, we actually end in Singapore, another of Asia’s great cities, but Chet and I are going to spend so little time there that I can hardly consider it.)

Tomorrow we dock in Singapore around 1 p.m. This gives us the morning to pack, which is a good thing. Wonder if Chet and I will still be speaking after that ordeal? Packing is something I prefer to do alone. I have been doing this for years and I am very methodical, but Chet likes to “supervise” and criticizes most everything I do. Oh well, I guess that’s why we love each other…fortitude.

I knew Kuala Lumpur was a growing city but I was expecting something a bit more like Dubai…skyscrapers everywhere. But it is not that at all. It has a lovely old city, several lovely temples and still reflects its British past and yet…has a personality all its own.

It has the third-tallest building(s) in the world…the twin towers, and they are impressive, but once you’ve been to the top of the Burj Kalifa in Dubai, this tall building business gets old. But the financial district…which has most of the new skyscrapers…is not to far from the old city so visiting here is quite manageable.

What I really loved, shopper that I am, was the Central Market. This market goes all the way back to 1888 and used to be a “wet market,” that is, it used to have food, fish and everything else a city market had, in outside stalls…meaning hot and smelly. Today’s market is a wonder…inside, air-conditioned and filled with boutiques which are selling all of the items that we girls have been trying to find throughout this entire trip

After visiting countless markets on this trip…most selling fruits, veggies, chicken, fish, candies and whatever…this one was just special because it was so upscale. Call me a snob: I loved it. I know this sounds silly, but I could have spent hours here. (One of the husbands observed, “We have already spent hours here…” and that was after 45 minutes.)

We had lunch at the Federal Hotel and the buffet featured everything from dim sum and sushi to exotic dishes I could not pronounce. The desserts were a multicolor array and very tasty. (It is definitely back to the diet after this trip.) Then we visited a pewter factory which was not nearly as interesting as the cashew processing plant that we visited way back in Mangalore. Maybe it is because the women were so lovely and friendly there.

Overall, this was the best shore excursion that we did on this trip. Our guide, Billy, was great!

Dec. 19: Have finished packing and am wrapping up this blog post. We will go into Singapore for a few hours this afternoon, then have an early dinner and a short sleep before we head to the airport at 2:30 a.m. We fly back to Los Angeles via Tokyo on a 5 a.m. flight.

About Cynthia Boal Janssens

Cynthia Boal Janssens is the editor and chief blogger for AllThingsCruise.com. She is a former national president of the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). She has sailed on over 40 cruises all over the world.

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