Feb 08 2012

Photo essay: Thaipusam 2012 at Batu Caves

Published by under Festivals

For three days every year, the Batu Caves temple complex is at the centre of Malaysia’s most extraordinary religious event — the Hindu festival of Thaipusam. On the first day, a procession wends its way from central Kuala Lumpur to the complex, which is about 15km to the north.¬†Setting off just after midnight, it takes … read the full post

Feb 07 2012

Janda Baik: A back to nature retreat from Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

It may seem strange to visitors from cooler climes, particularly those escaping from the bleakest months of the European or North American winter, but Malaysians spend much of their time trying to avoid the heat. Increasingly, people work, play and sleep in air-con. This is especially true of urban areas like Kuala Lumpur, where temperatures … read the full post

Jan 31 2012

An introduction to Malaysian English (Manglish)

Published by under Culture

One of the near universal truths of travelling is that taking the time to learn a few words of the local language easily repays the effort. Kuala Lumpur is somewhat of an exception to that rule, as apart from helping to decipher some obscure menu items, English is so widely spoken that a knowledge of … read the full post

Jan 24 2012

The Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia

It’s a bit like waiting for a bus: you hang round for ages for a major festival, and then five come along in quick succession. First up is Deepavali, then Christmas, (Western) New Year, Chinese New Year, and last but not least, Thaipusam. The latter may not be well known outside southern India, but for … read the full post

Jan 19 2012

Best beach break destinations from Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

Whatever the tourism authorities would have you believe, Malaysia does not do beach half as well as Thailand, particularly for the independent traveller. But the country does have some very attractive beach destinations,¬†such as tiny Pulau Rawa, part of the same chain of east coast islands as Pulau Tioman. Pulau Rawa is one of the … read the full post

Jan 17 2012

Getting back to nature at the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

Kuala Lumpur is a pleasingly green city, in terms of public open spaces and abundant foliage, if not in genuine eco-friendliness. But you are never far from the noise and air pollution that comes with modern urban life. Fortunately, KL has a great resource on its doorsteps where it is possible to immerse yourself in … read the full post

Jan 12 2012

Eating for a (charitable) cause in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Food

Although a well-established practice in many other southeast Asian countries, particularly Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, eateries run on charitable principles are rather thin on the ground in Kuala Lumpur. This is partly because the city has less desperately poor people than say Phnom Penh or Bangkok. It is also down to cultural attitudes towards charity. … read the full post

Jan 05 2012

Enter the dragon: Chinese (Lunar) New Year in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Festivals

No sooner is Christmas over in Kuala Lumpur than preparations start for Chinese New Year (CNY), arguably the city’s most important festival. Also known as Lunar New Year or the Spring Festival, it marks the start of the first month of the Chinese lunar calendar. Rotating cycles are used to name the year after an … read the full post

Jan 02 2012

How to extend your Malaysian tourist visa (Social Visit Pass) in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Visas

Malaysia has one of the sanest and most hassle-free tourist visa procedures in all of Asia, with most visitors being granted a free 30-to-90 day Social Visit Pass on arrival. Compare that to virtually every other country in the region, which are not only more stingy with the time they grant travellers, but also charge … read the full post

Dec 27 2011

Kuala Lumpur’s biggest scam: Discriminatory pricing for foreigners

Published by under Sightseeing & activties

It is a sad fact of travel that tourists are seen as ripe for ripping off by a dedicated band of con artists, whether that be credit card fraud, elaborate gem scams, or even fake charities. However clever these cons are, with a little bit of common sense they are perfectly avoidable. The problem with … read the full post

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