Nov 18 2011

A temple tour of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown

Published by under Sightseeing & activties

The early story of Kuala Lumpur is essentially the history of the area now known as Chinatown. It was here that a rough-and-ready tin mining settlement gradually became a proper town. Even today, Chinatown retains probably the strongest sense of living history of any district in KL. A great way to get an idea of … read the full post

Nov 17 2011

The Penang Island Jazz Festival 2011

Published by under Events

It seems to be an unspoken rule of music festivals in Malaysia that all the best ones are held on islands. The state of Sarawak, in Borneo, plays host to both Borneo Jazz (formerly known as Miri Jazz) and the Rainforest World Music Festival, while the inaugural Langkawi Live was held earlier this month (November … read the full post

Nov 13 2011

Kuala Lumpur hostel Reggae Mansion’s controversial guest policy

Published by under Accommodation

To succeed, all businesses must identify who their target market is. For a hotel or guesthouse, that means deciding who the likely clientele will be. Often the whole business strategy is based around a particular demographic niche. By necessity, going after one group of people involves ignoring or even excluding other potential customers. A luxury … read the full post

Nov 05 2011

Kuala Kubu Baru: one of Malaysia’s most laid-back little towns

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

When I wrote some months ago that anyone wanting a chilled-out day trip from Kuala Lumpur could do worse than heading to Kuala Selangor, I had no idea what a throbbing, thrill-packed destination it is compared to Pulau Ketam. But even lovely Ketam gets swamped by visitors at certain times of the year. The same … read the full post

Nov 01 2011

European Union Film Festival 2011 in Kuala Lumpur and Penang

Published by under Events

Kuala Lumpur‘s cultural life has come along in leaps and bounds over recent years. Barely a week goes by without some sort of artistic event or other, from modern dance to classical music. The problem is often not with the range and quality of the city’s artistic offerings, but with the paucity of available information. … read the full post

Oct 27 2011

The strange case of the suburban Kuala Lumpur pub crawl

Published by under Bars & nightlife

When is a pub not a pub? This may seem like an odd question, but in Malaysia, what you call a drinking establishment can have a big impact on how it is treated by licensing authorities. Call somewhere a restoran dan pub (restaurant and pub), and you can be open to the world, with outside … read the full post

Oct 25 2011

The River of Life: bringing Kuala Lumpur’s waterways back from the dead

Published by under Sightseeing & activties

It is somewhat hard to appreciate now, but when Kuala Lumpur started life, it was a frontier settlement, deep in the jungle. Of the original 87 miners who landed at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers in 1857, more than two-thirds died within the first year, principally of malaria. But the fortunes that … read the full post

Oct 19 2011

Happy birthday to No Black Tie, a Kuala Lumpur musical institution

Published by under Bars & nightlife

Kuala Lumpur is such a young city in world terms that the whole idea of longevity has to be thought of differently. A 100-year-old building in London, Paris or Rome, would barely raise an eyebrow, while it would be considered ancient in KL. It might not sound like a big deal that a live music … read the full post

Oct 18 2011

The Hindu festival of Deepavali (Diwali) in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Festivals

Well over a thousand years before Islam first came to what is now Malaysia, Hinduism was a well established belief system in the peninsula. Even more than Buddhism, that other great Indian religious export, Hinduism influenced all aspects of life, from marriage ceremonies to concepts of divine kingship. The founding of the Malacca Sultanate at … read the full post

Oct 13 2011

Langkawi Live: A new music festival with more than a hint of green

Published by under Events

The Malaysian government’s announcement last week of a 420 million ringgit plan to boost tourism in Langkawi sent a huge shiver down my spine. The last thing this beautiful island needs is more visitors; most of its best beaches are already either over-developed, or the private property of exclusive resorts. What Langkawi (and indeed Malaysia … read the full post

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