Sep 15 2011

How to celebrate Arthur’s Day in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Festivals

When Arthur Guinness signed a 9,000 year lease on his iconic brewery in Dublin in 1759, he could not be accused of short-term thinking. But I’m sure even he would be surprised by the worldwide popularity of the beer that bears his name, more than 250 years on. An estimated 10 million glasses of Guinness … read the full post

Sep 13 2011

How serious is the haze in Kuala Lumpur?

Published by under Health & safety

1997 was not a vintage year for Malaysia. Not only was the country battered by the Asian financial crisis, it also had to deal with an air pollution disaster. At its height, the 1997 smog covered about 3,000 square kilometres of Southeast Asia. Malaysia was particularly badly affected, with Sarawak recording some of the highest … read the full post

Sep 08 2011

The Orang Asli (First People) of West Malaysia

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

Ask visitors who the indigenous people of Malaysia are, and I suspect the answer from the overwhelming majority would be “Malay”, which is not surprising given the sustained efforts of Malay nationalists to perpetuate this misconception. Malays have indeed lived in what is now West Malaysia for several hundred years. But when they first arrived, … read the full post

Sep 06 2011

MyDance Festival 2011 and other dance in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Events

I have to confess that while I have always been a fan of dance as a participatory sport, the idea of watching a live dance performance fills me with absolute horror. Others may see poetry in motion. I, however, would much rather watch paint dry. Still, it takes all sorts, and I am more than … read the full post

Aug 31 2011

An introduction to Fraser’s Hill

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

One of the quirkiest, and to my mind charming, legacies of the British Empire are the hill stations dotted round South and Southeast Asia. Chosen for their cool climates, and endowed with an architecture redolent of “home”, they provided a welcome respite from the realities of living in the tropics. Once independence came to the … read the full post

Aug 26 2011

The Mid-Autumn Festival in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Events

Up until a few decades ago, Kuala Lumpur had a Chinese majority, and it was only very recently that Malays became the city’s largest single community. Even today, most of central KL feels much more Chinese than it does Malay, which probably comes as a big surprise for any visitor expecting a conservative city dominated … read the full post

Aug 23 2011

Starhill Gallery Arts Festival

Published by under Events

Shopping is not just a popular pastime in Kuala Lumpur, for many people it has reached the status of a religion. Shiny new malls open with alarming regularity, providing yet another place to worship the god of consumerism. And despite offering virtually nothing original, they seem full of happy customers, even before the paint is … read the full post

Aug 18 2011

Kuala Lumpur’s two Little Indias

Published by under Sightseeing & activties

While Chinatowns are all round the world, Little Indias are rather rarer. Except in Kuala Lumpur┬áthat is, which as of last year, has not one but two of them. Or not, depending on whether the area in central KL, which has been known as Little India for decades, has been officially stripped of its title. … read the full post

Aug 16 2011

Resorts World Genting

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

Most independent travellers coming to Kuala Lumpur are probably unaware that one of Asia’s largest entertainment and gambling complexes is less than a hour by bus from central KL. Located at about 1,700 metres above sea level, Resorts World Genting is a modern reworking of the colonial hill station concept. While places like Cameron Highlands … read the full post

Aug 10 2011

Ramadan food markets in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Festivals,Food

As I may have mentioned before, Malaysians like their food. It’s one of the few things which cuts across all the main ethnic groups in the country. One big difference between the races though, is that while fantastic Chinese and Indian food is easily accessible to tourists, good Malay cooking is far more difficult to … read the full post

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