Here are photos from Kuala Lumpur, capital of Malaysia. They include pictures of the National Mosque, Mary Anne visiting the Mosque, Butterflies from a Malaysian butterfly farm, the Petronas Twin Towers, Melaka (Independence) Square, and Mary Anne with friends from the cruise. Also includes footage taken at the Aquarium.
We have sailed through the Strait of Malacca and docked at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
One quarter of the world’s sea cargo goes through the Strait – it is the shortest sea route (621 miles) between 3 of the world’s most populous countries (India, China and Indonesia). Half of the world’s oil travels through the Strait, and a lot of cargo (as in the Captain Phillips movie). Piracy has been reduced through aggressive international efforts.
Malaysia consists of parts of 2 islands, and became independent in 1956. Native Malay, Chinese and Indians co-exist in the country, which is governed by a democratically elected king (it’s complicated). Over 60% of the population is Muslim, so we have seen a lot of headscarves (over modern casual dress).
We spent yesterday visiting KL’s parks and town center, as well as the national mosque, which can house 15,000 followers (it’s the largest mosque in southeast Asia). We also saw the Aquaria, a huge underground complex with tunnels you can walk through as sharks, fish, rays, etc. swim by your sides and over your head, giving you a chance to see them up close and from every angle.
KL is a vibrant modern city of commerce and trade, which has prospered since it started as a tin mining site. It’s home to 1.7 million people who work in the leading industries of manufacturing (cars, palm oil, tea, rubber, tin, aluminum, etc.) and tourism. KL is a cultural hub and a technology and science center.
You might think that KL’s twin Petronas Towers are an accurate representation of the Malaysian capital’s modern prosperity, but the city has many parks and architectural reminders of its British colonial past. It’s a very interesting place, and one of the cleanest cities we have ever visited.
Tomorrow we visit more of northern Malaysia, and then we are excited to get to Singapore, where Joe spent many an evening with his work colleagues drinking Tiger beer and eating drunken prawns at the harbor restaurants.