The original plan was to have gone from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Min City – but I added two days in Chiang Mai to recover/regroup and when I got off the plane in a modern city with high-speed train to city and the promise of a “door-to-door” porter – I have to admit I was a bit relieved to be “back” after 10 days in less than modern areas. I was talked out of booking the “door to door” because I didn’t have much stuff and it was very easy to catch a cab at the KL Sental station to my guesthouse (which was next to a well known hotel). Train ride great but then found out that the taxis in KL only accept Riggit (Malaysia currency) and all money changing places closed. After 20 minutes, was able to talk local guy into changing 10 USD for taxi fare. Then taxi took me to wrong place and I had another 20 minute walk. I put pictures of the hotel he confused – wasn’t even close.
I have had numerous business trips to KL cancelled – mostly because of uncertainty surrounding corruption with a stakeholder. Ironically, the day I was there the result of the investigation was announced and no wrongdoing was found – somehow the prime minster got $680 million in his bank account and it was all OK. One of my taxi drivers was very upset about this finding or lack of finding and we had a long discussion about the payments and the linkage to the energy industry…he was impressed of my local knowledge – literally the only thing I knew about Malaysia.
Petronas Twin Towers
Sites around town
Malaysia clash of cultures – relatively well off because of oil money. Islam is the primary religion but very liberal on western lifestyle and a lot of Hindu influence. Drop in oil pricing devastating – many construction projects halted.
Hit all of the local sites via hop-on-hop-off bus. Bus was slow so spent time walking in their central park – even went to a bird park where I was attached by a monkey….my sling saved me from re-breaking my wrist.