Day 3 in Kuala Lumpur: KL Tower, Petaling Jaya, Food on Banana Leaves, Accidental Jungle Walk

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

On our last full day in Kuala Lumpur, we woke before sunrise and waited for the breakfast hour.

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Sunrise over breakfast.
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Ready for the day.
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My breakfast: fried rice with egg and sliced chilies.
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J’s: Roti stuffed with curried potatoes.

Our destination for the day was a Tai Qi school in the neighboring district of Petaling Jaya. The school had a connection to a friend of my mother, and I wanted to get a picture of it for him.

On the way to the train station, we had planned on going for a nature walk on the hill crowned by KL Tower.

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Town house.
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Palm sperm?
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Welcome to my office.
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Parking baffle.
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Jungle yard.
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Tower reflection.
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Ingenuity.
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Flowers.
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Overcompensating.
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Deck issues just asking for a Buster Keaton routine.
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An informative stage show.
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Tennis courts and municipal water structures.
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Mastery over nature.

Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve is the last remaining slice of rain forest in the middle of the city, but it was closed due to a massive amount of construction.

J and I wandered through the empty circular inner hallways and balcony of the tower, losing each other once. Since the tower wasn’t open yet, we decided to skip the view and walk to the nearby station to catch our train to the suburbs.

What appeared to be a single station on the map was actually two stations separated by a long covered sidewalk. It was an economically constructed transfer, but not a classy one.

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The jungle.
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Drainage.
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A man and his structure block the other entrance to the nature trail.
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Cirque du Malay.
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Cellular pay phone.
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Underground platform for an above ground train.

The half hour ride passed above suburban sprawl: malls, highway, row houses, and the Malaysian equivalent of McMansions.

We reached the station and crossed a drainage ditch into the neighborhood. We reached our street, waved to the security guard (and his buds) at the open gate, and walked in.

The street was calm and without traffic. Lots of trees provided shade on the narrow and undamaged pavement. We enjoyed seeing freestanding homes, fruit trees, and flowers. Many dogs enjoyed barking at us.

The Tai Qi school was closed. A neighbor said it would open in the evening, and asked if we were going to learn Tai Qi. Her expression was friendly but also confused as to why we had come to such a random location. We explained the connection, but she and her friends didn’t recognize the name.

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Commuter parking.
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What a ditch.
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Classic car in Petaling Jaya.
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Gas.
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The Tai Qi school.
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Suburban dogs bark the loudest.
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Narrow street between tract homes.
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Chair with a wold-class view of a ditch and trains.
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These decals seemed to be worn as badges of pride on many cars around town. I couldn’t get a clear answer why.
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Under construction.
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A gated community.
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Steps past a shanty.

We kept walking through the neighborhood to the last station on the line, then took the train to Taman Jaya Station.

From there it was a hot walk to a lunch place I had read about online. Along the way we passed some fancy gated mansions and a Thai temple.

Raju Restaurant specialized in Indian curries served on banana leaves. Despite the polarized reviews, I though the food was excellent. We ordered lamb and chicken curries that came with a variety of side dishes and rice. I guzzled and scraped two chilled young coconuts.

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Athletics.
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Golden gate.
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Folk art.
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Sign for Wat Chetawan Thai Buddhist temple.
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An excellent meal at Raju’s served on banana leaves.

After lunch, we walked eastward into the neighborhood on the hills. Many of the homes were fancier, with larger lawns.

We wanted to see the large, natural area at the border of the KL Federal Territory and Selangor districts.

It was a jungle.

Since our earlier trail walk was botched, we started walking on this one.

The path was beautiful and quiet except for cicadas and bird noises. The jungle was breezeless and suffocatingly hot.

It looked like the main trail looped in the wrong direction, so we took a smaller path northward. This trail was overgrown and barely a trail at all. Thankfully someone had marked the path with scraps of paper. The trail went up and down hills, across creeks, mud, through vines and ferns. Without that litter, we never would have found our way.

The trail ended under the train on a wide, mowed field. To the north was Universiti Station, which we hoped we could get into from this unusual approach.

Closer to the station, we had to sneak through barbed wire and walk along a high retaining wall beside the highway. We reached the underside of the station and climbed up a foundation to the sidewalk by the taxi stand. No one really seemed to care.

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Empty houses in the hills.
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Free paypaya.
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Not sure why the left side is doing worse.
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The start of the trail.
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J. on a rope bridge.
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Taking the path less traveled.
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Seeds.
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On the wrong side of the tracks.
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Ghost chair.
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Trying to get to the station from a high retaining wall beside the highway.
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If I only knew which way Mecca was…

We took the train back to the hotel. I rested while J went for a Thai massage.

The heat and full morning of walking had worn us out again, so we opted for a simple and slightly disappointing meal from a restaurant near the hotel. I had an order of garlic naan and some saucy fried noodles. J had fried rice. The server at the restaurant was one of the peppiest men in the world.

We went to bed at a reasonable hour, accepting that the next day we were already getting on a plane again and leaving for Kota Kinabalu.

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