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Some of you who knew me from New York probably think, judging from the posts here, that since we left for Switzerland, we travel a lot and do not spent much time on work. While it is true that I (Chris) get more vacation days per year now, workload is certainly heavier than before. So these vacations are really important counterbalances.  As 2014 was a busy year, I was really looking forward to the season’s holidays. Alright, … enough year-end reflection.

This time we went to Malaysia. As usual, my sis joined us for a few days.

Suria KLCC-5

This is our first time in Malaysia. So we hit the touristy spots of Kuala Lumpur (for readers who had been to KL, please bear with us here) – the best known of which is the Petronas Twin Towers. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world replacing the World Trade Center in New York.

Suria KLCC-6

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art. The towers were designed by Argentine American architect César Pelli. We did not bother to go up to the sky bridge located on the 41st floor for a view of the city center because our apartment is nearby and located on the 46th floor – see later post.

Suria KLCC-4

Underneath the towers is the country’s largest shopping mall, Suria KLCC. It has all the predictable international and regional brand names, and organized just like every other malls in North America.

Suria KLCC-11

Behind the mall is the KLCC park which had a 4-story high, cone-shaped Christmas tree. Next door is the Four Seasons Hotel.

Suria KLCC-3

Food courts and anchoring department stores and restaurants. We were interested to see Kinokuniya – the Japanese bookstore – occupies one end of the sprawling mall (see later post).

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We were treated to a water jet show synchronized to music.

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The water jet show with lights.

Suria KLCC-9.

Suria KLCC-7

A major draw of our trip to Malaysia is the food, which combines elements of the cuisines of Chinese, Malay and Indian. We started with the supposedly authentic but touristy Madam Kwan’s at Suria KLCC, which had us waiting 15 minutes for a table even after 2 pm. The place was crowded and a bit tired looking.

madam kwan-1

Madam Kwan’s, the franchise’s claim to fame is the Nasi Lemak, rice with coconut milk, which has been recognized as the best in the country by the Ministry of Tourism. We tried the Nasi Bojari instead …

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Satay, which we had plenty of throughout …

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This is the best dish of the day – stir-fried Ong Choy (蕹菜 or 通菜 in Cantonese, ผักบุ้ง Phak Boong in Thai, Kalmua in India, rau muống in Vietnam and Kangkong in Tagalog or Malay; or water spinach and Ipomoea aqatica in Latin) with Belacan (Malaysian shrimp paste). We suspected that animal fat was used to do the frying which made it super tasty.

madam kwan-3

This is the beginning of a great adventure, with lots of food, so watch this space !



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