Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is an interesting city. Full of gardens (and malls), the city shows a concern for patrimony; public buildings and its surrounding areas are well cared for. Even by spending  a few days there, I could see its beauty and greatness.

One of the things I was more interested in the city was the Petronas Towers. And yes, they are amazing, impossible not to stare at. Wherever I was in the city, my eyes would go looking for the towers. I had seen them on films and pictures before, but I never thought of them as a mosque. Maybe it’s because I saw them through my “western point of view”. The minute I got to the city and saw the towers, I realized the image of a mosque (It surprised me not having seen that before).


As in Singapore, I was impressed of how many malls there are in Kuala Lumpur. In every corner there’s one, in all sizes, shapes and prizes. I saw the most luxurious malls of my life there, with every exclusive shop and brand. I guess all this splendor is paid by tourists from the Middle East.

After a tiresome city tour, I spent some time sitting in a cafe, watching the people. It was incredible to be in a mall and see so many women clad in burqas, walking hand in hand with their husbands, shopping and carrying the most expensive handbags (bags are the most visible item of their wardrobe, everything else being black). Time and time again, this journey made me rethink my ideas on Muslim countries.

Electronics-only malls

Normally, I don’t like malls but in Kuala Lumpur, as well as in Singapore, there are huge malls of electronic appliances, cameras, computers, cell phones, GPS, accessories… everything you can imagine… a geek’s paradise. I loved it.

Genting Highlands

Genting Highlands is a surreal place: A Cold mountain in the middle of a tropical country, and if that wasn’t enough, with casinos and an amusement park. We went there on a Saturday; it was full of local tourists and visitors from the Middle East (mostly from the UAE and Saudi Arabia). It was the place where I’ve seen more burqa-clad women in my whole life. I think my friend and I were the only western tourists there.

[Translated by Òscar Buenafuente]

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