Discovering China in Malaysia

JOURNEY TO THE WEST edition (2 of 10)
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It's often claimed on traveling blogs and forums that your second time in KL would not be the same as the first one. You would experience something different in your following visits. We confirmed that it's totally true when we came back to KL three months after our first visit. This time, we discovered China in this capital city of Malaysia. How come it's not? The ones who traveled with us, our host and his brother were Chinese-Malaysian. There was also a real Chinese girl from Guangzhou joined the journey. Consequently, we listened to Chinese language most of the time inside the car. We ate Chinese foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Lastly, we visited a great Chinese temple in Genting Highlands. I myself a Chinese-Indonesian yet I never felt this way before.
This was the place we had our breakfast. We learned something interesting here.
If there's a person with Malay appearance working in Chinese restaurants, 
he/she is most probably an Indonesian. Malay does not work in non-halal restaurants.
Kristin was at a house in Chinese neighborhood where we picked up the Guangzhou girl.
The first place we visited today was not Chinese at all though. It's the old Istana Negara (RoyalPalace). This palace was the old one, located on Jalan Istana. Since 2011, 'Yang Di Pertuan Agong' (the Highest King) had moved to the new palace located on Jalan Duta. So, the old Istana Negara was turned into an open museum for public. Just like in Indonesia, many of the tickets to enter tourist attractions in Malaysia were discriminative. At Istana Negara, for example, one must pay double (RM 5) just because he/she is not a Malaysian. The entrance fee for Malaysians is only RM 2 and free for children. We cheated the fare rules by pretending as Malaysia citizens. The officers trusted us maybe because our faces looked very similar to Malaysians. Well, if you can speak just a little bit Bahasa Malaysia, you can try to pretend to be one and get cheaper ticket price like us. But I think it won't work if you don't look like Malay, Chinese, or Indian at all.

Before entering the palace, we had to remove our shoes/sandals and carry it using plastic bags provided there. We were not allowed to take any pictures inside the palace where we were showed how luxurious a king and his royal family live. Even there was a private dental clinic for him!

Taking pictures with the guard of Istana Negara
We were only allowed to take pictures from outside.
Leaving the palace, we then headed to the north. It was raining on the way, quite hard. But oddly after passing through a tunnel, the rain stopped. The rain even never started on the other side of the tunnel. It's totally dry there! My host said this kind of local rain sometimes happens in KL and around.

It was in Bukit Tinggi where we stopped and had a lunch break. Bukit Tinggi has fresh air and high rainfall intensity. That's why I guess a resort built there was meant for people who hate Malaysian tropical heat. We did not go to the resort but we were satisfied enough by having lunch there who was in fact among the best we ever tasted during our life.

In Bukit Tinggi area seen many political flags around
as the General Election of Malaysia was coming.
A very Asian-style lunch
After lunch, we continued the journey to the well-known Genting Highlands! Genting Highlands is a very popular escape for KL citizens. We had heard of some interesting attractions up there but we did not put Genting into our itinerary because it seemed quite complicated to get there by our own. Thanks to our host for bringing us here. I'm sure there are a lot of highlands in Indonesia as beautiful as this one. But the highlands here are very well developed. I think the local government had successfully persuaded investors to build supporting facilities like cable cars, hotels, theme parks, and casinos. They would certainly make out a lot of money in return.

Chan Swee Temple was one of the most attractive sites we saw in Genting Highlands. The Chinese temple has got a big pagoda, a big Buddha statue, and Kuan Yin statue. We got really excited of this place. There were plenty of good spots for taking pictures. The air was so cool, especially when we were at the top of the ninth-floor pagoda. Now we felt really like in China.

The big pagoda in Chan Swee Temple

Looks like in China, isn't it?

At the top floor of the pagoda. Look at the background!
It was misty in Genting Highlands most of the time.
Big Buddha Statue
Kuan Yin Statue
Yonnie, the Guangzhou girl was looking at series of statues telling the story of 'Chambers of Hell'.
Here we could see the descriptions of various punishments in hell according to the Chinese traditional belief.
The temple has also got statues of "Journey to the West" characters which were very familiar to us.
Next, we didn't only visit interesting places but also interesting people which were our previous hosts in KL; Peter and Jay! In our first time visit, we left our bag on a LRT train. Jay kindly collected our bag and kept it in his apartment till we finally returned at the moment. (To know more about our first journey to KL, please click here)

It's nice to get my bag back but it's much happier to meet Peter and Jay again. We were so glad to make new friends along our journey abroad. They really made our journey in KL so special. Unfortunately, we didn't have much time to spend with them. At night, we had to continue the 'Journey to the West' by taking a bus to Hat Yai, Thailand.

Our best friends in KL
Me waiting for the bus to Hat Yai in Puduraya Bus Station

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