Monday, May 07, 2007

malaysia: insects and desserts

I got back tonight to the Bay Area, where it is possible to walk outside without sweating. Oh California weather, how I love thee.

A few photos from my three days in Kuala Lumpur, which is the capital of Malaysia.

"I know where Kuala Lumpur is!" you say indignantly.

Don't be snarky, Gentle Reader.

Kuala Lumpur is cheap. For $97 US per night, we stayed in the hotel rated #1 by

TripAdvisor raved about the excellent service of this hotel. Indeed, upon arrival and check-in, rather than handing us the room keys, the receptionist got out from behind the desk and walked us to the elevator and up to our room. Thumbs up!

Very pretty.

Alas, what did I find scuttling over the marble bathroom floor? A cockroach, pictured here in the middle of the door ledge. I will have to demote my 5 star rating to 4.8 stars.

The Malaysian History Museum says these are the coins Malaysians used for currency, in the olden days. Imagine carrying around this huge beetle-stone as spare change!

Malaysia has a lot of people. This was the shopping mall next to our hotel.

It frightened me.

Malaysian desserts follow a format:

1. Get some oranges or mangoes or strawberries, or any type of fruit. If there is no fruit handy, find some red beans, or even just sweet dough.

2. Squeeze it into jelly!

3. Eat.


More photos later of Malaysia, and also of Singapore.


H. said...

You flew halfway around the world and couldn't be bothered to find a phone... and had you asked earlier about transport options, I would have advised you to take anything but the train to Kuala Lumpur.

At least you got a nice hotel.

ArC said...

So you're the one who brought the heat wave to the Bay Area! Booooooo.

Philipp Lenssen said...

Oh, Malaysian food is so nice.

Anonymous said...

-0.2 stars for a *cockroach* in your hotel room? Hello, more like -4.8 stars!

Pedram Keyani said...

Your blog is really great! If you don't mind I am going to link to it from mine :-) and the video of your bro jumping onto the fountain and off without getting wet is amazing. I have a similiar video of me at Stanford but I intentionally just jump in.

Niniane said...

re: Pedram. Of course you can link to my blog. I would be honored.

I liked your post of the post-TP war syndrome where you leaped out of bed at the sound of teenagers laughing, and ran out into the yard at 2am. At least you remembered in your adrenaline-fueled state to still put on pants.

Niniane said...

re: "h". Next time, I will call you, come hell or high water.

Sylvain said...

Help!!! I've been to KL several times and cannot find a restaurant in the Bay Area that comes close to the flavors you get there. Tried most of the suggestions on Yelp without success. Please Malaysian engineers from the Bay Area, quit your job and open a restaurant or even better, bring your mom to California. BTW, is Baba Neo still open in Mountain View? Last time I went by it was all dark at 8:00pm on a week day.

Anonymous said...

What part of KL were you in? Things look so much cleaner! my experiences have been mostly dirty and cheap with people spitting in restaurants and almost inedible things being sold along the smelly open sewers. I didn't care much for malay food. Oh and our friend there told us Halal is same as is so NOT TRUE! Oh and the chinatown and those fake watches...ah the memories.

Oh and for the person who asked about good malaysian food, my friend told me of a restaurant called Banana Leaf in Milpitas which is suppose to be really good.

ArC said...

Banana Leaf is very tasty, not that I know much about Malaysian food. The only problem is that it is located in a confusing maze disguised as a strip mall.

Baba Neo's been closed since I've moved to Mtn View. A sign on the door says they were supposed to be back by like, February... I guess that's not quite happening.

大炮GG said...

that hotel is Mandarin Hotel, just beside KLCC, the twin tower. Very nice hotel, also the traders hotel(shangri-la) with in 200 meter to the towers is also very good.

ArC said...

One more update -- Baba Neo's got a sign up now that says "Yellow Ginger opening soon". Maybe the new place will be a Malaysian restaurant too?

Niniane said...

Oh, too bad. I liked Baba Neo.

I drive by it every day to work, and yet I didn't notice it was closed.

Rizal Almashoor said...

Hi. I'm a Malaysian living in KL. I came to know about you last year through your resume (I don't recall the exact search term, but I was looking for ideas to write my own). You sort of stuck in my mind because of your name, because you were doing such cool stuff at MS and Google, and because you graduated so young, too.

Today after my daily dose of Raymond Chen's The Old New Thing, I suddenly thought of you and looked to see if you had a blog. I was astounded to read that you came to KL, and to see photos of the place to which I go every day!

1. That cockroach is very embarassing. Mandarin Oriental is supposed to be the most prestigious hotel in KL.

2. There's "Malay" food, "Chinese" food, and "Indian" food. (The double quotes denote Malaysianization, e.g., "Malay" food in Indonesia is different). The desserts you had looked Malay, albeit unrepresentative, mass-produced, genericized versions of them.

3. The shopping mall is Suria KLCC *, located in the Petronas Twin Towers. I avoid the malls here during the weekends, they're hell. Apparently a typical Malaysian's idea of fun is to hang out at the mall all day. Tourists: go to Suria KLCC and Mid Valley Megamall during the weekdays if you hate crowds.

* KLCC is the Kuala Lumpur City Centre **, an area that encompasses the Twin Towers, Menara Maxis, Mandarin Oriental and the KL Convention Centre.

** Malaysia was once a British colony ("Malaya") so we use British spelling.

Not too fond of bed bugs, insects and mozzies said...

Found this post by searching for hotels in KL without bed bugs or cockroaches.

Even the most expensive ones have them.. help!