After a couple days of R & R in Samui I took one of the emptiest (maybe 15 people on a full-size plane) and bumpiest flights I have ever been on to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Originally I had planned to spend more time in Malaysia and hit a few different places, but I will have to save that for next time. KL was great, I had no idea what to expect (minus some good suggestions from Anthony, thanks!), but I was pleasantly surprised. When I arrived I was greeted by a torrential downpour. I rarely take a taxi, but decided paying a little extra to stay dry would be worth it this time. I got settled in my hotel and napped out the rain before venturing out. KL is a vibrant city. Luckily I was staying right in the middle of things. Two blocks from my hotel was Jln Alor, a ridiculous street of food and smells and people trying to coax you to eat at their restaurant. I was pretty worn out from the day and didn't plan on venturing far, but when I looked up from my dim sum and hot and sour soup, between two buildings was the KL Tower... I thought this was a sign I must go see it. So I walk to the tower (looks like the Space Needle) and I arrived just as it is closed. What luck?! Then from the base of the KL Tower I catch my first glimpse of the Petronas Towers... all I can think is awesome. So I throw away all my tired bones away and start trekking to the towers. After the rain the night was clear (aside from minor haze that was plaguing the area) to get an up-close glimpse. The towers are amazing. I found myself wandering around the base of the towers for quite some time taking random photos and selfies with a small throng of other tourists.
The next day I set out on foot to see as much of KL as possible. I started in Chinatown and Little India, where I visited some cool temples and Merdeka Square. From there I went to the KL Bird Park, a huge aviary for mostly tropical birds (and a few monkeys). From there I went to the Central Market for lunch and wandered around some of the other markets in the area. I closed out the day with a dip in a pool at the hotel before timing my nap with the late afternoon rain. Later I ventured back out to Jln Alor for another tasty meal and then found a rooftop bar to have a drink and see the city from up high. The next morning I got another early start and headed out to the Batu Caves and the National Mosque before leaving KL. The caves were a real trip with monkeys everywhere! The main Temple Cave is also guarded by this massive, gold statue in front of the 270+ stairs where you access it. It was really a lot to take in.
Just some quick thoughts on Singapore... I'm really glad I got to see this city, it really is something. It reminded me a lot of DC, I don't like constantly comparing places when I am there, but I kept doing it with DC and Singapore... clean, fast-paced, expensive, driven people, good public transit, many sights, very international, etc. It was not ideal to end my trip in Singapore b/c it was so different than all of the rest of the places that I traveled to that month. It almost felt like I was already back in the USA when I was there. Kinda crazy.
Overall, an awesome trip... too fast... still much I want to see in many of the countries I visited, but very glad I took the time to see what I did one this adventure.