Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Malaysia Chronicles One: Shunning Glitter

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Favoring the kitschy charm of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, we stayed away from glitzy shopping malls, glamorous hotels, the circus atmosphere of theme parks, and the soaring magnificence of the Petronas Towers. The only glitter that captivated us is that of the dusty, red lanterns that adorn the entire length of Petaling Street. For several days we lived in the city, in an area where the old exists in harmony with the new and tradition commingles with change. The place’s horrors and delights are revealed to us, and we took them all in.


By early morning, the streets are filled with locals languorously savoring their breakfast of tea with noodles, pastry or congee. As two among a few tourists in the area who are always up before 8 am, we are privileged to experience the serenity of the place before it turns into a mecca for shoppers fond of counterfeit items by midmorning. By night, Chinatown is transformed into one big, raucous party where Tiger beer reigns supreme, alfresco dining is the norm and people watching is the best form of entertainment. The aroma of grilling satay, the untiring energy that permeates the place, the melodious blend of different languages and the soft radiance of lit lanterns are intoxicating.






During our two-week stay in Malaysia, Chinatown became our home. We traveled to other parts of the country but always came back to the same place to experience its horrors and delights over and over again.

6 comments:

witsandnuts said...

Wow, I can just imagine the assumed attachment to an area if one stayed there for two weeks. Coincidentally, I've blogged about Chinatown, too, yesterday. But of Singapore's. Baliktad naman tayo, we intend to visit KL's Chinatown when we revisit the country. Planning to focus on Penang by then. Through your narrative and photos, it felt like I experienced that slice of KL. :)

Angeli said...

We spent several days in Penang, too. It has the same colonial charm of Melaka and the urban feel of Kuala Lumpur.

Loree said...

You describe Chinatown in a most enchanting way. It also sounds like you had a great vacation.

Amelia said...

hi Angeli! good for you enjoy your stay in Malaysia and like China Town..as it was the opposite for me...

unstranger said...

Angeli, once again your writing style enchants. By the second sentence you had me observing the street right along side you. You are gifted and talented writer and observer. Superb.

Angeli said...

hi loree. it was the best vacation ever! :)

why was it the opposite for you, amelia?

thank you, frank. :)

 
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