What Do Non-Malaysians Say About KL – Live InterviewPosted on Dec 27 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Explorationby ShelynPrint
I have been asking myself what do I actually like about Kuala Lumpur (KL). Food? Absolutely! Eating out in Malaysia is a real gastronomic adventure. If it was the beginning of the month (before my newly banked in cash runs out), I will definitely look for decent restaurants in KL town with a seemingly endless variety of cuisine like Chinese, Malay, Indian, Western, Japanese, Korean, and many more. If it was an end of the month (when my cash has successfully escaped), I can still easily get cheap and yet delicious hawker food in KL city. Petaling street is one of the best places to hunt for hidden gems at an affordable price.
Apart from food how could I resist shopping in Kuala Lumpur? Especially in this festive season where most of the shops have crazy sales and the shopping centres are delightfully decorated to add cheer to our shopping experience.
However my boyfriend, Don, doesn’t like KL. The traffic drives him crazy and the climate blocks his vision (drops of sweat trickling down into his eyes). On the other hand, my brother loves the vibrant metropolitan rhythm of KL, he says the sound of the busy traffic makes a great symphony that stirs his blood (what a music freak).
I have been hearing all sort of comments about KL from my friends. Some complain about it some extol it. But what do non-Malaysians say about KL? With that in mind, I had this crazy idea on a whim.
So I told Don “What do you think if we interviewed the tourists in KL about their views of the city?”
Don: O_o “Who gonna do the interview??”
Me: “I will do the interview, you be the videoman.”
Don: “Sounds like a good idea”
Me: “Yeah, we can also show them our website and the blog4ft website where they can find thousands of entries about tourism in KL!”
Don: “We will be promoting KL indirectly at the same time.”
So deal! With the support from Don, my heart was pounding. It felt like it was possible for a symphony to be composed by the sound of traffic.
There are a few things we need to plan prior to the project kick-off. Firstly, what is the objective of the interview? Secondly, who are our targets, and lastly, what are the interview questions to achieve the objective. (Sounds like running a million dollar project)
No. 1 -> Our objective of the interview is to gain the perspectives from non-Malaysians to improve our capital, KL.
No. 2 -> Our targets would be tourists/foreigners from different walks of life that are able to give us an outside perspective of KL.
No. 3 -> The following are the questions for the interview:
1. Please tell us a bit about yourself (Like how long have you been in Malaysia/KL, where are you from, your name).
2. Why did you choose to come to Malaysia/KL for your vacation?
3. What are some of the places that you have visited here? Which is your favorite place in KL?
4. What is the best thing about KL you have experienced so far?
5. What is the worst thing about KL you have experienced so far?
6. What would you change about this trip if you had the chance?
7. Will you recommend people to visit KL in future? What will you tell them?
So here we are, in Pavilion to hunt for our targets!
Pavilion is the latest shopping centre in KL with a row of street-front duplexes housing flagship boutiques from the world over.
The lobby of Pavilion is transformed into a Wonderland, with dancers floating across the stage in fairytale costumes.
Stairs or seats? Guess it’s meant for both.
With the multitude in the mall and the noise of cheer, we had to look for a quiet location for the interviews in order to capture the conversations. We went to a higher floor away from the crowd and the noise. We were a bit nervous at first for the first time doing this crazy thing and we were concerned about the tourists’ reactions when asked for an interview. It was a beautiful surprise that most of them are so friendly and some agreed with the interview without hesitation. I’m not going to write long, I’ll let them speak to you through the videos.
At the end of the interview, we took a picture with each wonderful interviewee, except for the first interviewee, Caroll, a very tall friendly chap from London with whom I had to raise my head high for the entire interview session. Don wanted to capture both of us into the video but it’s mission impossible, unless he stood far away to close the gap of our height difference. Sounds pathetic huh? Can someone tell me how to grow 7 inches taller? (I’d be happy with 2…)
Caroll married to a local lady from KL 18 years ago and he is here in KL for the family reunion and Christmas celebrations. He and his family were busy shopping when we bumped into them. Despite being in a rush where his wife and his daughters were too busy to even stop for a second, he insisted to stay with us for the interview. Right after the interview, he wished us luck and left immediately to catch up with his family. What a fantastic man.
Mauricio (left) and Erwin (right) are both from London too. They arrived in KL just a day before and will be flying off to New Zealand in 2 days. When we first approached them, they did not hesitate at all to accept our request. They were so happy as if they had won a lottery. We felt oddly pleased and flattered by their friendliness.
Ali (left) and Elias (right) are from Lebanon who have been working in KL as banking consultants for 7 months. Apparently Malaysia being a Muslim country, is just the right place for them. They visited the mosques and love the food here. They have even visited the National Zoo, which we think has not been maintained well. Surprisingly, they had great time in the zoo or perhaps, they are just being too kind to comment on anything negative. Nonetheless, despite the great weather, the magnificent mosques, and the wonderul food, traffic conditions are terrible in KL. According to Ali and Elias, the traffic in KL is just too congested especially during rainy days. To make the thing worse, the public cabs refuse to pick up customers when it rains.
This is one of their favourite restaurants, Lebanese cuisine. Perhaps we should give it a try one day.
Wayne (left) and Mel (right) are a married couple with 2 daughters who have been traveling for 3 months! Wow… it’s a dream life that I’m hoping for. They have just arrived in KL from Sabah and apparently they prefer KL to Sabah. Mel especially loves shopping in KL and she told us the shopping centres in London cannot rival Pavilion. What an amazing comment. Oh, forgot to mention, they are from London too. We didn’t pick the tourists from London on purpose, it just happened that most of the tourists are from London. Before we ended the interview, we asked what would they recommend to their friends about Malaysia. Mel immediately said “Pre-load money in your empty suitcase!”. Now I know why am I broke every month, if tourists can’t resist shopping in KL, how can I?
I was tired after completing 4 interviews and wanted to do one last one to call it a day. We bumped into a group of teenagers that were merrily walking around in the mall. We approached them and Will (the good looking funny dude in the picture) was more than happy to say ‘Sure’ and Katrina (the very sweet looking girl) was happy enough to tag along. While the other 2 friends were rushed to the washroom. Katrina has been staying in Malaysia for 2 years whereas Will for 7. They both go to school here. Katrina did most of the talking as she seems to enjoy her time in Malaysia especially the people here are nice, whereas Will was hesitant to reveal his honest opinions. Apparently, he thinks KL is too dirty (both myself and Don can’t agree more) and the traffic is terrible (again both myself and Don have experienced enough of the deep pain sitting in traffic for hours).
~*~ After Interview Thoughts ~*~
It’s an amazing experience to introduce ourselves to the strangers abruptly just so we can video shoot their talking. Even though we have been rejected by a few tourists but at the same time we were overwhelmed by the interviewees’ friendliness and warm-heartedness.
Before this day, I always found that there is too little shopping in KL. In terms of variety, I can find more in Hong Kong or Taiwan. In terms of price, I can always get cheaper prices in Thailand. So me and my girlfriends love chatting about the shopping paradise in Hong Kong, the States, Taiwan, Thailand, Phuket, etc. But pay little attention to the shopping in KL. Until this day I was surprised of how the tourists that we interviewed loved Pavilion and enjoyed their shopping in KL. Mel even mentioned that they couldn’t find a grand mall like this in London. I was in fact, shocked. So now I can tell my friends that KL is one of the greatest shopping paradises in world!
We even have the biggest LV outlet in Asia! In which you can easily observe the long line at the entrance all the time.
Clubbing in KL is awesome too. Mauricio and Erwin had a great time clubbing the night before. Just down the road from KLCC, you can find crowds of youngsters, revelers and yuppies patronizing the clubs, bars and pubs on the streets. My favourite pub at all time has to be Luna Bar, which is located at the rooftop of Pacific Regency Hotel Apartments. Quiet and cozy for a long night chat and drink with friends.
If you’re a backpacker who like the simple adventurous lifestyle like how you backpack to the rural countries like Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, enjoy eating street food, you can experience the same here in KL too. If you explore enough, you will be surprised that vibrant metropolitan KL is full of hawker stalls hidden in inconspicuous corners selling the food at dirt cheap prices in comparison to the higher-end restaurants, probably just next door to the hawker stalls. If you prefer a luxurious travel experience, you can easily spend more than RM1000 for a meal in the high end restaurants with 5-star service. The variety of food in KL is so diversified that even Ali and Elias are able to get Lebanese cuisine in Pavilion.
Will kept mentioning Duty Free. I guess he is referring to the duty free liquor on Langkawi island, which Don and I bought in large quantities awhile back. Yup, drinking is cakes and ale, especially drinking on an island with a cool breeze and blue ocean.
KL can be close to paradise, but not until our government resolves the traffic and taxi issues. Stuck in traffic for a few hours is just a waste of our life. Especially during rainy days when the city is flooded and traffic paralyzed, and we as drivers–or passengers–would lose a few hours of our golden time in life. Now let’s do some mathematics.
Imagine if we waste 2 hours each day in traffic, we will lose 730 hours in a year, which is equivalent to 30.42 days in a year. So in 10 years we will lose 304 days, which is close to 1 year!! Why would we want to waste 1 year sitting in traffic for every 10 years when life is already so short?!?!
Not that we as Malaysians complain about the traffic, even randomly selected foreigners (it’s so random that we just picked 5 couples at random locations around Pavilion) dislike the traffic here. To make the issue worse, for those who use taxis in their daily lives, the experience of being over-charged, denied service, or conned by taxis drivers who refuse to use their meters are all the common hassles they have to face every day. I seriously hope our minister would have a perfect strategy to overcome the issues of the terrible traffic and the horrible attitude of the taxi drivers.
Last but not least, the foreigners that we interviewed didn’t mention much about the outdoor activities, mainly because we picked only the tourists in Pavilion. If we interviewed those in the Bird Park or Deer Park, we might be able to get a different perspective of KL from different groups of differing interests.
KL is not just a metropolitan city, or a focal point for entertainment, commerce, and business. Its natural beauty is equally fascinating too. Adventure lovers can find the longest crystal quartz outcrop in the world, Bukit Tabur, which is located about 30km from KL town.
Click here for other hiking adventures in Kuala Lumpur.
Useful links about Kuala Lumpur:
- http://www.kuala-lumpur.ws/index.html -> Kuala Lumpur Hotels and Travel Guide, consists of detailed information about KL nightlife, KL dining, KL attraction, KL activities and many more.
- http://www.klue.com.my/ -> KLue (magazine) covers the people, places and events that energise and drive KL city
- http://www.pavilion-kl.com/ -> Official Portal of Pavilion KL
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bukit_Bintang -> Bukit Bintang from Wikipedia Article
- http://tinyurl.com/y9fb5kd -> Suria KLCC – Travelers’ Review From TripAdvisor Forum
- http://www.malaysiasite.nl/chinatowneng.htm -> Good review about China Town.
- http://tinyurl.com/yzajd6p -> Petaling Street – Travelers’ Review From TripAdvisor Forum
- http://tinyurl.com/ywzsep -> KL attractions – Travelers’ Review From TripAdvisor Forum
- visitorcentre.royalselangor.com -> Royal Selangor – The making of pewter
- http://www.klbirdpark.com/index.htm -> KL Bird Park official website – Largest walk in free flight aviary in the world
- http://tinyurl.com/ydvh87t -> KL Little India – Good review from mylo
Happy Reading and Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!