Following on from the gallery edit I created for my website, I have started to share many of the images that I created in Japan nearly 10 years ago. Instagram wasn’t even a thing when I took these trips, sharing the images only to my blog and maybe a few to other sites (the defunct Flickr, perhaps?!). Instead of letting the images languish on a hard drive, I have decide to spend some time sharing them again through my Instagram profile: @philhillphoto with the hashtag #philphotographs
Wandering parts of Kuala Lumpur feels like navigating a series of connected and air-conditioned tube walkways between the city’s extensive shopping centers and food courts.
I know there is more to the place than this, 24 hours is never long enough however, only time for the greatest hits, so I headed to the tallest highlight in the city, the Petronas Twin Towers.
A good judge of a city is always in how well you can navigate around without a map or at the very least using public transport. Happily I was staying in the central area of Chow Kit, serviced by a frequent monorail line that weaved its way through central Kuala Lumpur. A short walk from the stop and I easily found my way to the towers, English on the signage is common here.
A couple of things I did learn whilst visiting the Petronas towers; Every morning they hand out just over 1500 free tickets for those eager enough to get there before 8am, I was also told that another great vantage of the towers was from the Sky bar in the Traders hotel opposite. The benefit of this is it’s free to go up and look & shoot a picture, also a great un-obscured view of the twins.
Another stop along the Monorail was the markets of China Town. The main market is a typically geared for tourists; selling all sorts of knock off designer gear and ‘genuine copies’, one trend I have noticed is for many of those Dr Dre ‘Beats’ headphones, not forgetting any DVD you could wish for, a pretty standard tourist trap.
I took a route between the main market streets, an alleyway, and that’s where the real deal was happening. Covered by sheets of corrugated metal, these alleys were buzzing with butchers, fishmongers, all kinds of fruit and veg, for the sole benefit of the Malay people, Not the images you generally find inside a guide-book. This was an everyday Kuala Lumpur, I was happy that in my short time I had found a small part of it.
I stopped in Kuala Lumpur on my way to London, 24 hours in this hive of activity is never enough time to fully explore a place. It is plenty of time however to pick up a bug to get back out there and see more.
Most impressive of course are the Petronas Twin Towers, which I frequented and photographed (including these Instagram images). Kuala Lumpur is also surrounded by Palm oil plantations, Malaysia is a leading exporter of the oil. Palm trees are seen for miles and miles on the approach to the main airport.
Before realizing what country I am in, quickly I’m hurried into an airport taxi and on my way to the seaport of Padang Bai. A rookie mistake, not even enough time to consider whether this mode of transport is actually the cheapest as my driver keeps insisting, with the rain now beginning to pour, and in typical Balinese style, the driving is frantic, belts optional.
Landing late afternoon in a busy Denpasar, Bali, I had to reach Padang Bai that evening to catch a morning boat over to three tiny islands off the coast of Lombok to the east, another one of Indonesia’s 17,508 islands. The middle of these three, Gili Meno, I was most interested in, promising nothing more than quiet and cold drinks, a far cry from incessant heavy traffic and the multitude of horn blowing of Bali’s capital.