"~kuala is the point where two rivers join together or an estuary, and lumpur means 'mud'." According to wiki.
KL stands out from other cities I've visited in one aspect; cultural diversity trifecta. Contrary to the data, it feels like an even 3-way split between Malay (Muslim), Indian (Hindi) and Chinese. To my benefit, this means that you can eat in three ways. Let's go eat all of 'em, and I've got the Ace in the hole; Shinji the GM. (Please check Category: Malaysia) from the right side bar)
His accumulated knowledge of POIs and places to eat/drink is massive. So we go, from Pan Mee (Hakka-style noodle), Tau Fu Fa (tofu in sweet milk), Ebi Soba (prawn noodle), Loti Tissue (bigass deep-fried paper-thin bread), Nasi Goreng Malay-peasant style, Bak Kut Teh (beef bone soup), sugar cane juice, fried crab skewers, Chinese Chicken Wings and even drive 2hrs north of the city to Ipoh for stir-fried bean sprouts. Who the fuck does that? THESE TWO JAPANESE NERDS. and it was worth every bit of it. The texture, the flavor, the minuscule calory intake. The order of duck roast was rather unnecessary, could've had the third serving of this delicious sprouts.
Ipoh also is a nice sleepy town outside of the hustle-bustle of KL; more greenery, a haunted castle built in the early 20th century, a suspicious local man that keeps following you around the train station like a fucking zombie. Good times.
The more time you spend outside of KL, the more presence of China you start to feel. As Malays have enjoyed advantages in many aspects while non-Malays mainly are barred from the top position in the government, most Chinese with significant financial gravitas moved to other cities like this, Penang my next destination and as close to the city centre as Genting Highlands, mere one-hour drive and up 5000ft above where they built mini-Macau back in 70s complete with tramways offering (I'm assuming) great views of the city. Since then they updated themselves with brand shops, arcades and restaurants as Vegas did. I'm no noob to Tiger Cubs Mega-malls but the ones here are not to be easily forgotten. A great use of hillside terrain. Impressive. But we're not here to shop, we here to WIN.
Once inside, the interior looks eerily familiar; no pix to show as the armed guards everywhere, but the carnie-theme, color scheme, undeniable wear and tear that makes you feel like you're in a bad dream...Circus motherfucking Circus. And bingo, that's what the joint is called. What else is similar? The minimum bet; this was totally unexpected as I've gotten used to everything being 1/4 of the US cost, by but that's certainly not the rate I lost. On roulette tables, $5 minimum. Blackjack, $25. Baccarat - I don't even know what it costs back home, but this one is hugely popular here. And the rest looks like an Indian Casino in an alternative universe. Strange 3-die craps tables that probably have way worse odds than we know, childishly simple game of rolling the ball and guess what number it lands on, and so forth. I'm no exgpert, but it seems that they prefer faster and simpler gameplay, at much higher stakes. Imagine the cheapest blackjack table you find is $100 minimum. And these Chinese uncles and anties are LOVING IT. They're rowdy, dead serious and ruthless. Look at China. Can't wait to visit Macau.
One last mind-blowing thing; they offer their own ATM card. GM managed to win back some on a video-roulette that looks like it's been in use since 90s, but we can't cash out. The clerk tells us that we need the card. Players card for comps? Sorta. It stores the credit you win on these machines, and you go to Genting ATMs on the floor to get the actual cash. Then the GM remembered he had one at home, with some credit left on it. Goddamn genius these Chinese gangs.
Well, for our consolations, the bird nest soup at the restaurant was fucking delicious.
Soundchaser/two-time Independent Music Awards finalist. New EP "Six Songs from Insomnia" is out on all major streaming platforms.