This time next year - May 15

Friday, May 15, 2009

The last TTNY destination we looked at was Laos; today we're in Malaysia! Specifically, the capital city Kuala Lumpur, referred to by locals and cool kids as "KL". Kuala Lumpur apparently means "muddy estuary" in Malay, befitting its start as a small tin-mining town in 1857. KL has now grown into a metropolitan area of more than 6.5 million people, and Wikitravel reports that it's home to "the world's cheapest 5-star hotels", which sounds great to me, since I'll be coming from about 40 days in southeast Asia where I suspect most of my accommodations will be cheap but rustic. I only plan to be in Kuala Lumpur for a few days, so maybe I'll splurge on one of those 5-star hotels, which can apparently be had for a mere $80/night or so.

Because I'll probably only be in KL for a short time, there are just two main things I want to do while I'm there: I want to see the Petronas Towers, and I want to hash.

The Petronas Twin Towers exceeded the Sears Tower as the tallest buildings in the world in 1998, rising to a height of 1482 feet (including the spires). In 2004 they were topped by Taipei 101, but they're still plenty tall, and definitely worth a visit, especially for someone with an already-professed interest in big engineering projects.

Here is a cool website that gives an interactive 360° view from the base of the towers.

One of the most interesting parts of the towers (other than their immense tallness) is the Skybridge that links the two towers together at the 41st and 42nd level. It's free for the public to visit the Skybridge, though you're required to get a ticket to do so, and they recommend you line up early to get the ticket since they only issue 1700 passes every day. I haven't been able to find out if it's possible to go to the top of either of the towers, which seems kind of odd. Taipei 101 boasts indoor and outdoor observatories as high as the 91st floor, and the Sears Tower Skydeck is on the 103rd floor. It seems bizarre that someone would design the world's tallest building and then not add a way for the public to go to the top. Of course there are other ways to get to the top...

As for hashing in KL - astute readers of Go See Run Eat Drink may remember that Kuala Lumpur is the place where the Hash House Harriers were founded, in 1938. So really, how could I travel in the area without paying a visit to the Mother Hash? Their website may be plain, but they're currently posting information for Run # 3410! To put that in perspective, the Winnipeg Hash House Harriers are about the celebrate Run # 400.

In addition to the Mother Hash, about 15 other hashes for KL are listed in the Directory at the World Hash House Harriers Home Page. Because the original "Hash House" was the Royal Selangor Club Chambers in KL (given its alliterative nickname due to its unimaginative fare) I'm also interested in the Royal Selangor Club HHH, which actually runs from that original Hash House.

The Petaling HHH also have a nice website and they seem to be quite active, but I worry that it might be hard to get to where their runs start. Petaling looks like a western suburb of KL, and as such it might be challenging for a public-transit-riding hasher to access. Also, the Petaling HHH website lists this ominous message in its "Announcements" section, alongside a note about guest fees (RM35), and a request to keep kids away from the Beer Truck:

There are still lots of Dengue outbreaks, so always wear mosquito repellent.
Of course there is no vaccine for Dengue fever, so even Nurse Judy can't help with this one. Luckily, it's rarely fatal, and recovery usually occurs in a few weeks. I suppose this is not much different than West Nile Virus, so a hardy DEET-loving Winnipeger like me should have no problem.

1 Comment:

waterbaby said...

Dear Pam, Greetings ! I am the Grand Mistress of KL Hash House Harriettes. We run on Wednesdays. There are various chapters around the Klang Valley that run on different days of the week so it is quite flexible to arrange your hash schedule when in town. The beauty of hashing is that guest can get in touch with the committee members (via email or phone) to voice their intent to hash & that you require transportation. They will usually arrange for pick-up by members to the run site. Depending on where you are staying, members in the vicinity can give you a lift from the hotel or the nearest train station & back. Members usually convene for dinner after the run with an additional cost of not more than RM20. Guest fee varies by chapter & covers for drinks; free flow in some chapters, fixed bottles of beer or soda in others at the runsite. Hope you'll have a successful hash experience when in Malaysia. On ! On !
Joanna Tang (No Money No Honey)

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