Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

I was very excited to see this week’s photo challenge theme. I consider myself to be an urbanite. I love the traffic, the tall buildings, the noise and the modernity of the cities I’ve visited and lived in. Here are some photos of some of the cities I have been to and adored.

Helix Bridge in Singapore

A narrow street in Kuching, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Seoul as seen from 63 Building

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment

This week’s photo challenge was one of my favorites. The challenge is to post a photo of a fleeting moment on a street. The reason why I like this challenge so much is because I love street photography. I can attribute that to being a city person. The busyness of a city provides countless opportunities to capture many fleeting moments. Here are a couple from my collection.

Wedding Procession in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Motorcycles on the streets of Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Spending Money in Kuala Lumpur

Our third day in Kuala Lumpur (KL) didn’t begin as well as our previous days in Malaysia’s capital. There was one reason why…Taxi drivers!
We left our hotel in the morning with optimism. We had a plan and we had a destination. All we needed was transportation. We decided that the best form of transportation for us would be a taxi. However, finding one with an honest and fair driver proved more difficult than expected. All taxi drivers we approached refused to run their meters and wanted to overcharge use for the ride. We approached five drivers in all and we walked away disappointed. Out of frustration, we decided that we would walk it. Luckily, we were approached on the sidewalk by a local who gave us directions to our destination. Not only was he helpful but he also brightened our morning of frustration.
After about a 30 minute walk in the heat, we did manage to reach our destination. The destination…(que drum roll)…a mall! Yes, that’s right, a mall. You may be wondering what was so special about this mall? You may be thinking it is one of those malls with an amusement park, an aquarium and other entertainment facilities. You would be wrong. It was just a regular mall with floor upon floor of stores.

20110819-082718.jpg

One thing we knew we needed to do on this trip was to shop. I find that because of my height and shoe size I am unable to find clothes or shoes that fit me in Korea. I can find some things but the choices are limited and it can be hit or miss. The Pavilion Mall in KL was a perfect spot for me. I was able to pick up shoes and sneakers. My wife also picked up things for herself.

20110819-083301.jpg

We didn’t spend the whole day within the mall and we did manage to get some more exploring in. One of the highlights was going to see the 5th tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Towers. These buildings are the current headquarters of the oil and gas giant company, Petronas. These towers were completed in 1999 and for 5 years were the world’s tallest until Taipei 101 was completed.

20110819-083915.jpg

Our third and final day in KL didn’t start off well, but after some directions given by a friendly local the day picked up. In the end, our last day was a great day. Our next destination is Penang, which is an island off the coast of Malaysia with a lot of colonial highlights and delicious food. Stay tuned!

Strolling Around Kuala Lumpur

Our second day in Kuala Lumpur was actually our first full day and we decided to hit the streets. We had our cameras in hand, shoes on our feet, backpack with necessities and valuables in it and a bottle of water at the ready. We were all set to explore KL (Kuala Lumpur).

One of the first things we had to do was shake the rust off our technical jaywalking skills. I’ve used them in Canada and in Korea but it’s a totally different traffic situation in southeast Asia. You have to basically jaywalk one lane at a time and watch very carefully so that you don’t get struck by a car or motorbike. The added challenge of jaywalking in KL is the fact that they drive on the opposite side than what I’m used to. So, now I have to make sure I’m actually looking the right way before I venture out onto the crowded streets. I guess I’m pretty good at it because I’m still alive to write about it.

20110816-085823.jpg

One of the early highlights of the day was something that actually had the power to stop traffic along with the help of a police escort. It was a parade for a Hindu wedding. There must have been a thousand people, mostly women, walking barefoot through the streets with flowers and fruit on their heads. They were all headed to the temple which is in Chinatown. I stayed out of the way and took as many photos as I could.

20110816-090446.jpg

Kompleks Dayabumi was our next highlight. This tall Islamic looking buidling was the former headquarters of Petronas. Petronas is the state owned oil and gas company of Malaysia. It is one of the richest companies in the world. They now have their headquarters in the Petronas twin towers which are currently the fifth tallest building in the world.

20110816-093024.jpg

Our favorite sight of the day was Merdeka Square. It was in this square that Malaysia’s independence was declared in 1957. The square contains a veiled field and a very tall flag pole. On one side are the very impressive buildings that now hold Malaysia’s highest courts. This area is very important to Malaysians and it was evident by the number of local tourists there.

20110816-093612.jpg

Our second day in KL was defintely a full day. I’ve only included some of our highlights. The were a few others. This city is a great city for exploring. The city has a very diverse culture. You could see a church, mosque, and a temple within minutes of each other. We still have one more day of exploring left in this city so, stay tuned.

Kicking it in Kuala Lumpur

After a semi-long flight (6 hours) and an airport bus we have arrived in Kuala Lumpur. For those of you who don’t know, Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, which is a country that borders Singapore, Brunei and Thailand. We will be spending the next few days here before we head on to another destination in Malaysia.

Our 6 hour flight was on Malaysia’s discount airline, Air Asia. Air Asia was recently voted the best discount airline in the world by it’s customers. I on the other hand, wasn’t entirely impressed. The service was a little on the slow side both at the check-in counters and on board. I will reserve my judgement though because I have 5 more flights with them before this summer trip comes to an end. I’m hoping it will improve.

Getting out of Kuala Lumpur airport was pretty simple and involved buying a ticket for the sky bus which would take us all the way to KL Sentral train station, and from there we would catch a cab to our hotel. Before leaving the airport we did see a familiar sight, a Marry Brown’s restaurant. Yes, that’s Marry Brown’s with two r’s. The colors were different but it was indeed a fast food chicken joint just like the Canadian Mary Brown’s.

Our hotel is right in the middle of Chinatown, which is one of the liveliest parts of the city. After checking in and unloading our bags, we went out to explore. We didn’t get far before it started to rain. It rained and rain. The kind of rain where, even if you had an umbrella, you would be soaked. We quickly ducked into a Chinese restaurant. The food was good and it was a refuge from the rain.

Once it stopped we went to Central Market which is a mall that isn’t far from our hotel. It’s a great place to buy souvenirs, clothes or get something to eat. We just did some window shopping, and on our way back picked up some snacks for the night.

That’s how we spent our first evening in Kuala Lumpur. We will be here for a few more days and we look forward to getting out and exploring what this city has to offer.

Check out some photos from our first evening in Kuala Lumpur.

20110814-101634.jpg

20110814-101823.jpg

20110814-101919.jpg