Sunday, November 17, 2013

Posted On November 17, 2013 by Team iCynosure.

Learning to Drive a truck. Falling in Love with a complete stranger. Cheering a rival team in the stadium all alone. Dancing like crazy when everyone's looking. Playing adventure sports when scared sh*t. Drinking tequila shots in a nightclub to be dragged out by friends. Travelling to an exotic destination to fall in love with the place. A never ending, ever growing list is what makes life exciting and worth living.

This is my list, and growing everyday. No one, but I - myself will make it happen one by one. 

Big choices are usually easier to make but the little ones are the more difficult, though evidently they are the ones which make the feeling supreme when taken. Of the hundreds to-do things on my wishlist nothing will be more rewarding than travelling. Travelling the world, exploring unfamiliar territory, savoring unique cuisine, participating in local activities, experiencing everything first-hand, soaking in the new culture, all combined together opens new dimensions whilst adding quality to life. Every time I thought about when I'd start living my dream of travelling, I believed that there would never be a better time than that very day.  

Travelling being so super expensive, I did the next best thing. Work with a Destination Wedding Expert. I assisted him on numerous weddings all over India, Udaipur - Lonavala - Lavasa - Hyderabad and many more. Then a wedding in early 2009 took me all the way to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah via Kuala Lumpur. A five day extravaganza and all I did was run around barking orders on the walkie-talkie, with no ounce of enjoying the place and travels. Then after over a 100 hours of work finally we were all set to head back home.

Missing the connecting flight back.... we were stuck at Kuala Lumpur airport, trying to reschedule. Oh what a task, all flights we full. However we managed to get seats only on the late night flight. With about 8 hours in hand we carried a few essentials deposited our luggage at airport lockers and headed to explore the city which the World’s Best Online Travel Fair pronounced as 'Truly Asia'. 

The moment I stepped out of the airport, I felt the air of recognition. Just like good-old Bombay, Kuala Lumpur is a modern cosmopolitan city with a rich ancient heritage. A gorgeous painting adorned with mesmerizing skyscrapers and sprinkled with colonial architecture colors a historical character of the Malay influence. A magical city that's welcomes everyone with open arms - any culture, any language, any ethnicity. A mini-world where there are no boundaries, no differences. 

Hailing a metered taxi we first rushed to witness the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers. Standing tall at over 450 meters, the towers are connected by a walk through bridge at the 41st floor. Straining our necks to capture a portrait picture from the base to the tip seemed highly impossible. We made our ways to the architectural marvel in the Golden Triangle to get our tickets to the walk-through bridge. Unfortunately only a limited number of tickets are distributed each day so we had to take a miss on that walk. 

Our cabbie assured us that he will make it happen for us, a gorgeous view to see the entire city from the greatest of heights. Menara Tower it was. The all-around view from Menara was splendidly breathtaking. The Observation Deck had the most gorgeous, the most beautiful view of the city. 

Time flew by and we had only three and a half hours left for exploration. 

Our cabbie was no less than a tourist guide, mixing a fair bit of Malay dialect with English he pointed out to numerous places that would interest us while driving around. Specially mentioning the Masjid Negara as a must visit site, he said that the national mosque has design influences from the Grand Mosque in Mecca and it is the largest in Asia. Another mosque is the Pink Putra Mosque a visual treat from miles away designed using rose tinted granite. A display of rare pieces of Quaran is yet another crowd puller to this landmark. 

Slowly but steadily I was falling in love with Kuala Lumpur, my heart beating faster as I saw the city unravel it's splendor through the words of a local man. 

Religiously bound Hindu's find their way to the Batu Caves especially during the the Hindu Festival called Thaipusam. Over 250 steps to climb to the Temple Cave does require loads of faith and endurance, which the festival celebrates at the holiest shrine in Malaysia through the celebration of Lord Subramaniam, the son of God Shiva. 

Atop a hill is the Thean Thou Temple, a Chinese temple which is a shrine of the Goddess of the Ocean. Apart from many cultural activities that happen during the Chinese New Year, the temple is also a dream wedding photography location for many newly married couples.

Historical sites like the Merdeka Square, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, the Selangor Club Padang are worth visiting as well. Culturally jubilant Philharmonic Orchestra, sporty adventures in golf and football are also very popular among tourists. The list seems never-ending. 

The shopping and food experiences are a delight and tantalize every taste-buds. A brand person or a street shopper, there is a place for everyone to explore - Luxury Malls, Budget Markets or Street Stalls. A gourmet heaven as it is known as, Kuala Lumpur has a fantastic mix of five star restaurants to street hawkers to renowned chef restaurants too. 

With enjoying the appetizer - a slice of Kuala Lumpur to the fullest, I was so enamored with what the spread of the plate would be like. As I headed towards the airport, I made a promise to the city, 'I'm coming to meet you again soon. To breathe in the air filled with aromas, to hear the chants of the mixed culture, to touch the uneven architectural surfaces, to savory the humongous spread of native cuisine and to see the unity in diversity.'

In all the rush of the getting on the plane, one feeling never left me. The feeling of when you travel away from home...and that's when I realised, 'I've found a HOME AWAY from HOME.' Let me know which is your Dream Asian Destination on your travel list - Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok? 

Until I Meet You Again,
- Heena


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