“The tallest twin towers in the world no less,” my neighbour beamed while distributing chocolates, “and the way they look all lit up is magnificent!” I nodded my head knowledgeably, previously exposed to the Petronas Towers on my little TV set. They were the landmark of Kuala Lumpur, the exquisite Malaysian city. When the neighbour wasn’t looking, I slunk away with the chocolates. They were from Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom, Kuala Lumpur’s chocolate heaven, and previous experience with the neighbour-who-travelled assured me they’d be good.
Much later, when I sat nibbling at the little delights, I had little idea how Air Asia would equip me with just the right things to tell my snob of a neighbour. “Oh, feel free to grab another box, dear.” I would say as a matter-of-fact. “I had plenty to spend at Beryl’s.” Under my breath, I would shout out in glee for Air Asia.
This apart, I have always harboured a love for the city’s mystic caves, vibrant shopping destinations and absolute melting pot of a cultural richness. And now, with Air Asia kick starting its India journey with fantastic new pricing, there’s every reason to pack my bags, hop on the airplane and drop all my cares from the window before I take off for distant lands.
When the sun is high up in the sky, true to the city’s warm and sunny climate, I will check into a plush hotel in the Bukit Bintang area. I will say “how do you do?” in Bahasa Malaysia, the city’s primary language, and sit by the window to take in Kuala Lumpur’s fantastic skyline. Eventually, I will emerge to dine at Bijan, a charming Malay restaurant in town. “Could you get me some Daging Bungkus Kukus?” I will ask. My table will light up with a plateful of minced meat and herbs, wrapped in a thin layer of pancake. I will let the day pass slowly by and perhaps witness a Chinese wedding at the Thean Hou Temple. I will convey my regards to Tian Hou – the goddess who sits there to protect fishermen and Guan Yin – the Goddess of Mercy. When the nightlights illuminate the city, I will fall asleep listening to independent Malaysian music.
The animated city will wake me up to the promise of an unparalleled shopping experience. I will head to Chinatown – a bargain hunter’s heaven. I will stuff my bags with all that catches the eye, right from clothes to foods to accessories, for once paying no heed to carefully orchestrated monthly budgets. If my feet begin to give up, I will check out one of the umpteen foot reflexology centres and let the sights and sounds of Kuala Lumpur interplay around me.
I will watch Malay colours unfold from the viewing deck of Menara KL– the 421 metre high tower. For the sights and sounds of the aquatic world, by the by, I will go check out Aquaria KLCC. The blue rays and tiger sharks will hobnob as I smile at them from the safety of my confinement.
As I see it, I will require extra baggage allowance to make it on the return flight. I will also have to look for expandable camera space to capture the loveliness – or wait, the multitude of delightful moments will anyhow be etched in memory. My travel savings don’t look too promising at the moment. But, with Air Asia’s thoughtful fares to the city that glimmers, life may just take a new turn. After all, with the airline’s World’s Best Online Travel Fair, now everyone can fly.
*Written as a part of Air Asia and Women Web’s The Dream Asian Destination Blogger Contest