We arrived in kuala lumpur at 6am, well before sunrise, which occurs some time past 7. And so we sought refuge in an indian food court where I was to discover Malaysian style tea!
This amazing tea is achieved by placing a significant amount of sugar in the cup which is followed by a huge dollop of condensed milk (they don’t have fresh milk in asia by the looks of it). Boiling hot tea is then poured into the cup from a height which creates a frothy top on your cup of tea (a bit like a cappuccino). At the end of the process, a layer of sugar approximately half a centimetre thick still sits on the bottom of the cup, unable to dissolve within the hot cup of tea, which has reached its sugar saturation point. Mum, I already know what you’re thinking, but don’t worry, I’m limiting myself to one cup a day!
As the sun came up it was obvious that we were finally in the “real” asia. Kuala lumpur is hot, dirty and chaotic, with an eclectic mixture of cultures; namely the chinese, the indians and the malay. The overall vibe however is a very laid back one. People here aren’t pushy. They don’t try to sell you stuff you don’t want or trick you (at least as far as we know). It transpires that malays are relaxed in nature, so much so in fact, that the Malaysian government has had to decree that companies need to be owned by a malay (and not by a chinese or an indian) as these latter two cultures are taking over Malaysia (at least when it comes down to business).
A day in kuala lumpur was enough to take in its colonial heart and sprawling surroundings and so, spurred by our desire to escape the city and the stifling heat we had been experiencing ever since stepping off the plane in singapore, we went to the bus station and booked two tickets on next day’s early morning bus to the Cameron highlands – the highlands in the heart of the Malaysian peninsula at an average height of 1500m and home to countless tea plantations.