In which other major capital, barring Mogadishu, can you stay at a slick international property for just US0 or less? Just ask for a “promo rate” and walk into the biggest hotel bargain east of the Suez.Kuala Lumpur is a bopping town with something approaching a sidewalk cafe culture, this despite the heat, the rain and exhaust fumes.The Hilton lobby is minimalist but busy, spacious, soaring, light-filled and airy.Streetside cafeteria meets space-age lounge under the watchful gaze of large artistic renditions.This is a long snaking 600m affair wraps around one side of the eight-floor podium and is shared – along with the spa – by the adjoining Le Meridien (same owner, different management).There are several restaurants and watering holes – including the popular Zeta Bar – a two-storey fitness centre and a 1,220sq m "pillarless" ballroom.
Then I head to my favourite curry shop and dive into the mutton masala, marvelling at juicy chunks of tandoori chicken and vast streaming strands of laksa noodles waving sinuously in a red chilli soup that packs enough punch to land a man on the moon.
At Bukit Bintang "sheesha" hubble-bubble stalls have proliferated offering flavoured puffs, Lebanese tidbits and chill-out music.
The heat can be beat with the giant cooling fans that spray a fog of wet mist over diners.
It is a heady cocktail, the results often unexpected.
More for visitors at the hugely revamped and informative Ministry of Tourism website. Once notorious for its gridlocked traffic, cars and people move too these days, thanks to some well-planned elevated motorways and light rail options.