Petronas @ Kuala Lumpur

Malaysia came across as a very organised country, the roads impeccable, there was order in the system and I guess it’s a lot to do with how the citizens conduct themselves. The subway stations are calm, quite, and the office rush hour is an epitome of tranquil and peace. The kiosks at the Subway stations make the commute for first timers very pleasant and the transition is seamless. The airport transfer is one of the best I’ve seen so far, its fast, efficient and the officials are very warm and congenial to the inquiry. An employee of KLIA, went to the extent to write down a detailed plan for me to reach the city 🙂

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The KLIA – Airport transfer ticket to the city.

I interchanged the subways at Sentral and reached KLCC at the Petronas. As soon as you get off the subway exit, on your left you will see the magnificient towering structure of the twin towers. Its gorgeous and exquisite. It’s a beauty all the way from the floor to the entire expanse of the building. The logistics at the Petronas is impeccable and its worth seeing the towers, after all it did enjoy the reputation of being the tallest building until recently. IMG_0298

View of the city of KL from the Petronas Towers.

I had breakfast at the cafeteria with the office crowd. They had authentic Malaysian cuisine and I absolutely loved it. We had a tour of the towers and the lift to the 86th floor reached in record time. The view is splendid, the bridge connecting the towers does sway if the wind force is quite strong as it is suspended. IMG_0311

The swaying bridge 🙂 Connecting the twin towers.

The staff at the Petronas are a bunch of very happy people. It does say a lot about the company I guess. At the desk the person issuing the ticket for the tour of the towers was very warm and she wished me ‘Happy Diwali’ that was so thoughtful of her, and a small gesture like that remains in your memory for days to come. IMG_0315

A courteous, happy employee is the biggest asset to a company 🙂

From high above the towers you can see small little tents, I later realised that that it was a Massive Mall. One of the largest shopping complex I’ve been to! Efficiency at its best as the power is sourced from the Solar panels. Even the solar panels are a visual delight as they are artistically arranged! At the mall, I bought my favorite fleece jacket from Uniqlo 🙂 IMG_0299

The Solar Powered Mall at KLCC.

The view and the experience is worth the effort and time. It a building with a keen sense of taste and would be a delight to an architect and a lover of fine art. Way back in 2002 I had dreamt of being there and here I was having a splendid time at one of the tallest, beautiful, marvelous building in the world.

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Good Samaritan – Be one!

Raise you vibrations to attract the good, and only the best will be filtered your way.

When travelling, one has to be vigilant at all times. You got to keep your bags in check, your documents and the currency you are carrying. Not to forget, the constant improvisation on the ever effervescent contingency plan.

Before I set off for my first Solo Trip, I was a nervous wreck, I was freaking out. For the first time in my life I experienced ‘Cold Feet’. I now understand what the Brides, Grooms, Parents-to-be or anyone else feel when they have a panic attack. I couldn’t relax, I couldn’t talk, I couldn’t eat, I had constant headaches days before my travel.

That’s when my friend KK came to my rescue, he said “Nam, don’t worry! You will be fine, you have traveled before and its gonna be a walk in the park for you. Just relax, breathe and GO!” Honestly I dint believe a word of what he said, for I was thinking of almost cancelling my ticket! Yes! I panicked probably because I was travelling to a non-English speaking country for the first time ever. KK said “Just be positive, and only the good ones will come your way. Be good and you will attract only good people. But stay vigilant and be street smart”.

I finally relaxed and took it one step at a time, I remembered to count my blessings and keep looking for the good. And many Good Samaritans came my way! From my first pit stop at a transit in KL, I had encounters with amazing good hearts. Yes good people have good souls, you can sense it, it feels good – very good to be around them. I met a person from Switzerland who was in KL to see the Petronas – we soon became friends as she was also a solo traveler, we shopped and had lunch together. We had a fantastic time.

When I reached my destination I had several encounters with Good Samaritans. This travel taught me many things, one of them was that there are angels all around. Look for good and you will find it. Help comes in various unexpected ways.

One morning after breakfast i saw that a couple left the restaurant but they dropped their Subway card on their way out. I knew this was a lifeline, I handed it to them and they were grateful for the gesture and asked me what my plans were for the day and instantly tore off a bunch of sheets from their immaculately filed travel file and gave it to me. To this day I don’t know how I would have managed that day ‘without’ that info. It was so detailed and it was ‘absolutely necessary’ and the universe just filled the jigsaw puzzle for me. I was overwhelmed.

Help comes in various forms, every single day we need to remind ourselves that, ‘The Best is YET to come’.

Golden Mantra: Do unto others what you would have them do unto you!

Aries at HuaShan 华山

Aries are the pioneers of the zodiac, a cardinal sign full of rigor, enthusiasm and energy. This fire sign denoted by the ram is apt, as the ram is unafraid  to enter new unknown terrain and excel in the conquest. Need a new kick-start for a new idea you know who to get in touch with! The ram likes to scale heights and is usually scaling the mountains. Maybe that’s why we three musketeers from different countries ended up at Huashan, to scale these majestic peaks. Michael from Germany, Nimrod from Israel & me from India were climbing up HuaShan with a relentless strong will to hike up all the way and back.

IMG_1706 A pretty steep climb at HuaShan

Hua Shan is one of the 5 sacred mountains in China, has a long history of religious significance. The terrain is quite tricky with vertical climbs and it could be quite exerting even for a seasoned climber. Off late, my fitness regime had taken a hit, and although i knew going up HuaShan involved climbing, I dint really expect what was to come:)

To reduce slips and to ward off unforeseen danger, there are meticulously carved steps with railings and chains for support all along the way. While climbing HuaShan one cant help but appreciate the effort that was taken, to enable the climb with comfort and ease.

The view is breathtaking and weather very pleasant, as you will be hiking among clouds. There are cable cars to reach the peak too. But we chose to climb all the way up. Throughout my climb I met many people who warmly greeted us with Ni Hao & would encourage through sign language us to climb further – they would flex the biceps and tell us to be strong 🙂 You can have a pit stop at various cafes along the way.

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At the South Peak – the highest point.

We climbed up the west peak to a monastery, where we camped the night and in the morning we trekked to the Death Trail – a 50cm wooden plank that is mounted perpendicular to the mountain wall. This trails enjoys a reputation of being the Worlds most dangerous hiking trail. It’s a 2 way traffic up here on this narrow plank, and your safety is in the harness and you have the control as you got to hook the clamps as you cross this wooden plank.

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The famous death trail – Its a 2 way traffic up here! 😉

The view from here is magnificent and gorgeous. You do feel a sense of accomplishment while you have done this climb. It is definitely a must visit while in Shaanxi Province. Its one of the highlights of visiting this section of Mainland China.

We took a bullet train from Xi’An to Huayin, just outside Huayin station we had a wonderful meal and set off to the base of Huashan in a cab. On the way back there is a free bus service from the base of Huashan to the city & we took a bus back to Xi’An as we missed the last train in the afternoon by a few mins.

Back in Xi’An we had sore muscles for the next 10 days. That was by far the most beautiful pain & I loved it because every step I took reminded me of the arduous climb and it brings a smile right back even now 🙂 Aries – the Ram belongs to the mountains – Did we 3 Aries pick Huashan, or did Huashan tempt us to scale it?