I find that after a while you can become a little overwhelmed by the contents of museums, as well as ancient monuments and cultures. Don’t you? One experience can blend in to another, and a full appreciation becomes more difficult. Angkor Wat stimulated me to the limit for its history, culture, architecture and craftsmanship. The vibe of modern cities beckoned.
Kuala Lumpur surprised me. I stayed right in the centre and found it to be packed full of modern urban life. The city feels very successful. In fact, the whole of Malaysia feels successful.
Prices are low but rising. Taxes are rising to allow the Government to balance the books after years of heavy investment. There is clearly some individual wealth, but many told me their salaries are not rising with prices. So, no surprises there then. Money has been spent well on education, housing and infrastructure. I look forward to another visit soon.
I think Kuala Lumpur may have had an eye on Singapore. This city state is booming. Historically, it traded goods through the ports, between east and west, and now complements that with a trade in information. Money basically. The central business district looks and feels like it should be in the world’s top ten.
Jim Rogers now chooses to live in Singapore. He is a billionaire investor, but more importantly to me he rode a motorcycle around the world and wrote about it. “Investment Biker” was the first book of its kind that I read. Thanks for the inspiration Jim. He lives in Singapore for the ease of doing business throughout Asia, and for the clean air. Good choice.
Jakarta, capital of Indonesia, does not feel like Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to me. I think fundamentally the traffic is the main problem. It is the world’s largest city without a public transport network. Decades of debate, indecision and probably corruption are to blame. Congestion, air pollution, filth and inability to move efficiently, blight the city. Yet, its growth is admirable. Again, there is a very successful vibe here, but it could be better.
Prompted by the Asian Games starting in Jakarta in August 2018, construction of the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rail Transit) looks like it might, at last, be heading for its final stages. Meanwhile, everyone is on the roads, including 5 million motorcycles.