By Angelo Grillo

We visited two wonderful cities in Malaysia, Penang and Kuala Lumpur, while aboard Insignia and my goodness, were we impressed with this country. The technology, the cleanliness, the buildings and especially the people – these people have class!

We first visited a Buddhist temple. The Kek Lok Si Temple, Temple of Supreme Bliss, is situated in Air Itam in Penang facing the sea and commanding an impressive view. And it just happens to be the largest Buddhist temple in Malaysia.

They say that its main draw is the striking seven-story Pagoda of Rama VI (Pagoda of Ten Thousand Buddhas). However, I don’t know if I agree.  It seems to me that the most striking statistic to this group of tourist was the 278 steps that we had to climb. Thanks to Buddha that we weren’t allowed to go all the way to the top!

Kuala Lumpur, founded in 1857 by Chinese tin miners, is Malaysia’s largest city and its capital. The city is situated at the confluence of Gombak River (earlier Lumpur River) and Klang River, and in fact, the name Kuala Lumpur is a Malay term meaning “muddy confluence.” Kuala Lumpur is fondly known as KL, and its residents are known as KLites.

Next, on to the Petronas Twin Towers – an Argentinian architect, Cesar Pelli, designed these twin skyscrapers. Between 1998 and 2004, they were the world’s tallest buildings, and are still regarded as the world’s tallest “twin” buildings. Did you know that one of the Petronas twin towers was built by a Japanese consortium, headed by Hazama Corporation, and the other twin tower was built by South Korea’s Samsung?

New explorations tomorrow – hope to see you on board soon!

Angelo and Pat Grillo enjoyed explorations far and wide aboard Insignia’s 2016 Around the World voyage and are currently on board Marina. Angelo is a freelance writer, and Pat has been an artist-in-residence with Oceania Cruises since 2011. Pat is an award-winning artist who has exhibited and sold her work across the country and throughout the world. They both live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina when they are not traveling.

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