Starhill Gallery, the most upmarket mall in KL - 12th April 2015

A word on recognising beauty.                                                                                                             

We both feel very privileged to be able to appreciate beauty in its so many forms. The ability to appreciate the beauty of an 11th Century Chinese bowl and also the ultra-modern Twin Towers is not something that is given to all.

We have always enjoyed the Old Masters in Europe as well as Contemporary Modern Art. I believe the secret is to have an open mind and not remain blinkered as so many are. The same applies to food. We have eaten in the most sophisticated restaurants and eaten the cheapest street food and have been able to enjoy both.  

Yesterday as we strolled the malls it was very noticeable that the oldest person we set eyes on would not have been more than 50 years old and the majority were well under 30. It made us realise than inner city Kl while stimulating is not the place for retirees to live unless one is in constant need of large crowds of youngsters. The other thing we observed (The old Zoo keeping observation skills at work again) is the average person in KL inner city is much taller than those from the other 3 Malaysian cities we have just visited. Intrigued we have run through all the possibilities including higher socio economic mix, better diet and ethnic mix without coming up with a definitive answer.

Forget to mention that while perusing the “Rich Peoples” section of the Pavilion yesterday we spied a diamond ring in the window of Chow Tai Fook jewellers. It was the biggest diamond we had ever seen. It was priced at 2,007,000RM or $739,145 Australian dollars so we decided not to enter the secure premises for a closer look instead proceeded to the Crocs shop to look at some flip flops!

KL is so clean, neat, roads are of world class and all the new buildings are of modern design similar to Potsdam Berlin and Shanghai. It will not be too long before KL becomes an International Mega City if it is not already. The Inner City population is around 1.5 million and when you include the suburbs it is over 7 million. I felt we personally viewed at least 100,000 of them yesterday!

The Hospitals including the superb Prince Court Medical Centre  mentioned recently in a Planet Boomer Blog on Medical Tourism are as good as any in the western world. Ramsey Health care (an Australian Company) has 2 hospital in Kl so the ailing retiree would have no problem getting anything from a “grease and oil change” to major surgery.

I have to report that yesterday that we lashed out financially and spent over our budget. The whole trip we have tried to simulate an older Australian couple with around pension level income to prove you can live well on it in Asia even while swanning about. The simulation has not been difficult as the description fits! We blame the superb “Twin Tower influence” for this rush of blood to the head and its effect on our spending. Today we will take a more restrained approach and plan to travel around the city on the FREE KL city shuttle bus!

We both take a last gaze out of our window at “The Seductress” and Erica is heard to say “I just LOVE that building” and I concur, before re- engaging with the crowds that occupy this inner city habitat

Hopped on the Free Green route bus outside Twin Towers to go to Starhill Gallery reputed to be the most upmarket malls in KL. On arrival we spent 5 minutes trying to find the entrance. We eventually did and it was just like an International hotel lobby complete with a guard. The Grand Hyatt and JW Marriott Hotels are both connected to it.

Starhill Gallery

Starhill Gallery

Starhill Gallery inside

Starhill Gallery inside

Red carpet escalators

Red carpet escalators

Well upmarket is not a good enough description of this place it was top drawer. The escalators steps were red to simulate red carpet and it was the sort of place Sultans and Princes would shop. It was very quiet (maybe the Sultans and Princes were sleeping in as it is Sunday). A shop called XZQT featured Fendi Furniture and a Fendi 3 seater lounge was a snip at 190,688RM or $67860 Australian dollars. Fragrance Dubois a perfumery where they mix your own special fragrance was next.

The jewellery stores dripped with gold and diamonds and one had the replica Princess Di Sapphire ring for sale.

 Armani had a homewares store and shops with expensive watch brands so exclusive we had never heard of abounded. The centre had great singer with a band playing and was so top drawer that it almost made you feel uncomfortable. A pair of Muslim women in full regalia were carrying bags full of these exclusive goodies (could have been a Sultan’s wives doing a spot of weekend shopping).

Decided, as we were back to the retiree mode today, against making any purchases!

Next we visited one of the most down market malls, a refurbished old one with low ceilings called Fahrenheit 88. The contrast was staggering. This looked like a centre where customers arrive by bicycle or bus rather than by BMW or Bentley as they would in the centre we had just left. Management had placed a large backlit photo of what looked like the late Kerry Packer playing polo in an attempt to give the centre a lift.

Took the free bus and covered walkway to Twin Towers and The Suria shopping centre, assisted by a lovely lady who insisted on helping us to get off the bus at the right stop and walked most of the way with us.

Our new friend from the bus

Our new friend from the bus

New KL skyline

New KL skyline

All the Shopping centres other than Starhill Gallery were absolutely packed especially the food courts.  We met another 100,000 Malaysians today!