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Kuala Lumpur is a Tourist Town

I should have stayed in Kuala Lumpur longer to learn to like it. But I didn’t.

Kuala Lumpur is the kind of place where you go to pay your restaurant bill and find an array of miscellaneous charges and fees have been added on to it. It’s the kind of place where restaurants charge a dollar for a cup of boiled tap water. It’s the kind of place where you can ask someone for directions and they will ask you for money. It’s the kind of place that’s loaded with backpackers, tourists, and expats, and it shows.

I hate tourist towns. It’s not because I have anything against tourists or even tourism, but the fact that I hate being treated like a potential client everywhere I go. Tourist towns are essentially giant, open air shopping centers. You are a customer, everywhere, nothing more.

I want to have conversations, not be lured into a sales pitch on the prospect of friendship. It’s hard to talk to people in tourist towns, and if I can’t do this in a place there is no reason for me to go there.

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Whenever I find myself not liking a place it’s usually for one reason: I didn’t stay there for a long enough time. Although it’s a big gamble to invest time into a place that you don’t like on grounds that you will learn to love it, but I feel that this would probably be the case with Kuala Lumpur. In other words, I will be back.

Filed under: Malaysia, Tourism

About the Author:

Wade Shepard is the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. He has been traveling the world since 1999, through 89 countries. He is the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China, and contributes to The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3465 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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Wade Shepard is currently in: Prague, Czech Republic

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