I am Malaysian by birth and although consider myself familiar and comfortable with Kuala Lumpur, having travelled and stayed there every year since my teens, I took the opportunity this year on 25 May to join the Eat, Pray, Love tour with my sister-in-law (who had never travelled overseas before).
What a wonderful experience it was!
Our tour guide Erina Loo was a magnificent story teller; and passionate about the preservation of the "living heritage" of KL. All too soon, the places we visited on the tour will be gone due to the inevitable pace of modernisation, globalisation and progress.
For me, it was a tour which harked back into my childhood memories of KL - wet markets, strange yet delicious smells from food stalls in alley ways, incense filled temples and the searing heat off both the sun and the pavement. I have always loved KL but after this tour and equipped with Erina's historical accounts and anecdotes and information, I found so much more to love (and most importantly, so many more places to eat).
For my sister-in-law, the tour was an action packed 6 hours of pure wonder. Having never left Australia before, the tour was a wonderful orientation for her to KL and Malaysia.
Erina discussed KL history and the impact of the various waves Chinese and Indian immigration; let us discover the melting pot of Malaysia by tasting an enormous variety of local foods; and showed us first hand how multiculturalism functions in every aspect of every day in KL.
For my 11 year old daughter, she loved the food and the temples and the stories; and meeting the other guests in our group. She also loved learning more about my own heritage which gave her some further insight into the "why" of the who I am.
If you are intending on bringing children on the tour - be warned it is very hot, sweaty and a lot of listening is required.
I must also commend the Be-Tourist office for their excellent administration, communication and organisation (this is usually lacking when in Asia) of the booking process and tour guidance. Their efficiency and friendliness gave me much assurance that I was dealing with a professional team with integrity and passion for their jobs.
Next time I'm in KL, I'll absolutely be joining another of their tours.
Well done Be-Tourist and keep up the great work!
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