Exploring Kuala Lumpur in Style and Wonder

Eat, Play and Love is what KL is all about

 

What I love about travelling to a new country is hanging out with the locals and immersing myself into their culture. Kuala Lumpur was no exception – the sweet smell of durian (well…to some it’s smelly and prohibited in hotel rooms); the high-pitch sound of motor bikes passing by; and the incredible taste of traditional Malay street food.

We explored the Central Market street stalls and found myself devouring a variety of traditional sweet and savory food. I ate a fried whole fish covered in spicy sauces, custard vanilla and durian puffs, bowls of prawn mee, curry laksa, and nasi lemak, milk pearl tea and even drank an icy cold passionfruit drink from a bag.

Of course I couldn’t have claimed to have visited KL without visiting the grand Petronas Twin Towers. The towers were so popular that I couldn’t even get a ticket to experience the walkway between the two towers (tip: pre book your tickets at least 5 days in advance). I’d have to say my visit to the towers was surreal – they really do glitter and glow. Although for me the highlight was in the gardens below where a magical little forest of ancient looking trees with roots exposed and dangling, provided a nice resting place and of course a great photo opportunity. No I am not posing in a scene from Lord of the Rings, but this was really the garden at Petronas Twin Towers.

This blog post couldn’t go without saying that I honestly believe the hidden gem in this city is its rustic street art, which is spread all over the city’s buildings and walls. The bold colours of the colonial buildings creating a rainbow of endless photo opportunities and backdrop. As a shopaholic I’d expected to leave Central Market with bags of cute and probably useless trinkets, instead I spent hours in the heat scouting and photographing all the locations that I fancied.

I ate, played and loved KL. Definitely a place to be if you are thinking about escaping the Melbourne’s wintry weather.

Finally as I bid my farewells to this stunning city, I want to thank the following special list of people:

  • Ruby Wang of TheRubyCanvas for this unexpected and awesome opportunity. I can’t wait to travel with you to NYC in September coming up real soon!
  • Synthia Kek for her lively personality as she showed us off to her Facebook friends and interviewed us live, and of-course for her warm hospitality when we stayed at The Gardens Hotels & Residence
  • Venicia Gaul and her creative team at Piranhanyc for the opportunity to work with them on the St Giles Hotel campaign
  • Last and not the least, my travelling partner in crime: Dee, who has not only been such a great friend over the years but a super stylist, writer and photographer who took on my creative direction to heart and made it her own. Thank you and love ya to bits xx

 

words and images of me  // DEE DARWICHE of AdaptTrend
creative direction, words and images // KAREN WOO

outfits // SHEIKE
rose gold sandals // BARED FOOTWEAR

 

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St Giles Gardens Hotel & Residences at Kuala Lumpur

Location, Location, Location!

Any Aussie would tell you that where you reside is all about the location, so staying at the St Giles Gardens Hotel and Residences did not disappoint. I couldn’t be happier to discover how central the hotel was, especially that a mall was attached to the hotel! It wasn’t just a mall, The Gardens Mall is a Fashionistas’ paradise of high end fashion brands such as Gucci, Hermes, Balenciaga, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton, DKNY, to name a few; and their local designer brands and food markets. I was also in complete awe by their immaculate presentation of shopfronts, fit outs and of-course their individual marketing campaign images which gave me so much photography inspiration.

Puffy eyed, and dishevelled after an early flight I was delighted to step out of the humidity of the city to the crisp, clean, and very elegant hotel lobby. I was greeted by the enthusiastic Synthia Kek, who kindly gave me a tour of the hotel facilities and my room at the Executive Premier room. All I could ask is that I had more time to enjoy everything the hotel had to offer. Pool, gym, and all the modern comforts you’d expect from a five star hotel.

The hotel’s award-winning, Sage Restaurant & Wine Bar did not disappoint either. Well of-course since it is consistently voted among the Top 5 restaurants in Kuala Lumpur! The elegant dining room and attentive service set the table for Chef Daniel’s creative take on French & Japanese classics. And when you sit at the open kitchen table, the Chef and his team prepare their heavenly delights right before your eyes. I’m still salivating as I’m reliving my foodie experience.

Therefore if you are like me, who is after convenience and being central to all the touristy hotspots like Central Market, Petronas Twin Towers, Train stations and mega malls, then look no further. I definitely recommend staying at the Gardens Hotel & Residences.

Next up I’ll delve into my adventures out and about on the streets of KL so stay tuned xx

 

 

images // KAREN WOO
words and images of me // DEE DARWICHE of AdaptTrend

printed top, pants and playsuit // SHEIKE
rose gold sandals // BARED FOOTWEAR
caftan // CAMILLA

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Our tasting menu as it unfolded throughout the night:

Entre:
Carpaccio of Wagyu Rump with Plum Infused Konbu Sauce
Royale of Maine Lobster with Yuzu Citrus and Fresh Chives

Main:
Smoked Duck Breast with Watermelon and Foie Gras
Grain Fed Beef with Yuzukoshou and Noisette Miso Sauce
Slow Cooked Almond Crusted Lamb Rack with Meaux Mustard Sauce

Dessert:
Fresh Berries with Champange Sabayon and Vanilla Ice Cream
French Chocolate Fondant with Earl Grey Tea Ice Cream

 

 

Address: The Gardens Residences, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City, 59200 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The St Giles Hotel 360 Gear Campaign in Kuala Lumpur

This week I jetsetted to Kuala Lumpur to be a part of the St Giles Hotels, Be Central Campaign for The Gardens Hotel & Residences. I took my dear friend and colleague, Dee from AdaptTrend, to enjoy and document our journey via the very innovative Samsung 360 Gear.

The Gear 360 is a 360-degree camera equipped with dual fish-eye lenses, both featuring 15 megapixel image sensors. So basically, what this means is that it will capture everything. Yes everything! Our double chins and probably even Pokemon *jokes*. We even got footage of another tourist running over my foot with his luggage. How’s that for being caught on camera.

The device attracted a lot of attention wherever we went. We marched through our hotel, streets and markets, proudly holding the 360 Gear like it was our Olympic torch. Locals and tourists alike stared with amusement at this futuristic looking alien. Many stopped us to discuss the device!

It paired easily with Dee’s Samsung Note 5 via the Gear 360 app. We snapped and it synced, a seamless process allowing us to then use the app and manipulate the pics to create interesting, quirky, and nothing-of-the-kind images. It was a fun little Virtual Reality Cam which made capturing tall buildings like the Petronas Tower easy. It had photos, video, video-looping and time lapse functionality.

If you get a chance, you should check it out. We had a blast and will keep you posted after all the campaign footage is released!

Thank you Synthia Kek from the The Gardens Hotel & Residences for having us.

Stay tuned for my next post about my experience at the Hotel and places we explored around KL xxx

 

words // DEE DARWICHE
images // KAREN WOO

 

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In the mood for summer prints

Prints, and shirt on shirts are my latest obsession. What better way is to try out this trend at the beautiful Batu Ferringi Beach?

Location: Batu Ferringgi Beach, Penang Malaysia (Outside Shangri La Rasa Resort Hotel)
Images by Alan Woo

shirts and denim jeans // ZARA
sneakers // BARED FOOTWEAR
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Eat and Drink at Awesome Canteen, Penang

Penang continued to surprise us with their quaint little spaces such as one which we happen to stumble upon while we were searching for a foreign currency exchanger. Thank God, the Awesome Canteen accepted card so we had the liberty of trying some of their healthy paleo dishes. The Awesome Canteen are known for its ‘Paleo’ receipes, focusing on nutritious protein sources, vegetables and fruits, with vibrant highlights like grilled butterfish fillet with sweet potatoes and honeydew sauce, and a pomegranate salad with rocket and avocado. I ordered the Paleo eggplant and chicken stack with sweet potato fries – it was filling and light.

The walls were covered in faded paint giving it a special effect, seats were re-purposed industrial furniture, and what I loved most were the tall skinny trees planted into the middle of the space. This was definitely one space I would come back for a catch up with my foodie friends.

red dress // ZARA
rose gold sandals // BARED FOOTWEAR

All images by Karen Woo.

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