Comparisons are odious, or so we are told, but I have to say that after a week in Kuala Lumpur, I couldn’t help comparing KL, a busy crowded jam packed Asian capital with New Delhi, another busy crowded jam packed Asian capital (where I live) and guess which city came out ahead? At least on the running stakes…
I ran every day in the KLCC park, and every day I marvelled at the cleanliness, the neatness, the lack of rubbish, the drinking fountains, the clean toilets.
Delhi eat your heart out.
But, yes, you are absolutely right, this isn’t about Delhi, it’s about KLCC Park, so let’s head there straight away.
KLCC Park isn’t actually all that big, and is situated slap bang in the heart of KL, but it is an oasis of greenery and quiet and calm, and all this with the backdrop of the Petronas Twin Towers.
Doesn’t get much better, I tell you.
There are some gorgeous old banyan trees, and the 1.3km track winds its way through the trees, and up and down a few slopes, over a bridge. There is an amazing illusion of space despite the city back drop at every turn.
The track is rubberised – lovely and cushioning and every 100m there is a marker.
There are fountains along the way, dispensing clean water.
As I mentioned, there is a loo. Oh joy of joys, coming from India. A loo. And it’s clean.
The park is patrolled, but to be honest it feels totally safe, I ran there in the evenings, sometimes as the light was fading, and never felt unsafe for a nano-second. There is good lighting, there are people around and, yes, there are guards. There were always lots of young women out running, too, which is a reassuring sight.
The only drawback of this otherwise wonderful running venue is the spot where you run over the little bridge.
This is alongside a designated photo spot for The View of the Twin Towers, so you have to fight your way through the selfie brigade. They can be photo bombed, so not too may scruples to be honest – you know what, if you stand, posing away like crazy, on a clearly marked running track…well, you take your chances.
But I nearly came a cropper one evening when a tiny wee muppet wandered into my path, whilst her (Arab) parents were too busy taking the inevitable selfies to notice. Muppet suddenly darted across the path right in front of me, and to avoid crashing into her, I sort of held onto her and scooped her up as I slowed down. Neither of us fell, she was least bothered (amazing sang-froid for one so young, to accept to be picked up by a sweaty red faced old lady) and in a few metres I deposited her back on terra firma, where she toddled off. Selfie-taking parents hadn’t even clocked her absence.
But as far as dangers go, that was about it for running in KLCC Park.