Before leaving Malaysia, I couldn’t help but notice that KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) was recently awarded, “World’s Best Airport.” I couldn’t help but notice as the free newsletter and the signs promoting the award were everywhere. I suppose this is quite an achievement. To me, “Best Airport” is comparable to being winner of the “World’s Best Dog Food” competition. I could not figure out what it meant. Can the dogs taste the difference? Can I tell the difference between airports? Do I want to know or would I rather just get in and out? I sit down on a cushy chair and wonder who did the voting. Turns out my plane would be delayed for five hours, and I had a chance to look around.
I guess things are cheaper here at KLIA than in some other airports, but the shops seem to make up for it. During my layover, I had a desire for a Snickers, something chocolatey "“ just a little something to keep me going. No luck. Don’t get me wrong, I found plenty of chocolates. I found bags of chocolates. Boxes of chocolate tied with neat little bows. I found Chocolates by the gram (with a minimum poundage), and even lots of chocolates bundled with Jenga, the Swedish woodblock’s game, and computer software. All I actually wanted was just a simple piece of chocolate.
So a small downside. On the upside, KLIA is clean and modern with very clean and modern bathrooms. There are comfortable sitting areas and fast immigration services. Free Internet kiosks are also available at each wing of every terminal. Sadly, most of the Internet ports don’t work all that well, but I truly appreciated the effort and the ability to write my wife and tell her I was going to be five hours late. I was later given meal vouchers for the inconvenience by my air carrier. There is a lodge on the second floor at terminal “C” that offered television, movies, internet, showers and lots of extras for the weary traveler for 80RM. It is worth it, if stranded.
I finally did brake down and bought a giant chocolate bar. I ate two squares of it and had to carry the rest of it on the plane as it would not fit in my undersized luggage. I do not know about “Worlds Best,” but it was pretty nice.
Written and photographed by Devin Galaudet