No matter how the Cititel Express in Kuala Lumpur positions itself, it can never remove the fact that it is located amidst the old, rundown Chow Kit quarters of the city. No doubt the rooms are all spanking clean and tidy but one look out the window brings the occupant rudely back into reality, that there are people who struggle to make a living and indeed, they are also living in conditions that can hardly be termed as even basic comfort.
Three times in three months - November, December and January - I stayed at the Cititel Express. If I had not seen for myself the squalor behind the hotel, I would not have believed it. Here is the view from my room on the first floor of the hotel:
Thankfully, I had the chance to see this. It jolted me that Kuala Lumpur is not only a place of fresh opportunities and riches. It is also a city of lost hope and poverty.
Of course, if one stays on the higher floors of the building, one will miss all the depression. Instead, you'll be greeted with a breath-taking view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline with the imposing twin towers in the background: