Global Citizen: Amelia Henderson

Currently living out her Hollywood dream in Los Angeles, the Malaysian actress gives a glimpse of her two homes

Published: 07 September 2017, Text by: Zurien Onn

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 

What do you love most about being in this city?
I moved to Kuala Lumpur from Klang when I was 12 and I’ve lived and worked here since then. KL is home to most of my family and friends so I know that no matter what, it will always be my home.

The best thing about the locals.
We Malaysians have a reputation for being some of the friendliest people in the world. We’re friendly, warm and always eager to strike up a conversation and point you in the right direction even if you’re just visiting.

A must-visit tourist spot.
Petaling Street wins hands down. All my friends who have visited have said they’ve never seen anything like it.

What can you find here that you can't find anywhere else?
The food in Malaysia is the best in the world and, without trying to be controversial, some of the best Western and Japanese cuisine I’ve had has been in Kuala Lumpur. If you’re a foodie, Kuala Lumpur will not disappoint with flavours you won’t find anywhere else in the world.

Your favourite local dish and where can we find it.
My favourite local dish is Maggi Goreng and there’s nobody that does a better Maggi Goreng than Nasi Kandar Pelita. It’s a must try! Other must-haves are Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Paper Thosai and Hainanese Chicken Rice.

The best place to stay in this city.
It depends on the vacation you’re here for. If you want easy access to KL’s nightlife, I’d say anywhere in Bukit Bintang. But if you’re looking for anything else, KL Sentral would be the perfect location as it’s the city’s transportation hub. You can get to anywhere you want to go from here.

The perfect place to unwind.
My favourite place to hang out is in Bangsar on Jalan Telawi. There are plenty of restaurants and cute cafés for dessert and it’s the perfect place to relax and unwind with good friends.

The most surprising thing about this city?
This won’t come as a surprise to locals but I’ve known a lot of first-timers to Kuala Lumpur who have told me that they never expected the city to be as metropolitan as it is. We have malls and shopping to rival the biggest cities in the world but what sets KL apart for me is the cultural aspect of the city that tourists can experience as well.

Where might we find you at 1 am in this city? 
I’m either out, working an event or at home, tucked in bed but don’t let my boring lifestyle fool you, there’s plenty going in Kuala Lumpur, from a buzzing nightlife scene to late night restaurants in a city that truly doesn’t sleep.

Los Angeles, California, the United States

One thing about the locals.
The locals are very friendly and open to conversations and so you always are made to feel like you’re at home.

What do you find most refreshing about this city?
Los Angeles County is so large that there is never a shortage of things to do. There’s something to cater to everyone’s preferences, whether you want to go to the beach, a mall, or drive up Mulholland and look out over the sparkling lights of LA at night.

The most surprising thing about this city?  
Surprisingly, you don’t see as many celebrities/paparazzi as you might think, at least outside of Hollywood.

Where would you take a first-timer to in this city? 
Hollywood! The Walk of Fame and its surrounding theatres are such rich landmarks of the movie industry that Los Angeles is so well known for.

The best thing you can do here for free. 
Either the beach or the Broad Museum, one of my favourites in Downtown LA.

What would be the best culinary experience in this city for you?
Los Angeles is so diverse. You can literally get almost any cuisine you desire. My two favourite fast food options are either Poké or Taco Bell. Seriously!

Your favourite memory of the city?
I’ve been so lucky making friends in LA who have become like family to me, so anytime I’m with them is a good time.

Stuff to bring back home.
Avocados! But in all seriousness, I remember the first time I took my mother to LA. She left with a suitcase full of Cashew Butter and various other ingredients that aren’t available in Malaysia. If you’re not into cooking as she is, this is one of the fashion capitals of the world. There are plenty of kooky little shops selling trinkets or crystals for the more spiritual visitors to LA.

A must-do in this city.
Without a doubt, try to catch a concert or basketball game at the Staples Centre. Los Angeles is home to some of the best musicians and entertainment in the world so to leave without catching at least one of them would be a real shame.

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