Whats in KL: part 2

23 12 2009

* Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) – Merdeka Square has a special place in the hearts of all Malaysian as it was here that the Union Jack was lowered for last time in 1957 and Malaysia gained her independence. Standing tall here is also one of the tallest flag poles in the world, measuring in at 100m. Surrounding the area are host of historical structures like Sultan Abdul Samad building (see below) and the Old City Hall. The Royal Selangor Club and St. Mary’s Cathedral are two famous landmarks nearby.

* Sultan Abdul Samad Building – Originally the offices of the Colonial Secretariat, they later served as the first administrative centre of the Malayan government. Built in 1848 by British architects, A C Norman and A B Hubback, this historical landmark is famed for its Islamic-inspired architecture. Today, it houses the Courts of Law. The 40-metre high clock tower is a popular gathering-point for New Year and National Day countdown celebrations and parades.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

* Jamek Mosque (Masjid Jamek) – Located at the convergence of the Klang and Gombak rivers is the stately Masjid Jamek, one of the oldest mosques in the city since its construction in 1909. Inspired by the Mogul mosque in North India, this building’s notable features are three elegant domes which dominated the KL skyline long before the popularity of skyscrapers.

* National Monument (Tugu Negara), Jalan Tugu Off Jalan Parlimen – This immense bronze structure was built as a memorial to the soldiers who gave up their lives for their country. This sculpture depicts seven soldiers holding the Malaysian flag, each symbolising one of seven qualities; unity, strength, leadership, sacrifice, courage, suffering and vigilance. It was sculpted by Felix de Weldon, who sculpted the famed Iwo Jima Memorial statue in Virginia, United States.

Tugu Negara

Tugu Negara

* Masjid Negara (National Mosque), Jalan Perdana – The Masjid Negara is unique in that it incorporates Malay-Islamic rather than the usual Arabic-Islamic architecture. It is known for its conspicuous turquoise umbrella-like roof. A yellow umbrella is usually part of the royal regalia of the sultans of Malay kingdoms.

* National Museum, Jalan Damansara, telephone 603-2282-6255, email info@museum.gov.my fax 603-2282-6434, http://www.museum.gov.my hours 9AM-6PM admission for adults RM2. Contains exhibits on traditional life among the various ethnic communities of Malaysia, numerous well-explained artifacts including fine clothing and shadow puppets and Orang Asli woodcarving pieces. The history section is divided into four galleries – Gallery A (prehistoric), Gallery B( Malay kingdoms), Gallery C (colonial era) and Gallery D (modern Malaysia). A visit to this museum can help you to understand more about Malaysian history and culture.

* Islamic Arts Museum (Muzium Kesenian Islam), Jalan Lembah Perdana, – One of the most interesting museums in KL, the Islamic Arts Museum houses both modern and traditional Malaysia as part of the larger Islamic world and, through exhibitions of objects of religious and aesthetic significance, shows both the connection of Malaysian Islamic culture to the Muslim lands to its west and its uniqueness. Open Daily: 10.00AM to 6.00PM.

* The National Planetarium, Lot 54, Jalan Perdana, the attractions here include space science and astronomy exhibits, a theatre screening 3-Dimensional movies, a viewing gallery and an observatory. Admission is RM1 for adults and children over 12 (extra charges for all shows). Open Daily : 9:30AM to 4:15PM.

* Istana Negara (National Palace), Jalan Istana, – The Istana Negara is the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the constitutional monarch and paramount ruler of Malaysia, which is a largely ceremonial post. Built in 1928 by a Chinese millionaire and occupied by Japanese officers during the Japanese occupation of Malaya, the palace, which sits on a 11.34 hectare site, was bought by the federal government at independence in 1957 and has since then undergone extensive renovations to become what it is today. Visitors can witness the changing of the guards daily from the main gate. The palace is not open to the public.

Chinatown

* Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Association, Jalan Petaling (Monorail Maharajalela) – The clan house (kongsi) of the Yuen family, this is the largest and oldest in KL, with the present version completed in 1906. Free admission (but donations welcome), open daily from 8 AM to 5 PM. If you have trouble finding it, look for the green walled temple near Maharajalela monorail station (there are no English signs).

* Sze Ya Temple, Jalan Tun HS Lee – The oldest Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur built in 1882, it is located behind the old shophouses between Jalan Tun HS Lee and Jalan Hang Kasturi. The temple is dedicated to Shen Kong, worshipped as the guardian deity for the local Chinese miners and houses several other deities, including the deified Yap Ah Loy, third Kapitan Cina of KL. The ornate interior and elaborate roof ridges are typical of religious Chinese architecture and visitors can still see patrons conducting worship to the gods and the ancestors.

* Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Jalan Tun HS Lee – An elaborate Hindu temple known as the starting point of the yearly Thaipusam pilgrimage to the Batu Caves, where Hindu devotees haul portable altars pierced to their skin with 108 lances. Check out the elaborate gopuram above the entrance. Free admission (but donations welcome).

* Butterfly Park, Jalan Cenderawasih 50480 Kuala Lumpur, ☎ +603-2693-4799. Experience the life cycle of the beautiful butterfly. Butterfly Park is home to over 120 species of butterflies. RM18

* Bird Park, No. 920 Jalan Lembah Taman Tasik Perdana 50480, ☎ +630-2272-1010. 9AM – 8PM. From beautiful peacocks to the alien looking birds from all over the world, this 60-hectare bird park is home to 200 species. RM15.

* Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, (Near Cenderawasih). 91.6 hectares of fascinating gardens holding exotic flowers around a large artificial lake. This park is popular among locals and tourist alike as a location to relax and take in the sunshine and beauty. Lake Gardens is very close to both the Bird Park and Butterfly Park.  edit


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