|While in Kuala
Lumpur, one should not miss the opportunity to take the
interesting sights and sounds of the city. The best way to gain
an insight into KL's colorful past is to take a walking tour of
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The KL's signature landmark, overlooking the Dataran Merdeka or
Merdeka Square which is a most popular spot for those who would
like to enjoy a panoramic view of the city. Bangunan Sultan
Abdul Samad was built in 1897 to house the various
administrative departments of the British Government at that
time. Its Moorish features have attracted the interest of
visiting historians and students of architecture. Today, the
building houses the Supreme and High Courts and Infokraf, a
center for Malaysian handicrafts.
Dataran Merdeka or Merdeka
Dataran Merdeka is a significant historic site as it was here
that the British Union Jack was lowered for the last time when
Malaysia gained its independence on 31st August 1957. A 100
meter-high flagpole, one of the tallest in the world, marks this
spot. The square - formerly known as Padang - is the center of
National Day celebrations. Surrounding the square are many
buildings of historical interest including the Royal Selangor
Club, a Tudor-style building built in 1910 which is situated on
one corner of the square, where KL's elites meet; the Sultan
Abdul Samad building, which is a great example of the
Victorian-Moorish architecture common to Malaysian cities; the
National History Museum and the Memorial Library, a building
dating back to 1909; the St Mary's Cathedral, a Gothic style
building which is more than a hundred years old; the impressive
modern Dayabumi Complex; and beneath under the Dataran Merdeka
is the Plaza Putra, an underground food, leisure and
entertainment complex. The square is in the heart of KL
downtown, near the convergence of the Klang and Gombak rivers.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Memorial, located at Jalan Dato'
Onn, is dedicated to the memory of Malaysia's first Prime
Minister, YTM Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, who is also known
as Malaysia's "Father of Independence". The memorial
is housed in the grounds of the Tunku's former residence, where
he resided first as Chief Minister and then as Prime Minister of
the Federation. The exhibition space of the memorial covers
120,000 sq. meters and has massive collection of museum items
including the Tunku's archived materials, mementos, books and
letters. The memorial provides extensive information about the
Tunku and his achievements.
KL's Chinatown is a crowded colorful mélange of signs, shops,
activity and noise. The central section, Jalan Petaling, is a
frantically busy market that is closed to traffic. It is most
spectacular at night, when the combination of street stalls,
food, haggling and bright lights makes impressions on all five
senses. The old buildings - undergoing constant restoration by
conservation groups - are interesting in themselves, while
bargain-hunters and collectors of kitsch might be in luck as
well. Chinatown is about 300m (330 yards) south-east of Merdeka
Kuala Lumpur Textile Museum
The Kuala Lumpur Textile Museum showcases the rich heritage of
Malaysia's arts and crafts, in particular, the local textile
industry. It is located at he junction of Jalan Sultan
Hishamuddin and Lebuh Pasar Besar, a short distance from the
Among the interesting exhibits
on display are those on the art of batik making, the weaving of
various indigenous materials such as songket, telepuk, kain
gerus, pua and a diorama that portrays batik painting using the
canting and pua weaving methods.
Fashionable clothes, the latest
products and design collections including textiles of historical
value are also on display.
National Museum of History
The National Museum of History is a former commercial bank
dating back to 1910. The National Museum of History enables
visitors to discover the wealth of Malaysia's historical
heritage through its permanent exhibition of artifacts and
materials. The Museum accumulates researches, collection,
records and publications in regard to the nation's treasures.
Exhibits include the 520 million-year-old metamorphic sandstone,
a 4,000-year-old Homo sapiens skull and an eight-sided gold coin
dating back to the 15th century.
National Rubber Museum
The National Rubber Museum is located at Sungai Buloh, about 10
kilometers from the city. The museum is housed in an old wooden
building, reminiscent of the typical British plantation offices
of the 1880s. Visitors to the museum will be able to trace the
history of rubber from the time it was discovered, till it
became the major crop supporting the Malaysian economy.
Interesting exhibits are on display, from old-fashioned tapping
knives to other common tools, used to extract rubber. Visitors
can also watch demonstrations on how rubber is tapped and
perhaps get a chance to try their hand at tapping.
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is another Moorish-influenced
feature in the city. Built in 1910, it was refurbished in 1986
when its old world grandeur was restored. The building houses
the Heritage Hotel which offers a specially created ambience
reflecting the pre independence era of old Malaya.
Design by A.B Hubbock, a British architect, Masjid Jamek is
evidence of Malaysia's large Indian-Muslim community. Built in
1909, the mosque sits serenely at the confluence of the Gombak
and Klang Rivers. It features onion-shaped domes, arched
colonnades and shiny, cool, marble floors.