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Trips in Kuala Lumpur

Ben van Wijnen
 

ART - Those who like to see some art, can go to the Balai Seni Lukis Negara (National Art Gallery). They are specialized in collecting Malaysian art, but they also have modern art. The Gallery is at the Jalan Tun Razak.
Close to the Art Gallery is the Istana Budaya (the National Theater), which is architectonic a very beautiful building ( of course: the Balais Seri is also a very beautiful building). In the National Theater they play Malaysian productions, but also those from abroad.
Near the big flagstaff at the Merdeka Square is a shopping center "Plaza Dataran Merdeka".  There's a  hall called: "The Actor's Studio". It's a Malaysian Theater, where they perform provocative stage plays.
There's in the shopping complex a music store, where you can buy classic western music, but Chinese music as well. The shop is called: Dama House. Beside buying a music cd, you can have a cup of coffee and you can buy tickets for different plays. 

JUST A NORMAL  NIGHT  (you won't find this in any guide) - Go in the evening to Titiawangsa Park. That's just North of the center at the Jalan Tun Razak, just behind Istana Budaya (Culture Palace). There's a big restaurant called "Seri Nelayu (I not sure, that the writing is good), where you can have a wonderful dinner and it's not so expensive. Try the "Steamboat" - buffet (you can eat as much as you like for about RM 12).
You can eat prawns as much as you can.And there is a dance performance, but that's a little bit kischy. The sound system is also bad, but after all: You have a wonderful evening.
The Park is at night very beautiful. You see the skyline of Kuala Lumpur reflecting in the water of the lake. That's very romantic. It's a good place to start the "night on town". You can best go there by LRT (stop: Titiwangsa - and that you have to walk).

BANGSAR -  a district of Kuala Lumpur  - A SPECIAL NIGHT
At night Bangsar is  'the place to be'  for the rich  expats and the chic young Malaysians There are many different restaurants and bars. Do you want to see how the rich spend their evenings? With their expensive cars? Go tho Bangsar! With a litlle bit of luck you can see a Rolls Royce!  It's goo people-watching here!
It's just 10 minutes by taxi from the city center. Some call Bangsar Baru "the KL's version of Piccadilly Circus". It has an impressive international mix of restaurants, pubs, bars, grills, bistros, cafes, fast-food joints and coffee and ice cream parlors. Very popular is the Irish pub "Finnegan's". This Irish pub is one of the hot spots in the area, exuding warmth with its solid wood furniture, gas lamps and old maps on the wall. 
One of the must-see, must-try places is Grappa, an Italian restaurant with a bright, informal atmosphere and an extensive list of good wines.
There are no discos or theaters in Bangsar.

 

PUDU PRISON - The former Pudu Prison has an impressive wall murals of tropical scenes painted by prisoners. It took the inmates over a year to paint using 2000 liters of paint. What intrigues me about the mural's depiction is the absence of sentient beings (i.e. animals) except for two sections in which there are paintings of some birds perching on trees and some fluttering towards the sky. 
The construction of the prison began in 1891 and was completed in 1895. The prison served its purpose for a century until it was finally shut down in November 1st 1996. The Pudu Prison is open to the public. There's a little museum and you can  catch a glimpse of what it was like living behind bars.
Writing this down I realize, that hundreds, maybe thousands  must have died by hanging. From 1960 to 1993, 180 criminals were executed by hanging. The last year mostly by smuggling drugs. Let this be a warning for those who wants to try smuggling.


Jul. 21, 1986
World Notes Malaysia - The Hangman Strikes Again

At dawn one day last week two Australian drug runners, Brian Chambers, 29, and Kevin Barlow, 28, were hanged at Pudu Prison in Kuala Lumpur. Although they were the first non-Asians to be sent to the gallows under Malaysia's harsh narcotics laws, 36 other drug traffickers have been executed since a 1983 amendment imposed the mandatory death penalty for the possession of more than 15 grams of heroin. When Chambers and Barlow were arrested in November 1983, they were carrying nearly 180 grams. Last-minute appeals for clemency for the two Australians, which were sent to the Former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir...

This you can't find anywhere:  when you walk down Jalan Pudu (away from the city center) you'll come to one of the biggest "wet-markets" ( selling: vegetables, meat, fish). Maybe it's not interesting for you, but if you like to watch how Malaysians live, then it's a good place to go. There's also a "wet-market" in  Amping Jaya

SUBANG - Sunway Lagoon is a big complex with a hotel, university, Theme Park, shopping complex with indoor ice-skating rink, bowling alley, cineplex, food court. The spectacular Sunway Lagoon theme park is just next to it. Sunway Lagoon is a recreation of a sunken mining wasteland. Spanning some 80 acres, the theme park's emphasis is largely water-based with wild adventure rides and amusement games.
The entrance of the pyramid-shaped shopping complex is guarded by a massive 50-foot lion bust and the unique Egyptian theme is carried throughout the interior of the shopping complex. It's very popular by the Chinese and the tourists coming from Arabia. 
You can take the bus in China Town (Jalan Cheng Lock) to the shopping complex of to the Theme Park.

 THE MINES RESORT CITY -  The Hong Fatt Mine was once the world's largest opencast tin mine. When the miners abandoned the place, a man-made 150-acre lake was left. Around this lake the built the Mines Resort City. There are two hotels, a shopping center, ice-skating rink, a cinema, golf course and a Theme Park ("Wonderland")
When it's to hot in the city, you can always go to the "Snow House" in Wonderland. With a temperature of between -10°C to -15°C, this wonderland houses ice carvings such as Petronas Twin Towers, KL Towers and KLIA.
The 4-storey shopping mall has over 250 shops. It's so big, that you can sail into into the heart of a busy shopping mall where you can shop and dine by water. 
The canal’s ferry system, the country’s first water taxi, links all the destinations within the Mines Resort City.  
A day in the Mines Resort City is a day's outing filled with fun and excitement for the whole family with cruises down the Canal on Malaysia's first water taxis.
The resort is just a 20-minute drive from the city center and 35-minute drive from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
Malaysia International Exhibition & Showroom = (M.I.N.E.S.)

 

THEAN HOU TEMPLE - This is a not an old temple, but rather new. It's made from an old Chinese design and a replica from a temple in Hainan. It's situated in the Robson Heights and oit's overlooking the Jalan Syed Putra. The Thean Hou Temple is dedicated to the patron Goddes Thean Hou of the Hainanese community.
Specially at Chinese New year the temple is decorated very beautiful. People come from all over the country (even from Singapore) to profess their religion. 
When I was visiting this temple, there were a lot of Chinese bridal couples who came to take their wedding pictures.

Thean Hou Tempel  
Thean Hou Temple

The Lake Gardens is the green lung of KL city, with a variety of attractions for visitors.
It's built around two lakes, the sprawling tropical garden is a pleasant oasis within the city providing a cool and soothing ambience as one walks through a vista of exotic blooms, luxuriant foliage, imposing sculptures, creative theme parks and majestic-looking rain trees
Inside the Lake Gardens find the Kuala Lumpur Orchid Garden with a collection of over 800 orchid species from Malaysia, and it also contains thousands of international varieties.
The Bird Park (tel. 03/2273-5423) is nestled in beautifully landscaped gardens, and has over 2,000 birds. The Butterfly Park (tel. 03/2693-4799) has over 6,000 butterflies belonging to 120 species make their home in this park, which has been landscaped with more than 15,000 plants to simulate the butterflies' natural rainforest environment.
There are also other small animals and an insect museum.

De vlindertuin
The Butterfly Farm (photo: An Schoonen)

 

 

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