Saturday, July 30, 2011

KUALA LUMPUR: 03 - Jalan Jalan Saja!

Literal translation: “Walk Walk Only” or in Tagalog, “Lakad Lakad Lang!” They use such expression in Malay to express some activity that does not have a clear purpose in general. In short, you are doing it out of whim. You could replace “Jalan” with another activity like “Tengok tengok saja” for example, which means “Tingin tingin lang” or “Just looking” if you are window-shopping and a store attendant approaches you. This is what I did on day one, walk around the area of KLCC and Ampang Park. It is my first time alone in KL as a tourist, but I’ve been here a couple of times before with my family. I just feel so lazy and I can see that this KL sojourn would not be that interesting because I’ve already seen most of the sights here. I just couldn’t get myself to see them again so I could blog about it, but at the same time I find it unfair if I leave them out just because I’m too lazy to visit them again. To see it from a different perspective, let’s use the KTM Pink Kelana Line as a guide, shall we?

Let’s use KL Sentral as our starting point. The next station would be Pasar Seni. You could actually walk from KL Sentral to Pasar Seni if you like. If you are fit enough to do it then why not! There are many attractions scattered across this little area here. Chinatown is here of course, but what most tourists want to see is a long road full of souvenirs, eateries, and cheap counterfeit stuff. It is called Jalan Petaling. They have a wide selection of goods here, from the fake LV’s down to the Adidas sneakers. Some store owners are kind of persistent though. This is the best place for you to practice your haggling skills. There is a school nearby which looks like a temple, good spot for a photo-op. Not far away is the Sri Mahamarriaman, an Indian temple with colorful sculptures by the entrance. This one really catches everyone’s attention and could probably vie as one of the most photographed in the area.

If you walk farther and reach an area full of old buildings that don’t look Chinese, you might be nearing the Masjid Jamek station. The National Mosque is here, along with another one but I forgot the name. The old building of the KTM is also here, in front of a modern day hotel which occupies an old building that also stands out. Walk farther down the road and you reach the Dataran Merdeka or Merdeka Square, a place of importance for Malaysians since it is here where the Jalur Gemilang replaced the Union Jack in 1957 when the country gained independence from Britain.

Since the whole month celebration this August is nearing, you would see a lot of Jalur Gemilang hung everywhere. It is an overwhelming sight because you could feel the pride these people have for their nation. It’s just admirable. As a centerpiece is a fountain which is around a century old. Everywhere you look invokes nostalgia for a past you were never part of, unless you are Malaysian. The Ministry of Information and Communications (another department missing!) is just across the street. Next to it is the Textile Museum. Both buildings are photogenic. The Masjid Jamek is nearby, just next to two metro stations named after it. This one really makes you feel like you are somewhere in the Middle East.

Okay, that was an epic fail. We only reached two stations. Still, at least you now have an idea of the tourist spots nearby. A bit farther but still on the same line is the KLCC station where you would find the two towers that people just have to see when they visit this city. Do I even have to mention the name? The Petronas Twin Towers used to be the tallest in the world. The distinction has been passed on to other towers, but the prestige of the building is not lost at all. Perhaps, thanks to the mall right under it? Or the aquarium nearby? Or the garden with dancing fountains? It doesn’t matter. The area is famous. This place is a must see if you want to watch fish (aquarium), just rest (garden), shop or eat (Suria KLCC), or just gaze at the twins until your eyes pop out of their sockets. The twins have a friend, by the way. The Maxis tower can be seen to the right, tall as well. You know, towers of the same height flock together to form a beautiful skyline. Too bad the Menara KL got excluded. She probably isn’t that popular. So high school.

If malls are what you want then prepare for a full day of swiping because KL has a lot of malls. The KL Monorail brings you to Bukit Bintang and Imbi (the station before it) where you would find KL’s famous malls. The Berjaya Times Square is at Imbi station. It has a lot of floors and an indoor theme park. It is a perfect place to kill time. One station after at Bukit Bintang are: Lot 10, Sungai Wang Complex, Pavilion, Fahrenheit, and Sephora. Some of these malls seem upscale but all of them are teeming with people nonetheless.

I don’t know if I would get a lot of bad vibes for this, but KL seems to be a good city to be a resident of, not to be a tourist at. I’ve been fending of urges to drop resumes everywhere and secure a job. Why wouldn’t I. My parents are in the same country. There are current vacancies for Romance Language speakers according to jobstreet. My Malay is better than my Korean or Mandarin. No. I am here for vacation, not for good. Anyway, back on topic. You must go to the nearby state of Selangor if you want to see some more interesting stuff. If you want a dose of culture that goes all the way back to the period of colonization, you won’t find a lot here. You are better off at Melaka or Georgetown for that. However, if you want to ride, swipe, and dine, then KL is just the perfect place.

5 creature/s gave a damn:

Anonymous said...

Hello, could you recommend an itinerary for 4 days and 3 nights in Kuala Lumpur? It's our first trip in the country. We don't mind going outside the city limits as long as it's not too far like Genting or Malacca. Any recommendations of places to go? I would really appreciate it. :)

ihcahieh said...

@Anonymous - Hi. Sorry ngayon lang ako nakasagot, tapos links lang ang ibibigay ko sa yo, haha. I spent seven days ata kasi sa KL pero puro katamaran lang ako dun, to see kung san ako naggala at magkano nagastos ko, refer na lang here:

KL andyan yung mga usual: Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL, Suria KLCC. More of a shopper's paradise/ideal residence than a tourist spot, in my opinion.

Nasa Selangor ang Batu Caves, connected siya sa rail network pero oras din ang byahe kasi luma na yung tren. If you like religious stuff, hinduism and the likes, ok ito. Libre exercise din kung aakyat ka sa taas. Other than that, wala na makikita, kalat kalat rin ang attractions na di na ako familiar.

Pahang is for Genting, theme park and gambling mostly. Pahang is the biggest state in Malaysia. If I am not mistaken, andyan din ang Cameron Highlands.

Usually KL lang talaga ang stopover kasi andyan ang transpo hub.

Hope that helped somehow. =)

ihcahieh said...

@Anonymous - Sunway Lagoon pala! Sa Petaling Jaya, malapit lapit. Mall, adventure park, water park, extreme park, horror park, zoo. Andun na lahat. Try looking for it na lang sa Malaysia blog entries ko.


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot! :)

ihcahieh said...

@anonymous - No prob! Enjoy KL! :)

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