Tuesday, August 30, 2005

City Tour

Dataran Merdeka

Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) is appropriately named because it was at this place on August 30, 1957 at midnight, the Malayan flag was hoisted for the first time in the country's history upon gaining independence from the British rule. The flag raising ceremony was held at the very spot where the 100-metre high flagpole now stands.

Underneath the flagpole area is Plaza Putra, an underground food, leisure and entertainment complex, as well as an underground parking bay. On the other end of the immaculately-turfed 8.2ha field lies a fountain area with elegant colonnades and colourful rows of zinnias and marigolds, a nice place to rest after a day's trip.

National Library

The National Library aspires to be a world class library in the provision of excellent information services towards the realization of Malaysia's Vision of becoming an industrialized and developed nation by the year 2020 (Vision 2020) With its multifarious functions and services, supported by high-tech facilities and a well-qualified team committed to excellence, the National Library is poised to lead the nation in its pursuit of knowledge.

Islamic Art Musium

Founded in 1998, this museum is situated In the heart of Kuala Lumpur's tourist belt amidst the lush greenery and within walking distance to the National Mosque, Birds Park and National Planetarium. There is an extensive collections of local and international Islamic art objects. The museum also holds local and international Islamic oriented exhibitions at intervals

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building

The Sultan Abdul Samad building was constructed in 1897 and has long been a landmark for Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur. The unique Moorish-style building has a 41m clock tower, dubbed 'Big Ben'.

The design of this building was undertaken by a British architect, A.C Norman, who worked for the Public Works Department at that time. In designing this building, he took into consideration some of the features of buildings in several Islamic countries. The predominantly Moorish appearance of the building suitably reflects the cultural background of Malaysia.

The site of this beautiful building was carefully chosen. It is conveniently located at the centre of the old mining town of Kuala Lumpur. It once served as the Colonial Secretariat offices, but now houses the Supreme and High Courts

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is another Moorish-style structure designed by architect A.B. Hubback. It was built in 1910, but was extensively renovated in 1986. The station is equipped with air-conditioned waiting halls, snack kiosks, money-changing booths, souvenir shops, restaurants and a tourist information counter.
Across the street is the Malayan Railway Administration Building, another fine example of the British colonial adaptation of Moorish architecture. It is linked to the station by an underground thoroughfare.

Before the KL Sentral Station was completed, passengers could board trains to any destination in Peninsular Malaysia as well as to Thailand and Singapore from this station. Now, only the 'Komuter' city trains stop here, and long-distance express trains have to be boarded at Sentral Station.

Kuala Lumpur, Memorial

The museum, situated at the town centre, within walking distance, at the corner of Merdeka Square, functions as an exhibition and resource centre and is housed in a 1909 building which itself was gazetted as a historical monument which forms one of the major landmark of the city of Kuala Lumpur. Thematic exhibitions are held at intervals, as do other programmes, which involve the Kuala Lumpur community.

Parliament House

Officially opened in 1963,the House of Representatives and the Senate are located in the building. One can catch an excellent view of the Parliament House from the National Monument at the Lake Gardens.

If one building truly symbolises the democratic system that Malaysia practises, it is the Parliament House, built in September 1962 near the Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens. The building cost RM18mil and was the brainchild of Malaysia's first Prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman.
The complex consists of two parts: the main building, which is a three-storey building, and its 18-storey tower annexe.
Within the building are two national assembly halls:
the Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) and Dewan Negara (Senate). Although the designs of the two halls are the same, the smaller Dewan Negara has nice stained glass windows with traditional Islamic motifs.

Visitors are required to write a letter of application before visiting the place. There is also a dress code one must adhere to.

Dayabumi Complex

A skyscraper, 35 storeys high, stands proudly on Jalan Hishamuddin. With high-vaulted arches decorating its entrance and its white open-fretwork glistening in the tropical sun, this is the Dayabumi Complex.

As one of the city's infamous landmarks, it was the very first building in KL to boast of the Malaysian-style architecture, blending a unique combination of modern lines and Islamic motifs.

Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC)

The concept of this 50-acre park and garden was created by Brazillian master of gardens, Roberto Burle Marx.

Being developed in stages, this oasis of greenery and water is a welcome sight for people as they leave the hi-tech buildings of Kuala Lumpur. It provides a much needed change of pace amid the constant rush in this bustling city.

The combination of gardens and fountains is especially designed as a contrast to the modern structures that surround it. A beautifully designed mosque, Masjid Asy-Shakirin, adorns the park just like a jewel in the crown.

Istana Budaya

Spanning over 5.44ha with a floor space of 21,000 sq/m., its RM 210 million cost should come as no surprise, looking at the distinctive facade and features the building displays.Located near the Titiwangsa Lake at the junction of Jalan Tun Razak and Jalan Kuantan, Istana Budaya was designed by a local architect, Muhammad Kamar Ya'akub.
It portrays a blend of the best aspects of the Malay culture such as the following:

1. "Wau Bulan" - this traditional Malay kite is used as the main motive of the theatre's floor.

2. "Sirih Junjung" - a multi-tier floral arrangement of "sirih" or betel leaves used as a symbolic piece for Malay weddings, festivities and welcoming ceremonies is reflected in the entire roof of the theatre.

3. "Rumah Melayu" - a typical Malay house pattern is the general layout of the building. It has three major sections: the lobby is the "serambi" or verandah, the auditorium represents the "rumah ibu" (living room) while the main stage and rehearsal hall is equivalent to the "rumah dapur" or kitchen.

4. "Tangga" - staircases ("tangga") that lead to the grand entrance depict the staircase of a traditional Melaka house.

5. "Tingkap" - the Royal Boxes follow the patterns of a Malay house's windows ("tingkap"), all large and spacious.

6. "Balairong Seri" - the auditorium is evidently designed similar to this royal palace hall of the olden days.

7. "Rebana Ubi" - the theatre lobby on the third floor takes the shape of this traditional Malay drum

In addition, Banyan Leaf, which signifies the beginning of Wayang Kulit or shadow play also decorates the theatre lobbies, and its walls are elegantly adorned by the exquisite artwork by Malaysia's National Arts Laureate, Dato Syed Ahmad Jamal.

National Art Gallery

The National Art Gallery is located on Jalan Temerloh, off Jalan Tun Razak on a 5.67ha site neighboring Istana Budaya and National Library. The unique architecture of the gallery incorporates elements of traditional Malay architecture, which combined with contemporary lines has distinguished the complex as one of the most modern art venues in the region.

Established on August 28, 1958 under the initiative of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of the newly independent Malaysia, the National Art Gallery started with a donation of four artworks and was housed in a borrowed space at the Dewan Tunku Abdul Rahman - Malaysia's first House of Parliament.

Today, with a permanent collection of more than 2,500 pieces of artworks - the National Art Gallery is in its permanent state of the building officially launched on September 16, 2000 by the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohammed.

Lake Garden

Taman Tasik Perdana or fondly known as the Lake Garden, is the oldest and most popular park in Kuala Lumpur. Its main attraction is the artificial lake surrounded by lush greenery in a 92ha. (227 acres) parkland that provides a refreshing ambience.

After a hard day at work, locals like to come here to take a breath of fresh air, strolling along the carefully planned paths or rowing on the lake. The park also has jogging tracks and exercise stations, as well as children's playground.

Attractions in the park include a Bird Park, Butterfly Park, Deer Park and an Orchid Garden, which are all reachable either by foot or by regular shuttle buses. From the gardens, you may also visit other attractions such as the National Monument, Parliament House and the Planetarium.

Kuala Lumpur, Bird Park

Only a stone's throw from the Bird Park is the colourful and beautifully landscaped Butterly Park where over 6,000 butterflies from 120 species roam and fly freely in a simulated natural rainforest environment.

Here you can learn about the life cycle and mating habit of the butterflies. There is a nursery and breeding area, as well as an insect museum to enhance your knowledge about these creepy-crawlers. Comprising the beautiful landscape are flower and fruit plants and some rare herbs essential in the diet and pollinating activities of the butterflies.

Butterfly Park

Situated beside the Butterfly Park, within the Lake Garden vicinity, the Orchid Garden houses about 3,000 orchid species from around the world, with 800 species from Malaysia alone.
An adjoining section is devoted to the hibiscus, Malaysia's national flower. This section showcases more than 2,000 varieties of hibiscuses. It is common for the occupants of the nearby Butterfly Park to visit these gardens, creating a more lively atmosphere. The Garden is transformed into a bazaar during weekends where both the orchid and the hibiscus are on sale.
National Monument

Tugu Negara

Also within the Lake Gardens, this is one of the world's largest freestanding bronze sculptures.
The seven soldiers atop the national monument symbolise the loyalty, sacrifice and co-operation of the people of Malaysia. Built in honour of those who had fought (and also those who fell) in World War II and the Emergency of Malaya, this monument sits on a tranquil spot, surrounded by a pool of water fountains and water lilies made of pewter.
Beside the National Monument are the ASEAN Gardens and the Memorial Tun Razak, which houses memorabilia of Malaysia's second Prime Minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein

For your reading pleasure during the city tour, wish you all luck.

Prepared by Joseph Arputhaswamy


At 8:18 pm, Anonymous Wendy said...


First steel-frame skyscrapper in Malaysia when it was completed in 1985.It was also the most expensive building ever constructed in the country during that time and also boast of the first building in KL to have a combination of modern lines and Islamic motifs.


At 8:22 pm, Anonymous Wendy said...

NATIONAL LIBRARY: An inspiration to reflect M'sia rich culture.

The building concept hinges on the traditional Malay headgear - the tengkolok - which is a symbol of pride and respect in M'sian culture.

Another inspiration of M'sia rich culture is the roof "songket"(brocade fabric)

At 8:29 pm, Anonymous Wendy said...

PARLIMENT HOUSE: The Special Features:

1)Entire building is covered with heat and light absorbing glass.The amount of sunlights that enter is control by the beehive-shaped "kerawang"( a type of local concrete)which had been installed piece by piece.

2)The water distribution system.Which are installed from the roof down to the pool and fountain which are connected via two systems.They are dyed blue to prevent moss and mud.

At 8:33 pm, Anonymous Wendy said...

Dataran Merdeka:

Did you know that the First PM Tunku Abdul Rahman shouted "MERDEKA"(Independence)-7 times instead of 3 at 12:01,31 Aug.1957?

There was also a 101-gun salute to celebrate the birth of an independent nation which started just as soon as the Malayan Flag touches the masthead.


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