Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

                                                            Petronas Towers

March 18, 2010

Kuala Lumpur was a major surprise to us.  I believe we expected to see a thriving city; however, we were expecting a place akin to Saigon.  Not so.  This is a gorgeous city, very modern, very neat and clean, with lots of construction, lots of green everywhere, and tremendous attention to detail.  An example of the detail is the street lights in a significant portion of the city, as pictured here.  They are set up to look like the hibiscus, which is their national flower, with open flowers at the top of the pole, and a bud lower down.  There is also a lot of creativity in the architecture of their buildings.  The Petronas towers, named after their national oil company which built them, are famous worldwide.  They are shown above, and here, with a usual tourist pose.

We were docked in the port city of Klang (Kelang), which is about an hour’s drive from Kuala Lumpur, commonly known as KL.  Klang is a nice looking city also.  On the drive we noticed that there are even planter boxes hanging along the side of the highway where terraced rock comes down to the road.

Our first stop was at the botanical garden, where we toured the hibiscus garden and the orchid garden.  From there we went to the KL Bird Park, which is small, but nice. We got special enjoyment from meeting the “escaped convict”, which is an Oriental Pied Hornbill.  After the bird park we went to a butterfly park, which had an insect museum attached.  The most interesting creature in the insect museum was the man-faced bug (please pardon the slightly blurry photo).

From the butterfly park we went to the National Monument, which is a tribute to all who died in the two world wars and the communist insurgency period which lasted from 1948 to 1960.  If the form looks familiar (photo below) it is because it was done by Felix de Weldon, the American sculptor who did the World War II Marine memorial, Raising the Flag at Iwo Jima.  The Malaysian Sculpture was completed and unveiled early in 1966.

Just before going to the National Monument we drove in the gate of the parliament building, just far enough to make a U-turn and then leave for the monument.  The building and grounds are both of interesting design.

Following our visit to the National Monument we went to lunch at a nice restaurant that presented an immense Malaysian buffet.  They even had a section of western food for those who weren’t feeling very adventurous.  The food was interesting, but there was so much variety that it was difficult to make choices.

After lunch we drove to the city centre, where we had several photo stops.  In addition to the aforementioned Petronas Towers we stopped at the old British Railway Station, the national mosque, the Hotel Heritage, and Independence Square.  The center flag (Malaysian flag) of the three in Independence Square is where the British Union Jack was lowered.  

We had a fairly long day here in Kuala Lumpur, and it was very enjoyable.  Sure, it’s a big, modern city, but it has something very attractive that takes it out of the realm of the ordinary.  It is wonderful to visit a place where national pride shows through so well.  KL is worth a visit.

                                National Monument by Felix De Weldon

© Susan L. Stone 2015                   rovingstones@me.com