Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Kuala Lumpur City

The morning that I travelled to KL, we woke up so early, at 4.30.  In order to avoid any inconvenience, we packed the night before.  The taxi driver, whom I knew him when I traveled to Cambodia, was already waiting for me at the lobby of my condominium.  He is a Thai good guy and he told me that he has never been abroad.  In order to have foreign customer he is learning English by himself...  So I am neither the first nor the last one. During the whole day while he is working he is listening to English lessons in his car.  That is a really good way to take advantage of the time.  The first day when I got in his car, on my way to go the train station he tried to talk to me I noticed he could ask questions but he couldn't understand the answers.  "Where are you from" he asked me.  So I tried to do a dialogue and said to him: "guess".  He replied to me with a big surprise: "oh where is located that country?. That was really funny.
Well, to go to Bangkok International Airport (Suvarnabhum Airport) you can take an airport-link train, a bus or a taxi.  If you are a couple or more than three you should take a taxi, otherwise it could be too expensive.
We flew by AirAsia.  This time we wanted to experience a low-cost flight.  The price of two tickets was not so expensive, it was about USD 370 for BKK-KL-BKK.  We arrived Kuala Lumpur at the Low Cost Terminal (LCCT).  From this terminal to our hotel we could take a train, a bus or a taxi.  In KL everything is a little more expensive than Bangkok.  For example, the taxi fare from Low cost terminal to our hotel was almost USD 40 excluding express way fee. So we decided to go by bus, the bus fare was 8 RM (almost USD 3) which it is a really big difference.  By bus it took almost one hour 20 minutes.  We arrived our hotel at almost 4.00 in the afternoon.  We decided to take a rest until 6 pm.  In the evening we went to do a sightseeing around China Town and the Twin Tower (One the of the highest building in the world).  On the following day we did a city tour by our own because the idea was to take good pictures and to explore the city by our own too.  Well, Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful, modern, and high technology city.  In contrast, along the city you can find buildings with different kinds of style. There are old houses in a European style (English, Portuguese, and etc.)  In the city, there is a plenty of Hindu temples and Muslim mosques. I can say that people in KL are eminently Muslim. Finally, KL has a good public transportation system such as metro, subway and monorail. However, the bus is not really safe.  This is my personal view only. 

Merdeka Square 
At precisely 12.01 am on 31st August 1957, tue Union Jcak was lowered for the last time on Malaysia soil, and the Malaysian flag was raised -marking the end to Britsish  colonaial rule and the beginning of Malaysia's independence.  It was at the Merdeka Square or Datarn Merdeka that shouts or "Merdeka"!  wich means "independence were heard across the city -during the early hours on that historic day in August.  Today, a 100-metre high flagpole, said to be one of the tallest in the world proudly carries the Malaysian flag.  The Square remains an important place for national events such as Natioanl Day celebrations and street parades.  The building's charming architecture provides a glimpse of the mock-Tutor design wich is still found in some of England's old buildgings.

Sultan Abdul samad Building 
Build by the British between 1984 and 1897, and taking its name from the reigning Sultan Abdul Samad building still remains one of the city's significant landmarks.  Designed by A.C. Norman to house government offfices during the British administration, and based on the popular Moorish architecture fo the time, the building is topped by a 40m tall clock tower with a shiny copper dome.  The building was used until quite recently by the Federal Court and the Court of Appeals - before moving to the Palace fo Justice in Malaysia's new federal administration capital, Putrajaya.

KL Railway Station with its very distinctive Moorish style exterior.

National Mosque 
Located near the Old KL Railway Station, the National Mosque or Masjid Negara is probably the most outstanding modern mosque in KL.  Standing out from the rest, with its unique star-shaped dome, representing the 13 states of Malaysia and the five pillars of Islam.  The mosque, with the capacity to hold 10,000 people, is seated proudly among 13 acres of beautifully landscaped ground, with gardens and fountains.   Visitors are allowed into the mosque -but they must be dressed in a n appropriate manner as a matter of respect in this special palce fo worship.  However it is closed for tourist when they are praying.  Robes and headscarves can be borrowed at the entrance; there is a separate entrance for women.

Lake Garden 
Formerly known as Sydney Lake.  Taman Tasik Perdana, better known as the Lake Garden, is the oldest santuary in KL.  In 1889, State Treasurer- Alfred V opened Sydney Lake to honour Lady Sydney Swettenham.  She was the wife of Sir Frank Swettenham Governor of the Staits Settlements.  This enclave has been expanded to 100 hectares from then.

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