The kilometers (6 miles) from Kuala Lumpur is a suburb called Setapak, home of the famous Royal Selangor Pewter Factory, where most Malaysia’s pewter products are made from a combination of antimony, copper and refined tins. In the Royal Selangor Visitor Center, you can watch the demonstrations of pewter being made and purchase various pewter items at the factory shop. Admission fee is free and open daily from 9 am to 5 pm. Guides are provided upon request and fluent in English, Malay, Mandarin and Japanese.
The visitor center take you back over a hundred years to the founding of Royal Selangor and its inextricable link with the history of Malaysia, to the present day as the world’s largest pewter maker and its expansion into gold and sterling silver. Traditional pewter smiting tools and antique pewter from around the world as showcased in the Pewter Museum, and ancient tin currency is featured. In addition to pewter, also on show is the Comyns archive, which features over 35,000 drawing, patterns, and molds of this venerated silversmith, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious and a member of the Royal Selangor group.
With a built-up area of 40,000 square feet, the Royal Selangor Visitor Center has won the Malaysian Tourism Best Tourist Attraction Award 2004 in the category of attraction with national identity or heritage, as well as the ASEAN Tourism Association Award 2005 for Excellent as Best ASEAN New Attraction. Today it received hundreds of domestic and international visitors daily.
I-City is 72 acres ICT – based development beside the Federal Highway, Selangor. I-City was designed as a fully integrated intelligent city, comprising corporate, leisure and residential components such as a 1 million square feet regional shopping mall, office towers, hotels and apartment. Besides, it is also known as the city of digital lights. It is recognized as the first light scape tourism destination in Malaysia with state-of-the-art LED technology showcase.
The digital city includes trendy shopping streets and equipped with a theme park to cater to visitors’ looking for a place to unwind. There are 4 main attractions in I-City, which are the Waterworld, Snowalk, City of Digital Lights and Funworld. The main feature of the Waterworld is the exhilarating Tornado Ride, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia. It offers visitors the ultimate aquatic adrenaline rush. This ride takes you on an oscillating “near zero gravity twirl” for a full 28 second through a 160 foot water tunnel, plummeting into a water funnel that is 7-storey high, inclined at a 45 degree angle and eventually. Besides, you might want to have an experience of walking in -5 degrees Snowalk in this warm weather country.
All this sound interesting, but it might cost you some. Here’s the operating hour for those theme parks, Waterworld – 11.00 am to 7.00 pm (Weekend start at 10.00 am), Snowalk – 10am to 1am daily and Funworld – 2.00 pm to 1.00 am (Weekend start at 11.00 am). Enjoy your visit and don’t leave your camera behind.
The National Monument of Malaysia, Located on a small hill nearby the Malaysian Houses of Parliament, erected to commemorate those who sacrificed in the struggle against communist in the 1990s. It is the world’s tallest bronze freestanding sculpture grouping. The galleries at the base of the statue record the names of all the units who fought, including British, Australian, Fijian, Maori and Malay troops. The statue itself may seem surprisingly familiar to some visitors, as it is a model of the famous Marine Corps War Memorial in Washington DC. This statue caught the eye of the late, Tunku Abdul Rahman, first Prime Minister of Malaysia, while he was on a visit to the United State. Felix de Weldon cast the Malaysian model in bronze in Italy and the statue now has a purely Malaysian symbolism.
The topmost figure holds the Malaysian flag and symbolizes unity and strength; two men on either side of him denote strength and vigilance; and a man comforting a wounded comrade on the center front of the group stands for the suffering and sacrifices made by soldier of all ranks. The base of the statue is moated by a pool with a cascading fountain and pewter water lilies, pewter being one of Malaysian’s prize metals. A small bridge over the moat gives access to the monument. Pick a nice spot for your photograph, post it on your social network and impress your friends!
The Golden Triangle is Kuala Lumpur’s main shopping and nightlife district. It is located at the intersection of Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang. This area is full of expensive shops, high class restaurants, and international hotels, and it has the most sophisticated nightlife in Malaysia.
Here you will find a number of large shopping malls: Sungai Wang Plaza, and the adjacent Bukit Bintang Plaza offer more than 500 shops, including some of the best bookstores in Kuala Lumpur; Imbi Plaza and Low Yat Plaza concentrates on computer, software and IT hardware; Kuala Lumpur Plaza has fashion accessory shops and electronic outlets; flashy green Lot 10 has European designer boutiques and Isetan; and never forget the significant one, the Pavilion Kuala Lumpur; the high class shopping mall with all international branded shop, Starhill Kuala Lumpur; and the children’s paradise, Berjaya Times Square with an indoor theme park.
North East of Kuala Lumpur Plaza, along Jalan Raja Chulan, is the handicraft village of Karyaneka. The country’s 13 states are represented by 13 identical kampung (village) houses in which exhibits of each state’s famed artistry are to be found. Hand woven textiles, woodwork, batik, basketwork, silver and pewter goods, shell work and pottery are on display; and there are demonstration of cloth weaving, batik painting and silver tooling. There is also a large showroom where some of the handicrafts exhibited are on sale. Unfortunately, some of the finest and unusual handicrafts are not.
The museum is open daily from 9am to 6pm, except Fridays, when it is closed from noon to 2.45pm.
National Museum of Malaysia is sitting on an incline on Jalan Damansara and facing Jalan Travers. The museum was initially built on the site of the old Selangor museum, but was destroyed during World War 2. The new museum opens in 1963. It spots a huge Minangkabau roof and front walls covered with Italian mosaic flanking the main entrance. The museum is well worth whiling away a few hours, especially for its social and cultural sections. These include an extensive section on the Nyonyas and Babas, the unique culture born of a fusion between Chinese and Malay traditions.
There is also a complete reconstruction of Malay “kampung” (village) and, on the other end of the social scale, a courtly scene complete with antique attire and gold and silk adornments. Also represented are Malays pastimes and sports, and there is a detailed history of shadow puppets, with displays from Turkey, India, Indonesia, Thailand and Malaysia. The Orang Asli (aboriginal of Malaysia) culture and societies are well documented, and displays inform on wildlife and natural resources, with a diagrammatic representation of an open-cast mine. Other interesting exhibits include the skull of an elephant which is reputed to have derailed a train! There is also an amok catcher, a frightening device that was once used to catch render harmless a person who has “run amok”.
Downtown Kuala Lumpur is crowded with buildings, both old and new, and may begin to wonder if there are any green spaces in the city apart from the Merdeka Square. A recent upsurge of interest in the greening of Kuala Lumpur now allows it to boast 30 public greens, from roundabouts planted with bougainvillea to spacious parks.
The best-known and most popular of these parks are the Lake Gardens, or Taman Tasik Perdana (Malay). 92 hectares of undulating green with magnificent trees flowering plants prove that the jungle can be tamed. The park owes its existence to A.R Venning, a British official who managed to persuade Swettenham in 1888 that Kuala Lumpur needed a public park. The largest lake on Kuala Lumpur, Tasik Perdana, once known as Sydney Lake, has boats for hire by the hour.
The gardens are popular with locals and visitors alike and are especially crowded on the weekend when in the early morning or evening, joggers puff their way around the humid paths, lovers seek more secluded spots, family have their picnic beside the lake and old Chinese man go through their tai chi routine. The park is open 10am till 6pm for Monday till Saturday and 8am till 6pm on Sundays and Public Holidays. Besides, it’s just a walking distance to the Orchid Garden, Bird Park and Deer Park. The National Monument of Kuala Lumpur is just apposite of the lake.
National Mosque, or Masjid Negara (Malay), lies at the center of Jalan Lembah (entrance), Jalan Perdana and Jalan Kinabalu. Completed in 1965, the jagged 18-point star roof and the 73 meter tall (240ft) minaret catch the eye. The 18 points of the star represent the thirteen states of Malaysia and the five pillars of Islam. This was one of the country’s first post-independence constructions and is one of the largest mosques in the region. Its Grand Hall – busiest on very Friday – can accommodate 8,000 worshippers.
On the roof there are 48 smaller domes, their design and number inspired by the great mosque in Mecca. It is an impressive building with cool marbles halls, long galleries and reflecting pool in the courtyard. The minaret rises from the center of one of these pools. The mosque is set in 5 hectares of gardens. One area of these gardens is reserved for the tomb of Malaysia’s most celebrated dignitaries, the former prime minister of Malaysia and other pioneers of independence are already rest there. Decorous clothing and behavior is a must during the visit to National Mosque. Shoes must be removed before entering the hall of the mosque. Scarves and covering robes are available for women, who use a different entrance. Tourists are advised to dress respectfully to show your respect toward the religion.
Dataran Merdeka, (Merdeka Square), located between Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin and Jalan Raja and situated in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building which is the Old City Hall and a British colonial club. It is a similar stretch of green can be found in most towns influenced by British rule, a notable example being in Singapore.
It was here that the strangest of all British games, cricket, was played, and the crack of bat against ball can still be heard today. The field was the center for the British community, and games could be watched from the verandahs of the British Selangor Club on one side of the green. Other games such as hockey and rugby were also played here, although nowadays these are more likely to take place in Kuala Lumpur’s modern stadiums. The field saw the British’s flag, The Jack Union, lowered for the last time on 31 August 1957 and the new Malaysian flag replacing it. The field is still used as a venue for a national event, and parades on the National Day start here. After the nightfall, a different kind of parade takes place here, as local transsexual and transvestites take over the green. In 1989, the field was dug to make way for an underground car park to help alleviate Kuala Lumpur’s parking problems.
Petaling Street, commonly known as Chinatown, located at the center of Kuala Lumpur. This is a historical street that witnesses the evolution the Kuala Lumpur city from a muddy estate to a concrete jungle. The sidewalk of Petaling Street is full with hawker stall. This old street has attracted up to 10 thousand foreign tourists every year.
Chinatown, lies within the boundaries of Jalan Sultan and Jalan Bandar (now known as Jalan H.S. Lee). For the inveterate shopper and connoisseur of exotic oddities, Chinatown is a paradise.
Chinese apothecaries display their herbs and medicine in porcelain pots, or beneath glass counters, mixed with more familiar western brand. There are jewelers and goldsmith, basket makers, dry good shops, optical houses, frame makers, food stalls, souvenir shops. Look out for a small crowd gathered in one spot; you might get what you want! Tourists are not advised to purchase electronic devise as you might not be able to make an exchange if it is not working well after a while.
Petaling Street changes its appearance constantly. In the early morning, Chinese housewives visit the market stalls for fresh products, and the Chinese bakeries emit delicious aromas of traditional dumplings and sweet breads filled with red bean paste and chicken curry. As the city wakes up, the traffic pours down the street and motorcar fighting for space with the pedestrians and public transports.