Kuala Lumpur might seem to be only about tall glassy buildings and modern atmosphere, but in reality there are lots of cultural sights to see as well. One of them is the grand Batu Caves, which we didn’t have time to visit this time. We decided to combine a couple of attractions and follow the walking tour from our Lonely Planet book. The book stated that the length would be only 1,6 km, but for sure we stretched it a bit more, since we were on the go for hours. This is a really easy way to go through sights close to each other, since it’s so common to get lost on those little streets and totally miss the destinations.
We arrived at Merdeka Square, lined by tourist busses and happy guides leading their groups around. It is a place where Malaysia’s independence was proclaimed in 1957, basically it is a colonial cricket pitch, now mainly an empty field surrounded by old architectural buildings such as the Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the picture with a clock tower. There was not that much to see so we shortly moved forward. We noticed the legendary I <3 KL-sign, which could be found in any big cities with the correct name of the city of course. A must for true tourists like us haha.
No matter how simple the map route was we managed to get lost for while and had therefore to stop for mirror pictures before heading on. We walked past National Textiles Museum and noticed that the entrance was free so decided to pop in. The museum was filled with historical fabrics, traditional outfits from different areas all around Asia as well as jewellery, swords etc. It was a rather big place, so ideal for a break from the heat.
On our way forward with the tour, we travelled through little crowded streets and arrived to Sze Ya Temple, located in Chinatown. It was intriguing to watch visitors light candles and burn incenses; I guess they all had their reasons for doing so. You could buy some sort of services from the local elderly people sitting on the sides of the temple, ready to cash visitors and provide them with traditions, blessings, fortune-tellings or something similar. Guandi temple along the road served the same purpose.
After the temple rounds it was time for some action – bustling street markets. Sayangi Kuala Lumpur was just what one could imagine; counterfeit merchandise, sneakers with yellow glue smirking between the soles and little knick-knacks. It was crowded and loud, sellers screaming Miss and Mr from all directions. We saw everything we needed and accidentally even found a super cute little restaurant on one of the side streets where we ate amazing lasagne and drank cappuccino from matching cups.
This was our first trip to Kuala Lumpur and we are hoping to return soon again. It was definitely a positive and different experience and I would happily recommend the city for anyone travelling in Asia.