Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Exploring Kuala Lumpur

Here's the short version, to be going on with. No, not a load of old temples this time - just one and modern - the Thean Hou Chinese Temple. But, to start at the beginning.

I had an excellent breakfast in the Club Lounge on floor 24 of my hotel just after 6.30 a.m., giving me lots of time before my guide came for a tour of the City at 8.30 a.m. My guide was a charming Malaya-born Indian who did his own driving using a comfortable Mercedes saloon. Traffic was bad, partly because of preparations for the KL Grand Prix. We visited the gates of the Royal Palace, where there are two guardsmen and two more guardsmen on horseback. All day long, the coaches and taxis are arriving so that tourists can be photographed with these guards. We went on to the Chinese Temple mentioned above and the returned to the city centre for my visit to the Petronas Twin Towers. You only get about halfway up the towers on the public visits to the 'Skybridge' at floor 41 but I was keen to do it. Obtaining tickets normally involves a long period queuing but a gentleman from the travel company did the queuing so that we could go straight up. Usually, each party has ten minutes on the Skybridge, but we went up with a group of young, excited Army and Air Force personnel and we got at least 20 minutes. Later, I had a buffet lunch at a large, well-known restaurant before we drove north to the Batu Caves area. As we returned to the city, there was an exceptionally heavy downpour and drains overflowed and traffic stopped. However, we made it to the original Kuala Lumpur railway station built by the British for me to take photographs and visit the small museum they have. We drove past a number of other places before I was returned to my hotel, happy and tired. But the rain stopped so I thought I'd better make another trip out on my own.

I went back through Suria Mall to KLCC rapid transit station, travelled to Masjid Jamek and walked first to the Central Market and then to the Chinese Quarter. I continued walking to Kuala Lumpur old station to finish taking photographs (the rain had rather curtailed matters in the afternoon). Then I bought a single ticket for the one stop on KTM Komuter back to KL Sentral, finally catching the Rapid Transit Kelana Jaya line (which, to confuse things, is often referred to as the Putra Line) back to station KLCC, arriving back at my hotel thoroughly exhausted.


Thean Hou Chinese Temple.
Around Kuala Lumpur.
The Petronas Buildings.
Visit to Petronas Buildings Skybridge.
Batu Caves.
Light Rail, Mass Transit, Rapid Transit.
KTM railways.
Railway Museum, KL.