Selamat Datang ke Kuala Lumpur

Posted: September 25, 2012 in Blog, Travel
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Selamat Datang ke Kuala Lumpur

Selamat dating (səlamat dataŋ) or Welcome in the English language is a greeting which you will usually hear when you arrive in Malaysia.

Malaysia (pronounced məˈleɪʒə/ mə-LAY-zhə or məˈleɪziə/ mə-LAY-zee-ə) is a federal constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia. It consists of thirteen states and three federal territories and has a total landmass of 329,847 square kilometres (127,355 sq mi). The country is separated by the South China Sea into two regions, Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo (also known as West and East Malaysia respectively). Malaysia shares land borders with Thailand, Indonesia, and Brunei and has maritime boundaries with Singapore, Vietnam, and the Philippines. The capital city is Kuala Lumpur, while Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government. The population as of 2009 stood at over 28 million. Malaysia has its origins in the Malay Kingdoms present in the area in which, from the 18th century, became subject to the British Empire. The first British territories were known as the Straits Settlements. Peninsular Malaysia, then known as Malaya, was first unified under the commonwealth in 1946, before becoming the Federation of Malaya in 1948. In 1963, Malaya unified with Sabah, Sarawak, and Singapore. In 1965, Singapore opted out of the federation and became an independent state. Since its independence, Malaysia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with GDP growing an average 6.5% for the first 50 years of independence. The economy of the country has, traditionally, been fuelled by its natural resources, but is now also expanding in the sectors of science, tourism, commerce and medical tourism.

Landed at KLCC Airport via Cebu Pacific Air from Manila at past 0100hrs after which we took a taxi in the airport where they ask where your destination is then pay in the counter then go to the taxi stand (been reading in the net that you have to ask first for the price of the fare going to your place before riding to be sure of the payment and beware of Indian taxi drivers because they charge you triple the fare). On our way to KL we passed by rows and rows of palm trees, which the driver says, that Malaysia is the number 1 exporter of Palm Oil.

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Arriving at Paradise Hotel, we checked into our room and tried to rest a bit for we would be up early for the trip up to the Petronas Twin Towers. Waking up at 0530hrs and headed out to Petronas Twin Tower by 0600hrs, walking along Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ramlee and upon reaching the Towers there was already a long cue and it was not 0700hrs yet. We waited in the long line till the ticketing booth opened at 0830hrs and was given a number, which was Number 110 (after a while they were not issuing anymore tickets and they closed the entrance already to those who wanted to get tickets). They started asking what time they would want to go up the Sky Bridge, we got our tickets and were scheduled at 0945hrs, and better more it is free. Went to the snack bar and ate Nesi Lemak and got my daily dose of coke for breakfast then headed to the Petronas Exhibit Hall to see how the tower was made and other stuff including some puzzled which really got me thinking till someone told me how to solve it (thinking out of the box). By 09300hrs we were called at the assembly area where we were issued tags and then watch a presentation about Petronas, then headed to a security check then up the elevators to the Sky Bridge. The Sky Bridge is the only area where tourist are allowed to go (starting October 1, 2010, they started a tour to the top level of the towers plus a dinner) and were only allowed to stay for only 10 minutes.

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The Petronas Twin Towers was designed by Argentine architects César Pelli and Djay Cerico under the consultancy of Julius Gold, the Petronas Towers were completed in 1998 after a seven year build and became the tallest buildings in the world on the date of completion. They were built on the site of Kuala Lumpur’s race track. Because of the depth of the bedrock, the buildings were built on the world’s deepest foundations. The 120-meter foundations were built within 12 months by Bachy Soletanche and required massive amounts of concrete. Its engineering designs on structural framework were contributed by Haitian engineer Domo Obiasse and colleagues Aris Battista and Princess D Battista.

The 88-floor towers are constructed largely of reinforced concrete, with a steel and glass facade designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art, a reflection of Malaysia’s Muslim religion. Another Islamic influence on the design is that the cross section of the towers is based on a Rub el Hizb (albeit with circular sectors added to meet office space requirements). Tower 1 was built by a Japanese consortium led by the Hazama Corporation while Tower 2 was built by Samsung C&T and Kukdong Engineering & Construction, both South Korean contractors. The sky bridge contract was completed by Kukdong Engineering & Construction. The notable event was that the South Korean Samsung C&T started construction later than the Tower 1 but completed building faster and became the first.

Due to a lack of steel and the huge cost of importing steel, the towers were constructed on a cheaper radical design of super high-strength reinforced concrete. High-strength concrete is a material familiar to Asian contractors and twice as effective as steel in sway reduction; however, it makes the building twice as heavy on its foundation than a comparable steel building. Supported by 23-by-23 meter concrete cores and an outer ring of widely spaced super columns, the towers use a sophisticated structural system that accommodates its slender profile and provides 560,000 square metres of column-free office space. Below the twin towers is Suria KLCC, a shopping mall, and Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, the home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

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While at the Sky Bridge, I talked to the guide and asked the way to Batu Caves and directed me to go below Suria Mall were the train station is (which is located at the bottom of the Twin Towers) and take the train to Taman Melati and then take a taxi to Batu Caves (which was better than taking a taxi from KL to Batu Caves). She also mentioned the Hop-on Hop-off Bus, which will take you around KL and to most of the tourist attractions in KL.

After the tour was done we passed by the gift-shop and looked around, since we will be going to other places yet we did not get anything but will get something before we leave KL. We headed our way to Suria Mall and looked around then went to the train station below and got ticket for a trip to Taman Melati after about 7 stops we got off the train then took the taxi at the taxi stand (the driver was Malay) and took us to Batu Caves. Along the way, I was marveled by the road system and railway system that they have.

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Batu Caves is a limestone hill, which has a series of caves and cave temples, located in Gombak district, 13 kilometers (8.1 mi) north of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu or Batu River, which flows past the hill. Batu Caves is also the name of the nearby village.

The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances, were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people (a tribe of Orang Asli).

As early as 1860, Chinese settlers began excavating guano for fertilising their vegetable patches. However, they became famous only after the limestone hills were recorded by colonial authorities including Daly and Syers as well as American Naturalist, William Hornaday in 1878.

Batu Caves was promoted, as a place of worship by K. Thamboosamy Pillai, an Indian trader. He was inspired by the ‘vel’-shaped entrance of the main cave and was inspired to dedicate a temple to Lord Muruga within the caves.
In 1890, Pillai, who also founded the Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuala Lumpur, installed the murti (consecrated statue) of Sri Subramania Swamy in what is today known as the Temple Cave. Since 1892, the Thaipusam festival in the Tamil month of Thai (which falls in late January/early February) has been celebrated there.
Wooden steps up to the Temple Cave were built in 1920 and have since been replaced by 272 concrete steps. Of the various cave temples that comprise the site, the largest and best known is the Temple or Cathedral Cave, so named because it houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100 m vaulted ceiling.

Climbing the more than 200 steps was a feat to make (even old people climb the steps), where monkeys freely roam around and take food given to them. Arriving at the top you could see an entrance where upon entering you will be see a big cavern about 100 meters high where statues are erected at the sides. Then climbing another flight of steps you come to an open space where there is a Subramanium temple where devotees offer prayers. After going around and taking some photos we headed back down and had lunch at Restoran Rani, where they serve vegetarian Hindu food on a steel plate covered with banana leaves. I ordered their Rani Thali and was given a plate with all the stuff plus, if a finish one part, they fill it up again. Then gave me some sort of dessert which look somewhat like buko pandan. As we were leaving I met a man making Roti canai (pronounced “Chanai”) and wanted me to take his picture. Went around and saw all those sweets they are selling which I did not get their names but looks like sapin-sapin and kutsinta.

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Heading back to KL, we took the taxi to Gombak station and took the train back to Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC). I noticed that the train we were riding has no driver… we were riding in an automatic train where it stops at every station and even slows down on turns.

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Arriving in KLCC, we headed out to the park and took some photos of the park and the Petronas Twin Towers then went to the bus stop where the Hop-on Hop-off bus will pick up passengers (which was the last stop of the Hop-on Hop-off Bus tour). The Hop-on Hop-off Bus is a double-decker bus with its back part open for tourist to take photos, you pay about RM38 (for adults) which is good for 24hrs, which will take you to most of the major spots in KL including the Petronas Tower, Menara, Bukit Bintang, Arts & Crafts Center, KL Bird Park, Petaling Street and many others. After paying for our tickets, we got on the bus and headed to the Malaysia Tourist Center (which is technically the first stop of the tour), where we stopped for 10 minutes to wait for passengers, then headed for Menara Tower.

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The Kuala Lumpur Tower (officially known as Menara Kuala Lumpur; referred later as KL Tower) is a tall tower located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Its construction was finished in 1995. It is used for communication purposes and features an antenna that reaches 421 m (1,381 ft), which currently makes it the eighteenth tallest freestanding tower in the world. The roof of the pod is at 335 m (1,099 ft). The rest of the tower below has a stairwell and an elevator to reach the upper area, which also contains a revolving restaurant, providing diners a panoramic view of the city. Races are organized yearly where participants race up the stairs to the top. The tower also acts as the Islamic falak observatory to look for the crescent moon to mark the beginning of Muslim month of Ramadhan, Syawal, and Zulhijjah, to celebrate fasting month of Ramadhan, Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Aidiladha.

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Next, was a stop at the Arts & Crafts Center, where there is a store, a museum and a work area where locally made products are sold and are shown how they are made to tourists like the Batik. Here we were not allowed to take photos, I wanted to try making of Batik but we had to move on to our next stop, which was Bukit Bintang.

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Throbbing with activities of various kinds 24-7, the hip and happening Bukit Bintang remains Kuala Lumpur’s trendiest shopping and entertainment district. Combining historical charms with contemporary chic, this area has managed to retain its popularity over the years, both with locals and visitors alike. This bustling area offers everything from shopping centers to nightclubs. Due to its central location, it is fairly easy to get to Bukit Bintang from anywhere in Kuala Lumpur via public transportation.

At Bukit Bintang, we went around the malls hoping to buy some cheap stuff (which was on sale) then headed to Low Yat Plaza for some serious electronic buying.

A stylish and well-integrated shopping mall, Low Yat Plaza joins the cream of favorite’s retail and entertainment establishment in the heart of Bukit Bintang offering spectrum of fashion, food, phone, computer, software and family recreation as well as thematic concepts.

Low Yat Plaza is becoming too popular for technology lovers. It offers very intensive computer hardware and software, verities of mobile phones and etc. You can get all you want here + value for your money.

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After buying the stuff we were about to head back to the hotel but it was raining hard, and like in Manila when it rains, comes the traffic, it took us almost half an hour to get back to the hotel when it takes just 10 minutes to walk. After leaving our things at the hotel and resting a bit, we took the monorail back to Bukit Bintang and had dinner at a roadside stall, we then headed for a road where stalls were set-up at the road side, where you seat down and eat Mangosteen and Durian. Then we walked going back to our hotel and rest, for tomorrow will be another day of going around KL again.

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All photos are owned and copyrighted by Joey Rico (also known under these names: alien_scream).
All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use, copy, editing, reproduction, publication, duplication and distribution of the digital photos, without his explicit permission, is punishable by law

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.

Comments
  1. […] to Visit Universal Studios. This would not be my first time to visit KL, because we visited Kuala Lumpur some time in the past. The plan was to fly in to KL on the 29th of December, then hire a van to […]

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