Family Adventures in KL – Day 2
Markets and Malls of Kuala Lumpur
By Danny Tariman
My family had an amazing day touring Malaysia’s capital, the city of Kuala Lumpur. Our day-1 was highlighted by our visit to two of the magnificent icons of the city: the KL Tower and the Petronas Towers. It seems you haven’t been to KL if you hadn’t set foot on these two iconic tourist destinations.
It is our second day, and we haven’t finished yet visiting the many exciting places in the city. Join me, as I continue to tell our second day story.
KL’s Central Market is where we got the best price for local items – food and souvenir items. It looks like an old building that was spruced-up and air-conditioned lately. It offers various kinds of souvenir items, shirts with Malaysia or Kuala Lumpur prints, local chocolates (you have to taste this!) food items, and many more. The local chocolates are a must-taste: with various filling of local fruits such as durian, strawberry, and a lot more.
We had a good time looking around what to buy, and buying some items in this retail shopping market. We were surprised to note that a few of the stalls were manned by Filipinos! And one of these, if I remember it right, is managed by a Filipino.
River of Life
This river is few hundred meters away from the Central Market. We just had a perhaps 15-minute leisure walk to this tourist spot. This is actually a convergence of river systems that was rehabilitated by the government in an attempt to bring back to life polluted rivers. It is a nice attempt to clean the river.
At the background is the oldest mosque in Kuala Lumpur, the Masjid Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad. I read from some materials that this place is better visited at night as there are some elaborate lighting effects at this river complex. We happen to visit the place in broad daylight, and so we were not able to see the “dancing lights”.
This museum stands out as an iconic Islamic-style building within the bounds of Merdeka Square. It showcases the different processes and techniques – starting from ancient times – of textile making. It also has a display of the process in making batik!
There are 4 main galleries or sections inside the museum, showing many beautiful collections of traditional apparel, accessories, and textiles.
It was an educational visit for me as I had been fascinated by elaborate design of batik. It was in this place I learned how this was made. Really interesting!
This huge patch of greenery in the middle of the city is one of the famous landmarks of KL. There are many Islamic-style buildings surrounding this expansive tract of land, and one of these is the Textile Museum. A very tall pole hoists the Malaysian flag. I can’t resist comparing this place to Luneta (or Rizal Park) in Manila. Indeed, a beautiful place to take some good pictures.
On the other side from where we were standing, we can see a church – which happens to be St Mary’s Cathedral. I thought it was a Catholic Church, it turns out to be an Anglican Church. I remember in Hong Kong, we mistakenly attended a church service (Mass) in a Catholic-like church, which happened to be, you guess it, an Anglican church. It was ok though – similar service, similar readings.
The well-manicured greens, I understand, used to be a playing field for a sport called cricket.
This place is bustling with commercial activities. Not only the sidewalks but the whole streets were filled with vendors selling all sorts of stuff. My son was able to buy a camera lens which you clip onto a phone to get a wider view.
From all angles, it is really a Chinatown. We tasted a very familiar food for us family – soy curd (taho in Manila). We also tried other street food which we are not familiar, just to taste the native culture of Chinese-Malay. All really taste good!
To taste a more authentic Sino-Malay meal for lunch, we entered this food market inside the Chinatown. Wow! The food – the noodles, and others we ordered – were really good! And the price was very, very reasonable. On our way out of the food market, we saw this looking familiar street food – chakoy, as we call in Tagalog – we tasted it, and yes, tastes very much familiar!
From Chinatown we took LRT to MyTown Mall, our next destination to check what we can buy from Ikea.
MyTown Mall was quite far from the city center. But with a very efficient railway system, the travel time was short and very comfortable. The train coaches were clean, and arrival & departures were prompt.
We first explored MyTown to see Ikea – this Swedish store chain that offers good quality household furnishing and accents. My son was looking for a kind of jar he couldn’t find in Manila, and so we tried Ikea Kuala Lumpur. It was a good experience. The mall is big but far from city central, which is good urban planning so as to decongest the city proper. It got a lot of shops and boutiques with familiar foreign-brand names.
After touring MyTown, it was about 5pm, we went back to the city to meet up with our daughter who went to work that day.
We met our daughter at Pavilion Mall, another upscale mall in the city. We again roamed around, and finally went to the supermarket at the first basement to buy some food and grocery. Although it was a basement, the place is totally refreshing and looking good.
From the basement we went straight to another mall across the street passing through an underground tunnel – with stores – you would never thought you have crossed a street.
And again, we roamed around and we found this familiar store brand in Manila – “DIY Store”. It happened that this store started operations in KL.
Night Street Market
This is one of my most memorable experiences in Kuala Lumpur. An entire street, seemingly an ordinary street during the day, but bustling with people in the night.
At night, both sides of the streets have all sorts of food – Malay, Indian, Thai, Singaporean, and many others. And its full of people from different cultures. You would see whites, Asians, Chinese-looking people enjoy the meals, and the drinks in the middle of the street.
That particular night, I was awestruck on what cuisine I would want for dinner as there was literally a *lot* of choices. But finally, after making rounds to the different stalls, we finally settled for some Malay and Thai food. We had my favorite Thai soup dish – tom yang. Oh… it was so incredibly tasty, I had to ask for extra soup.
At daytime, cars can pass by the streets, but at night, the middle of the street is literally filled with tables and chairs full of people. It is truly very lively, and a truly different kind of experience!
It was indeed a fun-filled second day in KL. And we capped the day with this awesome Night Street Market. A truly memorable adventure! Thank You LORD!
– – – – – – –