Kuala Lumpur: One of My Favorite City to Visit Again and Again
Kuala Lumpur has a lot of unique districts but I always like to stay in an area called Bukit Bintang. It’s the city’s shopping and entertainment district so like me, many travelers choose to find a hotel in Bukit Bintang.
For a few years Bukit Bintang is undergoing a massive MRT subway construction project. Pavements and roads are being torn up and shredded to make way for progress as KL is growing at a rapid pace. And I believe the new subway line will be completed in a few more years. It’s a city that is fastly expanding and competing against other Southeast Asian nations.
So as of writing, Bukit Bintang’s a central portion of the area is under huge construction. But there are plenty of safety barriers to direct and protect pedestrian walkways.
Plenty of places to eat around Bukit Bintang. One particular restaurant I go to is called Arraaziq. You’ll find it right across the street from Low Yat Plaza. There are many Indian/Arab restaurants located all over KL. Sometimes it can seem intimidating going into one of these restaurants. But people inside can speak English and they are quite friendly and polite in helping customers choose what they want to eat.
After filling up on some hearty food I usually go to the Pavillion Mall for coffee. I always go to a cafe called Coffea Coffee on the 6th floor. Their coffee is quite good and the free Wi-Fi is quite fast and reliable. It’s the perfect place to compose a post for this blog or just chill out for a bit.
What else do I do in KL? There is Chinatown which is not far from Bukit Bintang via the KL Monorail. It’s a great place to take in some street photos.
But I also head down to KL’s Chinatown because there is a temple or an association rather dedicated to the Chan clan, my family name. Way back when a Chan came over to Malaysia and did super well. Eventually the temple was built to welcome more Chans from China.
It’s called the Green Temple. As you can see on photos below it’s green. Namewise it’s called Chan She Shu Yuen Temple.
I suppose that’s why I drop by the Green Temple every time I’m in the area. Its got my family name and generations of Chans possibly came through those very same doors, eyes wide open in the hopes of a brighter future and a new life in Malaysia.
But Malaysia is not just all about the Chinese. There are local Malays and Indians too of course. And with that comes different religions of Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity. In this crazy world where everyone is different in most parts, everyone gets along pretty well in Malaysia. There are flare ups of tensions between ethnicities but tell me which country doesn’t have that problem.
Anyways, this blog isn’t about politics. How about some photos of cute kitties?
On this trip I also had an opportunity to spend a few hours with Robin Wong, a local Malay photo blogger with an encyclopedia wealth of knowledge on Olympus micro 4/3 camera systems.
On a Saturday morning Robin took me to an area I’ve never been to before but heard about. It’s the Chow Kit Market. It’s a dry/wet market that is common in most Asian countries where locals go to buy groceries. With so many local interactions in Chow Kit it was no wonder why it’s one of Robin’s favorite areas to go on one of his shutter therapy sessions.
I have to admit, I haven’t been too adventurous when it comes to exploring more local areas in KL. So I was very appreciative to Robin for showing me around Chow Kit. Now that I know how to get there I can feel comfortable exploring that area alone some time.
But the places that I do discover on my own are usually a real treat. For instance while exploring parts of Little India I came across Sin Sze Ya Temple. It’s a Taoist Temple located in Pudu, which is also just a 3 minute walk from Jalan Petaling Street.
After checking out the history of Sin Sze Ya Temple I learned it’s where students go before big exams. Even though there’s a greater history to this temple. That’s what I like about Malaysia, or pretty much wherever I travel to around Asia. Lots and lots of fascinating history.
Inside the temple you can certainly feel like you’ve stepped back in time. It was a Sunday I came to visit Sin Sze Ya Temple so surprisingly it wasn’t very busy and crowded. And I liked it. There are some benches you can sit on and just take in the interior. Up above on the base of the roof are these open windows that really helps circulate the air.
But if you’re inside when the sun is high and bright you’ll be treated to a beautiful light show. I’m sure the architect of Sin Sze Ya Temple planned to place a window above the altar so a beautiful stream of light would surround worshippers offering burning incense.
You often hear that many cities in Asia are fastly developing towards the future with many skyscrapers and modern transportation systems being built or at least planned for the near future. So a lot of the older historical buildings get knocked down to make way for progress. This is certainly the case in Thailand.
It’s also happening in Malaysia as well it seems. But progress also benefits the local citizens as well. And shiny new skyscrapers attract foreign investments which in turn spur jobs and growth. There are quite a lot of train systems with new ones being developed. And it’s great for travelers as well too in a way for exploring more of this wonderful country.
I’ve been to Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur numerous times. And I can tell you it never gets boring. And I can’t wait to explore more of this wonderful country.