I was ruminating the other day that I have not been writing much about Kuala Lumpur (KL) city in my blog – the city that I have been living in for the past 16.5 years. Now, why is that? Hmm, I don’t know, really. Maybe it’s because when I’m in KL, I’m busy with the usual daily routine of work, house chores, catching up with family and friends (and blogging, ahem!). Then 2 or 3 months later, I leave KL for a weekend getaway somewhere in Malaysia or South East Asia, or a 2-week trip to a destination further away. I’m proud to be a Malaysian but am embarrassed to admit that my efforts in featuring something local in my blog have been somewhat lacking. However, that is going to change!
While I’m aware of the common places of interests in KL, I didn’t know exactly where to start my first exploration – too many ideas came to my mind. In the end, I settled for a GPSmyCity app, downloaded the Kuala Lumpur Self-Guided Walking Tours and chose ‘Kuala Lumpur Architecture’ as my first tour.
The ‘Kuala Lumpur Architecture’ tour covers 7 sites over a distance of 4.20km and it takes approximately 2 hours to complete. It’s workable but try to avoid the heat and high humidity between 11am to 3pm. If you must explore during those hours, please wear a hat and sunglasses, put on some sunblock and bring a bottle of water to prevent heatstroke and dehydration.
Mughal Style: Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building is one of our historical landmarks in KL. Built in the late 19th century by a British architect named A.C. Norman, its architectural design was Mughal style (symmetry, domes, arches, chattris) which Norman had adopted in many of his designs during his tenure with the Public Works Department in India and Africa. The building used to house several important government departments during the British administration, the superior courts of Malaysia but now it houses the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture.
Opposite the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square. It was here that the Union Jack flag was lowered and the Malayan flag was hoisted for the first time at midnight on 31 August 1957.
Tudor and Victorian: Royal Selangor Club, St. Mary’s Cathedral, Convent Bukit Nanas
Prior to independence, the Green (or the Padang) of Dataran Merdeka was a cricket ground for the exclusive whites-only Royal Selangor Club which was built in early 20th century with Tudor-style architecture. Post-independence, the club expanded their membership to include high-ranking members of the Malaysian civil service and the law fraternity, and was once a common meeting place for judges and lawyers, given that the club’s proximity to the High Court previously located inside the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
Beside the Royal Selangor Club is one of the oldest Anglican churches in Malaysia – St. Mary’s Cathedral. The architectural design of St. Mary’s Cathedral is Victorian or English Gothic. Doesn’t it remind you of a church in an English countryside?
Just 15 minutes walk from St. Mary’s Cathedral is Convent Bukit Nanas (CBN), an all-girls secondary school located next to the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve. CBN is one of the oldest schools in Malaysia and is known for their excellence in education. CBN’s brother school, St John’s Institution is located along the same road.
I’m not exactly sure of the architectural style of CBN though it is English Gothic, according to sources on the internet.
Even if it’s not English Gothic, I’m just happy to take a photo of the school right after walking past St. John’s. This is because I was a Convent girl school in Malacca, thus seeing another Convent school especially the school crest of ‘Simple In Virtue, Steadfast in Duty’ makes me want to sing the school anthem loud and with pride!
Grecian-Spanish: St. John’s Institution
Located along the same road as Convent Bukit Nanas is St. John’s Institution (SJI). Similar to other La Salle schools in Malaysia such as St. Michael’s in Ipoh and St Francis in Malacca, SJI has maintained a certain amount of prestige due to the La Sallian Brothers and the School Board still hold autonomy over the management of the school though funding comes from the Ministry of Education. The school premises is owned by St John’s Cathedral which is situated next to the school.
Gazetted as a National Heritage, SJI is known for its red and white brick building which is apparently Grecian-Spanish style.
And Now, It’s Time For A Photo Contest! – [CONTEST CLOSED]
If you like to go on self-guided walks in your own city or wherever your travel destination is, here’s your chance to be your own tour guide .
GPSmyCity has given me ten (10) promo codes for their self-guided city walks app. The iOS and Android apps feature 5,000 self-guided city walks in over 470 cities worldwide. I have used it once and will be using again for my next exploration of KL 🙂
To win the code, all you have to do is:
- Submit one (1) favourite heritage photo from your travels, be it in your city or anywhere else in the world.
- Email the photo to email@example.com with the subject title: Heritage Photo Contest.
- Please state the name of the heritage place and the city where the photo was taken.
- Don’t forget to include the link to your website or chosen social media channel, the city of your choice from the GPSmyCity list, and preferred platform (iOS or Android). To view the list of cities, please click here .
- If you like my blog, do follow me in one of my social media channels: Facebook, Twitter or Instagram . Or, if you wish to follow me on all 3 channels, go for it!
- And lastly, please send your submission by latest 26th March 2016 [CONTEST CLOSED].
Not too difficult, eh? 🙂
The best 10 heritage photos will be published in a special post in my blog on 28th March. The photo will be credited to you and your website/chosen social media channel can be linked. In addition, you will receive a separate email from me with the promo code of the city that you have chosen from GPSmyCity.
Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur? Let’s book your accommodation here:
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