Kuala Lumpur

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We took a trip to Kuala Lumpur for the day. From Port Dickson it was a 40 minute taxi ride to Seremban and then a hour on a commuter train to downtown Kuala Lumpur.
The city is known for its extreme architectural achievements, the main railway station

a fitting introduction.
Built in 1911 in what they call an extravagant ‘neo-Moorish’ style after the design of a British architect, it is also a grand hotel;

then over an uncrossable road is an almost equally impressive Malaysian Rail administration building.

It’s not an easy town to visit as a pedestrian as it’s criss-crossed by wide roads, expressways and overbridges. There is often no way to walk from one part to another and although there may be one, it is often a long walk to the next underpass beneath the obstruction.
There is however, a network of light rail and monorail around the central city, that makes getting about easier. However, unlike the efficient integrated system in Singapore which never seems busy, is fast and easy to use on one multi-use ticket for bus, train and light rail; in KL it is different. The several lines are all owned and operated independently and although they are modern, they are very busy, even to the extent of becoming uncomfortably crushingly crowded.

But; with Lonely Planet guidebook in hand, we braved the traffic and toof a recommended walk to see some of the sights in the short time available.

The ‘Colonial District’ is a mix of grand old European styled buildings and impressive new, like the Kompleks Dayabumi with an Islamic theme.

Central in the area is the large Merdeka Square where the Colonial British played cricket but which now has a 100m flag-pole (said, like other KL landmarks, to be the biggest in the world…)

and on one side the old Royal Selangor Club

still a gathering place for the elite, but not as grand as in the days of tin mining.

Nearby there’s St Mary’s Cathedral from 1894

and on the opposite side of the square the Sultan Abdul Samad building dating back to the late 1890s. It’s also designed with a ‘moorish’ look, by the same British architect who designed the cathedral and who was an associate of the man responsible for the gloriously towered Railway Station.
It’s now the Supreme Court.
We were there shortly before an ASEAN meeting and soon after another when important heads of state were visiting;

so the gardens and fountains were looking their best

with many flags flying.

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