Sunday, October 02, 2005


Located between Indian Ocean and South China sea, in the South East Asian region, Kuala Lumpur is the ultra-modern capital of Malaysia. Because of its strategic location, it has been a traveller's entry point to Malaysia, dating back to the times when traders and travellers of the east and the west converged at this place.

Kuala Lumpur's history dates back to 1857 as a small mining town at the converging point of Gombak and the Klang rivers. The town flourished under the business interests of three officials- A British resident, A Malay Raja Abdullah and a Chinese headman. This buzzing town attracted Chinese labourers, Malays from neighbouring areas, and Indian immigrants. Soon Merdaka Square became the focal point of the town with colonial buildings replacing local offices. The city spread out from here.

Inspite of going through its ups and downs, Kuala Lumpur became the capital of the state of Selangor in the late 1800s, and later the capital of the Federal Malay states of Perak, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan and Pahang. Its main trust was the establishment of center of Malaysian network of railway lines. Today multiracial and multicultural people making up this busy and vibrant city.

Kuala Lumpur of Yesteryears
Kuala Lumpur is not the original place that I was born and breed but I called it my SECOND HOME (and so are lots of people living in the Klang Valley). I have made this place my second home for at least one-third of my life, migrating into this vibrant city in search of better opportunities and also a life partner to start a family.

Things have changed a lot eversince I first visited Kuala Lumpur as a kid and then making it as my base when I am out of college and ready for a job. But it is always good to rewind the clock and look at what Kuala Lumpur has to offer during the yesteryears of the fifties and the sixties.

Petaling Street, where CHINATOWN is today serve as one of the "Must Visit" tourist attractions. Many of us still do our shopping of foodstuffs, clothings, the famous VCDs/DVDs and marketing here. Come the month where Chinese New Year falls into, this place will be full of activities and attractions, where all the Chinese will do their new year shopping.

Jalan Bukit Bintang aka THE STRIP of KL (similar to the LAS VEGAS STRIP) - The famous Sungei Wang Plaza is located. Nobody can missed this street that holds significance remembrance. I can still remember when I was a young boy visting KL, there used to be an amusement park called BB Park that I always visited. In the later years, BB Park was demolished to make way for Sungei Wang Plaza. As the years goes by, more and more new buildings came up ie Lot 10, Bukit Bintang Plaza, etc

Masjid Jamek, the most famous and oldest mosque in KL. Known for its intricate North Indian Islamic architecture, sited at the point where the Klang River and Gombak River meet. This is the birthplace of Kuala Lumpur.

National Musuem, The oldest and biggest musuem in Malaysia. It is inspired by Malay architecture and display Malaysian history. A must see for toursit visiting KL today.

Lake Garden aka Taman Tasik Perdana and Bukit Aman (where the Polis DiRaja Malaysia HQ are today). This is a place where all avid runners are familiar with. A place where we have our weekdays evening run and Sunday morning run, either just a casual breakfast run or training for an upcoming race. Even though both places had changed a lot but the older generation will have an acquaintance to it.

Dataran Merdeka aka Merdeka Square, is the site where the the Malaysian Flag was first hoisted in 1957 and Independence proclaimed. At one end of the square is the world's tallest flagpole flying the national flag. The Selangor Club is still located around the area, and in the older days the field in front of the club used to be a ground where cricket are played. Today the field are generally used for other events like concert, resting area after a sports event, etc. And again, for all avid runners, Dataran Merdeka is where the START/FINISH podium of some major road races held in Kuala Lumpur.

And finally, The General Hospital of Kuala Lumpur. This is where the medical facilities are provided to all during the yesteryears of KL. Today the hospital is still standing majestically at the same location but had transformed into a well equipped hospital to continue offer medical facilities for people living around Kuala Lumpur and vicinity around it. Over the years, there are more hospitals that came up as alternatives and closer to people staying further away from KL.

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