Monday, June 4, 2012

KL: Chinatown and Colonial District

After a mid-morning flight from Saigon and a bus into town from the airport, we arrived at our dismal digs in the heart of Chinatown, dropped off our bags, and wandered into the madness of Petaling Street.  This gauntlet of knock-off goods is dizzying in the thick humidity of Kuala Lumpur.  A blur of consumer detritus best avoided.  We scurried into an outdoor food-stall area and ate our first meal in Malaysia!

Hearty plates of rice with assorted vegetables and a tasty faux-fish cake.

Marching a few blocks over to the Sri Mahamariamman Hindu Temple,we arrived just in time for the prayer service, which was attended by a smattering of the local South Indian population and was accompanied by pounding drums and the whimsical blasts of a clarinet. 

The Central Market (Pasar Seni) pedestrian arcade.  Notice the ubiquitous KFC sign.

Onwards to the Colonial District, where hulking Tudor mansions sit alongside magnificent Mughal-inspired, buildings.

KL Railway Station.  Built in 1910 and spared Allied bombing during the waning months of WWII.

The KL Railway Administration Offices. 

A partial city skyline view from the grassy expanse of Merdeka Square. Independence from Great Britain was proclaimed here in 1957.

KL is truly a multi-cultural mosaic of belief systems: mosques, temples, pagodas, and even the odd church can be found in this metropolis. Below, St. Mary's Anglican Cathedral (1909).

A late afternoon break at a cafe near the river.  Malaysian iced coffee and coconut juice.

Gavin and a surreal statue representing the carnivorous pitcher plant, a native of the region.

Beers @ The Coliseum Cafe, a smoky Colonial throwback that has been underwhelming patrons for over 70 years.

A wander through the Masjid Jamek area, where colorful fabrics can be purchased by the bagfull.

Dinner at a random, yet tasty Burmese restaurant.  We stepped in purely for the novelty factor, but found the food to be quite good.


Chickpea Salad.

Fried Chicken.  Good around the world.

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