We woke early (6.00 am) due to jet lag so we were eating breakfast in the hotel’s Apple restaurant bright and early. The restaurant was on the 14th floor and sitting at a window table we had good city views. There was pretty much everything on offer for breakfast, catering for all tastes. The waiters were attentive and replenished my cappuccino cup several times. A complimentary newspaper had been delivered to our room so I glanced at this as well. On returning to our room, we found that our room had already been cleaned which was nice.
We took the monorail and then the metro to Merdeka Square with its beautiful buildings, the first of which we viewed was the Panggung Bandaraya (City Theatre).
This was the former city hall and its Moorish arches and domed shaped pavilions have been well preserved. Across from there lies the Sultan Abdul Samad building. It’s name is derived from the Sultan of the Selangor region during the time of its construction in 1894. It is one of the most distinctive landmarks with its large clock tower, built by the British and is now the home of the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture.
Merdeka Square used to serve as the Government Administrative centre during the British rule. The British flag was lowered on 31st August 1957 when Malaysia gained independence. The flagpole stands at 100 metres and is said to be one of the world’s tallest. Overlooking the lawned square is the colonial Royal Selangor Club, a social club built by the British in 1884 in mock Tudor style.
To the side lies the white St. Mary’s Cathedral constructed in the 1880’s and the Victoria fountain built to celebrate the diamond jubilee of Queen Victoria in 1897. A short walk away lies the Central Market which was built by the British as a wet market but is now a market aimed at tourists with souvenir stalls, crafts, trinkets and cafes.
Just down the road from there we arrived at Chinatown and its main thoroughfare, Petaling Street. This famous street is a hustle and bustle of crowds, market stalls and food carts. It’s famous for selling imitation goods and haggling over prices seems to be normal practice. The street has now been covered with a roof from which orange lanterns hang down.
After our morning’s sightseeing, we returned to the hotel for a short rest and some lunch.
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