My #ABOUTKL 2.0 EXPERIENCE
I realized something while talking to my friends, and it is that many of us are all guilty of taking for granted the treasures and amazing tourist attractions that other visitors travel to Malaysia to enjoy. Most of my friends will just smile and admit “it is just there, so no rush” and there are many KL-lites who has never been to KL Tower or the zoo etc.
But when they travel overseas, they head to other country’s tower or zoo. Well, just saying no offense meant, so please do not take any.
Personally, I am also somewhat guilty, but it is definitely one of my New Year’s resolution to see more of my own city and country. There is just so many gems to be uncovered even in our own backyard or city and it’s dekat je! (just so close, right?)
Yours truly here was lucky to have been selected as part of the Tourism Malaysia #AboutKL 2.0 bloggers.
#AboutKL was recently launched by Minister of Tourism and Culture, YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, at the Malaysia Tourist Information Centre (MaTic) recently along with the KL Hop On Hop Off 10th year anniversary.
The event takes in 15 bloggers including me (hehe – smug face), social media influencers and members of the media taking part in the 3-days 2-nights event filled with activities focused on the theme of heritage/culture, food and arts. It surely was very enlightening and also mind and belly filling.
Our experience began at MATIC, where we got to check out various cultural, current and interesting new tourist destinations at the little carnival booths. In the evening, we were then brought for dinner at Gravy Baby at Jalan P Ramlee where we were impressed by the ritzy decorations and lighting of the place while indulging in some pretty yummy pies, lemonade and special tea infusions.
After having dinner at GravyBaby we went on to MATIC where we had Dinner In The Sky, a heart pounding, butterfly in the stomach experience which was however just so satisfying and something we were proud of because we have conquered our fears for half of us there. Yes, having a yummy strawberry kiwi shortcake 45 metres above the ground with the Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower and other KL skyscrapers is a priceless experience. The staff members and safety officers at hand were great at telling us stories, and also helping us to settle our nervousness and help us take photos.
I did have some wobbly legs when we got back to the ground but also proud and blessed that we got to do it.
We stayed over at the Avenue J Hotel, a 3 star hotel, located just right next to the Malaysian Bar Council, in front of the Old Market Square, and right behind the Central Market.
I had a good night sleep indeed in my comfortable Double Queen Room. The room is nowhere spacious or big as what you might get at a 5 star hotel, but it is perfect and comfortable for travellers or people who are here for business.
On the 2nd day, we had a scrumptious breakfast at the historical Kafe Old Market Square consisting of typical Malaysian breakfast of Chee Cheong Fun, Hainanese noodles, Nasi Lemak with Ayam Rempah/ Rice cooked with Coconut Milk and served with a beautifully spiced fried chicken, half boiled eggs with toast and some Pasembur/Rojak with Squid…
After breakfast, we walked to Pasar Seni /Central Market LRT and took the LRT to KL Sentral and from there, we headed to Brickfields’ Little India to check out some of the monuments, shops and the heritage of the area. It was amazing and I just realized that Brickfields was very instrumental to the rebirth of the new Kuala Lumpur after it was razed to the ground and also swept away by a huge flood 100 years or so ago. This was where the bricks used to build Kuala Lumpur to the city it was today were made and stored.
From Little India, we traipsed to Annalakshmi at the Temple of Fine Arts, passing by the Tamil Methodist Church and a 100 years old Buddhist Temple. I also took the chance to take a quick peek at one of Ananda Krishnan’s home there.
Annalakshmi is an amazing place to dine. The restaurant is run by volunteers. You will definitely feel like an honored guest and your host is there to serve you and make sure you eat enough of their home made food. The food served are all vegetarian and authentic with a combination of South Indian cuisine and Northern Indian cuisine. Choose to dine in style at the comfort of the air- conditioned restaurant on the ground floor for a fixed buffet price of RM18 -20 per person or head over to the canteen at the airy basement level and eat the same kind of food and pay-as-you-wish!
We then took Uber to Petaling Street and traipsed along Petaling Street/ China Town where we got to sample some famous local street food from Taufufah, Roasted Chestnuts, and Apam Balik. I got the chance to check out some roasted duck feet and mua chee while learning more about Kuala Lumpur’s history there too.
It certainly was a day of gorging ourselves silly/eating. After that we headed over to a pretty interesting café, Ali, Muthu and Ah Hock for some snacks, local kueh and also some chee cheong fun and drinks. Interesting because the shop is used to be an alley and they just built a shop there and the walls are left in their original peeling/ decay while new fixtures, aircon, lighting and photographs and artwork decorates the place.
Then we headed to the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple where the yearly Thaipusam parade starts from and the devotees will trek 13 km to the Batu Caves. We took a few minutes to admire the elaborate entrance to the temple before heading to the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple that pretty much looked like a drive in temple at a glance from the main road.
Our afternoon then continued with a tour around the different zones of Pasar Seni/ Central Market and some Nyonya style high tea at Precious Old China, a quirky nyonya restaurant located next to the food court on the first floor.
The highlight of the whole event was of course at the Gala Night in the 113-year old theatre, Panggung Bandaraya. I have heard so much great things about this production and have always been wanting to see it, and haven’t had the chance until now… It sure was a most fascinating and touching performance of MUD KL that tells the story of how Kuala Lumpur came to be.
This was followed by a fashion show by leading designers Bon Zainal and Jo Disaya whose artistic designs were just mind blowing gorgeous on the runway.
The party continued for some of my blogger/ social media friends who were still pumped up for more at Nagaba in Bukit Bintang, but for a few of us, we called in a night and seek the comfort of our individual hotel rooms and beds.
Our last day was sad we had to leave our newly made/found friends and go back where we came from.
We checked out of the Avenue J hotel and headed to the National Museum for the ‘Wayang Kulit Nusantara’ special exhibition that was ongoing until the end of February. You will be intrigue by this interesting exhibition and even see interesting evolution of the traditional wayang kulit as some smarty pants create superheroes and Star Wars wayang kulit characters as well.
We also manage to got to learn few things about the queen of textiles, the ‘kain songket‘ at the exhibition which ended end December
The #AboutKL programme is planned to be organised regularly as a means to update the social media community on the latest attractions and news on Kuala Lumpur. I am thankful and thrilled to have been a part of this amazing event. Thank you to #AboutKL and Tourism Malaysia for this amazing opportunity to learn more about KL.