Selamat pagi / Good Morning
Selamat tengah hari / Good Afternoon
Selamat Petang / Good Evening
Needless to say, one day is never enough to see and mingle with people in any city in the world.
This is especially true in cities known for their culinary brilliance.
Going to Penang/Malaysia was very important to me. I wanted to see the very land where my dearest friend,
Sharon of A Leaf in Spring Time , a woman whom I love and respect highly was born and raised. Although Sharon now lives in Finland and I wouldn’t have seen her there, nonetheless, I wanted to see the nation which produced and was blessed by Sharon’s birth and who she has become.
Well, I’m not done yet. In Kuala Lumpur, there is another lady who also has opened a space in my heart….
Sweet Nat of Bake Slave. Nat offered to put together a little care package for me and bring it to the port. I just could not make her drive 2+ hours round-trip to do so, even though it may have been that one-time chance I may have had to meet her in person.
I am dedicating this post and the next, to these wonderful Ladies with beautiful souls, to celebrate their home country.
(Click on the links for detailed info on the sites,
and additional interior and incredible photos.)
Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, or KL as it is commonly called, is a melting-pot for people of many cultures. Modern skyscrapers jostle with ancient minarets, colorful sikhs’ turbans mingle with black Muslim veils, tranquil English cricket pitches/fields border shopping alleys – all combining to make Southeast Asia’s most beautiful and fascinating city.
Unlike cities that developed without thought of the future, KL was planned from the start. True, in her infant years, she was a wretched town. Of the 87 miner- prospectors, who poled up to where the Klang and Gambok rivers meet, 70 died from fever and tiger attacks the first month. They called the settlement Kuala Lumpur, ‘muddy estuary’. It was an isolated outpost, surrounded by hostile jungle. But the mines produced and the town grew. Building and carving a new city out of the Malay jungle, 100 years ago, was a monumental achievement. KL has become a pleasant, garden city, which has successfully transformed a threatening jungle into 33 public greens of various sizes. It is a city more vibrant and charming today than ever before and a showcase of economic and social development.
Places we drove by with photo stop:
♦ Jamek Mosque: The city’s oldest mosque, built in 1909.
♦ Blue Mosque: The largest Mosque in Southeast Asia, can hold 24,000 worshipers.
♦ Merdeka Square: Home to the royal Selangor Club (site of August 31, 1957 proclamation declaring Malaysia’s independence from Britain).
♦ Petronas Towers: The tallest twin towers in the world.
♦ Istana Negara, Jalan Istana: Official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Supreme King) of Malaysia.
Places we visited:
♦ National Museum: The Malay-style architecture building features a wide range of exhibits on Malaysian history and culture.
♦ National Monument: Heroes that fought against the Communists in the 1960’s. This statue was designed by
Felix de Weldon, the same sculptor who designed the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC. Also, The Cenotaph, commemorates Malaysia’s heroes of WW II.
State of Penang
‘The Pearl of the Orient’, lying just off the north-west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, Penang, in original Malay is Pulan Penang, taking its name from the penang, the betel nut, which grows on palms found all over the island. (For those who might be interested in betel nut chewing, just be aware it makes your teeth black and your lips look bloody.)
Today, the Chinese comprise over half of the half-million population; indigenous Malays account for one-third and Indians 7%. This mixture of races and therefore creeds has created an ethnic kaleidoscope. Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus and Christians live close together in reasonable amity, and the visitor is constantly surprised and delighted as he strolls through this microcosm of Asia.
Places we visited:
♦ Georgetown: UNESCO World Heritage Site, perhaps the best-preserved city in Southeast Asia.
It boasts a European-style esplanade and wealth of temples, mosques and Chinese clan houses.
Also, incredible street art murals . Check out more murals → here and here.
♦ Wat Chaiyamangkalaram / Reclining Buddha Temple: The 4th-largest reclining Buddha in the world, a gold-covered statue, over 100 feet long.
♦ Kek Lok Si/Temple of Paradise: The largest Buddhist temple in Southeast Asia, has a seven-story pagoda.
♦ Batu Ferringhi: One of Asia’s most beautiful beaches
♦ Fort Cornwallis: A star-shaped fortress, which dates back to 1810.
♦ Butterfly Farm: Opened in 1986, one of Penang’s best known and most popular tourist attractions. The eight-hectare butterfly sanctuary features more than 4,000 butterflies from more than 120 groups as well as other insects and reptiles.
♦ Batik Factory: Demonstration of traditional art of printing fabric, Malaysian style.
More on Penang:
 The Pearl of the Orient by Sharon of A Leaf in Spring Time