THIS KUL CITY: DISCOVER KWALA LUMPUR
On 5 December 2015, close to 200 Discoverers (that’s what we’re calling our participants!!) took part in THIS KUL CITY: DISCOVER KWALA LUMPUR.
Discoverers were given the DISCOVER KWALA LUMPUR newspaper which had all the information of the route & map. From Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad, Discoverers explored Wisma Straits Trading and Lebuh Pasar, folded gold ingots at Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, learnt how to make flower garlands and even found out more about P.H Hendry through his great-grandson, Suren Hendry. With their KUL CITY, button badges, Discoverers were entitled to special rates to watch MUDKL- The story of Kuala Lumpur.
Iryanie Suhardi, one of our newly minted Sahabat Warisan, gives us her experience helping with #discoverkwalalumpur
Historic townscape appraisal has always been a strong interest of mine since my undergraduate study. I had the opportunity to visit few historical towns such as Kuala Terengganu and Muar, Malacca and Georgetown but not KUALA LUMPUR.
My limited memories of Kuala Lumpur while growing up were of sending my grandparents to the Old KL Railway Station to catch their Ekspress Rakyat train to Butterworth and following my mother to Syarikat Bunga Reben in Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman for her sewing and crafting needs.
One day a realization struck me – the irony of living in a city your entire life but never been so familiar with downtown Kuala Lumpur.
So I jumped at the chance to join the final This Kul City: Discover Kwala Lumpur walk on Saturday, 5th December 2015. I was assigned to man one checkpoint in Jalan Masjid India and honestly, it was my FIRST visit to Jalan Masjid India.
The single red minaret of the mosque makes a useful point for wayfinding while you are in the area. Trees in front of the mosque are big enough for shade and makes a perfect sitting spot for me (which were later swamped by men waiting for their shopping spouse/mother!).
The first group of participants arrived at my station at around 9.00 am. It was so heartening to see people of all races and ages wandering together in early hour to discover the hidden gems of Kuala Lumpur – a father and his energetic kids, a mother and her toddler, a lecturer and a student, a group of enthusiastic tourists, a friendly local and a tourist couple, a pair of curious teenagers, a solo traveler and more.
Opposite Masjid India stood the multi-storey Wisma Yakin which I never set foot in before. It is a place worth visiting where all things Malay are under one roof – from complete traditional Malay garment to exquisite handwoven textile. I was told by a participant that back in the day, the Malays used to shop for their wedding or festive needs here. However, the erection of covered arcade to emulate Petaling Street arrogantly blocks the accessibility into the building and affects the sales of the traders in the building. Many participants missed out Checkpoint I (Patimah and
However, the covered arcade to emulate Petaling Street arrogantly blocks the accessibility into the building and affects the sales of the traders in the building. Many participants missed out Checkpoint I (Patimah and Anak Anak, the Songkok Maker) due to the blocked signage and I had to direct them into the shop for a short brief. It was great learning a lot of new things be it from a passerby, the participants or from the traders.
Joining BWM’s Sahabat Warisan volunteer program truly gives me a whole different perspective to this 155 year-old city – the intangible experience you would not get while you are in a car or from reading a travel guide.
You might not get to touch the red bricks of Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad.
You might not get to smell the tantalizing scent of spicy fried chicken concocted with the ‘pleasant’ whiffs of Klang River.
You might not get to enjoy the sound of heavy rain on the steel roof and reminisce your childhood memories in the nostalgic Old KL Railway Station.
I urge you to put on your best walking shoes, hop on to your nearest public transportation and start wandering in this city. Hidden gems are bound to be uncovered at every level and corner in this beloved capital of ours.
Watch snippets of the walk courtesy of Walkabout Asia!