Yay, The Botanical Garden is open.

Even though Kuala Lumpur is in Covid Recovery Phase 1, authorities have relaxed some of the lockdown restrictions. Some parks in your neighborhood can now be visited. The Perdana Botanical Garden is just a 2 km walk away so it qualifies as a local venue. Two days ago, only one gate was open on the far side from us making it a bit of a chore to enter. Today, we discovered the tunnel shortcut has been re-opened. Better than that, the upgrade of the path around the lake has completed and parts of the bamboo play area are open. (Note on the website link above: The website does not have any updates on the changes for the Covid Lockdown. Current signs posted state opening hours from 8:00 AM to 7:00 PM.)

Bamboo Play Area taken from the New Walking Path

Other activities of our life in exile include astronomical observations from our balcony.

A Stonehenge Moment: Marking the last day (July 28) we can see sunset on the horizon.
Lightning from a storm far away.

The weather is a little cooler with regular rain showers. In the evenings, we sometimes see heat lightning from storms 20-30 km away. It’s just luck to catch the flashes with my simple iphone camera. In the hour before dawn (around 6 AM), seeing lightning from storms in the west over the Strait of Melacca reassures me. There’s something nostalgic about it.

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Views from Isolated Walks

For the good of the realm, we continue in exile. The conditions have relaxed and then tightened. We now stay home in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur except for necessities. Sometimes, we have taken a longer route along the River of Life to get groceries. Other times, we spent a little longer in a large shopping mall near here. Here are some reflections from those times.

The good news is that both I and the pillion rider have our first vaccine shot. We’re grateful.

AstraZeneca vaccine administered at University Malaya

Kuala Lumpur, Down by the river

Starting the new year in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We’ve been here a few weeks since leaving Manila. As we have stopped here a number of times in the last five years, I’m looking for some different aspects of the city.

Here is one: Klang River flows through the city. These days it is channeled via concrete levees.  The Kelana Jaya Light Rail Line (LRT) follows near the River from KL Central north east to Jelatek.  There are a number of accesses large enough for motorcycles and small cars to drive to the concrete edges.  Here are some photos of my stroll. It started with the GoKL free bus Turquoise Line to LRT Station Dato’ Keramat. Just west of the station there is a path down to the edge. There is also a foot bridge that crosses to a path that winds over to the street Jalan Ampang. The concrete banks of the river can be followed for quite a distance among graffiti and occasional squatter shacks up at street level.

 

 

Kuala Lumpur Ennui

Over the last year, we have stopped over in Kuala Lumpur several times for family events and personal pursuits.  Recently, we have tried to find some less common venues involving city walks.  It is steaming (and when it rains, streaming) in KL and never ending construction forces us into the streets as we approach our quest.

Prime Minister Memorials and the Bank Negara Museum and Art Gallery.

We took the free Red GOKL bus from KL Sentral and exiting at Menara DBKL (City Hall Tower).  A walk up Jalan Raja Laut (street) to LRT station Bandaraya arrives at a foot bridge to KTM station Bank Negara. Either of these stations are also good starting points for the walk north up Jalan Dato Onn and circling west to the Memorials for the first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra, and third prime minister, Tun Hussein Onn.  These huge buildings are stuffed with mementos about the accomplishments but shy away from controversy.

Across the road is Bank Negara (National Bank) which has an extensive art gallery and museum with no entry fee.  Bags are not allowed but the information desk has tokens for the lockers.

The works are technically well done but tend to show an idealized village.  Here are few inspirations that bend the rules.

KLCC-Bukit Bintang Walk

A 3-4 km walk I took several times starts at the Avenue K Shopping Mall at the KLCC LRT stop.  This goes underground from Avenue K via (tunnel 1) Suria KLCC Mall to the Convention Center (tunnel 2), then via elevated Walkways (skyway 3) to the Pavilion Shopping Mall.  From there, a tunnel (4) connects under Jalan Bukit Bintang to the Fahrenheit88 Shopping Mall. Exiting on ground floor by Shoopen and walking along Jalan Bukit Bintang about 30 meters arrives at the down escalator (5) into the Lot10 Hutong basement restaurants.  From here, escalators up to second floor of the Lot10 shopping mall access the skywalk (6)  from H&M  or Isetan leading under the monorail over to the Sungei Wang Plaza.  Except for 30 meters, this entire route is protected from sun and rain.

Here’s a map from Google that I annotated with numbered pathways.  Brown lines are underground, Green lines are Skyways.

KLCC-SungeiWang Path

River of Life

Masjid Jamek (the Jamek Mosque) marks the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers where Kuala Lumpur (meaning Muddy confluence) gets its name. These rivers run through the heart of Kuala Lumpur.  A new program plans to beautify the area by cleaning up the rivers and erecting walkways along the banks.  It is quite impressive around the Jamek Mosque in the evening.

Cats and Bikes

To complete this post, Kuala Lumpur has many cats and many oBikes, a station free bicycle sharing system.  Here are a few photos of each. I have an oBike account and use them frequently when public transportation does not have a direct route.