A trip on the Hop On KL Night Excursion can be pretty exciting as you take a trip on the open air Hop On Hop Off open deck bus that will come complete with a tour guide who will be regaling you with stories, histories and details of the sights you are visiting…
And the evening balmy air is quite calming too, so you can really soak in the glorious sights of Kuala Lumpur to your heart’s desire… and even having been living in Kuala Lumpur for over the years, it was a novelty for me too..taking a different perspective of my lovely city…
Our trip began at the Malaysia Tourism Center where we boarded the double decker Hop On Hop Off bus…
In case you do not know it, Malaysia Tourism Center or fondly known as MaT1C is a place where tourists and visitors to KL can get comprehensive information on places, transportation, hotel accommodation and local services available in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia. MaT1C is located along Jalan Ampang, opposite the Renaissance Hotel . The staff there will guide you in planning your trip to ensure your stay is pleasant and exceeds your every expectation for a memorable Malaysia holiday….
And well, once all participants in the tour were on board, our tour began…..
The bus took us along Jalan Kinabalu pass the Gombak River. The Gombak River is a major river in the Klang Valley. The river begins somewhere in Selangor, and flows down to Kuala Lumpur, where it flows into the Klang River at the famous confluence marked by the Jamek Mosque in Kuala Lumpur. The river was formerly known as Sungai Lumpur, meaning “muddy river”, and thus can be said to have given the capital its name, for its confluence would be “Kuala Lumpur”, meaning “muddy confluence” or “muddy estuary”.
We pass by the lovely Kompleks Dayabumi, one of the major landmarks in Kuala Lumpur. It was built in 1981 as a headquarters for Petronas before the Petronas Twin Towers was completed. The 35-storey tower is decorated in delicate fretwork screens, forms a four-pointed star intersected by a square, a recurring symbol in Islamic art.
The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is just another of the views we caught along the way. This place fascinates me no end as it was built with Mughal features such as the elegant chhatris (dome-capped pavilions of Indian origin) along its roof line. It seems so fairytale-like, I can almost imagine Aladdin or Jasmine or even a magic carpet to appear….. Anyway, it used to be KL’s main railway hub until 2001 when Kuala Lumpur Sentral took over much of its role.
It is very unique as it has a mixture of Eastern and Western styles and was also built by convict labour.
Opposite it is the Malaya Railway Administration Building, designed by the same person… and just as majestic…
We arrived at our first stop at the Merdeka Square where the Jalur Gemilang /Malaysian Flag was fluttering in the evening breeze….
Merdeka Square is Malaysia’s best known landmark, since it was where the Union Jack was lowered and the Malayan flag hoisted for the first time at midnight on 31 August 1957 and Independence of Malaysia was declared by Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.
Across the road is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (the former State Secretariat). Directly in front is the Royal Selangor Club and to the north is St. Mary’s Church, one of Malaysia’s oldest Anglican churches.
This is the Hop On Hop Off open deck bus which brought us around…..
KL City Gallery is housed in a Moorish architecture building said to be build back in 1899 . It used to be a printing and press office by the British during the colonial time where official government documents, books and train tickets were printed.
Memories of Kuala Lumpur is a lovely highlight that will tell visitors the history of Kuala Lumpur through many fasinating photos, write-up and miniatures.
You can admire the very nicely constructed Kuala Lumpur City Gallery and Masjid Jamek miniature models as well as learn how KL was discovered and the contributions of Yap Ah Loy, the third Chinese Kapitan of KL. There is a lot to learn even if you are like me, pretending to be a tourist in my own city….
Do not miss viewing the Past, Present and Future of Kuala Lumpur, and the Kuala Lumpur City Model, an innovative showcase!
The spectacular Kuala Lumpur City Model, measuring an incredible 40ft x 50ft, which showcases the city’s past, present and future through advance multimedia projection mapping on the model, the first of its kind in South East Asia.
The show takes about 7 minutes and it will enchant you as you see all the future planning of Kuala Lumpur…I know I was extremely captivated by the future new skyscraper KL118 tower…… it surely soars above even the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower!!!
It is also fascinating seeing the ARCH craftsmen at work after you have watched the models and are headed to the souvenir shop where you can find a generous assortment of souvenirs for sale…ranging from book marks, t shirts, charms etc….
Naturally, the giant I LOVE KL is a must photo-stop! Who can resist taking a picture here??!!
Our tour continued to the Federal Territory mosque, another of Tun Dr Mahathir’s brainchild when he was the Prime Minister.
The Federal Territory Mosque differs to other mosques in Kuala Lumpur with unique influences from the world over. The two minaret towers are said to be Egyptian in design, the turquoise domes Iranian/ Persian, and much of the decoration and carvings are Moorish (Moroccan and Andalusian, Spain).
Architectural influences are even taken from the Taj Mahal and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. So in short, the mosque is beautiful and is well worth visiting.
We only had about 10 minutes there and we were not properly dressed/covered to enter the mosque, but I will definitely want to come back here to visit another day and take more pictures of this breathtaking mosque…
And soon our bus was on the way again…
Our next stop was none other then the Batu Caves…
The magnificent and iconic Batu Caves is one of the top tourist attractions in Malaysia, partly because it is located about 13km from downtown Kuala Lumpur and easy to get to.
Being the site of a Hindu temple and shrine, Batu Caves attracts thousands of worshippers and tourists, especially during the annual Hindu festival, Thaipusam.
There are 4 main attractions at Batu Caves which is a limestone hill riddled with caves. These attractions are Temple Cave (or Cathedral Cave), Dark Cave, Cave Villa and Ramayana Cave. The main Cave is known as the Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave and is accessed by a steep flight of 272 steps.
The top of the stairs brings you into a huge cave with a high vaulted ceiling which serves as a Hindu Temple devoted to Lord Muragan whose 42 meter high gold statue stands guard outside.
Along the way, you will see some monkeys which can both be adorable and also intimidating.
Never under estimate these monkeys as they can snatch things from you or even bite or scratch you if they feel like it/or threatened… and as I would say, always have respect for your surroundings as well as the wildlife around, including, yes, the monkeys…
For more things to do at Batu Caves, you might like to check out http://www.mieranadhirah.com/2016/03/10-things-to-do-at-batu-caves.html
From the Batu Caves back to town and our next destination, we had to go through the peak hour traffic jam.. it was interesting seeing the changes dusk brought with lights getting turned on and so on though…
We finally arrived at the KL Tower…
The 421m Menara KL, rising from the crest of Bukit Nanas, offers the best city views and is the world’s fourth-highest telecommunications tower.
The KL Tower was designed to represent the human journey for perfection in life. The tower’s architectural-style reflects Malaysia’s vibrant Islamic heritage with Arabic scripts, Islamic tiles, and archetypal Islamic floral and abstract patterns.
We headed over the Flavours of Malaysia first for a simple buffet dinner. The dinner here is nothing to shout about but the food is edible and reasonably tasty, and catered to international tastebuds, so it is not too spicy.
The highlight of the dinner was of course a chance to see some local indigenous people from the rainforests of Pahang…In this case, the Semia tribe, and see them perform live. It is definitely a not to be miss chance…
For more on KL Tower, do read this : http://www.mieranadhirah.com/2015/10/kl-tower-must-go-in-kuala-lumpur.html
Once dinner was over, we took the lift up to the observation deck to soak in the glorious bird’s eye view of Kuala Lumpur…
The view here from KL Tower’s observation deck is glorious during the day and at night , it is even much more breathtaking when you can see the entire sparkling city centre.
After KL Tower was done, the bus took us around a few more places to see the night view before sending us back to MaT1C …
It sure was a very relaxing and fun way exploring KL via the Hop On KL Night Excursion… and I highly recommend it to all tourists visiting Malaysia.
For more information, do check out HOP ON NIGHT EXCURSION TOUR