After I collected my luggage, I went to level 1 of the main terminal building to ride the ERL KLIA Transit train to KL Sentral Station.
40 minutes later, I arrived at KL Sentral, where I switched to LRT Kelana Jaya Line to return home.
finally back in KL
The next day, it was still an off day for me, so I took that opportunity to do a sightseeing in KL.
Kuala Lumpur in a bright, sunny afternoon
A few years ago, Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau has launched a free guided walking tour which consists of 4 trails. They are:
1) Free Dataran Merdeka Heritage Guided Tour (The Heritage Trail)
2) Old KL & Nature Walk
3) Jalan-Jalan At Kampong Bharu
4) Kuala Lumpur Night Walk
Every tour will bring guests to 7-12 key landmarks & attractions complete with a knowledgeable tour guide for FREE. Let say, if you decided to stay in KL for 4-5 days, then you can join each tour on every different day. This FREE guided walking tour is such a really great bargain for any traveler in KL could get.
I was really interested to join the tour number 3, “Jalan-Jalan at Kampong Bharu”. Literally translated as “walking” or “go outing” in Kampong Bharu, this 2.5 hours (4:30pm-7:00pm) tour will bring travelers to discover the history, custom & tradition in the traditional neighborhood of Kampong Bharu. It is held on every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday with the meeting point is at the historical building of Kelab Sultan Sulaiman.
Jalan-Jalan at Kampong Bharu guided walking tour pamphlet
Basically, you just can walk-in at the meeting point (like what I did) to join this tour, but you also can make a pre-booking by email to them at firstname.lastname@example.org
to avoid a disappointment as each tour is limit to around 25 guests only. All guests are advisable to be at the meeting point at least 15 minutes before the guided tour start.
On that day, I arrived at the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman building at 4:10pm and it seems I was the earliest person to arrive.
Few minutes later, the tour guide, Mr Shah arrived and ushered me to a restaurant located inside the building to fill up the registration form.
Soon, I was joined by 4 more tourists (all of them came separately) for a total of 5 guests in this tour. After we finished fill up the registration form, Mr Shah introduced himself and conducted a briefing with some other basic information about this tour. After the briefing session done, we were off to start the tour!
The first attraction that we covered in this tour was the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman building itself. Established in year 1901, the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman was formed as a social & meeting place for the Elite Malays. In 1946, the first Malay congress was held here which lead to the creation of UMNO, Malaysia’s largest political party. It was named after the then Sultan of Selangor, Sultan Sir Alaedin Sulaiman Shah Ibni Almarhum Raja Muda Musa who ruled the state from year 1898 until 1938. The present Kelab Sultan Sulaiman is actually a new building that was officiated by the then deputy prime minister, the late Tun Abdul Razak on 30 April 1969.
Mr Shah explaining to us the history of Kelab Sultan Sulaiman building
the portrait of Sultan Sir Alaedin Sulaiman Shah in the building's lobby
Then, we walked out from the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman to go to the next attraction. While walking, Mr Shah gave us some brief history of Kampong Bharu. Kampong Bharu (commonly spelled as “Kampung Baru” among locals) was gazetted as a Malay agricultural settlement in year 1900 by the Colonial British administrators to allow the Malays to retain their village lifestyle within the city. There is not only 1 village here but instead there are 7 traditional villages located in the area between the Klang & Gombak rivers that merged to form Kampong Bharu, which means “new village” in Malay language.
the other 4 tourists in this tour
A short walk later, we arrived at the Master Mat's House. This blue colored traditional house was built and owned by a well-respected guy named Haji Ahmad bin Mohamed who commonly known as “Master Mat” among the local residents. He was the former headmaster of an English school located in Setapak, KL.
Designed in Malay-Palladian style, Master Mat’s House is raised on stone pillars with concrete balustrade staircase while its local-style gable roof is covered with clay tiles. Today, this beautiful house is still occupied by Master Mat's 3rd generation. Here, Mr Shah explained to us about the house's architecture, the functions of its designs and also introduced to us some traditional herbs and plants that can be found in the Master Mat's garden.
From Master Mat's House, we walked to the right side of the road where this classical white building is standing. It is the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Gallery.
Unsurprisingly also known as the “White House”, Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Gallery is actually a replica to the original building of Kelab Sultan Sulaiman which was demolished in year 1967. It was recreated in year 2007 to remember the once iconic structure for the whole residence of Kampong Bharu.
After explaining to us about the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman Gallery, Mr Shah shared some interesting facts about these huge trees that located near the gallery's gate which known as "Pokok Pukul 5" or 5 O'Clock Tree. Why they were named as 5 O'Clock Tree? Well, this is because their leaves will automatically open at 5 O'Clock everyday. Mr Shah also told us that these trees are not natives of Malaysia but instead, they were brought to this land by the British from South American continent.