Trip Start May 18, 2003
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Malaysia  ,
Thursday, May 22, 2003

Strolling through KL's lively Chinatown today to get to the Central Market was fun, seeing the various junk shops and stalls on the street right next to high rise modern buildings gives this city such contrast. Central Market itself is probably not the best place to buy gifts. Most of the items on sale here are Thai/Indo imports and squarely aimed at the tourist market (with prices to match).

A short walk from the Central Market is Merdeka (Independence) Square. Dominating the square is the biggest flag and tallest flagpole I have ever seen. It is probably symbolic of the national pride Malaysian's have, seeing as this land has had so many occupying nations in the past.

The square contains a full size cricket pitch, fountain, gardens and is surrounded by some excellent architecture. One of my favourites is the Sultan Abdul Samad building that is lit up at night with hundreds of small lights that follow the shapes in the contours. This building is a fusion of styles with it's Victorian clock tower topped with a Moorish 'onion' shaped dome.

A visit to the National History Museum (at Merdeka Square, where else) is good for a couple of hours. There is an interesting exhibit on Malaysia's Megalithic past with photos of some of the stone structures that have been left in Borneo. I also liked the money that was being used in Sarawak about 100 years ago; animal shaped tin statues! A little less portable but a lot more interesting than flat discs. It sheds a whole new light on the cockney phrase "That'll cost you a monkey".
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