Tuesday, October 30, 2012

THE NATIONAL MOSQUE, MUSEUM, AND MORE IN MALAYSIA!


Whew! After two weeks of hiatus as I was sooooo busy working on my paper for the Asian Center for Communication and Media 2012 Conference, which was held in Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, I can say that I'm finally back in blogging. As I realized, I have lots of entries to share to everyone. Imagine, I haven't finished blogging about my solo travel adventure in Malaysia, which happened last September. Now, let's get the ball rolling.

When I went to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, I toured and visited tourist spots in the city. Well, thanks to Malaysia's Hop on, Hop off bus, everything went smooth and on a budget.

Now, let me show to you the tourist spots that I visited in Kuala Lumpur, which I hope you will visit as well when you go to Kuala Lumpur.



The first tourist spot that I visited in Malaysia is the National Museum or Negara Muzium. Since I was quiet interested to know more about Malaysia's history, it's the museum that I targeted to walk into. On top of that, I was interested to know the similarity and difference of Malaysia's Islamic origin and culture compared to Brunei. As you all know, I'd lived in Brunei for 4 years and a half year, until I got a scholarship offer in Australia to do my PhD.

Malaysia's National Museum is organized, well-lighted, detailed and has an enticing atmosphere. It's divided into four rooms which chronicle the The Early History, The Malay Kingdoms, The Colonial Era and Malaysia Today. Among these four galleries, what I loved the most is the Colonial Era, which showcases how Malaysia challenged the colonial system towards protecting Islam in the country.

What I loved about Malaysia is it's buildings reflect the richness of its culture and religion. In the facade of the Museum, pointed roofs adorned the entrance paired with Islamic patterns on signage and flooring.
Tourism
The entrance

Information

Patterned floor.

Inside, the galleries are presented in bilingual setting. The exhibits and dioramas are well-lighted and housed in a glass box.

Here's some information about Negara Muzium:


Built in 1963, the National Museum was the first to use a modernistic interpretation and integration of Malay architecture. The mural of the east side of the building illustrates the economic activities, traditional ceremonies and customs inherited by the Malaysian Society.  The mural on the west side signifies events of Malay history, including the eminent Malacca Malay Sultanate, colonisation and independence of Malaysia in 1957.

Layout
The Lobby of the Museum with an exhibit on Malaysia's Newspaper History
Gallery A (Early History) features Malaysia's earliest inhabitants. In this gallery, lots of stone tools and relics. Among the highlights of this gallery is the skeleton of the Perak Man, excavated in Gunung Runtuh Cave, Lenggong Perak dated to about 10,000 to 11,000 years old.




Gallery B (The Malay Kingdom) is what I enjoyed the most in the galleries for it exhibits the richness of the Malay Kingdom's treasures etched with historic, cultural, political, economic and religious influences.
Wood Arch in the entrance.



The next gallery is Gallery C (The Colonial Era). Obviously this gallery showcases the history of control and administration of the foreign powers: The Portuguese, Dutch, British, and Japanese. This gallery also shows the subsequent effects on the political, social and economic situation of Malaysia.





Gallery D (Malaysia Today) chronicles the formation of Malaysia toward development and independence.



After an hour, as I was in hurry to catch and visit other tourist spots, I went out of the museum.

Soon, the hop on, hop off bus arrived and I went to my next destination, which is Istana Negara or the National Palace. Unfortunately, tourists were not allowed to enter the palace and so everyone opted to just have one's picture taken. Our bus waited for 10 minutes and left immediately once everyone's in.

Here's some information about Istana Negara:



Istana Negara (Formerly National Palace)

Originally a two-storey bungalow built by millionaire Chan Wing in 1928, it was converted into a palace residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King) in 1957. The new Istana Negara is now located in Jalan Duta and incorporates Islamic and Malay traditional features.

It is grand in design and bigger in size, a fitting recognition to the unique constitutional monarchy system practised since independence. It is not the residence of the 14th Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Tuangku  Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.

Architect: Swan and McLaren

Formerly Known as
1933 – Chan Wing Residence
1942 – Residence of the Japanese Governor
1946 – House of British Malaya Administration
1949 – Selangor State Government
1957 – National Palace
2012 – Proposed Meeting, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) Centre



 
Didn't even move!
The next destination that I visited was the National Mosque Malaysia. In this mosque, everyone's allowed to go inside but a purple robe should be worn by Non-Muslims.


Hallway
Here's some information about the National Mosque:


Built in 1965 by Architect: Howard Ashley, Hisham Albakri and Baharuddin Kassim, the National Mosque or Masjid Negara is one of the most unique mosques in the world. It has a generous serambi space with a modernist representation that portrays the message of Islamic progress as well as humility. It does not follow the conventional Middle Eastern mosque design of domes and arches.



The robe
Since I'm used to seeing Mosques as there's a lot of one in Brunei, I was not surprised to see one in Malaysia. The design of the mosque is what piqued my interest.

Positively, I was able to take a look at the Mosque's interior. And I said, wow! Everything's detailed, grand, rich and rousing.

Soon, I left the Mosque and walked around. Since I was waiting for the bus, I got some snapshots of establishments that are around. Interestingly, I saw a TV station and I also spotted an establishment with beautiful Islamic dome shape design. On the side, (I guess) a host is being shot for a television show just near the mosque.



A host in action!
Since I was already tired walking around  (imagine, I came from Batu Caves in the morning and go directly for the Hop on Hop off experience in the afternoon), I opted not to visit the parks, the National Visual Arts Gallery, the National Library, and a lot more. Instead, I hopped off in Merdeka Square to get some snapshots of the place.


After having a few snapshots of Merdeka, I went to Menara KLTower. In the Menara KL Tower, I saw Malaysia's Cultural Village. Apparently, I inquired about getting in  the Observation deck but since it was already drizzling that time, the staff didn't recommend for me to go to the observation deck to see Kuala Lumpur's city skyline. The staff said that the rain would blur my view of the skyline.




For your information, the Observation Deck in the Menara Tower is 276 meters above ground level. Plus, a
47RM(Adult) and 27RM (child) shall be charged.

The Menagar Tower was the last stop in my hop on, hop off adventure. I went back to the hotel after I did my tour and freshened up to meet Kuya Raul for our dinner.

UP NEXT: Melaka, A World Heritage City.

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