Κυριακή, 25 Σεπτεμβρίου 2011

MALAYSIA

MALAYSIA

TRULY ASIA

MALAYS, CHINESE, INDIANS AND MANY OTHER ETHNIC GROUPS HAVE LIVED TOGETHER IN MALAYSIA FOR GENERATIONS. THIS MOSAIC OF CULTURES, HAD CREATED A TRULY MALAYSIAN ONE! EVERYTHING, FROM ITS PEOPLE TO ITS ARCHITECTURE, REFLECTS A COLORFUL HERITAGE AND CULTURE. THIS LAND OF DIVERSITY HAS BEEN A PART OF THE INTERNATIONAL “SPICE ROUTE”, MANY HUNDREDS OF YEARS AGO, WHEN TRADERS FROM INDIA AND CHINA ESTABLISHED TRADING PORTS IN THE AREA.
ITS ORIGIN IS IN THE MALAY KINGDOM, WHICH FROM THE 18TH CENTURY, BECAME SUBJECT TO THE BRITISH EMPIRE. STILL VIVID IS THE EVIDENCE OF THE BRITISH COLONIZATION IN MANY BUILDINGS AND IN MANY AREAS OF THE COUNTRY.
ONE OF MALAYSIA’S KEY ATTRACTIONS IS ITS CONTRASTS. BIG SKYSCRAPERS LOOKING DOWN UPON WOODEN HOUSES ON STILTS AND FIVE-STAR HOTELS SITUATED JUST A FEW METERS AWAY FROM ANCIENT REEFS!


SO HAVE FUN IN MALAYSIA
THE TRULY ASIA COUNTRY!


KUALA LUMPUR IS THE CAPITAL, A BIG METROPOLIS WITH THE TALLEST SKYSCRAPERS IN ASIA, INCLUDING THE HIGHEST TOWERS OF THE WORLD, THE PETRONAS TOWERS. (AFTER THE BUILDING OF THE BURJ AL DUBAI IN DUBAI, THE PETRONAS HAVE LOST THEIR TITLE AS THE TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD).
THE CONFLUENCE OF THE RIVERS KLANG AND GOMBAK IS THE BIRTH AREA OF THE CITY, THE SPOT WHERE THE FIRST SETTLERS BUILT THEIR SHACKS. MANY HISTORIC TEMPLES AND MOSQUES ARE STILL STANDING IN THEIR ORIGINAL SPOTS, WITH MASJID JAME MOSQUE THE OLDEST ONE, FROM 1908.

THE DATARAN MERDEKA AND THE PETALING STREET NIGHT MARKET ARE TWO AREAS WHERE THE CITY’S PAST IS EVIDENCE IN THE COLONIAL BUILDINGS AND IN THE MIDNIGHT LAMPS OF THE STREETS.
THE DATARAN MERDEKA WAS ONCE THE CRICKET CENTRE OF THE BRITISH COLONY. ON ONE CORNER OF THE MAIN SQUARE IS THE SELANGOR CLUB, ONCE THE SOCIAL CENTRE OF THE BRITISH RESIDENTS. NEARBY IS ST. MARY’S CATHEDRAL, A NEO-GOTHIC CHURCH MORE THAN A HUNDRED YEARS OLD. ON AUGUST 31 OF 1957 THE MALAYAN FLAG FLUE FREELY IN THE DATARAN MERDEKA, SIGNALING THE COUNTRY’S INDEPENDENCE. THERE IS A 100 METER FLAGPOLE IN THE SAME SPOT.

THE SULTAN ABDUL SAMAD BUILDING IS AN IMPRESSIVE ARCHITECTURAL FEATURE WITH GLEAMING COPPER DOMES AND A 130 METER CLOCK TOWER.  IT WAS BUILT IN 1897 AS THE CENTRE OF THE BRITISH ADMINISTRATION AND TODAY IT HOUSES THE JUDICIAL DEPARTMENT AND INFOKRAF, WHICH IS A CENTRE FOR MALAYSIAN HANDICRAFTS.

THE LAKE GARDENS (TAMAN TASIK PERDANA) DATES BACK TO THE 1880s AND IS THE CITY’S MOST POPULAR PARK. IT IS A VERY BIG PARK WITH AN ARTIFICIAL LAKE, MANY TREES, FLOWERS, JOGGING TRACKS AND A CHILDERS PLAYGROUND. MANY MUSICAL AND CULTURAL PERFORMANCES ARE BEING HELD IN THE PARK. IN THE LAKE GARDENS ARE LOCATED MANY ATTRACTIONS OF THE CITY SUCH AS THE BOTANICAL GARDENS AND THE NATIONAL MUSEUM WITH A HISTORICAL GALLERY, A CULTURAL GALLERY, A MUSICAL GALLERY, A NATURAL HISTORY GALLERY AND A NATIONAL SPORTS GALLERY.

THE CARCOSA SERI NEGARA IS TWO 19TH CENTURY COLONIAL MANSIONS ON A HILLTOP OVERLOOKING THE LAKE GARDENS. IT WAS THE RESIDENCE OF THE BRITISH GOVERNOR AND THE HIGH COMMISSIONERS TODAY IS AN EXCLUSIVE HOTEL!

THE PARLIAMENT HOUSE IS ALSO OVERLOOKING THE LAKE GARDENS AND VISITORS ARE ALLOWED TO VISIT PARTS OF THE BUILDING BY PRIOR ARRANGEMENT WITH THE AUTHORITIES.

THE ISTANA NEGARA IS THE RESIDENCE OF THE KING. IT IS LOCATED ON A HILL AT JALAN ISTANA AREA AND IT IS SURROUNDED BY GREEN LAWNS, PONDS AND TREES. ON CEREMONIES AND OTHER SPECIAL OCCASIONS THE PALACE IS LIT-UP AND IT LOOKS VERY PRETTY.

THE CENTRE OF THE CHINATOWN IS PETALING STREET, WHICH MAINTAINS MUCH OF ITS TRADITIONAL ATMOSPHERE. AT NIGHT, VENDORS SPREAD THEIR MERCHANDISE OUT ON THE STREET, MAKING THE NIGHT MARKET AS VIVID AND AS LIVELY AS CAN BE.

THE CENTRAL MARKET WITH IT’S ART DECO STRUCTURE, IS A CENTRE OF MALAYSIAN CULTURE, ARTS AND CRAFTS. MANY PERFORMANCES, DEMONSTRATIONS AND OTHER ACTIVITIES ARE BEING HELD HERE INCLUDING BATIK PAINTING, FORTUNE TELLING, PUPPET SHOWS, GLASS BLOWING AND MANY OTHERS.

THE NATIONAL ZOO AND AQUARIUM IS ABOUT 13 KLM FROM THE CITY AND IT EXHIBITS MANY ANIMALS, BIRDS AND A BIG COLLECTION OF MARINE SPECIES.

THE KUALA LUMPUR RAILWAY STATION AND THE MALAYAN RAILWAY ADMINISTRATION BUILDING ARE OF MOORISH STYLE AND FINE EXAMPLES OF THE BRITISH COLONIAL ARCHITECTURE.

THE PETRONAS TOWERS IS THE SYMBOL OF THE CITY AND UNTIL RECENTLY WAS THE TALLEST BUILDING IN THE WORLD! IT IS REALLY A VERY IMPRESSIVE SKYSCRAPER, SHOWING THE AMAZING GROWTH OF THE COUNTRY OVER THE LAST TWO DECADES! THE PETRONAS ARE ACTUALLY TWO IDENTICAL TOWERS JOINED WITH A HIGH RISE BRIDGE. GREAT VIEW FROM ITS HIGH LEVEL FLOORS!

THE ORCHID GARDENS EXHIBIT MORE THAN 800 SPECIES OF THIS BEAUTIFUL FLOWER, WHICH ARE ON SALE HERE ONLY ON WEEKENDS FROM 10am TO 6pm.

THE BUTTERFLY PARK EXHIBITS MORE THAN 6000 BUTTERFLIES OF MORE THAN 120 SPECIES IN A RAINFOREST ATMOSPHERE. THERE IS A NURSERY AND A BREEDING AREA FOR THE BUTTERFLIES IN THE PARK.


THE KUALA LUMPUR BIRD PARK IS THE LARGEST IN SOUTH-EAST ASIA WITH THOUSANDS OF BIRDS.



MALACCA  


                                 
THE CITY WAS ORIGINALLY BUILT OF WOOD AND TRADITIONAL MALAY HOUSES STILL HANG OVER THE WATER ALONG THE SHORES OF THE MALACCA RIVER, WHERE THE SCENE HAS CHANGED LITTLE! UNFORTUNATELY NONE OF THE GLOW OF ITS GLORIOUS PAST, OF THE COLONIAL ERA, IS LEFT. THE PORTUGUESE, THAT CAPTURED AND OCCUPIED THE CITY IN 1511 FOR OVER A CENTURY, INFLUENCED THE ARCHITECTURE A LOT. THEY TAXED BUILDINGS RELATIVE TO THEIR WIDTH, A POLICY THAT ACCOUNTS FOR THE THIN FACADES, THE NUMEROUS STORIES AND THE BACKWARDS EXTENSIONS. AN ARCHITECTURE WE FIND IN AMSTERDAM AND GENERALLY IN THE NETHERLANDS AND ALL OF THE NETHERLAND AND PORTUGUESE COLONIES. IT IS A VERY PLEASANT CITY TO VISIT.

HOT AND HUMID IS THE WEATHER CONDITIONS OF MALAYSIA… THERE IS RAIN THROUGH THE YEAR BUT THE WETTEST MONTHS ARE MARCH, APRIL, SEPTEMBER AND NOVEMBER. SO IT IS ADVISABLE TO AVOID A VISIT AT THIS TIME OF YEAR, WHEN THE HUMIDITY IS AT ITS HIGHEST!
ENJOY YOUR TRIP IN THIS TRULY ASIA COUNTRY


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