I’ve just read Emily’s latest posts. The sights, sounds and smells along her ride routes are diametrically opposed to what I usually experience. A definite downside to living in the centre of Kuala Lumpur (KL).
Yesterday’s ride will look familiar to everyone who read CLC 2018 Ride #7: Go West MAMIL. That time I rode as far as Bandar Sunway. This time I rode with Ridzuwan and we went further southwest to Kota Kemuning.
I promised Emily that I would post some city photos. So here goes.
I live 1km from the PETRONAS Twin Towers. Petronas is the national oil company. In front of the towers is the Suria KL City Centre shopping mall. To the left of Suria KLCC is the Mandarin Oriental hotel. Further left, with the scalloped roof, is the KL Convention Centre.
The building to the immediate right of the towers and Suria KLCC is Menara Maxis. Menara is the Bahasa Malaysia word for tower. The building is owned by Maxis, which is one of the largest telcos in the country. I worked in Menara Maxis for a few years.
In the ’90s I worked in Menara Maybank. That is the tower with the angled roof in the upper left corner of the photo. As its name suggests, that tower belongs to Malayan Banking. From Menara Maybank I watched the construction of Menara KL, which is the communications tower rising above the hills in the background.
The site where the PETRONAS Towers, Suria KLCC, Menara Maxis etc. now sit had been the home of the Selangor Turf Club since 1895. As Kuala Lumpur expanded, the area around the Turf Club became the commercial centre of the city. In 1988 the Turf Club bowed to the inevitable and moved to moved to a bigger site 17km away. Construction of the twin towers began in March 1993.
Most of the city centre has been taken over by high rises. But little pockets of the old KL remain. The Kun Yam Thong Buddhist temple is 500 metres from the apartment block I live in. It was founded in 1880.
The trunks of the trees on the section of Jalan Ampang (Ampang Road) from the temple to the PETRONAS Towers and beyond have recently been swathed in fairy lights.
Ridzuwan lives by the golf course and the monkeys I wrote about in CLC 2018 Ride#5: Monkeying Around. I met him on Jalan Ampang and we rode onto the MEX toll road and then onto the motorcycle lane alongside the KESAS toll road.
Some of you know about the Hash House Harriers. There was a time when HHH hares could find lots of trails to mark around where MEX and KESAS now run. In the ’70s and ’80s much of that area was either planted with rubber trees or was secondary forest. Not any longer.
Kota Kemuning is an example of a planned suburb which has sprung up where plantation and jungle used to be. As are Bandar Puchong Jaya, Bandar Sunway, and Subang Jaya. Bandar is the Bahasa Malaysia word for town.
These new bedroom communities have a range of housing. Apartment blocks are becoming more and more prevalent as developers seek to maximise the use of land. There is still a market for higher-end single dwellings like this one in a Kota Kemuning neighbourhood.
More common are terrace houses like these ones. Long strips of mirror-image homes, each with a tiny garden in the front, and sometimes an even smaller one at the back of the house. The houses at either end of each row go for a premium price because they have extra windows in the wall that is not joined to another house.
These planned townships have their own commercial centres and recreation areas, so residents don’t have to venture far to shop, eat out, and exercise. Restoran Asiba is in one of the rows of shop lots in Kota Kemuning.
Bahasa Malaysia has lots of words which have been adopted from English, with slight spelling changes. Typically words for more modern concepts which didn’t exist prior to the British coming along. You can guess the meaning of restoran. Similarly komputer, talipon, teksi, and komuniti.
Asiba is one of the ubiquitous mamak restaurants. There is a bit more about mamak restaurants here.
In that post I mentioned nasi lemak. This is how it is traditionally served. You can see half a boiled egg peeping out of the pack at the top left.
Another popular breakfast dish at a mamak restaurant is roti canai. In this case a “flooded” roti canai, where the flatbread is inundated by the dhal (lentil) curry sauce. It looks a mess, but it is delicious.
The video below is an aerial view of the route. Ignore the fact that Strava thinks I was going 70kph down Jalan Ampang at the start of the ride.
The orange-brown / red-brown / gray-brown roofs are houses. The grayer the roofs, the older the houses. You can see that the homes in the city centre are older, as compared to say Kota Kemuning, which is a relatively new development.
White, blue, grey or orange roofs are factories, warehouses etc.
You’ll notice that almost all the large areas of green space are golf courses.
Video courtesy of relive.cc
I hope you enjoyed the tour.