Staying and working in KL, we often overlook the beautiful aspect of our city. How can we, as locals be less excited than the tourists that frequent our country every day, looking in awe at our KLCC twin towers, or at the beautiful historical buildings? It was then with great excitement that I embarked on an evening to night activity aboard the Double Decker Open Deck Bus of the Hop On KL Night Excursion.
|All aboard! Hop On KL Night Excursion On Double Decker Open Deck Bus|
Gathering at the meet-up point of Hop On KL Night Excursion at MATIC, we bloggers were to be packed aboard the double decker with some very sporting post-graduate students from Canada. We played tourist the whole day and night, so it was really FUN!
|Register, and grab your tickets here|
|And off we go, for our adventure that evening|
MATIC stands for Malaysia Tourism Center, if you didn't know yet, and that's where you can get your tickets to board the double decker bus. MATIC is located along Jalan Ampang, opposite Renaissance Hotel, where you will be greeted by their friendly staff, guiding you on how best to plan your holiday and trips in Malaysia. We boarded our double decker bus promptly, all ready to see what KL has to offer!
|Choose to sit inside, in airconditioned comfort|
|Or choose to sit at the open deck, soaking in the sights and sound|
The brightly coloured Double Decker Open Deck Bus of our Hop On KL Night Excursion is a very unique bus indeed. You get to choose whether you would like to sit inside in air conditioned comfort, but missing out on the excitement and breezy winds of sitting out in the open deck. I personally chose to sit inside when the sun was still shining too brightly, and proceeded to soak in the sights and sound of KL at the open deck towards evening when its cooler.
|First Stop - Kuala Lumpur City Gallery|
Once aboard our bus, we were greeted with a smile from our tour guide, who proceeded to explain the sights that greeted us en-route to our first destination, the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. We passed the Gombak River, the iconic Kompleks Dayabumi (built in 1981 as a headquarters for Petronas before the Petronas Twin Towers was completed), The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.
I am so ashamed to admit I was too happily sitting inside the bus to snap photos of these landmarks, but here is a shot taken by fellow blogger Miera of the awesome Sultan Abdul Samad Building, opposite Merdeka Square.
|Sultan Abdul Samad Building, opposite Merdeka Square. -pic from livelifelah.com|
Our first stop, the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is this pretty building, built way back in 1899. I was told it used to be a printing and press office used by the British in colonial times. Now it as been converted to a really cool and artistic gallery telling the history and story of how KL came about. In fact , the future of KL can be found within the building as well!
|Welcome to the KL City Gallery, bet you haven't been here yet!|
Inside the gallery, we get to admire some very nicely done up miniature versions of the KL City Gallery, as well as Masjid Jamek building. History comes into play as well, with nicely drawn banners and posters depicting from the years of Yap Ah Loy until the present. Lots, if not too much information for my poor little brain that afternoon.
|Be awed, be amazed!|
|There's even a light show|
|A show running 7 minutes|
We were ushered into a very big room with one of the biggest city model I've seen. The amazing The Kuala Lumpur City Model, measuring an incredible 40ft x 50ft, depicts the Past, Present and Future of Kuala Lumpur. I'm so taken in by the details put in to build the model, and there's even a 7 minutes multimedia projection show. First of its kind in South East Asia, take all my money!
|A shot at our next stop - Batu Caves|
|Are we ready to climb the steps to the top?|
Barely 13km from downtown Kuala Lumpur, we arrived at our next stop, the famous and iconic Batu Caves. Would you believe I have never stepped here, let alone climb the 272 steps, even though I've drove pass the area countless times. It takes a tour like this for me to get down and start climbing those steps up.
|Are we ready to climb yet? I definitely am.|
Batu Caves attracts thousands of worshippers and tourists every year, especially during the Thaipusam festival. A quick education is needed here, where Batu Caves is actually made up of four main areas. Basically a limestone hill, inside there are various caves for tourists and worshippers to explore. The main cave is known as the Temple Cave, and that is where I headed to after climbing up 272 flights of steps.
|One of the temples at the top of Batu Caves|
After huffing and puffing all the way up, I was excited to check out what is up at the top. We were greeted to a huge cave with very high vaulted ceilings, and a Hindu temple devoted to Lord Murugan. I find it a beautiful sight, so natural.
Our final stop for the night would be the beautiful KL Tower, but before that we headed to Flavours Of Malaysia, located just below the Towers for dinner. There was a performance slotted for us too, showing us more on Malay traditional culture and all. Let's go through some pictures of the performances first shall we.
|Cultural performances depicting the "orang asli" of Malaysia, at Flavours of Malaysia|
|Not my cup of tea, but hey, it's a cultural thing!|
|Hit those "drums", ladies|
On top of the rather mediocre food served (to us probably, but I guess the tourists will like it), we were treated to a show by the local indigenous folks from the Pahang rainforests. Interesting show indeed, complete with a war dance or something to that extent.
|One shot for the album|
|Another shot at the base of KL Tower|
With dinner done and dusted, we proceed to take the lift up KL Tower, to check out the observation deck. Now I've been up here before, but each time I'm there, I love the bird's eye view of Kuala Lumpur. It's simply amazing. There's even these free telescopes which we can utilize to check out the streets and buildings below.
|Don't mind me, I'm 'telescoping'.|
Overall, Hop On KL Night Excursion is an exciting an fun way to know the city. From historical landmarks, to art galleries, to fun climbing activities, and finally ending up at one of the prettiest spot in town, the KL Towers, MATIC has done good. I missed out on a quite a number of pictures when the bus was going round, but rest assure, you get to see most of KL, in all its glory!
Check out their website at Hoponholidays.com for more information, and you too, can embark on this wonderful night excursion journey of Kuala Lumpur.