Dec 15 2011

How to celebrate (Western) New Year in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Festivals

One of the side-effects of having such a mix of races and religions living in Malaysia, is that every few weeks seems to herald some major festival or other. This is particularly true of New Year, which is celebrated by Muslims, Chinese, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, as well as indigenous peoples, at different times. As a … read the full post

Dec 13 2011

December getaways: Cameron Highlands

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

For many people, the whole point of being in the tropics around now is to escape the depth of the winter back home in Europe and North America. But that does not mean spending the whole time somewhere as steamy as Kuala Lumpur. For a good Goldilocks solution (neither too hot, nor too cold), why not … read the full post

Dec 07 2011

Celebrating Christmas in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Festivals

When talking about how Christmas is celebrated in Kuala Lumpur, it is important to draw a distinction between the city’s small Christian community, and everyone else. For the vast majority of KL’s population, the festival is devoid of any religious connotations. Even the festive decorations have been denuded of any Christian imagery. Malaysians generally need … read the full post

Dec 05 2011

December getaways: Tioman Island, Malaysia

I’m based in Singapore, a tiny place to call home, but with the saving grace of being just a short budget flight to nearly anywhere else in Southeast Asia. While Phuket or Bali are the obvious choices for a quick getaway, during the peak holiday season I prefer somewhere off the beaten track, like Tioman … read the full post

Dec 05 2011

Photo: The old and new in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Photos

Old and new in KL.

Architecturally speaking, there’s little respect for the old in Kuala Lumpur, but one neighbourhood has managed to resist the onslaught of silver steel and gleaming glass: Kampung Baru, located spitting distance from the KLCC’s Petronas Towers.

Dec 02 2011

Of camels, the Australian outback, and the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Published by under Events

If I said the most interesting exhibition currently showing in Kuala Lumpur was about the role camels (and their handlers) played in opening up the Australian outback, or that the venue for this esoteric offering was the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM), you might be a trifle sceptical. But really, “Australia’s Muslim Cameleers Pioneers of … read the full post

Nov 28 2011

“Malaysian Girls” and other performance arts treats for December in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Events

What I like most about the performance arts scene in Kuala Lumpur is that virtually all tastes are catered for, from experimental jazz to comedy musicals. Few venues in Southeast Asia provide such a breadth of offerings as the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre. Take December, for example, where the highlights include a Mandarin-language stage … read the full post

Nov 25 2011

“Human rights in outer space” and the struggle for democracy in Malaysia

Published by under Events

Most visitors to Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market are probably unaware that they are close to one of the city’s most subversive organisations. It might not look much from the outside, but the Annexe Gallery plays an important role in the fight to make Malaysia a more free, equal and democratic society. The latest manifestation of … read the full post

Nov 22 2011

A day trip to the Hindu temple complex of Batu Caves

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

Read any Tourism Malaysia publication, or scan its website, and you could be forgiven for thinking Kuala Lumpur has no public transport to speak of. The phrase “taxis are the most convenient mode of transport” appears with alarming regularity, even when Rapid KL buses, or walking, are viable options. But even Tourism Malaysia could not … read the full post

Nov 18 2011

A temple tour of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown

Published by under Sightseeing & activties

The early story of Kuala Lumpur is essentially the history of the area now known as Chinatown. It was here that a rough-and-ready tin mining settlement gradually became a proper town. Even today, Chinatown retains probably the strongest sense of living history of any district in KL. A great way to get an idea of … read the full post

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