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Walking tour: KL’s Chinatown

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Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown district still retains plenty of historic charm and is none to shabby when it comes to temples—of all three kinds: religion, shopping and eating—and one of the best ways to explore is on a Chinatown walking tour.

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This walking tour commences at Maharajalela monorail station and finishes at Plaza Rakyat station on the Ampang and Sri Petaling lines. To walk this entire trail without stopping would take no more than an hour, but once you factor in stops at temples, some shopping and some eating, this could easily pan out to a half day. You can just as easily walk it in the reverse—just read the story backwards.

Holding things up at Guan Yin Temple. Photo taken in or around Walking tour: KL’s Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Stuart McDonald.

Holding things up at Guan Yin Temple. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Exit the monorail station on the north side and head west on Jalan Maharajalela for a short distance and you’ll see a grassy known with a red gate and bright pink walls—walk through the gate and take the two flights of stairs up to the somewhat gaudy Guan Yin temple, a Buddhist temple and meditation centre. It is easy to imagine how the site must have once been a place of serenity, perched on a hill on the edge of town—not so much anymore.

Leave the temple and continue to the west and you’ll almost immediately come upon Chan See Shu Yuen Temple—an imposing clan association building cum temple which saw a substantial renovation in the last few years sadly losing its pale green and far more charming exterior for a more monolithic deep grey. Details of the original can still be seen—check the roof lines and the ceramic work attached to the main wall to the left and right of the main entrance—but we do miss the original. You’ll still see the green structure in much tourism literature distributed ... Travelfish members only (Around 1,000 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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