Photo: The old and the new.

Kampung Baru

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Look back a handful of decades and Kuala Lumpur was a predominantly low-rise city, with hardly any buildings more than a few storeys high. Fast forward to today though, and KL is awash with shiny new high-rises—everywhere that is, except for development hold-out Kampung Baru.

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KLCC, with its iconic Petronas Towers and massive air-con shopping centre, epitomises the new KL. Within only a few hundred metres of KLCC though, is Kampung Baru, a settlement that has, to an extent, resisted the march towards bland modernity. For anyone who wants to see a different, more traditional side to KL, then Kampung Baru is well worth a visit.

Kampung Baru Mosque. Photo taken in or around Kampung Baru, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Stuart McDonald.

Kampung Baru Mosque. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Established in 1900 as a township for Malays, to an extent Kampung Baru retains the feel of a conservative, rural Malay settlement. A decade ago, we’d be on the money describing most of the buildings as being one or two storeys high, built at least partially out of wood, but sadly this is the case no no more. The developers have their eye on here (the entire spread is considered to be worth over a billion dollars) and the landscape is changing. Fast. Like go here today not tomorrow fast.

The area was originally gazetted by the Brits as a means for allowing Malays to cultivate rice, but when that didn’t work out residents shifted to market gardens—banana, papaya and so on. Today, you’ll still see the occasional plot, but it is mostly a residential area rather ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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