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Kampung Baru. A Taste Of Village Life In Downtown Kl.

February 21, 2017 Destination ASEAN No Comments Email Email

Nestled in a small corner of downtown Kuala Lumpur, Kampung Baru may very well be the last standing village in Malaysia’s largest and most cosmopolitan city.

This historic establishment, surrounded by the towering skyscrapers of the city, still thrives as a living testament to Malaysia’s humble beginnings. First established as a pastoral community to attract rural Malays into Kuala Lumpur, Kampung Baru, or “new village,” has been populated since the 1880s. Officially listed as a Malay Agricultural Settlement by the British in 1900, today it has become an amalgamation of seven villages over a 100-hectare area in downtown KL.

Just a short hike from Kuala Lumpur City Centre where the gleaming Petronas Twin Towers stand, the low-density neighborhood of Kampung Baru is a breath of fresh air. Timber houses built on stilts are surrounded by fragrant frangipani trees, coconut palms and banana trees against the backdrop of KL’s spectacular skyline.

Once a hot bed for political activity, the village is now part of a unique tourist attraction featuring the living heritage and culture of Malaysia. In a city renowned for its delicious cuisine, it’s also evolved as a thriving foodies’ paradise and has brought renewed attention to kampung (village) life in Kuala Lumpur.

The Jalan-Jalan@Kampung Bharu guided tours offered by Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau take visitors down the memory lanes of one of the oldest Malay settlements in the city. Led by qualified guides with an in-depth knowledge of Kampung Baru’s history, the heritage walk takes tourists to several important sites to see a traditional Malay house built in 1921 known as Master Mat’s house, the Kelab Sultan Suleiman Gallery which showcases the history of the Malay political struggle, the Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa, and the Jamek mosque. The walk passes by many of the old wooden houses and rows of traditional shops, and along the way, you’ll learn about various Malay customs and traditions.

During the two-and-a-half-hour guided walk, visitors will also have plenty of opportunity to try out popular street-food such as bubor lambok (spiced rice porridge), kuih-muih (traditional cakes and sweets) and the famous Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa at the Malay Food Street.

The Jalan-Jalan@Kampung Bharu guided walk is free and takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday from 4.30pm to 7.00pm.

The easiest way to get there is by public transport. Hop on the Putra LRT to Kampung Baru station or take the monorail to Medan Tuanku station. Or if you are feeling fit, follow the 30-minute walking route from Kuala Lumpur City Centre, which takes you northwest along bustling Jalan Sultan Ismail, before crossing the bridge and turning right on Jalan Rajah Abdullah.

Other free guided walks organised by the Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau include:

  • Kuala Lumpur Heritage Trail, meeting at the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Dataran Merdeka, conducted every Monday, Wednesday and Saturday from 9.00am to 11.30am.
  • Old KL & Nature Walk, meeting t at Kuala Lumpur Tourism Bureau, Jalan Tangsi, conducted every Tuesday and Thursday from 9.00am to 11.30 am.
  • Kuala Lumpur Night Walk, meeting at Arch Cafe at the Old Market Square. The tour is available on Saturday from 6.30 pm to 9.00 pm.

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