Tuesday, January 16, 2018

MY RIVER OF LIFE TOUR

A lot of work and improvement has been done around the historic old part of Kuala Lumpur. I've seen it several times and this trip it was almost perfect for a visitor. A beautiful promenade had been established around the confluence of the Klang River and the Sungai Gombak River where most of the historic places and buildings are located. While the paths along the river are much longer, this short round tour in the city is always a nice walking tour with lots to see and visit. For the first time I have also been able to visit the beautiful Mosque Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad. As always, non-Muslim visitors can only visit outside of prayer times and with the necessary long pants or covers. The Mosque offers a great student program where visitors can peek into the prayer room and get lots of information about the Mosque and about Islam in general. I have always wanted to know why it is that non-Muslims can only visit the Mosques outside prayer times. My friendly guide/student explained to me that in theory it would be possible to be inside the Mosque also during prayers but only when the Imam allows it beforehand. I wanted to know if the limitations of visits are based on the Holy Quran, but I still don't have an answer to that question. 















































 

Monday, January 8, 2018

MY FAVOURITE TEMPLES IN KUALA LUMPUR

A rather sad sign of discrimination and racism!
There is a whole lot of regular places which I visit when in Kuala Lumpur. Most are historic places which have existed for a long time, but who knows how much longer they will be around in a city which is growing on all ends. Places for praying and for relaxing, still free to enter and visit during their opening hours and unlike one temple which just dropped off my list of favourite places, which just issued a ban on visitors (aka tourists). One of my favourite temples used to be the Buddhist temple in Ampang, which is an awesome place for worship and prayer has started to stop non-local visitors or anyone who looks like a tourist at their door step. Despite the great vegetarian restaurant which serves food to visitors behind the prayer hall, I will now no longer visit this place because it is pure discrimination and racist behaviour to not let anyone inside who simply looks like a tourist. I was looking forward to join the prayer but I was stopped at the entrance simply because I look like a western tourist. And of course western people can't possibly be Buddhists, right? 

As for the other temples, I will continue to visit them for a prayer and donations!  The awesome Kwan Yin temple, tucked in between several main roads and a stadium, the Sri Maha Mariammam Indian Temple, where you take your shoes off before you enter one of the most amazing Indian temples in SE Asia, and the picturesque Chinese temples Guan Di and a bit further down the street Sin Sze Si Ya Temple. They are all embedded in their local worshippers community and tourists are still a rare sight.  Not to forget the newly renovated Chan She Shu Yuen Clan Ancestral Hall!

All of them are within walking distance and can be combined with a visit to Petaling Street and the shops in Chinatown or with the overwhelming Jamek Sultan Abdul Samad Mosque and the historic old town of Kuala Lumpur.