Arch KL City Gallery and Merdeka Square

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You can’t visit KL without getting your picture taken on the iconic I heart KL sign!  so off we went to the City Gallery.

The gallery serves as a tourist information center where you can get information on tours available, there’s info on the free walking tours as well as excursions outside of the city.

This building is also home to ARCH, which is a model making company.  You can watch the builders make the wooden models.  The gift shop on the main floor is full of gorgeous, intricate wooden carvings and designs.

There’s also an exhibit upstairs (built by ARCH) – the “Spectacular City Model Show” – which is pretty amazing.  It’s a 40 ft X 50 ft model of the city with over 5,000 buildings.  The lights go down and there’s a video showing highlights of the city, population, average wages (are $17,000 USD per year), transportation (the monorail and train lines light up in the city) industries (tourism was #6), as well as a look into the future of what KL is doing with the city – a cleaning and revitalization of some areas and construction of another 500 buildings in the next three years.  The finale is a light show over the city.  It’s well worth the 5 RM ($1.50) – and you get coupons of the same value to use in the gift shop and cafe.  Sweet deal.  We used said coupons to buy the “must try Malaysian dessert” called Merdeka Cendol.   It’s not a bad combination of ingredients, until you get to the beans.  We didn’t finish it.  It’s not something we’ll eat again …

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Right beside the City Gallery is Merdeka Square – which is an important landmark in KL.  It was here the Union Flag was lowered and the Malayan flag hoisted for the first time in August 1957.

Within the colonial core of Kuala Lumpur, where the remnants of the British empire are especially evident, Merdeka Square seems to be nothing more than a giant field with perfectly manicured green lawns and a centrepiece of the tallest flagpole in the world (95m) proudly displaying the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag). Merdeka Square is made up of a padang (field) that was once the Selangor Club cricket pitch.

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