Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Kuala Lumpur - Merdeka Square

Merdeka Square is also called Independence Square.  There's a great flag pole with the Malaysian Flag atop it.  Helen Oon in the Globetrotter Guide to Malaysia says it's the tallest flagpole in the world.  It was written in 2011.  The flagpole is 328 feet. When I was in Azerbaijan they said their flagpole was the tallest. Wikipedia today says the Tajikistan, at 541 feet is the tallest and the Azerbaijan flagpole at 436 feet is second tallest. By comparison 328 feet doesn't seem to cut it.  It's still pretty tall.
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1957 the Union Jack came down and the Malaysian flag went up.  The field here was for cricket and rugby matches for the colonialists who attended the mock tudor fronted building, the Selangor Club.  I walked by this and could appreciated the 'exclusivity' and sense of superiority membership would give.  It reminded me just a bit of the Bombay Bicycle Club. It's all about who you know, isn't it?  The right sort of people?
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The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, moorish looking,  was built in 1897 by the architect A C Norman.  It has a central clock tower and three copper onion domes. AC Norman also designed St Mary's Church nearby.  I walked through the art gallery which houses a replica of the city of KL. There's also a model of the down town in detail and ARCH wooden cut outs and pictures.  I was able to watch the artisans at work there.
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In the taxi on the way to Merdeka square the driver pointed out the beautiful old train station.
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