MangoVine
Adventures in East Asia

Kampung Baru - Malay Village

In attempting to experience as much as we could (in three days) about the three cultures of the Chinese, India and Malay, we took a wander around the Malay area of Kampung Baru, after our earlier visits to Chinatown and Little India.

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It was within walking distance of our hotel near the Medan Tuanku monorail station, so we made the visit our early evening mission before retiring for the day.

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Though undeniably "local", Kampung Baru emanated a village atmosphere despite being in urban city Kuala Lumpur. It probably felt like this because of the absence of overpowering skyscrapers, leaving plenty of airspace around the lush gardens and wooden houses.

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The streets were medium busy since we arrived early Saturday evening when people were preparing for the Saturday night market.

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There were a number of small stalls selling colourful looking packages of nuts, snacks and toys. As the guy with the motorbike and mobile stall showed, vendors clearly came to the area especially for the market.

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However, there were a few restaurants along the bigger roads, which had street facing, buffet-style stalls from which diners could pick and choose their dishes.

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Most pedestrians just seemed to be getting on with their own lives and the market itself was smaller than I expected, being focused on a small number of streets and alleys on the back of the Kampung Baru Light Rail Transit station.

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It seemed that wherever we were in Kuala Lumpur, there was no getting away from the Petronas Twin Towers or the Menara KL Tower...

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As we walked the streets, clearly as tourists, there weren't many people about, which added to the serenity of the place. Houses were quite spaced out in some parts and a more more condensed in others.

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Sometimes, I felt that the spaciousness bordered between affluence and desolation, since there were sometimes signs of neglect.

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However, the mixture of rust, dirt and grit composed with greenery amid wooden housing, sometimes bearing traditional Malay design, simply gave off an intimate charm that made me feel like we were invading the personal, homely spaces of the Malay inhabitants.

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Some more shots of Kampung Baru.

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Throughout our exploration, it didn't take long to find ourselves walking around the Kampung on streets that were practically deserted. Before leaving Kampung Baru, we passed back along a road at which we had seen a few restaurants and I ordered a genuine Nasi Lemak to takeaway. Diners around us were eating with their hands whilst we waited, but I only decided to get the meal packaged up since I wasn't that hungry yet. Back at the hotel, I opened up my delicious meal and ate off the banana leaf it was wrapped in. Sorry, I should have taken photos!

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This entry posted in : Culture. Malaysia.

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