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September Exploring In KL

February 24, 2013

It has been a while since I posted an update on my travels. A combination of business, new expeditions, and general life shenanigans are to blame. In my last post I said I was going to Shanghai (which I did), but before Shanghai, there was a little exploring around Kuala Lumpur…

Royal Palace

In early September my aunt Anni and I decided we wanted to do some more exploring of places in and around KL. One of the first places we visited was the Royal Palace. Well technically it’s the “old” Royal Palace as they built a new one not that long ago. I’m not sure why they wanted to build a new palace, but I heard the old one was supposedly haunted. Maybe that had something to do with it.

Appearing next time on MTV Cribs…

Appearing next time on MTV Cribs…

The old palace has been changed into a museum about the different Kings of Malaysia mostly focusing on the current one. The way it works in Malaysia, the kingship transfers between the sultans of each of the 13 states every four years meaning there is a new King every four years. As a fun fact, the current King is the first to be King twice as after his first rule it rotated through all the states and back to his state. There were ceremonial outfits and tools in the palace which were neat, but the one thing that stood out to me was a piece about the current King and Queen’s love for animals. One area had an article talking about the work they’ve done to help save animals, and underneath it was an example of an animal.

What the hell?

What the hell?

That might be one of the ugliest animals I’ve ever seen. I wasn’t sure why that one was chosen as it seemed like a rather odd and repulsive choice. It turns out that there’s actually a famous Malaysian folk tale about the Mouse Deer. I still would have chosen a different story and animal personally. On a lighter note, we were with my second uncle and his family. His youngest son found some kittens to play with so here’s a picture of him playing with the kittens to make up for that picture of the Mouse Deer.

Kittens are more photogenic than Mouse Deer

Kittens are more photogenic than Mouse Deer

Butterfly Preserve

After the Royal Palace, we all ventured over to a Butterfly Preserve. Basically this is an outdoor park with nets all around to prevent the butterflies from escaping. There were thousands of butterflies in this park with nice walking paths and koi fish ponds. One butterfly flew onto my pants and wouldn’t get off until I had to shoo it with a stick. It was a very relaxing place (well until we tried to leave).

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

A beautiful day in the neighborhood

As we left, the exit takes you through a reptile and insect museum complete with live snakes, scorpions, spiders, beetles, etc. Basically everything that is the exact opposite of the nice relaxing butterfly preserve you just came from. I don’t know why someone decided to put all the live insects and reptiles in the same experience as the butterflies and koi fish. Perhaps they thought “Oh, we’ve got some extra space so let’s just put more living things in. It’ll make the experience more diverse!” Whatever the reason, it was an… unexpected and unwelcomed addition to our day. Just to make things more fun, the gift shop on the way out was geared for the insects and reptiles as well. I even found this for sale

No I didn't buy it

No I didn’t buy it

Islamic Art Museum

Of all the places that we visited around KL my favorite one was the Islamic Art Museum. This is one of the most architecturally magnificently designed buildings I have ever been in. The whole building is a piece of art with great tiling, layout, and incredibly ornate domes surprising you when you look up. Anni and I both agreed that this would be a great place to hold a reception and then realized they wouldn’t let you serve alcohol in the building so it’d be a dry reception. Oh well, can’t win them all.

If I build a house I want one of these in there

If I build a house I want one of these in there

The museum exhibits were a wide variety of clothing, furniture, and even weapons imbued with artistic designs from the Islamic cultures around the world. It’s interesting how you don’t realize how artistic something like an outfit or rifle can be until you look closer at them. Please don’t take this as an invitation to ask police officers to see their guns for “artistic design purposes”. As we walked through the museum, we came across one of the most interesting things I’ve ever seen in a museum. They had scale models of famous Mosques from around the world. The size of some of these have to be immense in person. It sort of makes me sad that I’ll never be allowed to visit these in person because of their rules and locations. But then I remember that a lot of them are in 120 degree heat and I’m ok with not visiting them.

Well that wraps up our traipses around KL. Next stop, Shanghai (for real this time)!

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