See and learn about the historical aspects of KL for free, by joining the daily Malaysia Heritage Walk.
Literally walk down memory lane through the heart of Kuala Lumpur starting at the Central Market at 10.30am every day.
Malaysia Heritage Walk, a free service, which began in October last year, is carried out by a group of volunteers called Be Tourist.
Tour guide and Kuala Lumpur expert Erina Loo begins the journey explaining how Central Market was a wet market in 1888.
She said the main aim was to promote and highlight the historical aspect of Kuala Lumpur by walking along the busy road.
Loo describes the architecture of the building as art deco, which faced redevelopment but was saved by a group of non-governmental organisations to preserve its structure.
She then proceeded to Jalan Pasar, where the original market was located with the clock tower built in the 1930s standing out.
She said the British constructed the administrative building in Jalan Mahkamah Persekutuan, which is now known as Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad.
“Loke Chow Kit, a leading Chinese trader used to have his own department store in the same administrative area, which goes to show the kind of influence he had at the time,” she said.
While walking along the convergence of the Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang, Loo said a port used to be located along the bank.
The port, which was strategic for the market, allowed the trading and exchange of goods.
Moving along to another iconic structure of the city is the Masjid Jamek mosque that was built for the Malay settlement near the present HSBC Bank.
The tour then proceeded to one of the busiest streets in the city, predominantly known to Indians as Lebuh Ampang. It was made famous by the Chettiar community from south India after they established money-lending establishments along this road.
“The Indians made their initial fortune selling salt but most of them had left during the emergency period in 1960s,” Loo said while showing an old Chettiar shop that is still operating as a traditional money-lending outlet.
Jalan Tun H.S. Lee, previously known as High Street, has some of the oldest shophouses that are still in their original form.
Walking along this road, one can see modern businesses and traditional traders still operating side by side.
Further down Jalan Tun H.S. Lee is where the jewellery and pawn shops were located about 50 years ago.
Near the area, one will find Kuala Lumpur’s oldest Taoist temple built by Kapitan Yap Ah Loy, the man behind the development of Kuala Lumpur.
Kapitan Yap Ah Loy built the temple behind his house to show his gratitude to his master who was killed in a civil war.
Moving along to Jalan Hang Kasturi, one will find a row of shophouses known for selling dried seafood and Chinese herbs, but now only one or two are in the trade.
It has now been transformed into Kasturi Walk with a huge Wau structure welcoming people from all over the world to Central Market. The tour ends at Central Market.
Those interested in taking the tour can call 017-989 1031 or 03-2032 1031. – By Fazleena Aziz, Photos by Shaari Chemat