Something we wanted to do on our trip to Malaysia was learn more about the culture and history around us. When we were in Kuala Lumpur, we found a unique opportunity to explore Kampung Baru, a section of the city that has maintained a more traditional and quaint feel to it.
Through the local tourism board, we were able to go on a 2.5 hour walking tour through this district, led by a local who grew up in Kampung Baru and knew the area extremely well.
Jalan Jalan Kampung Baru:
In Malay, “Jalan Jalan” means “to go for a walk,” and that’s exactly what we did. We and a handful of other tourists, met up with our tour guide at the Kelab Sultan Sulaiman (a traditional historical club), and then we began our journey.
As we walked through the district of Kampung Baru, our guide, Wan, showed us a traditional Malay-Palladian style home built in 1921, one of the earliest meeting houses that was used to discuss political issues and for everyday fellowship, traditional Malaysian food stalls, and so much more.
We even stopped at a local fruit stall selling delicious, fresh fruit smoothies – and we had our very first taste of durian (in smoothie form).
A Spontaneous Dinner:
One of the most memorable parts of the tour was actually at the very end of it.
The last stop on the tour is at the Gurdwara Tatt Khalsa, a local Sikh Temple. Not only is it a place of Sikh worship, but it’s also a religious school. Each night, this temple provides a vegetarian meal to anyone that comes. No matter what your socio-economic or religious status is, they’ll welcome you in and you can eat to your heart’s content.
When we arrived at the temple, our tour guide mentioned that if any of us wanted to eat there, we could. After a few seconds of deliberation, we knew it was an experience we couldn’t pass up, so after our tour finished, we went right inside.
The Sikh men that we met were extremely friendly, and took us down to show us their main worship area. We washed our feet, put on bandanas to cover our heads, and then headed into their cafeteria.
The meal we were given was extremely simple – spicy biryani rice and lentil curry. We were told to take as much as we wanted, and sat down alongside another couple that was on the walking tour.
We’re pretty sure that they had already closed the kitchen down and had started to clean up the cafeteria for the night, but they didn’t turn us away.
Even though I probably wasn’t wearing modest enough clothing, and we basically just walked in and asked to eat dinner there, they still treated us with utmost respect and kindness.
Is it Worth it?
Absolutely! This was actually the first time we had seen (or really researched) a walking tour offered by a city tourism board, and we’re so glad that we took advantage of it and went.
We could have easily walked through Kampung Baru by ourselves, but we would have never learned about the history and importance behind it if we didn’t have our tour guide. Not only that, but it’s completely free, so you’re not really losing anything (except time) by joining the tour.
|Tuesdays, Thursdays, Sundays||4:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.||FREE!|
Phone: 603 – 2698 – 0332
E-mail: [email protected]
They recommend to make a booking reservation 24 hours in advance, but we were able to walk right into the meeting point and register.
For more information, click here!