10 Instagram Places in KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia | PEN AND INK Drawing with COPIC Markers

10 Instagram Places in KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia | PEN AND INK Drawing with COPIC Markers


Hi, I’m Ginger. And this is my channel. Art That Plays and Prays. Welcome to the second video in my Kuala Lumpur series. And this is what I’ll make. In this episode, I’ll walk you through the
beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur, in Malaysia, and show you the top Instagrammable places
you must add to your bucket list. Some of these places are already well-known. But some are hidden gems worth seeking out. While I talk about the best places in KL to
feast your eyes on and shoot your pictures, I’ll work on an ink sketch. For this drawing, I’ll be using Copic Ciao
markers, Sakura Pigma Micron pens, and a few colors of Shinhan Touch Twin markers. And of the 10 places I’ll be showing you,
I picked only one for my painting, since I can’t draw everything for this one video. Later, you’ll see exactly where this rustic
kitchen is and hopefully, you’ll fall in love with the place just as I did. Now let’s travel off to Tourist Place number one. Petronas Towers. This shouldn’t come as a surprise because
Malaysia’s twin towers are so iconic. They’re the most photographed place in Malaysia
and the subject of many postcards, ref magnets, and T-shirts in every souvenir shop. These skyscrapers dominate the landscape and
are so visible from a distance. Petronas is not the tallest building in the
world. If I’m not mistaken, there are 18 other
towers that are taller and the tallest of which is Burj Khalifa in Dubai which is more
than 2,700 feet high. That’s already the height of a lot of mountains
in the world. Petronas, however, is the tallest twin towers
in the world. It’s so huge that it’s actually difficult
to take a picture of it from the ground. You’ll have to crane your neck too far back
that you’ll need to visit the physio thereafter. Petronas is so breathtaking, you can’t leave
KL without clicking a few photos of it. At night, the whole building is lit up and
that’s even more jaw-dropping. At ground level, there’s still plenty to see. The KLCC Park has a well-manicured landscape,
complete with a walking trail and a water fountain that’s fun to watch. But it’s a bit of a challenge to take photos
here because there are hundreds of locals and tourists just like you who want to take
pictures too. So you’ll have photo-bombers all over the place. That said, if you can spare the money, I think
about 80 ringgit or less than 20 US dollars, take the tour that brings you up the lift
for a bird’s eye view of the city. And that’s where you can take your best
Instagram shots. The first stop of the tour is at the Skybridge. It is the bridge on the 41st floor that connects
two buildings. And it was built to allow tenants to move
from tower to tower without necessarily riding the elevators back down to the ground floor. Our guide said that the Skybridge is a floating
structure so you can feel some movement when strong winds hit. But not to panic. You’re only allowed about ten minutes in
the skywalk so take your best shots as fast as you can. When time’s up, the guides will lead you
to the observation deck on the 86th floor. That’s where you can get a 360-degree view
of the city and its unique intermingling of modern and heritage buildings. Enjoy it, but be quick about it too because
your stay in the deck is time-limited as well. So when the guides call out your color code,
your tour group must leave. This very organized execution was meant to
make room for other sightseers so they too can take a turn with the viewing. Now one bit of trivia that our local friend
shared with us. The Petronas was actually scaled by a French
rock climber in September 2009. People called him the French Spiderman because
he climbed the tower, believe it or not, without any equipment. And he did it in less than two hours. Amazing, right? Guess what happened to him afterwards? He was arrested. Yup. The guy was charged with trespassing and was
put in jail. So, don’t attempt to do something like that. Okay, we’re off to Instagram Place number two. The Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. This is another famous landmark and is one
of the most photographed icons of the city. And it’s pretty obvious why. Just look at that intricate colonial architecture
filled with horseshoe-shaped arches and little towers with domes on top that remind me of
the Taj Mahal. The design was likely inspired by structures
built during the time of the Mogul Empire. It’s so beautiful. They don’t make buildings like these anymore. The railway station was built in 1892. And a section of this structure was once occupied
by the Heritage Station Hotel but it was closed in 2011 because of declining patronage. It used to have 170 rooms and a very classy
lobby with a restaurant and a bar. But as you can see, the building has fallen
into disrepair and can’t be livable, by the looks of it. It’s not as grand inside as you can see outside. Many parts are not even well lit. But this historic architecture still carries
a lot of nostalgic feels and I was so glad we had the chance to explore this place even
though it’s not your usual touristy destination. We were lucky to pass through the ticket gates
to have a peek inside because our local guide told the guard we were tourists and wanted
to just take a few quick videos, so the guard let us through without us having to buy a ticket. And just as we entered, a commuter train was
coming in. So that was so cool! Now when you’re done exploring the platform,
head outside again. Because across the street is another Instagrammable
backdrop and it’s called the Railway Administration Building, also called KTM Berhad Railway. It was built by the same British architect
who made the Railway Station so you’ll notice the similarity. They have the same horseshoe arches and Doric
columns. And they also have the same pinnacle ornaments
on top. So with this one stop alone, you’ve actually
hit two picture-perfect landmarks already. So isn’t that awesome? Now moving on to Instagram Place number three. 41,600 Paper Doves. Who would have thought a bunch of origami
birds can be so pretty? Now if someone invited you to view origami,
you would probably have shrugged off the invite, right? But don’t pass on this one. Take a look. These 40,000 plus doves, arranged in order
of the 40 shades of the rainbow, it took them six months to finish this. So give tribute to the hands that made this. They probably had arthritis by the time they
finished this art installation. According to a signage beside it, “these
doves symbolize peace, love, harmony, and unity.” No wonder you feel really relaxed when you
go there. Now let me tell you. It will take a lot of creativity to figure
out how to make these birds into a backdrop since they’re hanging on the ceiling. But even if you have to put your iPhone on
the floor or have your photographer lie down on the ground, I’m sure you’ll be glad
you tried. But even if you don’t want to engage in
all sorts of acrobatic stunts to get your face in the picture, just take shots of the
paper cranes themselves. Because depending on the angle of your camera,
you can have different combinations of designs here. See, you can produce crosses or asterisk-looking
lines among the colors. It’s like playing with a kaleidoscope. Now the big question is, where do you find
this awesome art? Believe it or not, it’s inside a shopping mall. It’s not in a museum. It’s in a shopping mall and the mall’s
name is LINC located along Jalan Tun Razak. The mall looks unassuming from the outside. But this place has tons of character inside. The doves are not the only Instagram-friendly
scenes you’ll find in the mall. It also has, the mall has murals everywhere
you turn. Bringing an avid Instagrammer in this mall
is like bringing a kid in a candy store. Your eyes will definitely pop out. No doubt about it. What else can you find? Besides the rainbow paper doves, LINC has
multicolored steps that are fun to climb. You can find light fixtures. They’re bunched together into a hanging collage. And there’s this beautiful courtyard that
gives off a rainforest ambience. It’s a spot that’s perfect for nature
lovers, tree huggers, and all of you environmentalists and green thumbs out there. Wow. Even the parking lot in this building is Instagrammable. Now a trip to KL isn’t complete without
experiencing true Asian culture. Malaysia is a melting pot of cultures, right? So if you check the country’s demographics,
there’s an almost equal mix of Malays and Chinese living there. But there are also Indian minorities and a
lot of foreign workers from Thailand, from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines. That said, let’s head over now to Instagram
Place number four which gives us a tiny taste of India. I’ll walk you inside the oldest Hindu temple in KL. Oldest because it was founded in 1873. And the temple is called Sri Maja Mariammam
and it’s located in Chinatown, near Petaling St. Now first impressions. The temple is inspired by Dravidian architecture
which is a design that’s common in Southern India, popularized by the ancient Tamil people. You’ll immediately know it’s Dravidian
because of the pyramid shaped tower on top of the wooden doors. That very elaborate entrance tower is called
gopuram or gopura and it features several layers of statues carved on stone. I’m not familiar with Hinduism but from
the looks of it, their gopuram shows, I can see here a few horses, some statues of Hindu
gods and goddesses, and warriors with bows and arrows, and some dancers. If you read history books, I’ll give you
a bit of history. You’ll learn that the Hindus were amazing
temple builders and that’s pretty obvious from here. But throughout the course of history, because
of Islamic invasion, thousands of Hindu temples have been destroyed in Afghanistan, in Pakistan,
and many other places. The exact number can’t be determined. But historians claim at least 60,000 temples
were wiped out, and where most of these sacred sites used to be, Muslim monuments were constructed
instead. Now even the famous Somnath Temple in Gujarat,
India which legend says was built around AD 4. Even that one was plundered during a Muslim invasion. Good thing that the devout Hindus decided
to reconstruct this piece of history. And mind you. They didn’t just renovate once. Reconstruction happened seventeen times. Imagine that! Now why am I saying this? Knowing this bit of history, you’ll appreciate
more the Sri Maja Mariammam Temple in KL even though it’s just a tiny place and the inside
is not as breathtaking as the outside gate. The fact that this temple survived to this
day, that already is mind-blowing. Now you might wonder if non-Hindus can enter. The answer is yes. They’re open to tourists, even if they have
ongoing events inside. In fact, when we visited, there was a wedding
and it was a feast to the eyes also because the bride and groom, they were wearing traditional
Indian costumes which were so colorful and they were very elegant. But, there’s a bit of a caveat there. You are not allowed to wear shoes inside. And women should be appropriately covered. And that means, no exposed shoulders, no exposed
knees, no shorts, no sleeveless blouse. The place, they have storage for footwear but you
have to pay 20 cents for that, which I think was an unexpected money-grab for us tourists. But, anyway, it was a small price to pay for
the experience. Since we’re already in Chinatown, let’s
go to Instagram Place number five. Kwai Chai Hong. I already featured this place in my first
Malaysia video about street art. If you want to check it out, click the link
on the upper right-hand corner of your screen right now. Kwai Chai Hong was once the best-kept secret
in Chinatown, but not anymore. Since it’s launch in 2019, last year, it’s
come under the radar of many tourists and so it’s now a hot spot for IG enthusiasts. And as such, it’s worth featuring again
in my second video in this KL Art That Plays series. In 2018, this place had dilapidated pre-war
buildings which were restored for seven months, yeah, seven months until its launch in April
the following year, in 2019. It used to be infested with rats and cockroaches
and it became a refuge for homeless people. But the city worked to bring back the culture
in Kwai Chai Hong. And local artists were commissioned to paint
murals on the rustic walls without tampering its rich history. The entrance to the artsy laneway is tucked
in a narrow alley but it’s not a challenge to find it because nowadays you’ll see lots
of people walking in and out of the area. Ten previously ignored shops were cleaned
up, revived with fresh paint, and turned into dine-in restaurants. One of these buildings was restored with bright
yellow paint on the walls and turquoise paint on the window shutters. The sharp colors have dominated the scene. You can’t miss it even if you have dark
sunglasses on. You can’t miss it. One thing I like about the place, instead
of throwing away some of the broken-down windows during the renovation, artists made a collage
of them on the wall. You can find them immediately on the left
as you step on the foot bridge. The bridge itself was made from reclaimed
wood from old shops. And it’s great because the company that
spearheaded the restoration project, they tried its best to recycle as much as they could. Now one last thing. The wall art tells a story, and mostly they’re
about the lifestyle of the Chinese settlers in the 1960s. Across the footbridge is KL’s oldest lamp post. I think it was set up in 1903 or 1904, thereabouts, around the same time electricity came to the
city for the first time. They say it’s a functioning lamp, but when
we visited, it was daytime so there was no way for us to find out. Anyway, let’s move on to Instagram Place number 6. Merdeka Square. And it’s also called Dataran Merdeka. It’s the most prominent structure here. You can see here the Sultan Abdul Samad Building
which was also the, for a while it was just called Government Offices because the building
was home to, yes you guessed it, government offices … obviously. This is where you’ll find the Ministry of
Communications and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia. It used to house the federal courts and the
Court of Appeals as well as the post office, the Public Works and many other departments
during the British administration. If you noticed, the architecture here is consistent
with the Railway Station which I showed you awhile ago. But what differentiates this place is the clock tower. It’s sort of a local version of the Big
Ben clock in London. And that’s not surprising because the architects
of this beautiful building, they were all British. And this building, this Sultan Abdul Samad
building was built in 1897. It has lots of towers with onion domes on top. They looked like onions and they were painted
in shiny copper. What I loved the most were the bricks and the arches. I read somewhere that they actually used around
4 million bricks to cover this place. Wow! Let’s now scoot over to Instagram Place
number 7. The River of Life. A visit to Merdeka should include a detour
to the River of Life because it’ll only take you about five-minutes to walk there. They’re just beside each other. So what’s the big deal with this river? Nothing much, except that it’s so pretty! Oh my gosh. Just go, because I told you to. Seriously, the landmark was intended to educate
people on the importance of keeping garbage away from river systems and sewers. The River of Life project wasn’t just meant
for tourism. Actually, it was more of an effort to clean
the river and improve the water quality, which not too long ago, was not even suitable for
body contact. That’s how dirty it was. I think an estimated 170,000 tons of garbage
pollute the Klang River every year. And what was more concerning was that human
wastes from toilets in old houses, they emptied out into septic tanks which in turn discharged
into the river. That’s gross, right? But the Malaysian government tried to do something
about this major problem. They’re spreading awareness among the citizens
because, you know, the people too, they also need to take a proactive role in cleaning
the environment. The people themselves, they need to tweak
their behavior, and stop throwing garbage on the river, like already. Luckily, the River of Life campaign is slowly
paying off. Now you can stand right at the confluence
of the river, I mean at the junction where the river forks to the left and right, you
can stop there and have a perfect view of the Sultan Abdul Samad building and it sits
against a backdrop of both modern and heritage buildings. It’s so beautiful to see. You know how they converge both western and
oriental cultures right in that spot. You will find it there. And while we were there, you know,
actually one fun thing … When we were there, we even spotted a
monitor lizard. Apparently, the sightings of this giant lizard,
it’s become very rare because these lizards have been hunted for their leather. But we were just lucky we found one there. Moving on to Instagram Place number 8. Merchant’s Lane. Let’s go indoors for a change, and let’s
go to this quaint café in the heart of Petaling St. You don’t have to go to Penang to get a
taste of old-world charm. Head over to Merchant’s Lane which is another
hidden gem — so hidden in fact, that you can walk past its door and not realize your
grim mistake. Because, for sure, you won’t, you don’t
ever want to miss this IG fanatic’s place. The café is on the second floor of a heritage
building, so all you’ll see from the street is a narrow green door and a tiny mirror above
it that says Merchant’s Lane. That’s all the signage you’ll get so it
can be tricky if you’re walking a bit too fast. Desserts here are really yummy. You have to try them out. But I won’t talk about food. Let’s not talk about the menu because my next
video in my Malaysia series will be about food tripping. So I’ll reserve that discussion for next time. But besides food, Merchant’s Lane is popular
for its gorgeous vintage ambience. The furniture, the shelves, the interior design
was kind of like a mish-mash of sorts. But surprisingly, the overall concept works. The jumbled pieces of furniture, they don’t
clash with each other, somehow. Merchant’s Lane, they kind of retained the
textures and personality of the original building which is a century old, I think, if I’m
not mistaken. You’ll notice crumbling paint everywhere
and plants with root systems crawling all over the walls. You’ll see reclaimed wood and uneven plaster,
and they all add character to the place. Even the tables are made of old doors. They topped it with glass. That re-purposing idea was so smart. Like, I wish I could adopt that idea to my house
and make a dining table out of our front door too. But I bet my husband might wonder why there
are suddenly so many strangers coming into the house. Anyway, check this place out. They even have a wall where you can scribble
and doodle all you want. I mean they encourage it. They left pens for you right there. So go ahead and write on the walls. You can even write, “I was here on this
and this date.” Cool! Okay, we’re almost finished with our top ten list. By now, I guess you’ve figured out that
the subject of my urban sketch is an old kitchen. And obviously, it’s a kitchen in a restaurant
because of these two shelves of wine. I’ll make this my Instagrammable place number
10, the last one. But before I bring you to that place, that
actual restaurant, let’s tour Place number 9. Instagram place number 9 is , I don’t know
how to say this. Thean Hou Temple. Whatever it is, it’s a Chinese temple. I hope I said that right. Thean Hou Temple which is located at Jalan
Klang Lama. I showed you a Hindu temple awhile ago. Now let’s see what’s inside a Buddhist temple. Now this temple is situated on top of a hill
which gives you a bit of a view of the city. But the temple itself is so engaging, there’s
no way you’ll take your eyes off to view the city around it. The Chinese architecture is so intricate,
like from the dragons and phoenixes on the shingled roof to the lanterns hanging on the
eaves, down to the murals on the walls, and the carved pillars, and banisters on the stairwell. Everything. Everything is so pretty. The smell of burning incense, like if you
go there, there are some people who worship. They have these sticks that they put a fire
on, and then there’s smoke everywhere, and you can smell it. Now that just makes the experience even more
immersive for us tourists. It’s like you’re being invited to take part
in the locals’ time of worship. I really can’t say much about this place
because there aren’t enough words to describe it. Just watch and judge for yourself. You’ll understand why it’s a must in your
KL itinerary. Now if you’ve reached this far in watching
my video, thank you very much. Double thumbs up to you. I’ll now reveal my last Instagram-perfect
location in KL which is also the subject of today’s painting. The restaurant is called Cho Cha Foodstore,
located again in Petaling Street. Didn’t you notice, so many things are happening
in Petaling Street? And it’s also the next-door neighbor of
Merchant’s Lane, apparently. The restaurant is housed inside the former
Mah Lian Hotel. The year 1969 is etched on the top of the
building which coincides with the year Mah Lian Hotel last renovated the building. Locals told me though that the building itself
is a hundred years old. A lot of dilapidated colonial buildings in
KL have found a second lease in life. Instead of flattening these shophouses into
rubble, they were given new purpose and revived to cater to a more contemporary crowd. And Cho Cha is one such place. The old hotel’s structural foundations were
strengthened, though. Because the rotten wood beams, you know, because
of a lot of rain in that area, so the wood beams became so rotten that they had to be
replaced with metal. Then the space was cleaned. They were planned again, and renovated enough
to make it functional again. From a hostel, the space became a trendy restaurant
which Instagram enthusiasts will scramble to visit, not just because of the vintage,
semi-industrial ambience but also because of their authentic Chinese-Malaysian food. It’s a fusion restaurant. Like Merchant’s Lane, the building facade
is so understated, you wouldn’t give this place a second look. There’s no signage. In fact, I had to ask for a menu to find out
the name of the restaurant. Because the frontage, there’s no mark of
a Cho Cha there. And it has the same retro tiles my grandmother
had in our ancestral home in Manila. I wouldn’t think of pushing through the
front door because it’s not that pretty. But our local guide was so on-point in saying
that we’ll click our cameras non-stop once we’re inside. And boy! We sure did. I took so many pictures that I actually forgot
to order lunch first. Good thing the restaurant manager, she didn’t mind. She was so gracious and a really perfect host. Now eating within the walls of a historic
building among remnants of bygone years — that is one experience you wouldn’t want to miss. So if you happen to be in KL, give this place,
this restaurant some love. Maybe their success will prompt urban planners
and developers to adopt and re-purpose more historic buildings instead of quickly tearing
them down. Now that’s it, friends. I’ve given you my 10 best places to visit
in Kuala Lumpur. Of course, there are a lot more Instagrammable
spots that should go into this list but I’m sure you’ll agree, these hidden gems have
earned their right to be featured in this video. So I hope you also enjoyed my rough pen and
ink drawing of Cho Cha’s open bar and kitchen. This is it for now. I’ll catch you again next time. This is Ginger of Art That Plays and Prays. Good-bye.

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