Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fragrance Hotel Riverside

Fragrance Hotel Riverside is my latest choice of stay in my recent visit to Singapore this year. Its location is ideal as it is within working distance to Clarke Quay MRT station, famous Singapore River, Central Mall and Chinatown. It even has a 7 eleven outlet and a happening bar beside it.

Located at HongKong Street, just off New Bridge Road it is easy to locate if one is familiar with the area. It is recommended to exit at Hong Lim Park exit (A) at the Clarke Quay MRT station to get here. The lobby area is rather small if there was a huge crowd at a time.

The hotel does offer free wifi facilities but they change the password every day. Guest need to get the password on the daily basis if one wish to use the wifi every single day.

Information brochures on the attractions in Singapore are available at the concourse. Complimentary breakfast is provided for room guest at the adjacent bar from 7.30am - 10.30am. The breakfast is basic western size serving which manage to fill up the tummy before heading out to explore the island.

 
The standard room cost me about SGD150 (including all the taxes) per night. The room is pretty small but clean. There were a few mirrors hanging on the wall facing the bed which is kind of new to me.

I am rather satisfy with my stay here. With all the conveniences just a few minutes walk away, I will be sure to come back again in the future.

Monday, November 18, 2013

KL City Gallery

This magnificent Moghul-India inspired building  which looks up at the Merdeka Square's flag pole was once the Government Printing Office. Designed by A.C. Norman and J. Russell and built in 1898 to cater the printing needs of the then British Malaya Administration. Cast iron columns and trusses formed the base of the structural support system so it could have a large interior to fit large printing press machines.

 
 
 
Government reports, official government books and even train tickets were printed here. It is now revived to house the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery which showcase the city's past.

The iconic I Love KL structure can be found next to its main entrance. There is a proper place for people to line up in order to wait for their turn to take photos with this iconic structure.

 
 
 
Once inside (free admission), visitor will get an insight into KL through an interesting collection of prints, miniatures and photographs.

 
 
I am intrigued by the old photos especially the great flood that hit the city.

 
 
 
Some old stamps back to the colonial time was also on display here. These stamps really bring back old memories as some are kind of familiar to me.

 
 
Visitor should also not miss the 40ft x 50ft KL city model which is touted to be the largest of its kind.

 
 
The miniatures on display/sale here are modeled after the city's heritage buildings and landmarks.

 
 
Visitor should not miss the Arch Gift Shop for a range of premium gifts and souvenirs which capture the heritage, arts and culture of the country.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Old Market Square (Medan Pasar)

Urban development in KL began here. It was on this square that the house of the Capitan China Yap Ah Loy once stood. All economic, social and politically activity revolved around it. On the river side of the square were rough gambling sheds and in the centre an open market.

 
In the 1880s, after the death of Yap Ah Loy in 1885, the British administration under Sir Frank Swettenham began "clearing up" the area and the market was moved down the street to the site of Central Market.

 
 
Medan Pasar remained the financial hub for KL. Established traders of all ethnics bought land on or near the square and built shop houses. By 1920, the square was surrounded by its stunning Dutch inspired gables 3 storey shop houses and banks. Many of these beautiful buildings are still standing, reflecting the mix of European and Chinese design elements.

A King's Tower (clock tower) was erected at the square in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI of England. Immediately after Malaysia gained independence from Britain, the tower's plaques which glorified colonialism were removed.

 
 
The square has been recently been rebuilt and somewhat rejuvenated from its previous dilapidated and shabby surrounding. Before it was rebuilt, this area was once a busy bus transit point which is dirty and unpleasant to be around. It was really a sad sight at the time and the significance of the square was somewhat forgotten.

 
The square is still a bustling place, just like its yesteryear especially during the weekend where it somehow transform to some sort of recreational place for the Bangladeshi working here.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Dataran UNDRGRND


Dataran UNDRGRND is a new commercial space at the iconic Merdeka Square, KL. I discover this place during my latest visit here.

 
It has a symbol which resemble those of London Underground. The logo used here consists of a hexagon shape and rectangle across the hexagon with the brand name emblazoned on it. As the name suggest, the commercial space is located under the Merdeka Square although there is no rail station underneath here.

 
My Chocolate has an outlet here with a mini chocolate museum to showcase the obsolete machinery and equipment used those days to process chocolate. This outlet mostly sold the Clover brand chocolate.

 
The place is still new and not many tenants had taken up the commercial lots here. This is definitely a perfect refuge to seek shelter from the scorching sun outside.

I believe this place has a lot of potential if developed properly due to its location at the heart of national heritage site where visitors can have a little R&R over here and shop for souvenirs.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Catherdral of Saint Mary the Virgin, Kuala Lumpur

Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin is located at Jalan Raja, just a short distance walk and facing the Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. This is a fine examle of early English Gothic architecture featuring beautiful stained glass windows and buttresses.

 
Back in those days, a competition was held in search of a design of a cathedral but none was approved until A.C. Norman, the government architect came out with a design based on Early English Gothic style.

 
It is the first brick church in the Federated Malay States and the oldest Anglican church in the region.

It houses a pipe organ built in 1895 by Henry Willis who also made the original Grand Organ of the Royal Albert Hall in London. During World War II, the window panes were removed and stored away to prevent them from been damaged in the bombing raids. They were never been found again after that.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Hotel Impian Morib

Hotel Impian Morib is one of a few hotels along the Morib beach, some 40km away from Putrajaya. It is one of the preferred place for government agencies to have their retreat.

It has a spacious lobby area which also double as dining place during coffee break for those who are using the function rooms here.

 
It has a large and clean swimming pool at the heart of its premise. This place is mainly manned and maintained by Bangladeshi staffs except for the front office department.

Beside the standard room, the hotel also offers chalet which face the sea side. For the record, most of the room here are in satisfactory condition and a refurbishment could give the room guest a better experience.

 
The beach behind the premise is pretty much barricaded. One need to walk further up from the main road to reach the upgraded Morib beach and its recreational area.

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