Cunard Cruise 2012
Trip Day 5
Sunday, March 25th
Port Kelang for
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Today is the first stop on the cruise after departing Singapore last evening. Port Kelang is a very short sail from Singapore but with all the ship traffic in the area around Singapore's harbour it take a bit of time to get there.

The time difference here is the same as Singapore which is 12 hours ahead of home. At this point I do not have specific arrival and departure times for these locations.

The shore excursion that I have selected for here is called "Best of Kuala Lumpur". It is scheduled to take 8 hours and depart at 8:30AM local time.

Here is the description from Cunard's information:

Upon reaching Kuala Lumpur, the first stop will be at the National Museum. Showcasing traditional Malay architecture, the museum exhibits colonial eras, Malacca Sultanate and Malaysia today after 50 years of Independence.

A stop will be made at the National Mosque, which embodies a contemporary expression of traditional Islamic art, calligraphy and ornamentation. Located adjacent to the National Mosque, is the impressive Old Railway Station, one of the city’s most photographed landmarks.

Independence Square is the former playing field of the Royal Selangor Club, and the place where many celebrations take place during Independence Day. From here, continue onto the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers for a photograph.

For a chance to purchase a memento of your visit, a stop will be made at a handicraft centre selling a wide range of local crafts and souvenirs.

Enjoy a buffet luncheon before visiting the KL Tower, one of the city’s greatest landmarks. Take an express elevator to the Observation Deck, from where you will have a panorama of the city below.

As always there are same additional notes and here are those:

Note: Total walking time is approximately 2¾ hours. Comfortable, non-slip walking shoes are recommended. Photography is not permitted inside the Museum. The drive to Kuala Lumpur will take approximately 1½ hours, depending on traffic.

So, this is the plan for this day.

What actually happened!!!

Things happened much as noted in the description above. Here is the "short and sweet" version that comes from Cruise Update #1. There will be much more detail to follow below it.

The ship arrived around 8:00 am and the shore excursion called The Best of Kuala Lumpur left shortly thereafter. It took about an hour to get to the city and there were several stops in the morning before lunch. Lunch was at a 5 star hotel and then there was a stop to view the Petronas Twin towers.

After that the last stop was at the Kuala Lumpur Tower which was timed too tightly and one barely got up and then had to come back down again. The whole excursion seemed to be running late even from the start although that did not come obvious until a bit later. The trip back to the ship was a rather fast one because they were past their contracted time to get us back but even then it was in lots of time for the ship to sail, which it did at 6:00. We were back by 4:45. The weather was mostly sunny with temperatures in the low 30`s C (around 90 F) with humidity’s between 85 and 90 percent. Unless you enjoy heat and humidity it does not make things feel very nice. There is more of this weather to come.

So there is the short and sweet version. Here is the much more detailed version with many pictures.

The several stops before lunch noted above were the National Museum, the National Mosque and the nearby Train Station, and In dependance or Merdeka Square with a short walk to the Central Market and then off to lunch.

I will start with a few pictures of the National Museum.

Museum Main Entrance Thone
The main entrance to the National Museum. A replica of a throne of a Malayan (or Melakan) Sultan.
Museum 2 Museum 3
The picture to the right describes this scene. The English description of the previous picture.
Exhibits 1 Museum 6
Some of the exhibits with the throne above near the centre. A distinguished solder.
Exhibits 2 Inside main entrance
More of the exhibits. The main entrance. The exhibit galleries are on either side of this on two floors.

The next stop on the tour was the National Mosque and the nearby Train Station.

National Mosque Panorama

This is a two picture panorama of the National Mosque. It is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, mosque in Asia.

Train Station

This is the Train Station. They claim that it is one of the most photographed places in Kuala Lumpur.
It was really difficult to get a half decent picture of it though.
This picture was taken from right in front of the National Mosque.

Bus 1

This was the coach or bus that I was on for this excursion taken at the mosque.

It was just a short drive from here to In dependance or Merdeka (in the Malay language) Square. It is called this because it is the spot where Malaya at the time or Malaysia as it is called now got its in dependance from Britain in 1957. Here are some photos.

Plaque Large

This is the English portion of the plaque that is in the square describing its importance.
The flag pole and fountain mentioned are the ones shown in the pictures below.

Sultan Adbul Samad Building Merdeka Square
The Sultan Abdul Samad building, built by the British in 1897, is one of the oldest landmarks in the city. There have been several wars and fires here over the years. Up until 2004 this building housed the Malaysian courts but now it contains the Ministry of Information, Communications, and Culture. The Square itself. This was once the cricket green for the Royal Selangor Club which can be seen on the left side of the picture. There had been some sort of Military day celebration the day before I was there and the cleanup was underway.
Fountain Fountain 2a
The over 100 year old Sanitary Board fountain in the square.
(Do not ask me the history of this!!!)
Here is the fountain from a slightly different angle
that shows the colours in it better.
Flag pole 1 Flag Pole 2
One of the tallest flag poles in the world. It is 95 metres tall. This is the spot where in dependance from Britain was declared.
I do not know if this flag pole was there at that time.

The next stop, which is about a two block walk from the square, is the spot where Kuala Lumpur was founded and got its name.

The Muddy Confluence

Kuala Lumpur means "muddy confluence" in the Malay language.
This is the junction of the Gombak and Klang rivers, the so called "muddy confluence".
Kuala Lumpur was founded at this spot in 1857 as a result of the mineral tin being found up the Klang River (the one on the right) from here.
You can see how muddy it is in this picture.

The combined rivers

Here is what it looks like from the other side of the bridge over the river which I think is called the Klang from here on.

The next stop, which actually occurred between the time the two river picture above were taken, was at the Central Market which is located just to the left of the lower picture above. This what what was described as the "handicraft centre" in the tour description at the top of the page.

Here are several pictures of the inside of the market. It is not anything that extraordinary really.

Central Market  1 Central Market 2
The Central Market has three floors. Here is another view from the second floor.
Central Market 3 Central Market 4
These two pictures were taken from the same spot showing much of the same area.

The next stop was at a view point to see the Petronas Twin Towers one of the most recognizable places/landmarks in Kuala Lumpur. For a short time these were the tallest buildings in the world. They are still advertised as the tallest "twin towers" in the world, which is likely true.
The first few pictures were taken from the view point the tour stopped at. The last two were taken as the bus passed by the base of the towers on the way to and on the way back from the view point.

Petronas 02 Petronas 04

The standard view of the twin towers.
The sign on the side of the building on the right
is a clock which says 12:59.

A slightly wider view of the towers.
Petronas Bus 01 Petronas Bus 05
This was taken from the bus (in a hurry I might add)
on the way to the viewpoint.
This was taken on the way from the viewpoint to the hotel where lunch was served. Both were taken from the same road.

The next stop was for lunch at a local high class hotel. There was nothing particularly special about 200 or 300 people eating at a lunch buffet in a hotel dining/conference room so I did not take any pictures. It was not really possible to get a picture of the hotel either. So on to the next and last stop.

The final stop in Kuala Lumpur was the Kuala Lumpur Tower or the KL Tower for short. Time was rapidly becoming of the essence by this time. As I noted in the Cruise Update above it was very tight due to long lineups to go up the two elevators that were available. It was just too short a time to do the visit justice but I did manage to take a number of pictures a number of which have been combined together to create the panoramic images below.

KL Tower 1 KL Tower 2
The KL Tower. This was the only picture was was able to get of it. The entrance to the base of the tower where the elevators are.
KL Tower 3
This was a crystal dome in the elevator lobby made by Iranian crafts people during the construction of the tower in 1996.

KL Tower Panorama 1a

The is a panorama that consists of something like 8 pictures covering 180 degrees
looking from roughly southwest on the right to northeast on the left.

KL Tower Panorana 2

This image covers the other 180 degrees looking roughly from northeast on the left to southwest on the right.
The left side of this image overlaps the right side of the image above.
The right side of this image overlaps the left side of the image above.

Since this is the last stop in Kuala Lumpur here is one additional panorama showing the area where most of the morning part of the tour took place.

KL Tower Route Panorama

This image looks southwest and I have labeled most of the stops that were made earlier in the day.

From here the bus made a mad dash back to the ship about an hour away. Here are a few pictures taken during the return trip.

Return 1 Return 2
I do not know what the building with the tall pole and what appears to be a fabric roof of some sort is but I thought it looked interesting. One of the interesting things about Malaysian highways is that many of them have motorcycle paths along side of them. Motorcycles are very popular here so I guess this just a natural addition for that.
Return 3 Return 4
I think I took this picture for what was floating on the barge (whatever it is) but when I looked at it I thought those floating houses in the background were rather interesting too.
I do not know what they are used for.
The bus is arriving back at the Port Kelang Cruise centre. Here you can see the entrance with the building and the Queen Elizabeth beyond.

The final picture to show for this day is of the Port Kelang Cruise Centre where the ship is docked taken from the ship side.

Cruise Centre 1

The ship returned at 4:45pm which was slightly later than the scheduled time but well before the scheduled departure time of 6:00. The ship sailed just about exactly on time heading for Penang, Malaysia tomorrow.

On to Day 6!!!

Created: Feb. 21, 2012
The"What actually happened" update was started: June 3, 2012
The "What actually happened" update was completed: June 4, 2012
Last Updated: Monday, June 4, 2012 6:46 PM