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Monorail - A Good Way to Explore Kuala Lumpur
By:Paik-Leong Ewe

Jaded of catching the sights of Kuala Lumpur from your tour bus? Your feet are too weary to take you on a walkabout tour? An excellent alternative mode to exploring Kuala Lumpur is by monorail from the Stesen Sentral to its terminal in Chow Kit. The trip offers an eclectic mix of sightseeing, shopping and dining, and fare is more economical than traveling by a taxi.

After the train whizzes away, sit back and relax until it stops at the Maharajalela Station. Alight and take a five-minute stroll to see the Chan See Shu Yuen Temple. Built in 1906, its roof is decorated with terracotta figurines from Chinese mythology. Proceed to Jalan Balai Polis to admire another historical place of worship: Police Sikh Temple. It was built in the 1950's for the use of the Sikhs in the Federated Malay States Police. Another spot worth visiting is the Sri Mahamariamman Temple on Jalan Tun H.S. Lee. If time permits, go to Petaling Street, which is the main artery of Chinatown. In the morning, this enclave is a colourful riot of florists, hawkers, pet-shop owners, funeral suppliers, Gurkha gemologists and apothecaries plying their trade.

Return to the Maharajalela Station and continue the journey to the Imbi Station. You are now in the shopping district of the city, where Berjaya Times Square looms skyward with its 300 over stores, restaurants, posh hotel, and convention centre. Let your children play in Cosmos World, the country's largest indoor amusement centre. Across the road stands Imbi Plaza, renown for computer software and hardware.

A five-minute ride from the Imbi Station will deposit you in the Bukit Bintang Station. You can't miss the green facade of Lot 10 on your right and Sungei Wang on your left. Always stocked with the up-to-the-minute fashionwear from London, Paris and Milan, Lot 10 dazzles with the glitz and glitter of Versace, Hugo Boss, Liz Claiborn and Gucci, while Sungei Wang caters to high-quality, mid-priced products. Also in the vicinity are other shopping malls such as Starhill, BB Plaza, Low Yat Plaza, and KL Plaza. Don't forget the famous Bintang Walk, where freshly baked croissants and all kinds of South American and Italian coffee are consumed with gusto by trendy people in chic sidewalk cafes.

Onward to the Bukit Nenas Station! Alight and stroll to the Bukit Nenas Forest Reserve, where jungle trails, fresh air and lush greenery soothe your senses. Trees that are labeled proved an educational discovery in tropical hardwood. If you still have stamina after the trekking, tramp to the Telekom Museum at Jalan Raja Chulan, which chronicles the history of telecommunications in the country. More than 500 exhibits are housed in the historical and contemporary galleries.

Backtrack back to the Bukit Nenas Station and continue to the Medan Tuanku Station. Alight and head in the direction of the Sheraton Imperial Hotel to go to Asian Heritage Row. This enclave is noted for its chic restaurants serving Thai, Turkish, Nyonya, Western and Indochinese fare. Enjoy a sumptuous meal here. If you so desire, you can pamper yourself with traditional massage and other treatments in the spa of the Sheraton Imperial Hotel. Still want to do some shopping? Then take a 15-minute stroll to Maju Junction further north which offers a wide range of affordable products.

The surroundings of the second last station, Chow Kit, promises a melange of exciting colours, sights and smells. Go to the Chow Kit Market to see fish wriggling on stone slabs, chickens being dressed, bottled aphrodisiacs, basketful of greens, colourful batik sarongs and local handicrafts. Not a place for the faint-hearted! Your ears are bombarded with Malay pop music, the holler of traders and the chatter of housewives as they bargain for the best prices. Ah... the aroma of delicious nasi lemak and nasi padang tempt your palate, and the colours of Malay kuih (cakes) catches your eye. Go ahead...try these delicious Malay delicacies before we proceed back to the Stesen Sentral.

A trip such as this can take up a full day, depending on the amount of time you spend at each spot. Enjoy your trip on the KL Monorail!

For more details about the author, please visit his website at http://ewepaikleong.blogspot.com

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