Tuesday, August 9, 2011

KL - end of a nice weekend

One of the highlights of the weekend was the Islamic Arts Museum.  It is a hidden gem that all visitors to Kuala Lumpur should visit, but often don’t.
It opened in late 1988 and is the largest museum of Islamic art in South East Asia. It houses an impressive collection of jewellery, pottery, textiles, books and manuscripts.

I had to return to find Andrew at one point because he was so entranced in the 1st room we had entered into.  He spent 20 minutes looking at the architecture models of various Mosques and temples around the world along with the information panels about them  Eventually I got him to look at the other galleries full of objects.   The collections are organised by subject rather than timeframe or geography. 

The whole place exuded style and spaciousness and had lovely architectural detail such as the internal decorated domes. 

To get there we had to skirt around the National Mosque – women can not enter on a Friday.  We ended up walking through stalls surrounded by people.  They were selling snake oil.  OK it was some bodily fluid from a lizard – but why let that ruin a a good sentence.  There were display bonnets having polishing wax put on and being set alight to prove how good the wax protected.  Suzanne Paul would have been right at home.

Back near our hotel we indulged in a little retail therapy but not buying much.  One thing we could not find here in Vientiane were men’s shoelaces.  Most here have slip-on shoes (easier to take on and off as you enter temples or homes) so laces are not quite as common.  I’m sure they are sold somewhere but we have not found it yet.

And we rounded out the day with a cracker meal at a restaurant called Albion.  Serving modern British food it recently won the TimeOut KL best independent restaurant.  We got there early – not intentionally and partook in their before 7:30pm menu.  For the equivalent of NZ$80 we got 3 courses of really good food, 1 beer and 3 glasses of wine…bargain and delicious.  http://www.albionkl.com  Highly recommended.

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