Places Of Interest around Central Market area – Central Market (Pasar Seni), Petaling Street Bazaar, Sin Sze Ya Temple, Sri Maha Mariamman Temple and Maybank Numismatic Museum.
Jalan Hang Kasturi
T: +603 2274 6542
Open Daily: 10.00am – 10.00pm
The Central Market was a retail wet market for fresh produce in 1888 built by Kapitan Yap Ah Loy, the founder of Kuala Lumpur. Today it is one of Malaysia’s leading arts, culture and handicrafts market that is also a Malaysian Heritage site. The architectural style of the 1930s, the Central Market or ‘Pasar Seni’ in the Malay Language, is an award-winning bazaar, which houses Malay, Chinese and Indian local artists and craftsmen. It is the place to browse, hunt or find Malaysian-inspired souvenirs or have your portraits sketched or a souvenir custom-made.
CENTRAL MARKET ANNEXE
Jalan Hang Kasturi
T: +603 2070 1137
Open Daily: 10.00am – 7.00pm
The Central Market Annexe is a contemporary art and soul place that compliments the traditional Central Market. Since its launch in 2007, a variety of events, including contemporary art exhibitions, talks, film screenings, workshops, theatre, music, performance art and other related events are the activities are held here. The Annexe has three main spaces: the Gallery (on the 2nd Floor), Studio and Theatre (on the 1st Floor). Whether it is for contemporary art, socio-political art, collaborative art, multimedia, multidisciplinary art, multisyllabic art, community art, theatre, dance, film screenings, music gigs, poetry recitals, workshops, fashion shows, book launches or corporate launches, this is a place for the artsy enthusiast.
SIN SZE YA TEMPLE
T: +603 2078 9052
Open Daily: 7.00am – 5.00pm
Legend has it that in 1864, the Sin Sze Ya Temple was founded by the famous Capitan Yap Ah Loy in honour of the equally significant Capitan Shin Kap or Sheng Meng Li of Sungai Ujong. It is said to be the only Chinese temple in Malaysia that has locals as their main deities instead of these from mainland China. Both Shin Kap and Chong Piang were two true local personalities of Kuala Lumpur in 1860 before being deified after their deaths. This oldest Taoist temple is a standing testament of traditional Southern chinese architecture built based upon the Feng Shui principle. It features a main hall and two side halls with a sophisticated roof structure similar to that of temples in China. This temple had been involved in charity work since 1907 when a Trust Fund representing 12 Chinese clans was established. Processions to commemorate Shin Kap, Chong Piang and Yap Ah Loy becoming deities were held on the full moon of the 3rd lunar calendar every year. The rich Chinese sometimes try to outdo each other in their donations
and contributions towards the procession. The head of clans will usually have the honour of leading the procession and get their due recognition. Today, the yearly celebrations at the Sze Ya Temple are held on a smaller scale around the temple grounds.
SRI MAHA MARIAMMAN TEMPLE
Jalan Tun H.S. Lee
T: +603 2078 3467
Open Daily: 6.00am – 9.00pm
This 150-year old Hindu Temple, the Sri Mahamariamman is the oldest and wealthiest Indian temples in Kuala Lumpur dating back to 1873. The Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is also a religious charity organization in Malaysia. The most remarkable feature of the temple is its structure which is similar to the shape of a human body. The feet are symbolised by a 75-feet high gopuram (monumental tower) standing five-tiers high. There is an impressive gateway at every tier, each adorned with 228 Hindu deities that are sculpted in the styles of South India. The entrance faces the east and the chief deity, Sri Maha Mariamman, is installed at the inner sanctum. Another focal point is the interestingly ornate main prayer hall, which is decorated by murals and frescos. The location of three shrines in the main temple, are roofed by an ornament embellished dome. In addition, there are four smaller shrines dedicated to Lord Ganesha and his brother, Lord Muruga, located around the main prayer hall.
Also noticeable is a giant silver chariot, which is also a major feature during the Hindu festival of Thaipusam. You may pay a visit during Thaipusam to see how the chariot is used to carry the statues of Lord Muruga and his consorts (Valli and Teivayanni) up to Batu Caves in the wee hours of the morning. Prayers are offered prior to the long procession where devotees attach huge carriers (kavadi) to their bodies by hooks and haul the portable altars with lances piercing their skins. Other devotees will carry containers containing milk as offering to Lord Muruga. Thaipusam is one festival that never fails to attract curious onlookers who are keen to learn and observe Hindu culture. Another popular festival that puts the Sri Mahamariamman temple in the center of attention is Deepavali, the Festival of Light. Entrance is free. However, a small fee is charged for storing your shoes at a safe place when you are visiting the temple.
PETALING STREET BAZAAR
Open Daily: 10.00am – 11.00pm
Petaling Street is a row of some of the oldest shophouses in Kuala Lumpur where some old traditional trades such as goldsmiths and dealers in chinese medicinal herbs still exist. Only part of this street is a covered bazaar. Visitors can find all kinds of goods at reasonable prices such as bags, shoes, clothes and watches. Other than merchandises, Petaling Street has various hawkers stalls and cafés selling delicious Cantonese and Hokkien food. At night, Petaling Street transforms into a lively and vibrant night market, filled with hundreds of stalls offering items ranging from fruits to clothes. Chinatown is centrally located, close to the old colonial quarters around Merdeka Square. The chinese living here also called this street ‘Chee Cheong Kai’, a reference to its roots as a tapioca producing district. Deeply immersed in oriental culture, heritage and history, Chinatown is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist spots in Malaysia. From Bukit Bintang you can walk here in about 25 minutes or take the monorail to the Maharajalela station which is around the corner of the southern end Petaling Street. If you are coming from KL Sentral or KLCC, you can take the LRT and get off at Pasar Seni.