on June 21, 2011
Merdaka Square is a huge grassy area in the Colonial Core of Kuala Lumpur that is surrounded by buildings and other features that will make you feel like you have been transported back to olde worlde England. It is absolutely a must visit are and offered us a welcome break from the sore feet that we had from three days of walking around the city.The square is located on the western side of the city and is easily accessible from the monorail station just around the corner behind the huge and ornate national mosque. Approaching the square on a bright sunny day is fabulous and the splendour of the area is laid out in front of you beyond fountains and sculptures. The square is enclosed by the old Selangor Cricket club buildings which were built by AC Norman in the 1890s. The style is very British mock tudor, with black and white fronted buildings with red roofs. We spent a very pleasurable afternoon wandering around the grassy area imagining Tarquins and Sebastians playing a good game of cricket before retiring for drinks in the club bar. The main focal point of the square is the giant flag pole at the end which, standing at 100m tall, is the tallest flag pole in the world and is adorned with an appropriately massive Malaysian flag which makes for a good photograph opportunity. Standing under the flag, you get a good view back over the city with both the Petronas Towers and the KL Telecommunications Tower in the background.The square is a popular stop on organised tours, but it is only a brief stop for photographs, so it is definitely worth making your own way there to enjoy a relaxed afternoon in the sun. There are plenty of places to sit - we found the benches behind the water fountains particularly refreshing in the baking heat. It is also a popular place for picnicking.The square is also the location for the Independence Day celebrations, when it becomes awash with people partying. With it being one of the few large open areas in the city, it also plays host to many large gatherings including impromptu concerts so it is worth visiting to find out what is going on.In a city full of tall buildings and busy roads, Merdaka Square is a welcome retreat that offers a much more peaceful experience and I would absolutely recommend a visit.
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