My Home, Kuala Lumpur
photography & words by Kerol Izwan
'The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.'
Kerol Izwan takes us on a journey through his snapped photographs and personalised diary entry of his home Kuala Lumpur. He spends the day hopping on and off stations and walking about town rediscovering, re-exploring and redefining the meaning of home.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia. Often abbreviated KL, it simply means mud confluence between two rivers. It has been a while since the last time I wandered through my own city. Eager to discover the new offerings of KL, off I went. Hopping on a train, I often contemplated which station to get off at to start my exploration, through my window I saw many mass skyscrapers dominating the KL skyline.
KL is comprised of different weather temperaments, a good mixture of rainy, windy, sunny and cloudy days however the monsoon and hot season dominates the forecast throughout most of the year. The average day is thirty degrees celsius whilst being hot and humid.
KL is vibrant and multicultural, comprised of three major races - Malay, Chinese and Indian making Malaysia extraordinarily diverse when it comes to food, custom, religion and preferences. We live in a harmonious and colourful environment that celebrates all festive celebrations such as Eid Mubarak, Chinese New Year and Deepavali.
I continued of my exploration and walked past the renowned Petronas Twin Towers, the KL Tower, the spiritual stairs of Batu Caves, Petaling Street in Chinatown and even Little India in Brickfields amongst all these landmarks I feel that KL offers so much more than that. Wandering through the city, there were so many differences between the rows of worn buildings that stand amidst the busy and modern KL high rises. I was incredibly amazed by the preservation of heritage agriculture and how it adds so much flavour to my city. We also often see Moorish dome-detailing and Western design amongst the city skyline, each beautifully crafted and coloured.
On my adventure I passed through Bukit Bintang, the centre of KL that gives the city a constant beat throughout the day and night. Sometimes it is referred to as the Golden Triangle as it is the central hub for restaurants, high end shopping and such. There is quite a lot of people around this area, and it often becomes quite chaotic so I soon moved onto somewhere a little more peaceful. I jumped on a train once again. There is something refreshing about the swift movement between station to station. Even on a hot sunny day, it didn't stop my continuous exploration and discovery of my home.
The cafe/coffee culture in KL is rapidly growing so I dropped by one of my favourite cafes, Feeka Coffee Roasters located at Changkat Bukit Bintang for a beverage. Nestled amongst vintage restaurants, hotels and backpacker hostels is where it lies. It stays true to the culture of KL, keeping in tune with the development into modern society yet keeping the historical elements present, it was renovated with a utilitarian concept in mind that makes it a favourite spot for many. I sat down for hours taking in the ambience, drinking great coffee and eating delectable cakes, a combination that never ceases to fail me. There are many travellers around this area, and it's more often than not that you can spark conversation about travels and share stories and journeys with others.
Soon afterward, I packed up and found a place that wasn't too crowded or busy to capture the view of KL from a birds eye view. I took the monorail to Jalan Raja Chulan and walked 200m to Menara KH where I took an elevator to the the 34th floor which happens to have one of the best panoramic views of the city with even an option to climb up a set of stairs that leads up to a barrier-free observation area. I stood there, snapped some photographs and took it all in, mesmerised by the beauty of KL from above and thought, this is home.