Gallery

Beaded Bani Thani

Inspired by the original Bani Thani painting from the Marwa school of Kishangarh India, this portrait is completely made of beads and rhinestones.

Labelled as the “Indian Mona Lisa”, the original painting is thought to be of the lover and later wife of King Sawant Singh.

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“Hop on Hop off” Bus Service, Kuala Lumpur- Review

Searching for an easy and comfortable way to get around the tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur? Then the “Hop on Hop off” double decker bus service is the ideal option for you.

What this service offer is a unique, hassle free way to get around all the main tourist attractions scattered around KL with just one ticket. You can purchase a ticket from the bus or at any of their authorized centers. They offer two types of tickets, a) The 24 hour ticket which is valid for 24 hours and b) The 48 hour ticket, making it more flexible according to your travel needs. Once you purchase a ticket you can get on and off any of the buses from this service at any stop you desire within the period of the tickets’ validity.

According to their brochure there are 23 designated stops that cover 70 attractions across KL. All the bus stops at which the hop on hop off bus stops have been clearly marked, making it easy to recognize.

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My personal experience-

Even though I had read about this service beforehand, we only considered this as an option once the kind desk clerk at our hotel insisted that it would be easy for us. Since we did not plan to stay for more than a day in KL and had plans to leave to Taman Negara the next day we opted for the 24 hour ticket.

We got on the bus at around 9.30 am and was only able to use the ride for a few stops (around 4-5), because the time you spend at each location will decide how far you will go with the ticket. And at the end of the day you can’t plan how much time you spend at the museum or the Bird Park around a bus schedule!. Most of the places that I went using the ticket turned out to be very close to where I was staying, many even walking distance from the hotel. This did make me feel like I could have walked or used the free “go KL” bus route instead of paying for this ticket (I travel cheap! because I’m broke as fluff :P), but that was just bad planning on my part. The 48 hur ticket seems like a better option if you’re staying in KL for 2-3 days as you have time to actually use it to its full potential.

But if you are a tourist who can spare a few extra bucks and is looking for a comfortable mode of transportation then this service is highly recommended for you.

Pros-

Cheap and easy

Hassle free

Friendly staff who is more than willing to guide you if you need so

The two ticket option allows you to select the plan according to your schedule

Works from 9.00 am till 8.00 pm

Disable friendly

Works on public holidays too (A win!!)

An easy way to get to locations slightly away from the city center such as the National palace (The only real win for me)

Cons-

Slightly more expensive than an “under a tight budget” person would like

The bus schedules can change due to traffic and other conditions

Sometime have to wait for 20-25 min till the next bus arrives

In some cases the attractions are so close that walking feels like a better option

Less interactions with the locals – I’m a sucker for experiencing the local way of life and traveling, so felt like I missed a bit of that since the service is “Hassle proof”. And since your getting on and off at specific tourist areas you miss out on the roads less traveled. (but you do have complete freedom to decide what you do- only a small voice will be constantly reminding you that you DID paid for the ride 😛 )

Have to plan around the bus schedule because whether you like it or not, the thought of the next bus being in 30 min is going to be in the back of your head. Especially when, if you miss one you have to wait 30 min for the next.

Overall I do feel like this bus service is a great way for tourist to go from place to place in Kuala Lumpur and I do recommend it as a very comfortable and easy travel option.

But if you’re in to the more “Roads less traveled and among locals” way of travel like me, do check if you can catch the free “go KL” bus and also try to find lodging in a location that is close to the main attractions.

Until next time,

Safe travels.

 

 

 

National Textile Museum – Kuala Lumpur

Imagine unleashing a hyperactive kid inside a candy store!!…. Now crank up the crazy a few levels up!…  What you get is “me” inside the National Museum of Textile in Kuala Lumpur!!

I’m a fashion fanatic! I love everything that has anything to do with fashion, I live fashion! And I also love travel as much as I love fashion! So when I search for things to do or places to see at “where ever i’m shipping myself to next”, I never forget to pull up a few fashion related places/ or activities to balance the crazy in me.

whether it’s a museum or a workshop or even just a traditional authentic fabric shop, if its anywhere near where i’m at, you WILL find me there! Every time I end up coming home with a head full of ideas and a bag full of fabrics (so much for my minimalist travel goals!)

The National Textile Museum in Kuala Lumpur was one such precious findings of mine, while planing my trip to Malaysia. This museum is truly under rated compared to other tourist attractions in KL, as many don’t even know of its existence. But trust me when I say, visiting this museum was one of the best things I did in KL. It may only be appealing to a certain genera of crazy ( such as “me”) but I do feel it has something to make everyone happy. And if you are not as crazy as I am about fashion and textiles, you can just drop in for a swift glance through the galleries and you will be done in less than half an hour. Located in Merdeka square the museum is not that hard to find, nor is it off the normal tourist route so you won’t be making any detours. And best of all entry is free! (so basically its regret proof!)

To get to the museum you can ether directly take a taxi, use the rapid-KL bus route or the “Hop on Hop off ” bus (stop number 17).

The museum is housed in a beautiful heritage building of Neo- Maugal style architecture, which is a combination of  elements from Maugal – Islamic style architecture and British architecture. Just the building alone can give an art lover a rush!

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The museum is mainly divided in to 4 galleries and one small gallery that houses special exhibitions.

  1. Pohon Budi gallery
  2. Pelangi Gallery
  3. Teluk Berantai gallery
  4. Ratna sari gallery
  5. Saindera Gallery- which houses special exhibitions.

From textiles, traditional dress forms to jewelry, the content of the museum displays the history and diversity of the textile industry of Malaysia in a very comprehensive manner. It also showcases how techniques from different cultures can influence each other to create a unique and beautiful culture of its own.

The most interesting aspect of this museum for me is that they have displayed many of the traditional processes in “step by step” form so anyone interested can learn and understand the process in depth.

Step by Step – Batik 

 

The Ratna Sari Gallery houses a collection of traditional jewellery and adornments that belong to the different ethnic groups of Malaysia. Ranging from head ornaments, crowns, beaded shoes to Kamarbands the pieces on display showcases the impressive craftsmanship of this ethnically diverse country.

 

Throughout the museum you will come across mannequins displaying the different traditional costumes of Malaysia bringing life in to the textiles.

Traditional hand embroidery techniques, Sarawak beading techniques, Baba and Nyonya beading techniques, traditional motif designs, gold thread embroidery, weaving patterns are just a few of the traditional textile related art forms that can be observed throughout the museum.

And as it turns out we were lucky to come across a special exhibition on ethnic head dresses that was on display in a small room on the top most floor of the building. The artistry of there unique traditional head ornaments were breath taking and mesmerizing.

If your curiosity towards Malaysian culture and costumes has  been awoken, a more comprehensive explanation can be found in one of my previous articles which you can read here.

According to the brochure, the museum is open daily from 9.00 am till 6.00 pm. I was extremely luck to be there at a time when there was hardly anyone inside the museum other than me,  the unfortunate souls i dragged there by force and 1 or 2 rushed visitors who couldn’t care less. This gave me all the freedom in the world to run around like a crazy kid to my hearts content!!

So if you are someone interested in learning about textile and fashion history of Malaysia do visit the National Textile Museum and be inspired by all that it has to offer. And even if you are not interested in such thematic museums do drop by just to get the feel of it, you never know you might end up falling in love with textiles.

Until next time,

Safe travels