A Travellerspoint blog

Same, Same, but Different.

Days three and four.

sunny

The Masjid Jamek on the confluence of the Gombak and Klang Rivers.

The Masjid Jamek on the confluence of the Gombak and Klang Rivers.

On the Sunday we had to check out of the Novotel and move to the Renaissance. We stayed in this Novotel years ago and, although I scarcely remember it, it was a largely indifferent experience. However, this time we loved it.

We use Accor a lot nowadays, because we have their loyalty card and because of that we get free stuff or better treatment. Now on this visit, we had been told nothing about checkout time. We weren't sure if it was 11am or 12pm.

Peter said: "Phone reception and see if we can get a complimentary late check out."

I phoned and asked for a free late check out, the guy had just started to say: "I'm sorry Madam..."

When I cut in with: "My husband's gold."

"You mean Accor gold?" the receptionist asked.

"Yes, that's right," I said.

"What time would you like to leave, Madam?" was his reply.

What's not to love about that? I asked to leave at 2, expecting them to say no, but they gave us until 2.45.

The hotel we were moving to was not in the Accor group, but we wanted to stay in it because we have stayed there before and it has a huge swimming pool.

Anyway, we could enjoy the Novotel for one more morning and part of the afternoon. We went to breakfast and I got tucked in to the nasi lemak again.

Yes, the nasi lemak is good.

Yes, the nasi lemak is good.

What a breakfast.

What a breakfast.

After breakfast, I was sent out to find the way to the nearby Raja Chulan Monorail Station. It wasn't far, but when I tried to reactivate our dormant touch and go cards, the guy told me I couldn't. I asked to buy new ones. He said: "No only at KL Sentral Station." I don't know if that's right or not. It's certainly not what it says in the information and not what I have heard from other people. Anyway I headed back to the hotel and told Peter. He wasn't impressed.

Then we headed for the pool for our last swim here. As I mentioned before, the pool here is small, but there was almost noone there so it was great. We had a very pleasant swim then returned to the room and packed.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the pool.

Peter in the pool.

Me in the pool.

Me in the pool.

Peter wasn't keen on travelling on the monorail, so he decided we were going to go to our next hotel by Grab. We have never used Grab or Uber or any of these car hire apps before. We didn't really know how it would work. However, once we managed to get Peter onto the app, it all went fairly smoothly and we were taken to our new hotel door to door for 9 Ringgit.

Now, as I mentioned above, the reason we were moving to a hotel that's not in the Accor group is because it has a huge swimming pool. We have stayed here about four times. We were a little concerned though, as the pool appeared to have been closed for a long time and we had seen reviews that mentioned renovation. We were worried it might actually be shut. At check in I enquired about the pool opening times and was told it was open from seven to seven. Phew! Everything was great. We went to our room which was very nice then headed down to the pool.

Our new room was very nice.

Our new room was very nice.

Out of a corner of our window we can see the twin towers.

Out of a corner of our window we can see the twin towers.

View from our window. I want to swim there with no other people in it.

View from our window. I want to swim there with no other people in it.

Horror of horrors!!!! Our beautiful, peaceful, lake sized pool had been revamped into something resembling a kids' waterpark. There were slides, playgrounds, hideous fake rocks. Everything was done in garish colours. The pool was still big, but about two thirds of its previous size and instead of being peaceful it was absolutely heaving. There were kids running, screaming, jumping, laughing everywhere. It was like being back at work!!!

I suspect this is all to do with COVID. This hotel used to be full of tourists. Then for around three years there were no tourists, so the hotel reinvented itself to attract local families. Most of the people at the pool were Malaysian. Of course, why shouldn't they be, it's Malaysia after all. I'm not trying to sound racist, but .... I think, I am normally fairly covered up and modest when I go swimming, but now everyone around me was in a burkini and I felt almost naked. As soon as I came out of the water, I put my hotel robe on to cover up.

We used to spend hours by this pool. This holiday both of us are swimming just for short lengths of time, trying to dodge all the people floating by on huge lilo type things. (Every now and again there was a traffic jam of these and it was impossible to swim.) We are finding that we can't get away from the pool fast enough. I doubt we will ever stay here again. I know we are both just totally spoilt, and if we hadn't known how wonderful this pool was before, we may not find it so bad now. It's great for families, but it's definitely no longer for us.

Our once upon a time beautiful pool just isn't any more.

Our once upon a time beautiful pool just isn't any more.

Ok it doesn't look that bad in my picture, but then you can't hear the screaming kids.

Ok it doesn't look that bad in my picture, but then you can't hear the screaming kids.

Peter seeking out a spot he can move in.

Peter seeking out a spot he can move in.

It wouldn't have been so bad if we hadn't known what it was like before.

It wouldn't have been so bad if we hadn't known what it was like before.

In the evening we had access to the executive lounge with as much food and drink as we wanted. This was always brilliant before and was still very good on this stay. We sat next to an American guy called John, who very frequently stays in this hotel with his wife. He was really friendly. His work was connected to microbiology and his wife works with animals and they both travel all the time. We ended up swapping travel stories and it was great fun. We all had funny experiences to share and we laughed a lot. We didn't realise it at the time but we ended up staying way beyond closing time. The staff didn't seem to mind. They all seemed to love John. Just as an aside, John was also horrified by the changes that had taken place with the swimming pool, and said many regulars here have sworn never to come back, so it wasn't just us.

Next day we braved the pool again which was slightly less busy but still not a patch on how it used to be. Then I decided to go out exploring, but Peter didn't fancy coming with me. It would have involved too much walking for him.

I guess I am fairly boring and predictable, but I decided to make my way to the old colonial centre of Kuala Lumpur where I have been many times before. Well, in my defence, it's a good few years since I have been here.

I walked from the hotel to Dang Wangi LRT Station. I got a single journey token from the machine. I only wanted to travel one stop and it cost only one ringgit twenty. The machine only takes coins or one or five ringgit notes.

I got off the train at Masjid Jamek Station. I'm comfortable going here on my own as I know my way around. I headed first of all to Masjid Jamek Mosque, which is often referred to as the Friday Mosque. This was built in 1907 by British architect A.B Hubback, who designed many of Kuala Lumpur's famous landmarks. This mosque is located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers. Non-Muslims can only go in here at certain times. I didn't want to go in. I just wanted to take a photo. The man at the gate was fine about that and let me past to do that.

Masjid Jamek.

Masjid Jamek.

I then headed off behind the mosque and over a bridge. This bridge has good views towards some of the old colonial buildings which are very plentiful in this area such as the High Court. This was designed by A.C. Norman and was finished in 1909. Looking the other way I could see the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

The High Court building from the bridge.

The High Court building from the bridge.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building from the bridge.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building from the bridge.

I then decided to walk along behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which is the most famous of the old colonial buildings here. Firstly, I walked along the banks of the River Klang on which it is situated.

Kuala Lumpur means Muddy Confluence and this city originated at the junction of the Gombak and Klang Rivers. There are great views of the Masjid Jamek from here.

The Masjid Jamek.

The Masjid Jamek.

The confluence of the Gombak and Klang Rivers.

The confluence of the Gombak and Klang Rivers.

There are also lots of beautiful flowering trees and bushes.

Sweet smelling jasmine.

Sweet smelling jasmine.

Frangipani.

Frangipani.

Smith crepe ginger.

Smith crepe ginger.

Ixora.

Ixora.

Some of the buildings along the river are decorated with lovely, colourful paintings.

Painted building.

Painted building.

Detail.

Detail.

Detail.

Detail.

Painted building.

Painted building.

Detail.

Detail.

River walkway.

River walkway.

The back of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is very pretty. It's probably more interesting than the front. It's got fountains, courtyards and art works to look at. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building dates back to 1897 and was designed by A.C. Norman and R.A.J. Bidwell in Mogul architectural style. It was named after the Sultan of Selangor. At one time it was a court and government offices. Now it is occupied by the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture.

Behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Behind the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Detail.

Detail.

Selfie.

Selfie.

Painting and cat.

Painting and cat.

Fountain.

Fountain.

I decided to walk all the way to the old Kuala Lumpur Central Railway Station as it's one of my favourite buildings here. On the way the sky began to darken and it started pouring with rain. Parts of the pavement I was walking on became like ice rinks and at one point my foot suddenly slid from under me. I didn't fall, but my foot shot forward into a raised kerb and my big toe got badly cut. It bled a lot. I had to wrap it in tissue. I seem to be having a lot of bad luck this holiday.

The Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was designed by A.B.Hubback and dates from 1904. There's a lovely cafe here. Across the very busy road from the station is the elegant Railway Administration Building and an old colonial hotel. It's hard to photograph the railway station when you are right next to it.

The Railway Administration Building.

The Railway Administration Building.

The old railway building.

The old railway building.

The old railway building.

The old railway building.

The old railway building.

The old railway building.

Old colonial style Majestic Hotel.

Old colonial style Majestic Hotel.

I decided to head back towards the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Merdeka Square.The rain was beginning to ease off and my foot wasn't bleeding quite so badly.

I passed the beautiful Textile Museum, which I did not photograph as it was having some renovation done and wasn't looking its best

I crossed the road to the old padang area which was once Kuala Lumpur's cricket green. There are interesting buildings all around.

One used to be the Old Chartered Bank Building. This dates from 1919. Apparently in 1926 the basement here got flooded and when the waters receded millions of bank notes had to be spread out on the cricket field to dry.

The Old Chartered Bank Building.

The Old Chartered Bank Building.

Next door is the former Government Printing Office, a lovely Mogul style building built by A.C. Norman in 1899. It once served as a Memorial Library but is now the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. It's free to enter here and it houses old photos of Kuala Lumpur, a restaurant and a pretty courtyard.

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery.

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery.

The courtyard.

The courtyard.

Restaurant.

Restaurant.

Outside there's an I love Kuala Lumpur statue that people like to pose for selfies with.

I love KL sculpture.

I love KL sculpture.

Next door is the Kuala Lumpur This is an attractive looking building. I didn't go inside.

Kuala Lumpur Library.

Kuala Lumpur Library.

Kuala Lumpur Library.

Kuala Lumpur Library.

I then wandered around Dataran Merdeka, which means Independence Square. It was here that the Union Flag was lowered and the Malaysian flag hoisted for the first time at midnight on the 31st of August 1957. There's a huge flagpole here.

Flagpole.

Flagpole.

I had a quick look at the nearby Victoria Fountain. This was originally intended to be placed outside the market, but was relocated here due to fears it would block traffic.

The Victoria Fountain.

The Victoria Fountain.

On the far side of the Padang is the Royal Selangor Club, which dates back to 1884. This started out as a tiny wooden building, but was later redesigned in Tudor style. I believe it is still a members only club.

Royal Selangor Club.

Royal Selangor Club.

Royal Selangor Club.

Royal Selangor Club.

Royal Selangor Club.

Royal Selangor Club.

I walked up the front side of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. There's a prominent clock tower in the middle of it.

Front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building viewed across the Padang.

Front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building viewed across the Padang.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

At the far end of the Padang there's a pretty garden seating area and nearby is the Cathedral of Saint Mary the Virgin, which dates from 1894 and is a beautiful building. This is currently undergoing renovation, so I couldn't go in and didn't bother photographing it covered in scaffolding.

Garden at the end of the Padang.

Garden at the end of the Padang.

I took one last look at the colonial area and snapped a couple of examples of street art then I returned to the hotel. Neither of us really felt like swimming again so we just relaxed until it was time for dinner in the club lounge.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

Street art.

One last look.

One last look.

Posted by irenevt 02:59 Archived in Malaysia

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Comments

Hello, Irene! You have done so much exploration on your own at different amazing locations! Thanks for sharing your discoveries and impressions! Yes, you are right: times do change, and not always for the best, but who knows?

by Vic_IV

Hi Victor, I suppose change is inevitable, but that doesn't mean we always like it. We are more or less getting used to the new pool. The initial shock has worn off now. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

The first pool looked idyllic in comparison to the mobbed one! I love the old buildings though the twin towers are really impressive

by Catherine

Yes,it's good that they are preserving a lot of old buildings here and that many are in the same area.

by irenevt

It seems I really have to go back one day and I can understand the horror story of the pool ... I would be mortified as well!

by Ils1976

I guess we are just a bit spoilt though previously this was our favourite pool ever.

by irenevt

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