I started my walkabout in the mid morning so as to avoid any evening showers . At the oldest temple in Kuala Lumpur , the Sri Maha Mariamman temple along Jalan Tun H S Lee , I found the exterior and interior of the temple were covered with thatch as renovations are ongoing. The thatch covered the tiered gopuram ( gateway) which depicts the universal pantheon of Hindu deities. Just round the corner along a lane, the flower sellers had their stalls gaily decorated with colourful garlands , balls of jasmine and small clay pots of ghee - all for worshippers to offer to the deities.
This sign outside Klinik Mun Seng along Jalan Tun H S Lee , made me smile. Gosh, these teeth are huge ! Another advertisement doubled my toothy smile - ' A Shaggy Toothbrush is a real Dog '! Beside it were some dire proof of bad teeth, caries and all!
This painter was engrossed in sculpting a dragon on one of the pillars outside the 121 year old Taoist Kuan Ti temple. Kuan Ti is a highly respected people's defender deity. The painter paused when I asked him how long he had been doing this job. ' Over 20 years,' he proudly said and pointed to the God he had sculpted which took him 4 -5 months to complete. This artisan also sculpted the figurines on the 2 pillars in the temple proper.
Ducks galore ready for customers along Petaling Street. While I was there, the vendor of Sze Ngan Chye ( literal translation : 4 eyed boy) was taking orders on her mobile phone for ducks. They are sold at RM40.00 for a whole duck and RM 20.00 for half a duck.
I had walked about one and half hours and the duck looked tempting fare for a grumbling stomach as noon neared.
These small, colourful cheong sam outfits would just dress the little ones so prettily on any occasion, especially on Chinese New Year day. It brought back memories of my 2 girls who loved dressing up too.
The Sin Sze Si Ya temple was founded in 1864 by Kapitan China Yap Ah Loy who dedicated it to the deities for helping in the civil war (1870 - 73) and later donated the land.
Under the big, shady umbrella this man and many other vendors work hard to sell the lush, tropical fruits from the carts. Here you see papayas, longans, dragon fruits, Chinese pear , mangoes and langsat.
You will certainly catch the whiff of seafood as you pass along shops like these that sell dried seafood stuff. Piles of choice looking dried prawns, oysters, ikan bilis are stored in gunny sacks for your picking on the five foot way. Look out for other tasty foods - dried red dates, longan, Chinese mushrooms, fish maws, sharks' fins and an exotic array of preserved eggs.
Colourful calendars hang ready to greet the year 2010. Red is always welcome as it brings good luck and prosperity.
As Christmas is just round the corner, many shops were seen already in the mood for the festive season. Huge Santas were seen waving and smiling to patrons, one and all!
It's easy to overlook the old buildings standing just right there in Chinatown. Don't forget to look up from your gadgets to gaze at the buildings. One has to cast one's eyes upward . The design and architecture hark back to the 1900s. Maybe next time, I'll just get hold of a heritage trust friend and that will solve my guessing and I can fill my heart's content with the rich info that will definitely unfold.
There's much, much more bustling activities that only Chinatown can offer to the curious. Do visit and discover and be surprised! Be prepared to haggle vigorously when in Chinatown and you will find the prices affordable.
My discovery of fascinating Chinatown ended with a nice bowl of wanton mee in one of the old coffee shops.