August and September marks two important days for Malaysia – the commemoration of our Independence Day, better known as ‘Hari Merdeka’, and Malaysia Day, a celebration of the forming of Malaysia and her states. What better time than now to immerse in the best of the country’s unique offerings in the spirit of Malaysian living?
As part of the 8 Conlay community, there are great opportunities for embracing the rich and diverse experiences that come with being in the heart of Kuala Lumpur (KL). Here are 6 ways to enjoy Malaysia’s charms:
Stroll through history
Its 95-metre flagpole marks the ground of a historic landmark, the lawn on which on Aug 31, 1957, the Union Jack was replaced by the Jalur Gemilang, the flag of Malaysia. Sitting just 2.8km from 8 Conlay, the Merdeka Square (which means Independence Square) is flanked by the arresting Sultan Abdul Samad Building on one side, with its stunning Moorish design, and the 139-year-old Royal Selangor Club on the other side.
As part of the KL Car-Free Morning green initiative by the city council, enjoy a walk or run at the Dataran, as the square is affectionately known to locals, or just rest on the green lawn on weekends, quite literally taking in all that KL has to offer without the worry of traffic.
The quintessential Malaysian living experience goes hand-in-hand with its food culture, and a go-to for breakfast in is to dine at a kopitiam, or coffee shop. As the name suggests, these traditional and historic eateries are the known for their potent-yet-fragrant locally roasted coffee brew or milk tea, which are often enjoyed with a comforting kaya (coconut jam) and butter toast, as well as half-boiled eggs served with soy sauce and nicely spiced pepper. The kopitiam usually also houses stalls serving hearty noodles or other local delights.
Near 8 Conlay, Ah Weng Koh Hainan Tea and Win Heng Seng are must-try spots, along with Ho Kow Hainan Kopitiam in Chinatown and many more. Just pick one to refuel in after a nice morning workout.
Hidden green gem
A short distance away from Merdeka Square sits another iconic landmark, the Tugu Negara war memorial. The evocative monument commemorates those who died in Malaysia’s struggle for freedom during World War II. However, a surrounding 66-acre public park and hiking trail right behind the monument is one of KL’s true hidden gems. Known as Taman Tugu, the green lung was initially earmarked for development, but was later turned into conservation land. Various trails of up to 5km-long offer a lushly different view of KL that is usually unseen, truly an escape within the city itself.
A splash of colour
Traditional arts and craft meets a modern iteration in Batik colouring workshops. The laborious dyeing technique signature to the Malay Archipelago or Nusantara region is distinguished by the different styles of different regions. Malaysian batik favours key, floral motif designs with more vibrant colours, one that translates well into contemporary interpretations.
In fact, 8 Conlay shares its street with the city’s craft complex, Karyaneka, which is a great source of batiks from all over Malaysia. But for a fun workshop, the closest is Teja Studio located at the Malaysian Tourism Center just a short distance from the Petronas Twin Towers.
KL on wheels
Once a main mode of transport in the city, cycling has become increasingly common in KL City Centre again. But besides being a great alternative transport, there’s something intimate about really exploring an area’s nooks and crannies on bike. That’s where bike tours and local experts come in. For example, Bike with Elena is an established social enterprise run by Elena, a passionate amateur historian, and her husband. See the city’s oft-missed details through her eyes and discover the bike friendly routes around your 8 Conlay neighbourhood and even beyond, where you can do bike food tours or visit idyllic villages just outside of KL.
A thorny affair
In close proximity to 8 Conlay also sits a one-of-a-kind park, more specifically, the DurianBB Park, offering what many would consider the ultimate Malaysian living experience. Love or loathe them, the Malaysian ‘king of fruits’ is regarded as the best in the world, and here you get to sample the intricate nuances of all the varieties of durian the country produces. If you prefer a sampling of flavours, opt for the signature tasting platter, or choose your favourite type of durian whether it be the Musang King, D24 or many more.
These are but some of what makes KL City Centre and Malaysian living a truly special lifestyle, from luxury retail to your favourite local kopitiam. Many of these unique elements will also be incorporated into the upcoming 8 Conlay Kempinski Hotel Kuala Lumpur, marking the world’s tallest Kempinski hotel to come. From tropical-inspired design detailing to our own contemporary interpretation of the kopitiam experience, there will also be the world’s first ever durian lounge.
Also, if you’re looking to invest in the best of freehold properties in the heart of KL City Centre, 8 Conlay is set to house the first YOO-designed twin branded residence in Malaysia, YOO8 serviced by Kempinski, with interiors designed by award-winning global stars Kelly Hoppen and Steve Leung. To find out more, contact us here.