To say that Klang is off the tourist map may be an understatement as evidenced by one of the locals approaching me and asking “Why are you here?” and “Do you know where you are?” As I was able to answer his questions and assure him that we were not lost he and his friends shared some tips for the area and some different festivals we should know about for the future. We thanked them and heartily shook hands as we went our separate ways. Klang may not see many tourists, but their friendliness will certainly make them feel welcome when they do come. We received quite a few hearty “hellos” and waves as we roamed aimlessly around the city. In addition to that a man and his elderly grandmother welcomed us to Malaysia as we were shopping in the market. The people may be Klang’s best asset, but there is plenty more to experience there.
Towering over the city is the Indian Mosque, highlighted by its blue dome and minarets. Apparently the interior is supposed to be stunning, but as we are still getting accustomed to traveling around the area we didn’t have the proper attire to enter. We know for next time what we need to have with us to ensure we can enjoy the full experience. Continuing past the mosque is Little India, filled with intoxicating sounds and smells that flood your senses. We were starving due to our late start, so we found a busy restaurant just off the main path for lunch. It turned out to be our first banana leaf experience. The portions were tremendous and the prices low. Suria Curry is definitely worth a stop if you find yourself in the area.
Feeling stuffed we continued wandering around the area, dodging into back alleys, popping into various shops, trying to take it all in. We visited the Chennai Silk Palace, which is housed in an old bank building. The vast interior is filled to the brim with beautiful silk textiles in every shade imaginable. In the heart of the store is a massive loom showing the intricate way in which silk used to be woven.
We continued our improvised tour east along a busy road eventually turning left, back towards the train station. Here the road curves and you can see the buildings curving with it, making for some great photo opportunities. Feeling a bit hot from walking around we ducked into the Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery, which is a free museum of collections from the life of the sultan. After strolling through the galleries we continued west towards the Kota Bridge, which was Malaysia’s first double-decked bridge.
Underneath the bridge an artist has painted a call the revive the area around the Klang River, showing its varied history and colorful past. We climbed up to the upper deck of the bridge where there is a pedestrian path. From the path you have a clear view of the North Klang Royal Town Mosque built right on the banks of the river. Its gold dome and unique minaret are worth the climb up to the bridge, especially if you can frame your pictures without the enormous hotel in the background.
Walking around had drained us of our energy, so we walked back into the old town center to find some coffee. We happened upon a quaint cafe right before they closed and sat down with two iced lattes. Here again the welcoming spirit of the people in Klang shown through as the woman working came over and spoke at great length with us about where we were from and what brought us to Malaysia. She doled out some advice on local places to eat for the next time we visit. We thanked her for her advice and hospitality and promised to come by again when we were in the area. As the sun was setting and we still had an hour train ride ahead of us we headed for the train station and said goodbye to Klang, but most assuredly not for the last time.