If you have been to Klang regularly for it's famous food like banana leaf rice, cendol and bak kut teh, have you ever wondered what else you could do there? Why not check out the Royal Klang Town Heritage Walk?
The Royal Klang Town Heritage Walk is a relaxing 2.5 hour guided tour conducted by professional tourist guides taking participants to over 10 historic sites in Klang. The walk conducted free of charge for participants is jointly hosted by Tourism Selangor and Klang Municipal Council. Conducted on Saturday and Sunday, participants assemble at 9:00am at the Royal Gallery (Jalan Istana), which is also the start point.
Contact Tourism Selangor tel: +603-55132000 to book your free slot.
We start our walk at the Royal Gallery Sultan Abdul Aziz in the stately Sultan Sulaiman Building. Built in 1909, the Neo-classical building was the British colonial administrative headquarters in Klang. The regal building was designed by AB Hubback who was also responsible for many grand buildings in British Malaya, including the iconic railway station in Kuala Lumpur.
Since 2007, the Royal Gallery is the home of precious memorabilia of the eight Sultans of Selangor.
A short walk from the Royal Gallery is another Neo-classical building which is the former home of the Klang branch of The Chartered Bank, Klang's oldest financial institution.
Built in 1874, where bankers in pinstripe suits used to hurry through it's halls, the grand dame now houses one of Klang's largest saree shops where ladies patiently pick their way through rolls of exquisite silks.
Next, we walked the tree lined Jalan Istana to the Royal Klang Club - a social and recreational club established in 1901 for British planters, civil servants and port administrators.
Strictly for club members only, Royal Klang Heritage Walk participants enjoy the privilege of a sneak preview inside the storied, exclusive club. As Klang is a port city, the interior decor of Klang Club is maritime inspired. This is the main dining hall known as Smugglers Inn.
The hallowed halls of Klang Club once hosted famous figures like Rose Chan, the "stripe tease queen of Malaya". She even had an iconic song "Rose, Rose, I love you" dedicated to her. As we walked around the club, ogled at old whisky bottles and ran our palms over polished hardwood and gleaming brass, we felt the presence of it's illustrious guests. I swear I heard their laughter rang around the room.
After Klang Club, we walked further uphill to the hilltop which sits the majestic Alam Shah Palace built in 1950 on the site of it's predecessor, Istana Mahkota Puri (itself built in 1903).
Alam Shah Palace built for the installation of the fifth Sultan of Selangor is now the venue for royal ceremonies and investitures.
Next stop is the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes, a Catholic church built in 1923 to serve the Chinese and Indian Catholic community in Klang. This church along Jalan Tengku Kelana is fashioned after Notre-Dame de Paris, widely considered the finest example of French Gothic architecture.
Standing across the road on a Sunday morning we could hear Mass from the church. To this day, Mass at the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes is still conducted in Tamil.
Klang Convent School was established in 1924 and was originally housed in a small shop lot on Rembau Street (today's Jalan Tengku Kelana). The school moved into this simple yet elegant building when it was completed in 1928.
Next, we walked right into Klang's bustling and colourful Little India centred on Jalan Tengku Kelana which grew out of old Klang's Chinese tin miners settlement. Klang's Little India is one of the largest in Malaysia.
There are many silk shops and goldsmiths along this stretch.
Check out the restaurants, sweet shops and even vegetable markets.
Interesting customs in the street of Klang's Little India.
A palmist with his talented parrot on the five-foot-way. When I was a child back in 1960s Singapore, I used to see these (and snake charmers) regularly in markets and around Serangoon Road. I've not seen any in Singapore for decades now.
Indian Muslim Mosque Tengku Kelana founded in 1904 started as a simple wooden structure to serve Klang's Indian Muslim community. It was then known as Masjid India. Over the years, the mosque underwent transformation in stages leading to today's grand and beautiful building.
A stone's throw from Masjid India is the Sri Nagara Thendayuthapani Temple built in 1925 by Nattukottai Chettiar merchants from South India. The Hindu temple is dedicated to Goddess Parvathi. Lord Ganesha and Lord Muruga are also worshipped here.
The Klang Fire Station built in 1890 is still in active service today.
The small Victorian building still brandishes the bold red and white sun rays that symbolise the era's belief that "the sun never sets on the British Empire".
Gedung Raja Abdullah built in 1857 is the oldest Malay building standing in Selangor. It was a tin warehouse and the home of Raja Abdullah. The British colonial authorities took control of the building after Raja Abdullah left Klang. This building once housed the Police, Treasury, Post and Land offices. For a while, it housed Klang's Tin Museum which closed in 1989 and the building is now disused (as at Jan 2017).
Gedung Raja Abdullah is the last stop of the Royal Klang Heritage Walk. From here, it's a short walk back to the Royal Gallery.
🚶After 2.5 hours leisurely walk and pausing for captivating stories from our guide Alex, we were back at the Royal Gallery where we started. We enjoyed a nice day of light exercise in Klang's morning sun and learned a bit about the port city's interesting history.
Then, it was just in time for lunch 😋
Royal Klang Town Heritage Walk is a free guided walk by professional guides - it is jointly organised by Tourism Selangor and Klang Municipal Council.
How to take part?
Walk takes place every Saturday and Sunday. Participants assemble at the Guest Room at the Royal Gallery Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah at 9:00am for registration. Walk starts at 9:15am and duration is about 2.5 hours.
Need more information?
Contact Tourism Selangor tel: +603-55132000
Date: 22 Jan 2017