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Tourism Malaysia

MASJID WILAYAH – MASJID OF CHOICE

For many countries, places of worship are part of their tourist attractions. Part of the reasons people travel to other country is because they want to learn and understand other people’s culture and way of life. For example, when we go to Turkey, it will not be complete if we didn’t visit its mosques because many of the beautiful Mosques there are the symbol of the great Ottoman Empire.

 

Malaysia also have a huge list of Mosques that are architectural wonder but for now I am going to focus on one mosque that is rated among the top five most visited tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur.

 

By Any Other Name

The mosque is called Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan but it is also known as Mosque in the Garden. Its location within a well-manicured garden and surrounded by a moat, makes it a sight of behold The mosque is also dubbed Jewel of Kuala Lumpur because its many domes are like turquoise gemstones amidst the lush greeneries surrounding it. Among the locals, the name of the mosque is shortened to Masjid Wilayah.

 

Architecture Wonder

Masjid Wilayah is one of Malaysia’s largest and most modern of mosques. Visiting Masjid Wilayah will make you feel as if you are travelling into the best parts of the world and exploring the beauty of their artworks. This is because various designs, patterns and colours that had been adopted as the primary adornments of the mosque are from Turkey, India, Iran, Morocco and Malaysia

 

Masjid Wilayah managed to blend the exquisite and refined beauty of art and architecture with pragmatic sophisticated modern technology, making it one of the most photographed mosques in Kuala Lumpur.

 

The arch is decorated with woodcarving arts from Kelantan and Terengganu. The three beautiful carved wooden doors are based on floral motifs. If you look closely, you will see that the flower used in the motifs was lotus, a flower that shrinks in the morning and gradually opens during the day.

 

When you take a stroll at the courtyard, you will notice that the verandahs are influenced by Moroccan architecture.

 

The prayer hall, which can house 17,000 people at a time, has significant Islamic designs and features. The mehrab (a semi-circular wall that indicates the direction of Mecca or qibla) has inlays of semi-precious stones embedded into carved marble. It was skillfully crafted by the descendants of artisans who built the Taj Mahal.

Inspired by the Sultan Ahmet Mosque in Istanbul and the Masjid Imam of Isfahan; the turquoise-glazed tiles which cover all 22 domes will definitely mesmerise the visitors of the mosque. The overall design, when viewed from below, has a very humbling effect.

Masjid Wilayah also come equipped with seminar rooms, a library, a banquet hall, a multipurpose hall, wedding hall, accommodation for students, as well as guest rooms.

There is a Tourist Information Centre located within the Mosque Complex named after the Islamic World’s most prolific traveler, Ibnu Batuttah, that caters to both local and international visitors.

There are five major entrances as named Anjung A, B, C, D and E, which is similar to the layout of the Blue Mosque, Istanbul. Multiple entrances and directional signage is all to ensure maximum accessibility and convenience to congregants and visitors.

Mosque Tour Programme Masjid Wilayah

Many visitors to Masjid Wilayah have given testimonies that they have entered the mosque with curiosity and left enlightened. This is because the dedicated volunteers treat them just like friends. The volunteers share not only about the beautiful architectural designs of the mosque but also the Islamic beliefs and culture. It is a knowledge-based tour, which can ignite your intellect, and it is free of charge. I must warn you though that even if your original plan to tour the mosque is about 10 minutes, you might find yourself staying for two hours or more.

For those volunteers, taking the visitors on the tour is like an act of worship, thus, they gave nothing but the best as it is a service to God himself. At the moment, Masjid Wilayah has volunteers who can do tours in French, Japanese, Tamil, Mandarin, English and Malay.

Location

Masjid Wilayah is not in the routine tourist routes and there is hardly any public transport facilities to go there. So, we have to find a way to visit this special mosque. As such, special arrangement has to be made by the visitors to visit the mosque. Nothing worth having comes easy, anyway, eh!

Contact Details

Masjid Wilayah Persekutuan
Jalan Khidmat Usaha, Kompleks Kerajaan,
50480 Kuala Lumpur,
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur

Tel:+603 6201 8791 / 8767 / 8780
Fax:+603 6201 8790 / +603 6201 8779
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://masjidwilayah.gov.my/v1/

Photo by: Fahrul Azmi @fahrulazmi

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Categories
Tourism Malaysia

LEGOLAND MALAYSIA: There’s a big kid in all of us

By Lloyd Green

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THE GATEWAY TO YOUR CHILDHOOD

OKAY, so you’re a parent and your kids want to go to LEGOLAND Malaysia. They’ve been dreaming about this day since….well forever actually. The only ones that need real convincing are you and your wife. Sure, there’s the rides, displays and themed hotel room but what’s in it for you — other than the large hole in your wallet? I mean, you guys are the ones reading all the blogs and reviews and all of them say how much fun your kids are going to have. Yes, I agree that is the main kick for you; to see little Jack and Emily running around having the time of their lives. But you must be asking yourself….’how much fun am I going to have’?

Well, if your childhood days were spent playing pirates, kingdoms and all kinds of LEGO fantasies — yes guys, I’m talking to you; the Gen Y nerds now aged 25 to 35 with a few kids in tow — then this is the theme park for you. In the same way Toy Story 3 was levelled at Gen Y adults that fell in love with the original Woody and Buzz flicks, LEGOLAND Malaysia passes all the tests in sending you down memory lane and on an adult journey where it is still cool to get get excited about a life-size LEGO statue of Chewbacca.

Those moments of nostalgia begin as soon as you step foot in LEGOLAND Malaysia Resort. Whether you are with your kids or a childhood mate, that sensation of being young again is real. There is LEGO everywhere and everything you see is coloured, shaped or moulded to match the all-out LEGO explosion. There are swarms of kids building LEGO in the many ‘brick-pits’ located in the lobby and you can’t help but wander over there and join the fun.

The hotel room is the real surprise. Themed bedrooms may be a thing of the past but not when you’ve got an entire ‘adventure’ or ‘pirate’ mural to stare at each morning. And for the kids, there’s a box of Lego for them to play with and a safe to crack with some take home gifts inside. This is a lot harder than it seems and best left to the imagination of the kids to solve. How hard can it be to count the number of lizards, bugs and spiders on the floor? All in all, the room creates a sense of happiness for everyone and is the perfect base to explore LEGOLAND the following day.

Picture2 WHERE DREAMS ARE MADE! LEGOLAND MALAYSIA RESORT (PIC BY LLOYD GREEN)

The theme park itself is a lot of fun. If you go there expecting massive roller coasters and cutting edge rides, you will be sorely disappointed. But face it, the park is aimed and children, young kids and their families and it caters perfectly to them. That doesn’t mean you still can’t have some fun. Like in Toy Story 3, the humour of many of the displays and movies (LEGO Ninjago, LEGO 4D and Star Wars) is aimed directly at to you. There are plenty of lame dad jokes and while not crude the dialogue is definitely of the adult nature giving you plenty laugh about. Even the park guide has a hint of sarcasm to it. Instead of ‘Lost Child’ it has ‘Lost Parent’, presuming you have ventured off into another world.

LEGOLAND Miniland is a winner too. It’s essentially the reason why everyone falls in love with LEGO in the first place; building cool stuff. The attention to detail is crazy: It took three years to create and was completed by a team of 100 builders from around the world. In all, 30 million LEGO bricks were used — 500,000 alone on the Petronas Twin Towers replica. Other famous landmarks include KLIA airport, the Taj Mahal plus an interactive naval re-enactment. If that’s not enough, they’ve also gone all out on the Star Wars Miniland display with interactive models from the first six Star Wars episodes.

I guess the only criticism of LEGOLAND Malaysia is the lack of atmosphere. There’s no doubting you and your children will have a great time (your poor wife will have two kids to look after) but when you gaze around and see only a handful of people on the rides, it’s hard not to question why this adventure-haven isn’t more popular. The harsh exposure to the Malaysian sun is one factor, possibly the price too, but there’s definitely no qualms over the staff and up-keeping. The grounds are immaculate and every volunteer, shop assistant and ride operator has a winning attitude. Generally these are the aspects that suffer when a theme park loses its appeal. Perhaps it was more to do with the fact I went on a Wednesday and during school; in that case I suggest you go then as there’s no waiting, no hassles and total freedom to do whatever you want.

LEGOLAND MINILAND TOOK THREE YEARS TO COMPLETE

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And do check out the LEGOLAND Water Park. Like its big brother across the road, the rides are suited to children and families so don’t get your hopes up of a Wet N Wild styled one kilometre sea odyssey. But it does do its job of cooling you off after a long day in the sun and there’s plenty of attractions to keep you entertained for a few hours.

Overall, LEGOLAND Malaysia gets a thumbs up. Particularly if you love LEGO and you want share the father-son, mother-daughter moment of reliving your LEGO-playing youth with them. Whether it is value for money is another question? (Prices can be seen here: http://www.legoland.com.my/). But if you treasure fantasy, imagination, memories and good old fashion fun, you’ll be willing to fork out any amount of cash to experience the magic of LEGO once again.

 

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