Emerging fresh from the underwater world of Aquaria KLCC we were brought to a couple of Malaysia’s significant national sites – the Istana Negara and Tugu Negara. The word “Negara” actually means “nation”, hence the former is the National Palace also known as the King’s Palace and the later is the National Monument.
Istana Negara is the official residence of the King of Malaysia Yang-di-Pertuan Agong. Unfortunately people are not allowed to get in and can only view the palace from afar. However the gates to this palace has become a tourist attraction.
There are a four royal guards at the gate two are mounted on a horse and the other two are standing vigil by the gates. The couple of Royal Guards standing are wearing their traditional Samping on their waist. These guards are part of he attraction that tourist usually have their pictures taken with them.
We didn’t stay long at the palace gates as we moved to the Tugu Negara or the National Monument Park. The park holds the two monuments that commemorates the heroic Malaysians who died fighting for freedom during the world war II.
From the top of the park going down, we inspected the first monument, the Cenotaph. It is actually their first independence monument an on it is written “To Our Glorious Dead with dates of the First World War (1914-1918), Second World War (1939-1945) and the Emergency (1948-1960).”
In February 8, 1966, the Cenotaph was replaced by the Tugu Negara. Commissioned by Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj in 1963, the bronze figures of soldiers standing and supporting their fallen comrades is sculpted by Felix de Weldon. The Tugu Negara is also considered as the largest free-standing bronze sculpture in the world. It was an interesting visit as the monuments really stand out off the grid floor patterns of the park.
Just beside the National Monument is the ASEAN Sculpture Park were sculptures from each member of the ASEAN country can be seen. Phillippines’ Barong barong by Jerusalino V Araos distinctly can be spotted with the sculpture’s many colors.
We didn’t stay here for long. I even made a booboo of bringing an un-charged spare battery here so some of the shots were taken with my Nokia N82. After this we went back to the hotel so I could get spare batteries and then left for a 30 minute drive to Petaling Jaya where we’ll visit Malaysia’s newest premiere theme park which is also the first fully-integrated themed resort in the country.
Ferdz Decena is an award-winning travel photographer, writer and blogger. His works has found print in publications such as Singapore Airlines’s Silver Kris, Philippine Airlines’ Mabuhay, Cebu Pacific’s Smile and Seair InFlight. He has also lent his expertise to various organizations like the Oceana Philippines, Lopez Group Foundation, Save the Children and World Vision, contributing quality images for their marketing materials.