The River of Life (ROL) project was launched in 2011 and aimed at reviving the Klang River and Gombak River within the city of Kuala Lumpur, transforming the banks into waterfront areas with economic , touristic and commercial value through river cleaning and beautification. An ambitious project, here is the masterplan. Click to enlarge. I have put a few markers,the Klang en Gombak rivers, the Friday Mosque , where their confluence is and to the right Midvalley where the City of Kuala Lumpur ends.
In 2017 the first phase of the project was officially opened, the region around the confluence of the two rivers and the historic city center. A pedestrian bridge has been built across the river from where you have a nice view of the Masjid Jamek, and the river banks are brightly lit at night. During the visit of my family in August we took pictures from the bridge. The Friday mosque in the centre, left the Gombak river, right the Klang river. Spectacular, but too blue in my opinion.
Probably it is because of this part of the project that in 2019 the River of Life has been listed in world’s top 10 Waterfront Districts. .
C4 (Center to Combat Corruption and Cronyism) is quite negative: River of Life – a vanity project that fails to measure up
Another part of the project is a biking/hiking trail along the Klang river between Masjid Jamek and the Midvalley megamall. My friend Paul had walked this trail and was willing to show it to me. He suggested to start at the Midvalley side,
The start of the trail is marked on Google, close to Midvalley, but we needed Waze to find it, at the end of a minor dead end road (left picture). A signboard River of Life made it clear that we had reached the correct spot. The building behing the signboard looked nice but was unused.
The first part of the trail is very pleasant. It is very wide as it is meant primarily as a bicycle route. The right picture , looking back at the Midvalley complex, shows a group of cyclists
Along the route descriptive panels give information about the history of the Klang river.
We passed building sites, still under construction. A nice sculpture with an unfinished building. A nice flower in front of a fence.
We could have crossed the white bridge in the background to the other side of the Klang river, but decided to follow the bicycle route.
Entering Brickfields. Beautiful trees. We passed the St Teresa school.
In the left picture above you can see a small white building. This is the Sri Poovaadai Kaliamman temple, built around a gigantic banyan tree. An interesting surprise.
After the temple it is not possible to walk along the river, but a blue bicycle ribbon leads you through Brickfields,
It is an interesting part of the walk, Brickfields is very Indian, We passed another temple, the popular Sri Sakthi Karpagar Vinayagar temple.
I walked around in the temple and took pictures.
Left the Tamil Methodist Church (1908), right a Muslim Surau & Mosque. Brickfields is multi-religious 😉
After passing through Brickfields the route joins again the Klang river. In the center the Merdeka 118 building, 679 meter tall, the second-tallest skyscraper in the world.
Murals along the route, at the other side of the river, a homeless person has hung his laundry to dry, and is taking a nap.
We passed the iconic Old Railway Station, a creation of Hubback (1917) and reached the underground MRT Pasar Seni station
Here we decided to leave the last part of the route, to Masjid Jamek, for another walk and instead explored the KL murals in the region around Petaling street in Chinatown,
Lots of murals have been created during the last years, to liven up the neighborhood. Many different styles. Here is a collection, without comments
I like it when there are some 3D elements, like the barber chair and the kids jumping rope.
In another back lane the walls have been painted with scenes of KL’s past. It attracts tourists, but it is not really my favourite
A nice contrast, skyscrapers around Chinatown. Two times Merdeka 118 (why did they not come up with a more interesting name?) and in the center a photo of the attractive Wisma Tun Sambanthan (1988)
We had to go back to our car, near Midvalley but didn’t want to walk all the way. Therefore we walked to the Maharaja Lela station of the Monorail and took it back to Brickfields
We were hungry, but it was too late for Thosai or Roti Chennai. Finally we found a Chinese pork noodle stall. Good quality food and not expensive.
After lunch we walked back the last part. Passing again the temple. Notice how huge the tree is. The last picture is at the empty building, near my car.
Here is the route we followed, the Monorail part in orange. It was an interesting walk, we are planning to walk one more time and then include the part near Masjid Jamek.