National Textile Museum

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While exploring the centre of Kuala Lumpur we came across the National Textile Museum. The museum has four huge halls filled with examples of magnificent fabrics (batik, beaded, threaded with gold and silver, and many others) specific to the various ethnic groups that make up the population of Malaysia. Also on display are beaded slippers, gold and silver belts, headdresses and jewellery. It is a visual feast!There is a wonderful museum shop where pleasant Malay women will help you to find the perfect authentic garment, sarong or piece of fabric. The museum is housed in a beautiful building adjacent to Merdeka (Independence) Square, which in turn is beside the padang (field) and the Royal Selangor Club. This was the centre of British colonial life in what was then Malaya. Cricket was played on the padang and the colonials would meet at the club for tea, drinks or dinner. The Square is where Malaysia formally gained its independence from Britain. This is represented by a black marble plaque and an enormous flag on a 95-metre flagpole. All this and the array of splendid buildings that surround the Square is a good way to find out something about the history and people of Malaysia.

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