The tranquil view across Lake Titiwangsa to the National Theatre and the Petronas Twin Towers…
At over 450m tall, it is hard to miss the Petronas Towers from nearly anywhere in Kuala Lumpur! Istana Budaya (The Palace of Culture) is the National Theatre and (to an Australian’s eye at least) seems broadly reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House in design, with a distinct Malaysian quality.
The sun rising behind these silhouetted muslim-inspired arches at the Dayabumi Complex certainly seems dramatically religious:
In a lesson in the virtues of patience, taking this shot was the best thing about having to wait for about ten minutes to cross a busy road to walk from the Dayabumi Complex over to the bird park the other day. In peak hour pressing the button to cross a highway is no guarantee that you’ll actually get a little green man (who, when he does bother to show up, always runs across in a bright green panic because motorbikes have a habit of not stopping for reds… or obeying many rules at all. Ride on sidewalk? Sure thing boss. Wrong way down busy street? No worries, just toot your horn first then you’re ok).
Back to serene Istana Budaya – it is certainly grand, though unless you’re just after some pics for your blog like I was you’re probably better off waiting for a show to visit, to revel in its full glory.
The National Art Gallery is next door, so if there is nothing on at the theatre you can always check that out.
These distinctly Malaysian tiles look like they could be in an art gallery, but were actually on the side of a fountain near to where I was crossing that road earlier.
The pattern of the tiles seems as if it might be inspired by the notorious Durian fruit. Apparently delicious, it is banned from many public places on account of its dreadful smell. Considering the smells around some of the streets here, that must be one potent fruit! I’m looking forward to trying some!!
At the Theatre, not only do you get an interesting building and a well looked-after garden, but nicely sculptured fountains too. The one in the left foreground may be modelled on the durian fruit too – it is also a round spiky ball after all.
The fountains on the sides of Istana Budaya have a design of flat, stylized metal birds flying above it. There was a similar motif at the fountain where I snapped the blue and red patterned tiles, as in the picture below.
I’m not entirely sure what they symbolise, but I guess at natural water sources the flocks of birds soaring above the water are always good omens (unless they’re carrion birds of course, but don’t worry these clearly aren’t).