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Car free morning: Klang joins the club

by on June 24, 2022
 

Klang, the Selangor Royal Town, held its first car free morning on Sunday 19th June 2022. Actually, it was only two and a half hours from 7am to 9.30am, but members of the public were out in force. Restaurants and kopitiams were open before 7am to cater to early arrivals and textile, grocery shops and other outlets in Little India began opening around 9am, ready for those who wanted to do some shopping after their morning exercise.

Car free morning

The event was organised by Klang Municipal Council (MPK)  and council president Noraini Roslan launched the event before joining in the 2.1km Walk for Life. It was also supported by Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Klang District as the event brought new visitors to possibly the best ‘Little India’ in Malaysia.

The length of Jalan Stesen and Jalan Istana in Klang, Selangor, was closed to vehicles from 7am to 9.30am, although Jalan Tengku Kelana remained open. This allowed easy access and parking did not seem to be a problem, although connecting roads were also blocked. Children and their parents enjoying the freedom to run around on what are normally busy roads.

Families from Kuala Lumpur, Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya wisely left their cars at home and took the train to Klang KTM Komuter station, at the end of Jln Stesen. We chose to park across the Klang River and walk across the pedestrian bridge near the under construction LRT3 station.

car free morning

Even the police were at the park, on their bicycles.

Location

Although the only car-free stretch is along Jalan Stesen and Jalan Istana, the whole hill of the Royal Klang park is available for walking.

If you’re cycling, you can stay on Jalan Istana. For walkers, it’s more interesting to enter the park at the small roundabout just before the palace and walk on the track parallel to the road. As you round the corner, cut across the park using the walkway and explore, or head straight for the other side and down the steps to Jalan Tengku Kelana. The Catholic Church of Our Lourdes (built in 1928) is just over the road. If there is no Service in session, visitors are welcome to visit and learn about the building. The Convent school beside the church is around the same age and has educated many young Malaysians.

Bicycles of all shapes and sizes. Riders of every skill level.


Getting to Klang

If you’re coming from outside Klang, it’s easily accessible by road from all directions as a meeting/end point of various highways. The NKVE (North Klang Valley Expressway), an extension of the main North South Expressway, terminates at Sungai Rasa, on the north side of town. The West Coast Expressway (WCE), now partly completed, has a number of access points, both north and south of the river, making it easy to reach from the north or south. The Kesas Highway runs East West to the south, with access via Jln Langat and Jln Kebun. All these roads are tolled, but the Federal Highway from Kuala Lumpur is toll free, as traffic is usually smooth on Sundays.

If you prefer to use public transport, Selangor Smart bus services 12 council areas across the State. Download their App from this page. 

The Klang Railway station was one of the earliest buildings in the town and is now over a hundred years old. Originally built to carry tin and other cargo, the first line terminated over the river at Bukit Kuda. The Commuter Service (KTM Komuter) was set up from 1992, as double tracking was installed for the existing lines. This is currently undergoing upgrading and there is some service degradation, in terms of speed and frequency, but it is an excellent way to see a different part of the state and avoid traffic issues. You can download the KTM schedule and check before you travel as times are changing during the upgrades. 

Parking

The multi story carpark beside the railway station in Jalan Raya Timur was accessible, as the road was not closed off. This is a one way road, so if you are approaching from from Kampung Jawa, some re-routing would be necessary. The roads in this part of Klang are narrow as the area was developed at the beginning of the 1900s, so on-street parking is either not available or advisable.


What to see

Jalan Stesen was transformed for a few hours into a lively public space offering a variety of activities including the Walk for Life initiatives and an aerobics session. These were held at the Padang Laman Seni Safari Jejak Warisan opposite the Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery.  A wander around the back lanes leads to the discovery of colourful murals providing plenty of wefie opportunities. One popular Instagram spot we noticed was a beautiful old tree with long roots, in the Royal park opposite the palace.

The Council president, Noraini binti Roslan has confirmed that the event would be held on the third Sunday of each month. She says the Council aims to create public spaces with facilities like food trucks, where people can relax and join in activities including art competitions for children and heritage walking trails.


Sultan Abdul Aziz Royal Gallery

One building you cannot miss is this one. It’s located at the end of Jln Stesen, opposite the small park where the main activities were held.

  • Address/location Jln Stesen, Klang, Selangor
  • Opening hours:
    • Tuesday – Sunday : 10 am to 5 pm
      Monday & Public holidays : Closed
  • website:  Galeridiraja.com
  • other contacts
  • Tel: 03-3373 6500

The Gallery was built in 1909 as an administrative building and most of the external and internal features have been well preserved. These are still in their original positions, as the building serves its new purpose documenting the history of Selangor’s Royal family. Definitely worth a visit, whether your interest is architectural or historical.


Getting about

Bicycles, scooters and your own feet were all welcome and we even saw one expert on his unicycle. The route is not flat, but it’s not excessively hilly and there are steps on the Jln Tengku Kelana side of the park. Photographers will have plenty of opportunities at this time of year, to photograph some of the historical buildings such as the palace (Istana Alam Shah) and the Royal Klang Club (built 1901) along Jalan Istana.

Running up the hill towards the Palace.


Other car-free events in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur and Penang both organise car free mornings, although the information on their pages has yet to be updated. Ipoh has also organised car-free events although the latest information is from 2019. We have sought more information from the respective Councils.

What else is special about Klang?

Klang is one of the oldest towns in Selangor and for a short period, the State Capital, after Kuala Lumpur became a Federal Territory in 1974. It continues to retain its status as the State’s Royal town. Some of the buildings date back to the mid/late 1800s when the town was established as a tin trading centre. Raja Abdullah’s Gedung (store) is still standing proudly beside the Fire Station, from where he traded pot-shots with his rival in the tin business, Raja Mahadi. The entrance to Raga Mahadi’s fort is on the hill beside the Jambatan Kota, the old bridge. For more information and ideas about things to do in Klang, check out our story here.

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