Thursday, June 01, 2017

Kong Heng Square

When I heard the name "Kong Heng", I immediately thought of Sekeping Kong Heng of the well-known Sekeping chain of boutique accommodations and Restoran Ipoh Kong Heng, the kopitiam famous for its fragrant Hainanese coffee and addictive custard pudding. I then wondered if this Kong Heng Square was in the same place.

Like duh, of course same place la... how many places with the same name can there be?

I found the cluster of pre-war buildings left in as much of its original condition as possible, which probably is one of the reasons the place is an "Instagrammable" spot. Even if you do not have a creative eye, any wall or corner makes for a good photo.

Exploring the square made me wonder why we do not have more of such initiative in a big city like KL. There are old buildings in KL, too, but instead of preserving them, it seems like our our people prefer to demolish them to replace them with sterile, "modern" buildings that look like a dozen others in the vicinity.

Well, I am not a town planner or developer and therefore would not be able to think like one. But does sadden me to see such happenings.

The partly open-air concept of Kong Heng Square brings the outdoors indoors and vice versa. This concept has always been one that I think could be executed in Malaysia more due to our weather. Also, it would expose the younger generation to a more environmentally-friendly way of interacting with the outdoors - learning to adapt to the humidity instead of depending on air-conditioning.

Seeing an old tree always makes me happy because it shows the sensitivity of the people who redesigned the space. Imagine the above photo without that tree - it would feel less welcoming and it would be a lot warmer for the people worker and shopping there!

I noticed that Kong Heng Square houses a few main tenants - a few cafes, a few craft shops and even an old school barber shop!

Artistic is its middle name, as there were spaces that were turned into exhibition spots of sorts.

And seriously, you do not need an address for Kong Heng Square because all you need to do to find your way here is to key in "Kong Heng Square" into your GPS. Yep, simple as that.

Oh, but remember that if you decide to visit during weekends, public holidays or school holidays, there would be hundreds of other holiday-makers there with you, too. Maybe, thousands.

You have been warned ;)

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