Almost a decade ago, a group of cultural and heritage enthusiasts came up with the idea that provided informative walking tours down memory lane, weaving through the heart of Kuala Lumpur, sharing her past charm and current attractions, starting from Central Market daily.

Through the years of sharing and numerous (re)discoveries, the idea came about to introduce something more precious for the tourist to experience, of both tangible and intangible in nature, to create greater awareness and appreciation of Kuala Lumpur rich and diverse cultural heritage.

The founder herself, Ms Erina Loo, recognized the potential of our national treasures such as our heritage buildings and cultures and founded the H.O.P .E Foundation in 2014.
The objective was to raise awareness for sustainable development of tourism industry and to support the local communities in Malaysia with main focus on Heritage, Origin, Preservation and Education.

And hence the T.O.U.R.I.S.T Experience was introduced.

The  T.O.U.R.I.S.T Experience is an Interaction Center at the Central Market Annexe which  will not only focus on providing the information to the tourist and public, but also for them to join the fun and enjoyment for the event, workshop, course and activity that have been planned based on 7 topics : T (Old Town), O (Originality), U (UNESCO), R (Rain forest), I (Island), S (Spiritual), T (Traditional Trade).

There are three dedicated itineraries to choose from – Cooking Experience, Malaysia Heritage Walk and Kuala Lumpur Food experience.

Cooking Experience

Participants will get to experience and enjoy every step of the food preparation, visiting the local market and doing hands-on food preparation before finally enjoying the products of their labour of love.

On a recent fam tour, participants were taken on a shopping trip to hunt for ingredients to prepare some traditional kuih, the buah Melaka or onde-onde.

Participants learned how to prepare the ingredients – blending the fragrant pandan leaves, measuring out the glutinous rice flour and chopping the block of gula Melaka finely, patiently shape the little balls, and fill them with the necessary fillings, before boiling them and coating them with fresh grated coconut.

Malaysia Heritage Walk Participants will reminisce through history, beginning from the great landmark, Merdeka Square, on to the River of Life to understand the meaning of ‘Kuala Lumpur’, before heading to the Old Market Square. The walk continues on to Chinatown, another one of the most historical districts in the city, winding your way through hawker stalls and lively street markets. Follow the route to Madras Lane, also a hidden treasure where participants will get to sample a variety of authentic hawker fare. Please note however that the food sampled on this tour is NON-HALAL

Kuala Lumpur Food Experience

This tour starts from the newly restored Masjid Jamek, onwards to Kg Baru , among the oldest Malay settlements from the 1890s. Today, it is surrounded by urban skyscrapers, the allure of Kg Baru remains, drawing visitors from all walks of life. It is also a huge food magnet, providing a wonderful culinary experience for all. Food sampled on this tour is HALAL.

Pictures courtesy of Mohd Isma Nizam Jamaludin

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