Dataran Merdeka or Merdeka Square is thus name because it was where Malaysia first held their independence from British rule. The Dataran Merdeka is considered as a heritage site with the interesting Kuala Lumpur landmark, the Sultan Abdul Samad building. This is a favourite sightseeing place in KL, where just about any visitor to Kuala Lumpur must stop by here to admire surroundings.

Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square)


The Union Jack was lowered here on the 31st August 1957 in this very place. At the stroke of midnight, the various races of Malaysia gathered together and cried out, “Merdeka, merdeka, merdeka!”

Signalling the birth of a new nation, the progress of Malaysia has been astounding since the early days of independence. Sure there were upheavals and some rough patches, tell me which country did not experience such things?

The Dataran Merdeka has been used frequently for Independence Day celebration throughout the years, and if you like the hustle and bustle of parades, cultural dances as well as some military aerial displays like parachute jumps and fighter jets fly by, then make a note on your calendar and come visit this place on the 31st August. For the rest of us who would prefer a more peaceful tourism Malaysia activity, then avoid that date.

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building

This place is also where many activities are conducted because of the open cricket field and wide open roads. This is also where the starting point and finishing line of many well organized marathon races (for example famous KL Marathon, Adidas King of Hill, etc). It’s nice to wake up in the early morning and drive on a near deserted road to take part in some of these races in Dataran Merdeka. Hopefully if my legs don’t give me too much of a trouble, I may partake again in those 10km runs. The half and full Marathons is just too much for me!

Points of Interest Around Here

The Dataran Merdeka is good spot to begin your Kuala Lumpur walk around heritage sites. In this place alone, you can view several interesting landmarks:

The 100m Malaysian Flagpole

And from here on, it is just a walk away to other interesting Kuala Lumpur landmarks and heritage sites. For example the Pasar Seni (Central Market) and from there to the Kuala Lumpur China Town (Petaling Street). Or you could head off for a long walk along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (aka Batu Road).

There used to be a National Historical Museum around here, but it has since closed down and the exhibits were shifted to Muzium Negara. I had the chance to have look see before they closed down the National Historical Museum. No problem here, if you like old historical stuffs you can still view them at the Kuala Lumpur Museum.

The National Historical Museum is now closed

Other note is that there is public library nearby the giant flag pole here if you want to check out any books. It could be good place to cool off awhile from the hot afternoon beating sun in Dataran Merdeka! And of course if you are willing to walk further afield and through the road tunnel, which will take you to Masjid Negara (National Mosque) and to the old Keretapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) Kuala Lumpur Railway Station.

For photographers, yes, you must bring your digital SLR camera, and if you have the time, drop by here for both day and night visits. Because during the night, the lights are switched on for the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and would provided a good opportunity of taking Malaysia pictures!

Getting There

The nearest train station is at Masjid Jamek station. From there, just take a brief walk along the street towards the Dataran Merdeka. Many banks are located around this station, and one very colourful Burger King outlet as your Kuala Lumpur landmark guide towards Dataran Merdeka.

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