Hotels in Shah Alam (Selangor, Malaysia)
Hotels in Shah Alam
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From Mosques to Malls in Modern Shah Alam
Nestled in the heart of peninsular Malaysia’s densely populated Klang Valley, the city of Shah Alam is the capital of the country’s western Selangor state. Established only in the mid-20th Century, there’s no denying that Shah Alam is definitely a new town. But despite this, Malaysia’s rich culture – and particularly the country’s strong Islamic heritage – is deeply woven into the fabric of this city, offering visitors a deeper insight into the area and its people. From mosques and malls to water parks and snow walks, Shah Alam showcases the intriguing dichotomy of modern Malaysia in all of its technicolour glory.
City Layout and Seksyens
Located on the north bank of the Klang River, compact Shah Alam is parcelled into 56 subdivisions or seksyens , as they are termed locally. Established in 1963, most of Shah Alam’s layout is given over to housing and residential areas, with shopping and commercial districts dotted throughout the city. However, in terms of visitor attractions, restaurants and hotels, the bulk of these venues are concentrated in the central districts of Shah Alam, especially in seksyens 18, 14, 13 and 9. Laced with roads and locally famous for its 18 roundabouts, Shah Alam is connected to the cities of Klang to the west and Kuala Lumpur to the east by Federal Route 2, which runs across the width of the peninsula. As far as urban environments go, there’s no denying that this cityscape is highly developed, but those who need a break from the concrete jungle will find that central Shah Alam is graced by numerous parks and green spaces.
The Blue Mosque, the Star of Shah Alam
Shah Alam is best known for its famous mosque, the Masjid Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah. Also known as ‘The Blue Mosque’, this structure – built between 1983 and 1987 – is one of the largest mosques in Southeast Asia. Topped by a midnight blue dome, the mosque is one of Shah Alam’s top-billed sights. This structure is a fusion of modern and traditional techniques and influences from across Malaysia and the wider Islamic world. A guided tour of the building reveals the careful artistry that went into creating this sacred space; visitors will note that the mosque’s antique mihrab or niche is of Turkish origin while the Arabic script that graces the dome was completed by a famous Egyptian calligrapher. Craftsmen from nearby Kelantan carved the structure’s wooden pulpit while the crystal chandeliers that grace the structure’s interior were a gift from the late Sultan of Selangor, after whom the mosque is named.
Parks and Recreation
The green areas dotting central Shah Alam offer a much-needed breath of fresh air in this heavily developed space. Those eager to keep exploring the city’s Islamic heritage will find the Garden of Islamic Arts located just adjacent to ‘The Blue Mosque’. Here, visitors can take in sculptures, galleries and public works of art set in a landscape that is inspired by Paradise as presented in the Quran. Nearby, the Taman Tasik is a popular place for walking, cycling and even picnicking. Just across from here is the National Botanical Garden, which features a mini zoo. Just north of the city centre, visitors can head to the Taman Botani Negara Shah Alam, a botanical park which offers jungle treks and an array of cycle paths. For a different kind of recreation experience, travellers can visit Wet World, a water park located near Taman Tasik, or cool down at Snowalk, an indoor winter landscape featuring snow sculptures and alpine activities.
Shopping and Sleeping in Shah Alam
No trip to Shah Alam would be complete without a visit to one of its multiple malls and retail venues. The Shah Alam City Centre Mall is a five-story site located in the heart of town. Just north of this is the Kompleks PKNS, which is more redolent of a traditional bazaar than a modern shopping mall. If you’re after kebayas or sarongs , this is the place to find them. Those looking for a conventional Western-style shopping experience can also make for the city’s AEON, Setia or I-City complexes. If you’re hungry, these outlets also offer a considerable array of food outlets and vendors. Shopping can be tiring, but luckily, Shah Alam has a fair smattering of hotels and sleeping venues. Visitors looking for a place to lay their heads will find accommodation dotted fairly evenly throughout the city. In addition to independently run hotel-style properties, travellers can choose from a selection of lodges and B&Bs in Shah Alam.