The National Monument (Tugu Negara) is made in remembrance of the fallen ‘soldiers’ during the fight for freedom to independence in Malaysia. It represents the fallen soldiers during the 2nd World War, when Japan occupied this part of Southeastern Asia (next to that also the repelling of communism is often mentioned).
The monument is one of the largest bronze statues in the world, it is 15,5 meters of height, built in 1966 and designed by architect Felix de Weldon (has designed amongst others the famous Iwo Jima monument). The statue represents the general freedom in Malaysia; the national anthem (anthem of freedom) is typically associated with this. The statue consists of 7 soldiers carrying the Malaysian flag. Each of the warriors represents one of the seven qualities of leadership: command, unity, strength, wariness, suffering, courage and sacrifice.
You can also find the monument on the 1RM notes. Upon arrival at this place, you cannot instantly see the bronze soldiers. You first walk across a beautiful wide stairway up the hill, after which you walk through the first part of the monument (here descriptions and other information about the monument itself and the history of the monument can be found). Only after that you find yourself before the fallen soldiers. It looks beautiful.
Somehow I associated the image more with the US/European history than with Malaysian. Nevertheless it remains an overwhelming image. The National Monument is located next to the Lake Gardens, on the Westside of the centre of Kuala Lumpur (Jalan Parlimen). The KL-City tour visits this place, and there is more than enough time to scout the monument and its surroundings. On a sunny day you should keep in mind that there is not much shadow and you can get sun burned easily. Bring along an umbrella, sunscreen and enough water.
Plaza Tugu Negara
Right next to the National Monument you will find Plaza Tugu Negara. Here you will find a couple of small shops where you can buy drinks, ice cream and small snacks. Here you will find toilets too. Right opposite Plaza Tugu Negara there is a small park with some nice benches covered by trees.
How to get to the National Monument
Probably the easiest way to get to the National Monument is by taxi, though this might also be quite an expensive way to get to this attraction as it is best to have your driver waiting for you which means he will keep the meter running. Without rushing it should take about 30 minutes to one hour to explore the area.
Another option is to take the Kuala Lumpur Hop-on, Hop-off bus from Jalan Bukit Bintang. One of the stops is the National Monument. You can explore the area for a bit and then take the next bus to continue the city tour of Kuala Lumpur.
The cheapest way is to take the metro to the Old Railway Station. From there it is a 10/15 minute walk to the entrance of the wonderful Lake Gardens, one of the biggest parks in Kuala Lumpur. It will take another 15/25 minutes to walk through the park to the north entrance where it is only a 5/10 minute walk to the National Monument.
Opening Hours National Monument
Daily opening hours are between 7am and 6pm.