Sunway Pyramid is a shopping haven located in Sunway, Subang Jaya. I first saw it in 2002. A huge pyramid in the middle of Malaysia with a large, imposing sphinx guarding it's entrance was difficult to miss whilst chugging down the highway in a cramped bus. The bus stopped right in front of this great structure and I knew I was in an interesting place. This is how Sunway Pyramid looked from this 2002 dated picture:
Today, however, Sunway Pyramid is almost twice the size after Sunway Pyramid 2, an extension project that links both the old and the new structures together, was completed. The renovation work has not been restricted to the exterior either. The interior has had a complete make-over, leaving it new, dazzling and stunning.
We went there last year for a visit and I was amazed by how far Sunway Pyramid has come. I thought it was a trendy place to be back in 2002; now it is just out of this world.
The warm, orange glow with the fire-enhanced Egyptian Pharaohs lining the borders of the pyramid's roof creates a surreal atmosphere which is burst back into reality with the Burger King restaurant in the background, which by now should be up and running. It is a vibrant mix of different worlds - the old Egyptian world of Pharaohs combined with the Western influenced entertainment and eateries - all brought together in a multi-cultural Asian town.
There are many types of lighting around Sunway Pyramid. This picture portrays such illumination in keeping with the Egyptian theme:
This decoration stretches the length of a chain of shops:
Surrounded by golden pillars, it looks like a palace. Who wouldn't want to keep coming back here to shop?
There is something for everyone, and one of the main attractions is the ice rink towards the back section of the pyramid.
There you may skate for fun to the sound of continuous music, take lessons from an instructor, or play for real - ice hockey! In 2002 I met a man who played ice-hockey matches representing Malaysia right here. Although I never saw one of those matches - they were played around 12 midnight apparently, and we had a curfew back in those days of 10pm - I wonder if he still skates and smashes pucks today?
This is the view from the elevator. It's nice to just go up and down on the elevator, from top floor to bottom and back again, watching the people skate, jump and fall, whilst admiring the mall itself and the various activities taking place.
Beside the ice-rink and stretching until the new pyramid building in a long corridor lies the Marrakesh Morocco area. It's like stepping into another world. The decor is beautifully crafted and carved, with a lovely tapestry-like painting of the sky and clouds across the panorama of the ceiling. Moroccan restaurants, handicrafts, spices and stalls fill up the walkway, as can be seen in these two shots:
This blue obelisk stands tall in the centre of 'Marrakesh' and conveys the feeling of being thrown into this galaxy where historical reminders clash gracefully with modernity.
Almost anywhere inside Sunway Pyramid, one finds their eyes being drawn to look up. It seems to be a continuous theme throughout the complex. We likewise associate 'looking up' with searching for the divine, heavenly help, God. The domes inside Sunway Pyramid are no less spectacular than the walkways, the lighting or the entertainment. Here are a few images of the domes:
And here is one of my favourite pictures of a pillar below one of the domes. Pillars represent strength as they are built upon a foundation and in a way, are the continuance of that hidden foundation, bringing extra strength to the entire frame of the structure:
Really, the designers, architects and constructors have done a great job. It's impossible not to feel comfortable, homey and warm inside this shopping mall. No amount of photographs can compensate though, for being there in person, and sampling the aura it oozes.
The pillars, the domes, the lights, the Egyptian theme merged with a modern world, the inclination to 'look up', all play their part in making this more than just a shopping experience. These attractions also represent a few symbolic parallels to our spiritual quest for hope, enlightenment, and the yearning for God.