A triumphant and forward-looking city, Kuala Lumpur vibrantly accommodates the traditional Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures with the buzz of thriving industry. Reaching the capital of Malaysia instantly impresses by the charming blend of tradition and innovation. This is the place where to admire natural beauty of the tropics, quirky colonial buildings, warm and friendly locals, but also shiny skyscrapers and futuristic architecture.
It is said that Kuala Lumpur still has got the authenticity that has been wiped out in Singapore, yet it lacks the pollution and congestion of Bangkok. Indeed, Kuala Lumpur is ‘Little Asia’, merging fundamental features of the continent. The fragrance of durian and curry spreads along the lazy breeze, and the dripping humidity reflects in slow motion that amplifies the laid-back atmosphere of the city. Citizens of KL surely know how to relax, be it enjoying the Halal street food or bargain-hunting for fashion and electronic gadgets in the air-conditioned shopping malls. Smiley, worry-free faces picnicking at the lake gardens among tropical flowers, birds and butterflies, topped off by a balmy banquet and good-natured haggling at the lively night markets manifest the supreme Asian character.
THE MUDDY CONFLUENCE
In a city that has made such an extraordinary progress in the last decades, it is hard to say why the name of this place is called Kuala Lumpur, translated as a “muddy confluence.” Perhaps the name was given by a troupe of tin prospectors when first landed at the junction of the Gombak and Klang Rivers and dubbed it Kuala Lumpur in 1857. Yet, nothing in here reminds of mud. Others assume that the city`s name may have originated from a Cantonese word which means “flooded jungle”. This would explain the lush vegetation and diverse fauna you can encounter in the capital of Malaysia.
CITY CENTRE SIGHTSEEING
In 130 years, Kuala Lumpur has grown from nothing to an ultramodern city. Its skyline these days is a reflection of the booming economy. The city`s gleaming skyscrapers such as Petronas Twin Towers are quite a spectacle, especially by night. A myriad of luxurious malls, boutiques and designer stores as well prominent restaurants and cafes are to be found in the skyscrapers.
KL has got a very compact city centre and the main landmarks are easily to inspect on foot in a day. The real heart of Kl is Merdeka Square with a 95-metre-high flagpole and it is the place where parades and ceremonies are held here on festive occasions. The nearby National Museum and Art Gallery, Islamic Art Museum, Kuala Lumpur Memorial, National Monument, Malaysian Parliament, Masjid Negara Mosque and numerous other mosques, temples, churches and pagodas are just within a walking distance.
Old colonial buildings still stand out proudly in the centre of town – the magnificent Railway Station together with the imposing Sultan Abdul Samad, Thean Hou and Sri Maha Mariamman Temples will blow your min away.
FOOD AND NIGHTLIFE
Kuala Lumpur is well-known for its culinary scene. Whether you are a gourmand or not you the Malay mouth-watering cuisine will wrap your around its little fingers. Roti Canai, Congee, Nasi Campur, Laksa, Satay, Teh Tarik and other goodies cannot fail to please.
One definitely needs to greet the Chinatown with its street vendors and typical night markets that are as vibrant as any you will encounter. Petaling Street is home to the iconic markets of KL. The close-by Central market and the Kasturi Walk can be admired for their fine textiles, fabrics and Pashmina shawls.
To complete the cultural mix, there is bustling Little India with its penetrating scent of curry and the sprawling Malay Chow Kit – a traditional Malaysian markets selling fresh meat, seafood and vegetables. The finger-licking culinary delights, the radiance and the whole ambience promote an unforgettable travel experience.
For the nightlife lovers Kuala Lumpur will undoubtedly be appealing as the sun goes down, and the dazzling lights and inviting restaurants conquer the city. While Bangsar has the best after-dark entertainment and it teems with nightclubs, Pavilion K & Bukit Bintang are the right places to spend the evening at. Countless leisure options are to be found here such as cool cafes and bars, cinemas and night markets.
Bukit Bintang Promenade provides trendy shopping malls and great restaurants. Arab Street is an important part of the district and offers a wide range of dining choices, from stylish Arabic dining and shisa venues to delicious Halal street food.
Perhaps, some visitors would love to spoil themselves and dive into some luxury. There are plenty of roof top bars with infinity swimming pools that allow enjoying the city skyline from atop, e.g. Ramada Plaza, G-Tower, Mandarin Oriental and others.
Another major attraction of Kuala Lumpur are the Lake Gardens. The 60-hectare gardens, established in 1888 are a refreshing oasis in the heart of the city. Renting a rowboat and floating on the calm waters of the lake will surely make one forget all worries. The tropical Perdana Botanic Gardens, the National Planetarium and the exotic Bird Park belong to the recreational complex, too. A walk through the city`s Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve makes one feel like being in the middle of the rain forest, even though it is located in the centre.
Further away, there is a natural paradise to discover for all fans of greenery. Kuala Lumpur surrounds features beautiful natural trails and spectacular views. For instance, visitors are welcome to explore the Malaysian tropical rain forest of the Taman Alam Kuala Selangor Nature Park – a thriving reserve covered with wetlands, plantations, and forested hills. The most popular is the Canopy track which is 30 meters above ground level, but there are many other jungle tracks with good bird-viewing spots.
A day-trip to the Templer Park, situated 22 km north of Kuala Lumpur, is just another wonderful alternative for some refreshment on a hot day. This is a 1200-hectare jungle reserve boasts walking tracks, natural pools and waterfalls.
Famous Batu Caves are a ‘must’ for all visitors of Kuala Lumpur. The majestic caves are 13 km north of the capital, in a towering limestone formation, and they became a pilgrimage centre for the Hindu community in Malaysia. The main Temple Cave has an Art Gallery, and at the top of the staircase, deep in a huge cave, there is hidden the Subramaniam Swamy Temple, protected by troops of cheeky monkeys.
· Feasting your eyes on the opulent shops of the Petronas Twin Towers and their night fountain laser show
· Explore the impressive sacred architecture of KL – Sultan Abdul Samad ,Thean Hou, Sri Maha Mariamman
· Hunting for souvenirs at Jalan Petaling markets in Chinatown
· Tasting the divine street food in Little India
· Having a fancy dinner in one of the gorgeous restaurants of the Pavilion K
· Finding the desirable entertainment in the district of Bukit Bintang and its Arab Street
· Chilling out by the infinity pool at one of the rooftop bars of Kl
· Relaxing in the tropical Lake Gardens, Perdana Botanical Garden and its stunning Bird Park
· Paying a visit to the famous Batu Caves and their sacred Hindu shrine
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Weather in Kuala Lumpur is very unpredictable and even the dry season (May-July) often gets heavy rain falls. There is no cool time of a year either, so the best time to visit KL is all round the year.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Kuala Lumpur
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