The scent of durian and curry spread alongside the lazy tropical breeze, and the dripping humidity reflects in slow motion, which amplifies the laid-back atmosphere of the city. Kuala Lumpur truly is a relaxed place and the locals know how to unwind, be it enjoying the Halal street food, bargain-hunting for fashion and electronic gadgets in the air-conditioned shopping malls or wading in the rooftop infinity pools.
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 of Kuala Lumpur.
THE CITY CHARACTER
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 Malaysian capital`s gleaming skyscrapers such as Petronas Twin Towers are quite a spectacle, especially by night. A myriad of luxurious boutiques, shops, designer stores as well as prominent restaurants and cafes can be found in their malls, but there is much more in the town to discover.
THINGS TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR
KL has got a very compact city centre, and the main landmarks are easy to inspect on foot in a day. The real heart of KL is Merdeka Square with a 95-meter-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 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 must not be left out of your city tour.
FOOD & MARKETS
Kuala Lumpur is well-known for its culinary scene. Whether you are a gourmand or not you the mouth-watering Malay cuisine will wrap your around its little fingers in an instant. Roti Canai, Congee, Nasi Campur, Laksa, Satay, Teh Tarik and other goodies simply cannot fail to delight.
One definitely must stop by the Chinatown, for its typical street vendors and night markets, where to grab a meal for less than five bucks and be more satisfied than eating in a 5-star restaurant. Petaling Street is home to the iconic market of KL – ideal for souvenirs. The nearby Central Market and the Kasturi Walk can browse for fine textiles, fabrics and Pashmina shawls.
To complete the cultural mix, there is bustling Little India – penetrated with the aroma of curry, and the sprawling Malay Chow Kit – traditional Malaysian markets selling fresh meat, seafood and vegetables. The finger-licking culinary delights together with the radiant ambience present an unforgettable foodie tour.
For the nightlife lovers, Kuala Lumpur will also be appealing after dark. Surprisingly enough – in spite of being strictly a Muslim enclave – as the sun goes down, it is dazzling lights and inviting bars and busy shopping malls what conquers the city. Suria KLCC is a place to be if you are after a new outfit for the night. While Bangsar teems with afterglow entertainment, Pavilion K and Bukit Bintang are fantastic to dine in.
There are countless alternatives, including quiet cafes, funky bars, large cinemas and night markets. Bukit Bintang Promenade offers trendy shopping malls and great restaurants. Arab Street is an important part of the district with a variety of dining choices, ranging from stylish Arabic shisha lounges to simple but delicious Halal street food stalls.
The tourists with the unlimited budget are free to enjoy unlimited options and dive into luxury. Many rooftop bars promote deluxe swimming pools to allow the customers to enjoy the city skyline from atop, e.g., Ramada Plaza, G-Tower, Mandarin Oriental – you can spoil yourself both by day and by night.
One of the highlights of Kuala Lumpur is the Lake Gardens. The 60-hectare gardens, established in 1888 make a refreshing oasis at the heart of the city. Renting a rowboat and floating on the calm waters of the lake will surely help one unbend.
The tropical Perdana Botanic Gardens, National Planetarium and Bird Park also belong to the recreational complex. And the popular Canopy Walkway through the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve is like being in the middle of the rainforest, albeit it is located near the inner city.
The world-famous Batu Caves are a ‘must-see’ for every visitor of Kuala Lumpur. The spectacular caves, just 13 km north of the capital, are hidden inside of a towering limestone formation, and they are an important pilgrimage site for the Hindu community in Malaysia. The main Temple Cave has an Art Gallery, and at the top of the challenging staircase, deep in a huge cave, there is Subramaniam Swamy – a sacred temple protected by troops of cheeky monkeys.
THE HIGHLIGHTS OF KUALA LUMPUR (BRIEF SUMMARY)
WHEN TO TRAVEL
Weather in Kuala Lumpur is unpredictable throughout a year, and even the dry season (May-July) often gets heavy rain falls. For fewer crowds, however, try to avoid national public holidays and weekends.
HOW TO GET THERE
Fly to Kuala Lumpur
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