Kuala Lumpur, a city that is truly one-of-a-kind. You’ll find the world in this city but you’ll never find anything quite like it anywhere else in the world. It is the capital city of Malaysia, situated centrally on the West coast of Peninsular Malaysia. Some of the most attractive features of KL, as it is fondly called by Malaysians, are its contrasting sights, gleaming concrete and steel structures standing next to centuries-old architectural buildings. The year round tropical climate is ideal to visit this city, where it almost never sleeps.
The name Kuala Lumpur is derived from two rivers as it is situated at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers. KL was founded in 1857 by a member of the Selangor royal family, Raja Abdullah, who was the representative of the Yam Tuan who administered Klang. Together with Raja Jumaat of Lukut and 87 Chinese workers, he came to explore the district in search for tin ore. After travelling up the Klang River to reach its confluence with the Gombak River, they made their way through deep jungle and found tin near Ampang. That moment marked the beginning of KL’s development. Over time, as the economy developed and hastened by the building of the railway, Kuala Lumpur grew from a small mining village to become Malaysia’s administrative centre. In March 1880, the British moved their seat of administration from Klang to KL. With this, the British took charge of the running and expansion of the town and continued its development. This led to KL becoming a revamped urban centre with a completely new look.
Behind that lies Dataran Merdeka, more popularly known as Independence Square. It was here that in August 1957, the Malaysian flag was raised for the first time. The Royal Selangor Club still stands on Independence square, its Tudor style building a prominent landmark in the city.
It is not all concrete and steel in Kuala Lumpur. Not far from Dataran Merdeka is the green belt of Kuala Lumpur. This comprises the Lake Garden, National Monument, KL Bird Park, Butter Park, Deer Park, Orchid and Hibiscus Gardens. Elsewhere, the Petronas Twin Towers dominate KL’s skyline – soaring 452 metres above street level and 88 stories high. The towering twin structures have made KL world famous, and no visit to KL is complete without a tour up to the skybridge linking the towers. This mega structure towers majestically over KL, presenting a universal view of the icon from any corner of the city. Just beneath the Twin Towers are Malaysia’s best shopping spots, featuring haute couture brands to trendy street fashions. For those with a penchant for Broadway-like theatres, meet KL’s talented acting community that brings you fine shows and performances from the traditional to the satirical. Partygoers will find KL’s vibrant night life perfect to satiate their appetite for the most happening places to party.
KL continued to grow despite two World Wars, the crash of rubber and tin commodity, and during the communist insurgency. In 1957, the Federation of Malaya gained independence and Kuala Lumpur was designated as the state capital. In 1972, KL achieved city status and appointed its first mayor. It was established as a Federal Territory in 1974 and is now one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
Kuala Lumpur city is well served by a comprehensive network of transportation. From KL International Airport, an express train takes only 28 minutes to reach the city’s central train station (Sentral). Rail services, taxis, and intercity buses are available to all parts of the country.
Accommodation in Kuala Lumpur city is plentiful everywhere. From internationally renowned hotels to budget motels situated either within the city or in the outskirts, there is something for everyone.
JUST A FEW THINGS TO DO AND SEE:
Must Do Things in KL
Brace yourself. Step into a city full of discovery and you will be amazed with what it has to offer. Whether you are in Kuala Lumpur as a business traveller, on a honeymoon trip, vacationing with your family and loved ones or merely just transiting before your next destination; there is definitely something enthralling for you to do. Rest assured that you won’t get bored and more than likely, you will be raring to throw yourself into another incredible experience.
Drop by any of the recommended hot spots, take a stroll in one of the parks, try out some of the palatable local cuisines, shop until you drop, have a blast at one of the buzzing night clubs, get your adrenaline pumping having a go at one of the extreme activities, be a geek and educate yourself, hone your artistic skills – While in Kuala Lumpur do what the “KLites” (Kuala Lumpur dwellers) do!
Thrill, Taste, See, Stroll and DIY.
Sightseeing & Places of Interest
In KL, you’ll experience modern sophistication and nostalgic old-world charm in a single destination. Tour the city to see stunning skyscrapers standing alongside charming pre-war heritage buildings. The city abounds with architectural marvels, themed attractions and places of worship. Most spots can be easily accessed via KL’s well-developed transport network.
With its colourful potpourri of races and cultures, KL is a kaleidoscope of fascinating sights and sounds. Immerse yourself in the abundance of attractions that include exciting theme parks, world-class sporting events, dazzling cultural performances and entertaining nightlife.
KLCC, Merdeka Square, National Palace and Tun Razak Heritage Park
Nightlife & Entertainment
KL has a vibrant nightlife, with something to suit everyone; from welcoming pubs and cosy bars, to cutting-edge clubs and dance scene. Whatever beat you groove to, a definite winning feature of going out in KL is the relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Here’s a list of the best and hippest spots to party and dance.
KL is famously known as a shopping destination as it offers a plethora of items and brand names with competitive prices. In 2012, CNN Travel voted KL as the fourth best shopping city in the world. The facilities range from deluxe shopping centres and complexes to bazaars and night markets which offer a numbing, yet irresistible choice of local collectibles, as well as international labels. The KL shopping experience is always an exciting affair that offers a variety and choices which often come at great bargains.
Business hours for malls and complexes are from 10am to 10pm, and some areas run even further into the night – in certain parts, like Petaling Street, through to midnight – so you can take your time hunting for gifts and bargains.
A not-to-be-missed celebration is the Malaysia Mega Sale – held three times each year – where goods and items come at rock-bottom prices. Also, keep a look out for the ‘Reasonably Priced”” badge on some of the local brands – a mark that is given to businesses which offer valuable goods and services without charging exorbitant prices.
Last but not least, credit cards are accepted almost everywhere.
Cuisine & Dining
Whether you’re looking for haute cuisine or hawkers’ fare, international delights or local delicacies, there is an eatery which will serve you just what your taste buds crave. Food is, quite unashamedly, one of the primary currencies in Kuala Lumpur. And there is a never ending variety to choose from, whether you’re looking to dine in an air-conditioned restaurant or go al-fresco at any one of the numerous hawker centres.
For the most authentic Malay fare, including Nasi Lemak and Satay, the place to head to is Kampung Baru. The oldest residential area in KL, Kampung Baru retains much of its historical charm amidst modernity.
Brickfields, named so because the area was once a clay pit which produced bricks used in the construction of KL, is the place to go for good Indian food. Due to the large Indian community there, you will also find a variety of authentic Indian things from sarees, to spices, to ceremonial offerings.
Head to Jalan Alor if you’re in the mood for “hot-from-the-wok” Chinese food. The numerous stalls offer a splendid variety of oriental delicacies. Hawker centres can be found in almost every corner of the city, serving every type of food in to be found in Malaysia – and most, if not all, are open 24 hours.