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- Kuala Lumpur ...
- Central Market
- Islamic Arts ...
- Petronas Towers ...
- Muzium Negara ...
- Tugu Negara ...
- Menara Kuala ...
- Batu Caves
- Masjid Sultan ...
- Templer's Park
- Taman Tasik ...
- Little India
- Millionaires ...
- Rock climbing
Kuala Lumpur Destination Guide
The real fun of Kuala Lumpur lies in sightseeing, shopping, walking leisurely and in the endless residential lanes. The climate is very hot and humid so you will need to remember to take a break occasionally to cool down. Generally, most malls and restaurants are crowded during the weekend and on holidays, but are usually empty on weekdays.
Kuala Lumpur is a wonderful city for shopping, eating out and sightseeing!
Plan your perfect Kuala Lumpur holiday with our Kuala Lumpur Destination Guide below. It tells you the local highlights and shows you the best things to see and do. A great way of doing this and immersing yourself in the local culture and traditions is by taking a Kuala Lumpur tour. We also provide some helpful travel information to help with planning your trip to Kuala Lumpur, and be sure to check out the highlights of Kota Kinabalu and Sandakan.
Things to See & Do in Kuala Lumpur
The Friday Mosque, situated along the convergence of Klang and Gombak rivers, is the city's oldest building. It was built in 1909. The best time to visit the mosque is at sunset when one can hear the muezzin's voice echoing through the ornate domes and palm trees. The mosque is a place of tranquillity amidst the numerous skyscrapers symbolic of hectic activity. You need to dress conservatively and remove your footwear while visiting any mosque in Kuala Lumpur.
Jalan Tun Perak stays open 0830-1330 and 1430-1800.
Built in 1965, the National Mosque is a modern mosque. The main dome is shaped like an 18-point star, which represents the 13 states of Malaysia and the five central pillars of Islam. The massive main prayer hall can accommodate up to 10,000 worshippers; non-worshippers are not permitted inside. Malaysia's most cherished sons are buried at the mausoleum, which is situated at the back of the mosque.
Jalan Perdana remains open 0900-1200, 1500-1600 and 1730-1830 everyday.
According to veteran train traveller and writer, Paul Theroux, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station is the grandest station in South East Asia. Built in 1911, the station's architecture is extraordinary. It is essentially a mix of Walt Disney combined with Moorish British colonial style of minarets, towers, arches and spires. Whether you are travelling or simply visiting the station, the architectural splendour of this place will leave you speechless. It is very sad that trains don't stop at this station anymore because of major renovation work, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2009.
The Central Market, known popularly as the blue and pink pastel art deco market, was built in 1936. This was the largest fresh produce market of the city has now become a hub of arts and craft shops, selling batik, pottery, woodcarvings and basketry. Cultural performances are conducted regularly in the market and on stages along the riverside. Some authentic Malaysian and Indian food stalls are still doing well, along with other eating places.
Jalan Hang Kasturi is open on all days of the week, 1000-2200.
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is well worth a visit. The three floors of the museum cover domestic Islamic architectural styles. Scale models of the Taj Mahal and the Amir Timur Mausoleum also adorn this museum. The Ottoman room contains various artefacts, which project the powerful Islamic empire that had threatened Vienna and the rest of Western Europe. Over 200 Islamic manuscripts are preserved in the Al-Quran and manuscripts gallery. An on-site restaurant is the latest addition. It is open 1000-1800, Tuesday to Sunday. An entry fee is charged.
The Petronas Towers, inaugurated in 1997, are the main symbol of the city today. Standing 452 m (1,483 ft) and 88 storeys high, this building was formerly the tallest in the world, recently overtaken by Taipei 101. It looms large on the skyline during the day and gets occasionally concealed in the afternoon when there are clouds and thunderstorms.
Designed by Cesar Pelli, it comprises two identical towers which are joined by a 58 m (192ft) sky bridge at the 41st and the 42nd floors. The sky bridge is open to visitors and gives a good view of the city's skyline. The latest addition to Petronas is a science discovery centre known as PETROSAINS. This centre provides information about petroleum science and general science to children in a fun and educational way.
The towers are open daily 1000-2200. The Sky Bridge is open 0900-1900, Tuesday to Sunday. An entry fee is charged.
The national museum, established in 1963, is an essential destination for tourists who want to know more about the rich history and culture of Malaysia. The building of the national museum itself is a combination of various Malaysian architectural styles and craftwork incorporated from different parts of the country.
It is open on all days of the week, 0900-1800. Entry to the museum is by tickets.
This national monument is one of the world's largest free-standing sculptures. This brass sculpture, designed by an American and moulded in Italy, was erected in Kuala Lumpur in 1966. The monument depicts heroic soldiers who were engaged in "The Emergency" in the 1950s, when Malaysia battled communist insurgents.
Menara Kuala Lumpur is one of the world's tallest telecommunication towers. It offers a fantastic 360o panoramic view of the city from its 276 m (905ft) high observation deck. Built in 1996, this Menara is dome shaped, with a sharp needle-like structure at the very top. Situated atop a hill, this landmark provides visitors a unique view of the tall Petronas Towers. Facilities at the tower include a revolving restaurant, cafes and a souvenir shop.
It is open to visitors from 0900 to 2200. An entry fee is charged.
The limestone caves of Batu are a popular place for excursions. They are situated 13 km (8 miles) to the north of Kuala Lumpur. The Hindu temple cave, with a steep 272-step climb, is the most popular part in the cave complex. There are some eye-catching rock formations in the dark cave. The museum cave recreates scenes from Hindu mythology. 80,000 Hindu devotees and tourists visit the temple cave regularly during the holy festival of Thaipusam in February. The journey to the Batu caves from the central market takes 30 minutes by bus. A train link from Sentul will be functional by the end of 2009.
The largest mosque in Malaysia and in South-East Asia is situated in Shah Alam, 30 km (18miles) west of Kuala Lumpur. Probably the first mosque to be designed on a computer, it was built in 1988 and is surrounded by 10 hectares (30 acres) of landscaped gardens. A synthesis of ethnic Malay and traditional Islamic architecture, its most appealing feature is the gleaming blue aluminium dome, an incredible 92 m (302 ft) in height. The mosque is surrounded by four minarets.
Templer's park lies 21 km (13 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur. Established by the British, this park is located in a 1,200-hectare (3,000-acre) section of the Malaysian jungle. Here you can explore trails, swim in the pools and relax by the waterfalls.
In 1888 the British colonials built their elegant houses around the landscaped lake gardens. This 68 hectare (172 acre) beautiful lake garden is now known for boating. Other places of interest include an orchid-and-hibiscus garden, which has 800 different varieties of orchids and 500 species of hibiscus. Other tourist attractions include the deer, butterfly and the largest bird park in Southeast Asia.
Traces of multiple cultures are visible once you go beyond the Malay Mores in Kuala Lumpur. One such culture blossoming in the city is Little India. This historic district has many multicoloured streets like the Jalan Masjid India Street.
Jalan Ampang, called the Millionaires Row or Ambassadors Row, is lined with luxurious mansions of old colonialists who grew rich by making money from trading in tin. The place has been renamed the Ambassadors Row now because most of the mansions have been converted into embassies and consulates.
You can walk the landscaped hills of Kuala Lumpur's vast lake garden situated west of the central city area or walk along the tough forest trails at the jungle park. This place is run by the Forestry Research Institute (FRIM), which is 15 km (9 miles) northwest of downtown Kuala Lumpur. The short walks can include a canopy walk across wooden bridges strung between high tree tops. Merdeka Square, Chinatown and Little India are some of the other places in Kuala Lumpur where you can take a leisurely walk while admiring the heritage buildings along the way.
The popular weekend activity for locals and tourists is boating on the Premier Lake in the lake gardens. Situated at the end of central Kuala Lumpur, these gardens are easily accessible by buses from Chinatown.
The open air swimming pool at Chin Woo Stadium, situated next to Chinatown in the city centre, is a great place to swim and cool off. The Desa and Sunway Lagoon Water parks have waterslides and bubbling pools where both children and adults can have fun.
The best-known attraction in the KL region is the enormous Batu Caves, just 15km (9mi) north of the city. The caves have both a natural and supernatural magnetism, as they are a sacred site for Hindus and a focal point for the annual Thaipusam rituals. The limestone caves at Templer Park 22km (14mi) north of KL are also good for exploring.
Kuala Lumpur has no shortage of golf courses because golf is a popular pastime among the rich citizens of the town. The Saujana, Kuala Lumpur Golf Club and Country Club are popular places to play golf. Non-members can play golf at the Royal Selangor Golf Club on weekends.
You can play tennis, squash and badminton at the Bangsar Sports Complex. Another good place for playing tennis is the Chin Woo Stadium at the National Sports Council Complex.
You can try your hand at batik or sign up for a pottery course at the Kompleks Budaya Kraf Centre or watch artists working in the outdoor art colony. Other places worth visiting inside the city are the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC), Aquaria KLCC in KL Convention Centre, which has 5,000 varieties of tropical fish, and Malaysia's National Zoo (Zoo Negara), located in the northern part of the city. If you are on an extended trip and have time, then you must consider spending a week here for some volunteer work at Zoo Negara or Nur Salam.