Kuala LumpurCopyright: Patrick Foto/Shutterstock.com
Kuala LumpurKuala Lumpur (or KL, as the locals call it) is the capital of Malaysia and – according to a 2019 study – the second-friendliest city in the world. The days when it all began as mudflats and tin deposits (in the 1850s) seem unimaginable compared to its current state. Today, Kuala Lumpur is the International Garden City of Lights, where shoppers are spoiled for choice. Gastronomy connoisseurs broaden their palates, party animals find sanctuaries, and nature-lovers are wowed.
The CityKuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cross-cultural influences and the result is an exciting mixture of cultures, costumes and cuisines; it is the capital and largest city of Malaysia. It is also one of the three Malaysian Federal Territories, together with Putrajaya and Labuan. The city is surrounded by satellite cities like the administrative capital Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Sunway (great amusement park), Cheras, Shah Alam, Subang and Petaling Jaya. KL consists of various districts with their own identities. The Classic Centre is where KL was born, at the meeting of Klang and Gombak Rivers. You will find historical sites like the first large mosque Masjid Jamek, Central Market, Little India, Dataran Merdeka, Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad and the Selangor Club. Lively Chinatown is still authentic and features Petaling Street - Kuala Lumpur’s first market and various temples (Buddhist and Hindu). The Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower in the Grand Jalan Ampang district are hard to miss as they dominate the city’s skyline. The nostalgic Lake Gardens boasts the romantic park Taman Tasik Perdana, the Islamic Arts Museum, National Museum and the National Monument is just a stone’s throw away. The posh Bangsar is where Kuala Lumpur’s rich come out to play. The highlight is Jalan Telawi, packed with nightspots. For shopping, head off into the direction of the hip Bukit Bintang which is dubbed “The Shopper’s Paradise.” Do the Bintang Walk and find out why! The rest of KL includes sights such as the Batu Caves Hindu Temple, Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) Park, Selangor Pewter, and the National Zoo. Or why not take a relaxing day, and just absorb the atmosphere of wandering through such diverse communities as Chinese, Malay, South Indian and East Malaysian and many more. Each community offers its own festivals, food, music, art and fashion, while lending its own unique additions to Malaysian culture.
Do & See
Kuala Lumpur combines a modern city with an old feeling of the town. Visit for example the Petronas Twin Tower which used to be the highest buildings in the world or visit the oldest market in town where you can find lovely souvenirs to take home.
Head to Jalan Alor for an al fresco meal at one of the many tables lining this KL street food hub, or try one of these similar spots favoured by locals: Pudu Wai Sek Kai (also known as 'Glutton Street'), an area referred to as Lucky Gardens (here, restaurant or cafe-type establishments are a good bet in terms of both quality and variety), plus eateries around Brickfields, home to KL's Little India, which translates into the dominant type of food offerings here. Malaysian cuisine is a fusion of cultural influences. For instance, 'nasi lemak' is historically Malay, 'rojak' is Indian Muslim, 'char kuay teow' is Chinese and the spicy-hot 'laksa' is Nyonya (a mix of Malay and Chinese). Each culture emphasises different ingredients and flavours; for example, the Malay curry tastes tangier compared to the Indian. Here's a list of the best places to eat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
Kuala Lumpur offers many cafe options, from the regular coffee drinker to the casual one. There is also a mixture of the types of cafes offered here, from outdoor locations where locals hang out to indoor cafes for a convenient shopping break. The numerous options of popular franchise chains and local cafes offer great choices for all coffee experiences. Here's a list of the best cafes in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
Bars & Nightlife
Malaysia is a Muslim country, but non-Muslims are free to enjoy the alcoholic aspects of the nightlife. As dusk falls, Kuala Lumpur transforms itself into a vibrant city of entertainment and fun, becoming a playground for party-goers of all walks of life. The club culture is concentrated mainly in Jalan Telawi and Jalan P Ramlee. Below are the best bars and nightclubs in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
Shoppers will find their trip to Kuala Lumpur worthwhile to say the least. There are many ways to pursue your shopping needs from a shop house to a street stall, or from a night market (“pasar malam”) to a shopping mall. You may not always find exactly the same product but you have a lot of choice in price and quality. There are great shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, namely Suria KLCC (just below the Twin Towers) and Mid Valley Megamall, Bangsar Village. However, the most famous area for shopping is Bukit Bintang, with the highest density of malls and shops in the city. You can find anything from the smartest Japanese hi-tech gadget to the latest French designer piece.