A City of Contrasts and Diversity
oasting with gleaming skyscrapers, outstanding architecture, great locals and a myriad of natural attractions, Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia you should not miss. Few centuries ago ever since tin miners built the foundation of the city, Kuala Lumpur has evolved into an affluent 21st century metropolis remarkable for its cultural diversity. Kuala Lumpur houses fascinating fusion of colourful festivals, gastronomic adventures, shopping splendours, natural wonders and many more thrills waiting to be discovered.
The City of Kuala Lumpur
Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur
After dark, the whole area of Chinatown transforms into a lively night market with hundreds of stalls selling all kinds of stuff with cheap prices and local stalls where you can enjoy local al-fresco dining. The area which is located at Jalan Petaling has been a hub for businesses since the late 1800s will leaves you spoiled with a wide variety of classic Chinese food that has withstood the test of time. If you need more reason to feed your gastronomic souls, experience one of the city's best dining spots at Bukit Bintang with hawker stalls that beckon you over with the aroma of freshly cooked food and the stylish restaurants that elevates your culinary experience. Walk on the vibrant street at night and be spoiled for choice with lots of hawker centres offering a wide variety of local delicacies ranging from chicken rice, char kuey teow, curry laksa and wonton noodles to grilled fish, BBQ chicken wing, and fresh durian.
Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur
Ringed by heritage buildings such as Sultan Abdul Samad building and St Mary Anglican Cathedral, Merdeka Square is the huge open field where Malaysian independence was declared in 1957. An enormous flagpole and a proudly fluttering Malaysia flag can be seen on the field which was once used as a cricket pitch during the British occupational era. Elevated by stilts, the all-black exterior of Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman stands out against its garden-like surroundings, inviting you to take a step back into the life of Malays in the early 1900s. The traditional Malay house which was originally located in a small village in Kedah was meticulously-restored by the Heritage of Malaysia Trust as part of its ongoing efforts in preservation and conservation of the country's architectural heritage. You can wonder around Rumah Penghulu Abu Seman that are relocated at Bandar Warisan Heritage Centre or bring back some intricate wooden souvenirs from their gift shop.
Resembling twin silver rockets, Petronas Twin Towers were completed back in 1998 and currently the 11th tallest building in the world. Islamic influence is evident in each tower'€™s five tiers that represent the five pillars of Islam and look particularly impressive when the 88-storey towers illuminated at night. Completed in 1995, the Kuala Lumpur Tower is used for communication purposes and features an antenna that reaches 421 metres. The tall tower has a stairwell and elevator for the public to reach the upper area which contains a revolving restaurant where you can enjoy the city'€™s panoramic view day and night. The interesting bulb-shape revolving restaurant bulb exterior was inspired by the Malaysian spinning toy called gasing.
Succeeding from the street-art revolution in George Town, Kuala Lumpur has seen a flurry of large-scale paintings on the sides of the buildings including from the famous Ernest Zacharevic where his work can be seen on the wall of Wisma Allianz at Jalan Gereja. In 2014, the Malaysian oil and gas conglomerate, Petronas, sponsored #tanahairku (my country) street-art project depicting patriotism through giant murals on the walls along Jalan Raja Chulan between Chinatown and Bukit Nanas. Alternatively, head over to the pyramid-shaped block of the National Visual Arts Gallery at Jalan Temerloh which showcases interesting modern and contemporary Malaysian art for you to view. The gallery also hosts regular changing exhibitions on the ground floor, hence it is always worth turning up to see a variety of exciting temporary shows as well as pieces from the gallery's permanent collection.
Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur
Located 15kn away from the Kuala Lumpur city centre, Dark Cave is one of the must-see Baru Caves attractions for tourists. Discovered in 1878, Dark Caves contains a diverse range of faunas including the rarest spider in the world, the Trapdoor spider. The cave has its own unique features of beautiful cave formations by Mother Nature like stalactite, stalagmite, flowstone, cave pearls, cave curtains, column and gour pools. The cave is also one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India and has become the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia. Known as the largest enclosed butterfly garden in the world, Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park is a great place to get close with hundreds of butterfly species found in Malaysia. Other attractions at the park include are Japanese koi fish, fresh water turtles, live insects and a museum with a large collection of butterflies and insects from around the world. Being the oldest public park in Malaysia, Perdana Botanical Gardens showcases a wide variety of native and overseas plants with well laid boardwalks and gazebos for patrons who love to be near the nature. Currently known as Bukit Nanas, Kuala Lumpur Forest Eco Park is the oldest protection jungle in Malaysia with newly constructed canopy walkway situated in the heart of the city. The garden has not only botanical collections but also give the visitors the ambiance of being in a tropical rainforest, despite being in the middle of a bustling metropolis.
The Royal Museum opened its doors on 1 February 2013 and is located in the old National Palace which was the official residence of the King and Queen of Malaysia. You'll get to see the interior palace of the 2-storey building comprising the Balairung Seri (where King meets his subjects), sleeping chamber, royal office, dining hall and resting lounge. Used to be closely guarded by cavalry guards and not open to public, the Royal Museum now allow the access to the palace where you will be accompanied and guided by a former police guard. Take a look at Malaysian rich history at the National Museum along Jalan Damansara. Among the popular exhibits are the Early History with artefacts from Neolithic and Bronze Age cultures and the Malay Kingdoms during the rise of Islamic Kingdoms in the Malay Archipelago.