Malaysia’s federal capital and Southeast Asia’s rising star Kuala Lumpur (KL) is a young, dynamic and cosmopolitan city with a quickly increasing population and a growing economy. One and a half centuries ago as a mining town set where the Gombak and Klang rivers merge, the name of the town means ‘Muddy River Mouth’. In Kuala Lumpur, rivers are not the only things that merge.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is located about 50km south of the city. When exiting the airport, the fastest way to the city is by using the KLIA train that departs from the main terminal. You can reach KL Central Station in 28 minutes non-stop using the KLIA Express, whereas with KL Transit the travel time takes 36 minutes (Adults 35 RM, Children 15 RM). If you are not travelling alone a taxi is a good alternative. Prices are fixed depending on the number of passengers, destination area and vehicle class. It costs approximately 75-100 RM to the city center. Don’t forget to get your Airport Limo coupon before exiting the terminal! Don’t bother hiring the unlicensed taxis waiting on the street. Buses are the cheapest option but during heavy traffic hours the trip can take upwards of two hours. There are also other options such as Airport Coach, Star Shuttle and Sepang Omnibus. From the center of town you can use the Light Rail Transportation and/or KL Monorail or, when traffic isn’t heavy, buses or taxis. Because places to see are not far from each other, the best way to discover the city is by walking or boarding the roving tourist Hop On-Hop Off buses.
The 5-star hotel district is located in the new city center areas of Twin Castle and the Golden Triangle. More economical accommodations can be found in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman/Chow Kit districts and the area around Merdeka Square in the old city center. Shangra-La Hotel, Villa Samadhi, Mandarin Oriental and some of the luxury hotels. If you are looking for mid-level accommodation check out the Orange Pekoe Guesthouse or the Grid 9 Hotel, or for those on a limited budget, the BackHome KL or Reggae Mansion are good alternatives.
The main attractions in the city include the Islamic Arts Museum, Royal Selangor Visitor Center (Royal Selangor is the world’s largest pewter manufacturer), Muzium Negara (National Museum), Police Museum, National History Museum, KL City Gallery, National Art Gallery. However, the Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC Park, KL Castle, Dartaran Merdeka (Independence Square), Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Masjid Negara (National Mosque), Masjid Jamek, Chinatown/Petaling Street, Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Pasar Seni (Central Market), Arab Town/Bukit Bintang), Berjaya Times Square, Thean Hou Temple, Royal Castle, Tasik Perdana Park (Lake Gardens Park) and inside the National Monument and Bird, Butterfly, and Orchid Gardens, Masjid India Street, Little India/Brickfields, Rumah Penghulu (Malay House), Istana Budya (Cultural Center), and 13 kilometers north of the city, the Batu Caves, and the Purtajaya Putra Bride in the planned city and seat of government in Purtajaya to the South, these all come to mind as places one should see. While you have come to Kuala Lumpur there are other destinations in Malaysia that you should see. Penang with its temples, the expansive tea plantations in Cameron Highlands, the Taman Negara rain forests, and the UNESCO protected historical city of Melaka (Malacca) only a few hours away. If you are hooked on tropical islands or enjoy under water beauty, Langkawi, Redang, Perhentian, Kapas and/or Tioman Islands are all places you should think about adding to your travel plans. Borneo Island’s East Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah are ideal to experience nature in the wild.
Kuala Lumpur is one of the world’s best cities to shop in and according to many is an absolute shopper’s heaven! It lays claim to the third largest shopping center in the world. Every year from June to September you can catch the 1Malaysia Mega Shopping Carnival and take opportunity of tremendous discounts. Several of the most important shopping centers include: Patronas Twin Towers’ Suria KLCC; Ampang Park, City Square and Great Eastern Mall on Ampang Street; Pavillion, Farenheit 88 and Lot 10 in the Bukit Bintang District; Tuanku Abdul Rahman Street’s Sogo and Maju; Bangsar Shopping Centre and Midvalley Megamall, and the Pyramid Mall in the Bangsar and Subang districts respectively. The Central Market and Chinatown also stand out. In Malaysia you find some of the least expensive cameras, clocks, mobile phones, cosmetic products, computers, cigarettes and alcohol sold in the world. If you buy these products be sure to drop by the duty free shops for the tax exemption.
If you are traveling with children, Aquarium KLCC, Petrosains Science Discovery Center, Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, Bird Park, Butterfly Park, and the National Zoo can all be seen in one enjoyable day. Enjoy the theme parks, and then you have the chance to take in the fresh, cool mountain air and gamble in the Genting Mountains about one hour from Kuala Lumpur. You can take in a performance at one of the world’s ten most distinguished theatres in İstana Budaya at the Palace of Culture. You can also listen to a performance at the rightfully famous Dewan Philharmonic Hall at Twin Towers or have a picnic with the locals in Sungai Tekala. Or if you are so inclined you can get a rejuvenating massage at one of the many spas in the city. City nightlife is vibrant in Kuala Lumpur and presents many bars, discos, karaoke bars, jazz clubs and nightclubs as well as live musical performances and dinner cabarets for entertainment. You can learn about current and upcoming events by picking up a copy of a local newspaper. You should check out Changkat Street in Bukit Bintang, P. Ramlee Street located in the golden triangle, or Telawi Street in the Bangsor district to best the discover this colorful city.