Kuala Lumpur, or as locals affectionately call it KL, is uniquely captivating with its rich diversity and multicultural heritage. As the epicentre of Malaysia, this capital city, which literally means “Muddy Confluence” (resulting from the meeting of the Klang and Gombak rivers), alludes to its current state, which is a beautiful merging of tradition with modernity, man-made wonders with natural beauty, and local culture with international influences.
As Kuala Lumpur is increasingly becoming a go-to destination for many travellers, it delicately balances maintaining a strong devotion to ancient religions and customs, while striving to become a modernised society with worldwide prominence. British colonial buildings, bustling street markets and ornately decorated mosques and temples serve as strong reminders of the city’s rich and varied past. Meanwhile, imposing, steel skyscrapers, six-lane highways, glitzy megamalls, luxury hotels and the overwhelmingly cosmopolitan aura demonstrate the city’s increasing affluence and promising future. This vibrant city is a cornucopia of sights, sounds, smells and tastes – an excitingly pleasurable experience that is unforgettable.
Intermingled with the massive concrete buildings and thoroughfares are the smaller, original streets of KL, where much of the city’s culture remains visible. Merdeka Square, the original city centre, is the heart of KL. Here, reminders of British colonization and Moorish influence stand prominently in the form of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, the Royal Selangor Club and the Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. In Little India, shops are brimming with colourful flowers and elaborate Indian Muslim and Malay handicrafts and costumes. Jalan Petaling, the Chinatown of KL, features vibrant night markets, food stalls and shops. With the largest collection of Islamic art in Asia, the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia showcases more than 7,000 pieces that include jewelry, sculptures and tapestries. The museum is not only beautifully curated, but it serves as a beautiful representation of the country’s diverse heritage.
The city’s newer, burgeoning art scene is quite spectacular as well. The art district known as MAP hosts a variety of modern art shows, theatre performances and comedy and dance showcases. KL has also forayed its way into the high-tech and luxury-driven world with its show-stopping buildings. Bukit Bitang, KL’s massive shopping center is worth a visit, if even just for the people watching. The iconic Petronas Twin towers are the jewels of KL. The 88-story high, sky-scraping buildings are a testament to the rapid transformation of the ever-growing city. With traces of Islamic designs and breath-taking views of the cityscape, the towers exemplify KL’s reverence for the past and optimism towards the future.
Monkeys strolling through the local markets, snakes slithering across crowded streets and birds swooping in between the tower-laden sky – these are just some of the reminders of Malaysia’s beautiful and diverse wildlife. Located in the city centre is Lake Gardens, the most popular park. The lush oasis provides visitors with a glimpse of Malaysia’s rich flora and fauna. With scenic walking trails, gorgeous orchid and hibiscus gardens, and bird, butterfly and deer parks it is definitely worth a visit. For those who truly want to escape the congestion of the city, the nearby rainforest is the perfect retreat. The Batu Caves, a limestone hill comprised of multiple caves, is one of the most popular and recognizable attractions in Malaysia. The ancient caves enclose century-old Hindu temples, shrines and statues of important figures.
A visit to KL, would not be complete without a gastronomy tour. With all the different cultures, cuisines, spices, wide range of ingredients and thousands of restaurants and street stalls, the city offers an unparalleled culinary experience. The nightlife is vibrant as well. With a variety of posh lounges, quirky bars, trendy cafes and lively discos, there is a little something to please everyone.
A relatively new city, Kuala Lumpur is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after holiday destinations in Southeast Asia. With its mix of Malays, Chinese, Tamils, Arabs and Iranians, not to mention the numerous expatriates from across the globe, it is an alluring metropolitan that continues to grow and impress visitors with its varied offerings.
With exotic street markets teeming with fresh food and vivid textiles, trendy shopping malls offering luxury goods, ancient temples hidden in caves and majestic animals invading the city centre, KL is a delightful cornucopia of sights, smells, sounds and experiences.
Things to do in Kula Lumpur
For more information about Travelbag’s custom holidays to Kuala Lumpur, please contact us at 0871 703 4713 Costs 13p/min + network extras and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable experts.
Although it’s easier said than done, try to pack light, as it makes for easier travel. Plus many things can be purchased in the city.
Kuala Lumpur is a cosmopolitan city where dress and fashion run the gamut. However, lightweight, casual clothing is ideal. Comfortable shoes such as sandals and tennis shoes are a must for walking through the city and jungle. Bring a light sweater and rain jacket for the cooler, wetter days. Visitors should be more conservative in their dress, especially in mosques, temples and other public areas.
While the city is shielded by looming skyscrapers and oftentimes clouds, it’s still a good idea to bring sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses to prevent sunburn. Also, a small first aid kit is always beneficial. While it may never be used, it’s always a good idea to keep pain medications, antibiotics, anti-diarrhoea medication, water purification tablets, rehydrating solutions and insect repellent.
Kuala Lumpur experiences a pleasantly warm tropical climate. Year-round, the weather remains agreeable with average daytime temperatures between 21°C to 33°C and high humidity levels. Temperatures drop slightly at night.
Although it rains all throughout the year, the most rainfall occurs between March and April and between September and November. The time between June and August tends to be the driest, because unlike many other parts of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is not as affected by the strong monsoon winds from the east and west.
The high travel seasons coincide with European and North American holidays and school breaks. December through January and June to August receive the most traffic. The low season is during late winter and early fall. However, many travellers choose to plan their visits around the popular festivals in Malaysia – Chinese New Year, Deepavali and Thaipusam being just a few.
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