Welcome to Kuala Lumpur! Whether you find yourself on holiday or settling in as an expatriate, you’ll never have a shortage of things to do and places to explore.
Here are a few places we think you should check out in your time here:
Petronas Twin Towers
Without a doubt the most iconic structure in Malaysia, these 88 storey mammoth buildings can be seen from nearly everywhere in the city on a clear day.
The sky-bridge, located on the 41st and 42nd floors (170 meters) spans the two towers, while the 86th floor observation deck in Tower 2, offers a 360 degree view of the city from 370 meter in height. Tickets are available for purchase in order to see both areas, but the number of visitors are limited to around 1000 a day. Make sure you show up early in the morning to secure a ticket. Also, do check out the Suria KLCC mall at the base of the towers – a favourite with expats, tourists and locals alike!
Menara KL Tower
Probably the second most iconic structure in Malaysia, the KL Tower, at 471 meters towers over the city. While built for telecommunication purposes, the tower is also open to visitors. Visit the viewing deck at 276 meters for a great view of the Petronas Towers and the surrounding area. Make sure to check out Atmosphere 360, the revolving restaurant located at the top for lunch, high tea, or dinner-but make sure to get a window seat by booking in advance!
Located smack-dab in the centre of Chinatown, this street boasts hundreds of retailers selling everything from food to knock off handbags, clothing to DVDs. Haggling skills are a must here in order to ensure a good deal. The street is lively at all points of the day, but more vendors and shoppers come out for the night time rush. Petaling Street and the surrounding area are a food lover’s paradise, offering traditional Chinese food as well as dishes unique to Malaysia.
Surrounding Petaling Street, reminders of the old Chinatown remain. The Guan Di and Guan Yin temples dot the adjacent streets that should be on every visitor’s check list.
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
A relatively new fixture on Kuala Lumpur’s map, the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery aims to increase tourist’s knowledge of this fine city. Located in a building over 100 years old near Merdeka Square, the gallery provides images, miniatures and prints documenting the history, heritage and culture of Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding region. Make sure to visit the greater KL model, a giant (40ft x 50ft) architectural replica of the area located on the second floor.
Both imposing and humbling, the Batu Caves are one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented religious and tourist sites. Take the short trip (about 10 kilometres) north of the city centre to view this spectacular homage to the Hindu God, Lord Murugan. Climb the 272 steps to the top to see the temples and countless monkeys.
The Batu Caves are also the site of the largest Thaipusam festival outside of India. The festival, which takes place in January or February of each year, attracts over a million devotees all giving offerings to Lord Murugan.
Central Market has come a long way since its humble beginnings as a wet market way back in 1888. The baby blue building in which the market is now housed was completed in 1937 and houses stores with artefacts and souvenirs from different ethnic groups and different parts of Malaysia. Conveniently located by the Pasar Seni LRT station and just minutes from Petaling Street, Central Market is your one stop shopping centre for all your souvenir needs.
Visit one of the largest aquariums in the world and view over 5,000 different marine creatures! Fun for all ages, the crown jewel of the aquarium is the 90m tunnel, complete with a travelator. For the more adventurous, the aquarium offers packages for those with diving permits to go and feed the sharks. For those without scuba diving licenses, opportunities to get up close and personal with sharks are available from the safety of a shark cage. For those who prefer not to get wet, the aquarium tunnel offers a great viewing point.
One visit to Kuala Lumpur’s largest recreational park, and you’ll soon realise that Lake Gardens (Taman Tasik Perdana) is more than your average weekend escape. Despite the common sites in Asian parks of practitioners of Tai Chi, badminton players and children frolicking, Lake Gardens has many spectacular features. Spread out over 91.6 hectares are several different sites to see. Make sure to visit the Deer Sanctuary, Bird Park, Butterfly Park, National Monument, National Planetarium and Orchid Garden in your visit. Also, don’t forget to check out the National Museum located near by!
Malaysia’s official Little India, Brickfields, has gone under a massive facelift in the past years. Centred on Jalan Tun Sambanthan, the wide avenue features shops and restaurants focused predominantly on Indian goods and cuisine. The high arches and a fountain only go to enhance the atmosphere. Classic clothing like saris and veshti are on offer as well as Bollywood films, bangles and many other goods. Some of the best Indian food in the city is available in Brickfields so don’t forget to grab a bite to eat before leaving. Brickfields is located within walking distance from the KL Sentral station which is accessible by LRT, KTM Komuter, Monorail (just opposite the building)and Airport Ekspress as well as various bus routes.
This post was written by Simon Gartner
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