Kuala Lumpur. You’ll find the world in Kuala Lumpur but you’ll never find anything quite like it anywhere else in the world.
For starters, Kuala Lumpur has its very own global icon in the PETRONAS Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur , soaring 452 metres above street level and 88 stories tall. This mega structure towers majestically over Kuala Lumpur, presenting a universal view of the icon from any corner of the city. Just beneath the Twin Towers are Malaysia’s best shopping spots, featuring haute couture brands to trendy street fashions. For those with a penchant for Broadway-like theatres, meet Kuala Lumpur talented acting community that brings you fine shows and performances from the traditional to the satirical. Partygoers will find Kuala Lumpur vibrant night scenes perfect to satiate their appetite for the most happening places to party.
But of course, if you yearn to experience the traditional old world appeal of Malaysia’s culture and values, the old streets of Kuala Lumpur with its captivating day-to-day activities and aromatic smells will charm you. You’ll experience this city, with the echoing music of its entertainment outlets, the beam of vehicle lights searching for the perfect late-night snack and colourful streetlights – a spectacle that proves Kuala Lumpur as a definite place to visit for world travellers.
The epitomy of contemporary Kuala Lumpur are these shimmering stainless steel–clad towers, the headquarters of the national oil and gas company Petronas. Resembling twin silver rockets plucked from an episode of Flash Gordon, they are the perfect allegory for the meteoric rise of the Kuala Lumpur from tin miners’ hovel to 21st-century metropolis.
Opened in 1998, the 88-storey twin towers are nearly 452m tall, making them the seventh-highest built structures in the world (as of 2010). Designed by Argentinian architect Cesar Pelli, the twin towers’ floor plan is based on an eight-sided star that echoes arabesque patterns. Islamic influences are also evident in each tower’s five tiers – representing the five pillars of Islam – and in the 63m masts that crown them, calling to mind the minarets of a mosque and the Star of Islam.
Menara Kuala Lumpur
Although the Petronas Towers are taller, the 421m Menara Kuala Lumpur, rising from the crest of Bukit Nanas, offers the best city views. Surrounded by a dense area of pristine jungle, this lofty spire is the world’s fourth-highest telecommunications tower – the bulb at the top contains a revolving restaurant and an observation deck .This is the best place to appreciate the phenomenal growth of the city. A shuttle bus runs up to the tower from the gate on Jln Punchak opposite the PanGlobal building.
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
This fabulous aviary brings together some 200 species of (mostly) Asian birds flying free beneath an enormous canopy. Star attractions include ostriches, hornbills, eagles, flamingos and parrots. It’s worth getting to the Kuala Lumpur Bird park for feeding times (hornbills 11.30am, eagles 2.30pm) or the bird shows (12.30pm and 3.30pm), which feature plenty of parrot tricks tokeep youngsters amused. The park’s Hornbill Restaurant is also good
Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park
Flying creatures of a different sort are showcased at this enclosure near the Bird Park. Some of the 120 different species of colourful butterflies fluttering around the covered grounds are real monsters, and there’s a bug gallery where you can shudder at the size of Malaysia’s giant centipedes and spiders.
Malaysia is like two countries in one, cleaved in half by the South China Sea. The multicultural peninsula ﬂaunts Malay, Chinese and Indian inﬂuences, while Borneo hosts a wild jungle of orang-utans, granite peaks and remote tribes. Throughout these two regions is an impressive variety of microcosms ranging from the space-age high-rises of Kuala Lumpur to the smiling longhouse villages of Sarawak.
Like many Asian cities, Kuala Lumpur appears to be quite a haphazard city, and as such it might not look all that exciting on the surface. Yes, we have the gleaming Petronas Twin Towers, but after an hour of trying to fit them within the frame of your camera, you want something more authentically local, something gritty, something a little bit more street. And KL (as the locals call it) has that in spades. The Merdeka Square is bordered by beautiful Moorish architecture built during the colonial times. Though it has and will never snow in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur : it is believed that the British colonialist built these dome roofs to withstand several feet of snow. Away from these well-kept buildings, but still within the old part of KL where Chinatown is, the scenes may look a tad dilapidated, but this bustling area is a treasure trove of local eats, souvenir shops and graffiti art (check out the river banks beneath the Pasar Seni LRT station). So is Brickfields. Tourism authorities like to market this historical area (where the brick kilns used to be, hence the name) as the city’s Little India, but in reality, it’s more of a microcosm of Malaysia where you’ll experience the identities of the three major ethnicities that make up multi-cultural Malaysia – Malay, Chinese and Indian. Contrast your Brickfields experience with the cool ‘hood of Bangsar, which is just a train stop away. This city suburb is the model of successful gentrification, where independent boutiques and spas sit side by side with some of KL’s best cafés and restaurants. A day here will round off your Kuala Lumpur experience quite comfortably.