Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s Capital, a cosmopolitan metropolis with a significant religious influence. Kuala Lumpur is filled with high end shopping opportunities and plenty of exciting places to explore. It is also the starting point for exploring the rest of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur's cultural diversity means there is an abundance of festivals to enjoy including the Thaipusam celebration, which includes a procession that walks all the way to the Batu Caves.

The most recognisable attraction is undoubtably the Petronas Twin Towers, built of reinforced concrete, steel and glass with the two 88 floor towers connected by a sky bridge on the 41st and 42nd floors. The lower floors house the Suria KLCC, an upscale shopping centre with over 300 shops, an art gallery, a science centre, the Philharmonic Hall as well as many other attractions.

KLCC Park is located at the base of the Petronas Twin Towers, it is the city’s largest urban park with a 50 acre sanctuary for both humans and animals. The park includes sculptures and fountains with over 2,000 different species of palms and indigenous flora. The main attraction of KLCC is Lake Symphony, a massive lake with a 43 metre bridge carving across it with a number of fountains, including one that shoots water 180 metres up into the sky. It offers a light and music shows twice daily and at night the fountain becomes particularly impressive when you can truly appreciate the changing colours against the background of the illuminated Petronas Towers.

Merdeka Square was once the cricket green of the local Selangor Club. This massive open park square is now a popular spot for rallies, public events and the National Day Parade. A 100 metre tall flagpole commemorates the raising of the first Malayan flag here in 1957. The city's most famous historical colonial buildings are along the streets around the square and many are open to visitors. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, heavily influenced by Moorish style, houses the Ministry of Information, Communication, and Culture of Malaysia, while the nearby Kuala Lumpur City Gallery tells the story of the city through miniature models and innovative exhibits.

The Kuala Lumpur Tower or KL Tower is one of the tallest free standing towers in Southeast Asia, reaching 421 metres high. It is primarily used as a TV and Communications Tower, an Islamic Falak Observatory and a viewpoint over the city. There is a revolving restaurant and an open-air Observation platform, situated 300 metres above the ground and can be reached by elevator in just under a minute. There are several attractions inside the tower, including an upside down funhouse Museum, a small Aquarium, a souvenir shop offering high quality handicrafts and the Sky Box, a glass box that extends out from the Sky Deck and offers unobstructed views of the city in every direction including under your feet.

Bukit Bintang Shopping District encompasses several streets and a number of shopping centres, street markets and many upscale cafés and restaurants. One of the main attractions is the Berjaya Times Square shopping mall, covering 330,000 square metres of retail space. Home to one of the largest indoor amusement parks in Asia, complete with a number of thrill rides and even a looping roller coaster. Starhill Gallery, the city's poshest mall, is also located in this area. The Bukit Bintang Shopping District has also become well known for spa related services, especially massages and reflexology.

The Central Market is located inside an Art Deco Heritage Site building, that dates back to the 19th Century. Here you will find everything from traditional Malaysian handicrafts and Batik textiles to Pewter and Silver items. Malaysia is also well known for ornamental wood carvings and pottery, both of which are well represented at the market.

The Royal Palace Istana Negara is the official residence of Malaysia's Monarch. The name can get a little confusing as there are actually two Istana Negara locations. The New Istana Negara is a massive 98 hectare Palace Complex with golden domes. Although the Palace itself is closed to the public, its main arched gate is a favourite spot for visitors. The Old Istana Negara was the official Royal residence until 2011 and is now partially open to the public and houses the Royal Museum, where visitors can walk through 22 former Palace spaces, including the Royal sleeping chamber, a dining hall and the Balairung Seri room where the King would receive visitors.

A stunningly visual mix of Ottoman and Malay architectural styles, the Wilayah Mosque has turquoise and gold domes, which are beautiful to photograph. Modelled after the Blue Mosque in Turkey, the Wilayah Mosque is open to everybody and offers free tours to anybody interested in learning about the local people, culture, and religion.

The 19th Century Sri Mahamariamman Temple is best known for its colourful 23 metre tall Gopuram ‘Tower’. This five tiered pyramid is decorated with statues and reliefs of Hindu Gods. The Temple is dedicated to Mariamman, a manifestation of the Goddess who embodies Mother Earth.

Other places of interest to visit include the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, a spectacular tropical aviary covering 20.9 acres and the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park houses the largest butterfly park in the world and is home to over 5,000 butterflies and covers an area of 7,500 square metres. If you crave waterfront views of the city skyline then visit the Titiwangsa Lake Garden. It offers plenty of recreational activities, including canoeing, horse riding, tennis courts, and jogging tracks.

The Batu Caves are just 13 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur and can be reached via an easy and picturesque train ride from KL's main train station. The caves, set inside stunning limestone hills, are an important Hindu shrine dedicated to Lord Murugan, the God of War. Right outside the entrance is a 43 metre tall statue of Murugan, the tallest of its kind in the world. Although there are three caves here, most visitors come for the main one, Cathedral Cave, a 91 metre tall cave with stunning stalactite formations that can be reached after climbing 272 steps on a massive stone staircase. Inside, there is a Hindu Chapel and beautiful rock formations illuminated by sunlight that comes through the cracks in the ceiling.

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