Kuala Lumpur is fast becoming the capital of South East Asia – it has a population approaching 2m with a land area of 240 Sq km. Everything about the city has the ability to hypnotise even the most discerning traveller. The culture and friendliness of the people, the tropical and always sunny weather, the mass of interesting shops, sights and sounds – and of course an endless supply of brilliant restaurants (get ready to buy bigger pants).
Petronas Towers – The Most Seen Tourist Attraction In Malaysia
The views from the sky-bridge along the Petronas Towers are pretty good (though the bridge is not more than about halfway up the entire height of the towers). The Petronas towers is over ten years old and was commissioned by multinational oil giant Petronas who have their main office inside (along with some other huge companies). The towers are called Menara (Malay for “Tower”) 1 and 2 and at one point were recorded to be the highest in the world (up to 2002).
Also within the grounds are some well manicured gardens, and a huge conference centre wildly regarded as one of the best in the world. The Petronas towers are open to the public from Tuesdays to Sunday at specific times (typically between 8.30am to 5pm), but even outside the times when the skybridge is open there are many things in and around the towers to enjoy – for example some chic restaurants and café’s and the park which is open late at night.
If you do want some unique snaps of the Petronas Towers, it is highly recommended to come at night when the tower is fully lit. You can get some outstanding photography, particularly from the gardens which themselves host a lovely lake.
Within the Petronas Towers structure, there is the highly popular Aquarium, which has some impressive displays of marine life.
If you’re looking for a decent place in the city centre near the towers, there are actually a good few hotels that will not break the bank. A comfortable place can be had for as little as $70 per night (sometimes with partial views of the Petronas towers).
Kuala Lumpur Tower (KL Tower)
You can enjoy the best unrestricted views of the city from the viewing point of the KL tower. It costs about 25RM for an adult ticket, and you’ll be delighted at the scenes from here. In fact, you can get far better views from the KL tower than the sky-bridge at the Petronas Towers (and unlike the Petronas Towers you can have a full view of KL in any direction).
This is where you can take awesome photo’s of Kuala Lumpur and enjoy views of some of the city’s best landmarks, including the Petronas Towers.
If you fancy a spot of lunch at the top of the tower, make sure you reserve as it’s often fully booked.
In & Around Chinatown – Bargain Markets, Tasty Food & Bustling Atmosphere
Chinatown has some awesome market stalls, mostly selling much the same thing – so if you happen to want some bargain clothing/leather products then head on down and bag yourself a right bargain.
Lake Gardens & Bird Park
Initially sculpted during British rule, the Lake Gardens are well worth a visit on your Malaysia holiday. The centrepiece and biggest attraction of the gardens themselves are the bird reserve offering over 150 species of local bird & wildlife.
The museum holds some interesting information about the history and culture of Malaysia and has some good exhibits.
Kampung Baru & Night Market
Walk around within this quiet area and you’ll discover a glimpse of traditional Malay life – the best time to visit is during a Saturday night when the bustling night time market springs into life. You’ll find just about everything you would want to buy.
While strictly speaking the Batu Caves are somewhat north of Kuala Lumpur, many visitors to Malaysia’s capital head here as it’s located in neighbouring Selangor. Here you can see the Hindu Temple shrine and golden statue of Lord Subramaniam – there is a climb of about 270 steps to get to the top of the caves, and you should beware that the Batu Caves are the subject of a pilgrimage every January when over a million people come to pay their respects.
Markets, Markets, Markets (And Markets)
Kuala Lumpur is a market lovers dream come true – you can hardly walk for five minutes in any direction without coming onto some type of market or stall – whatever the time of day or night. Probably the most famous is Central Market, which has an excellent selection of local handicrafts, jewelry, memento’s, clothes and more. As it is a hotspot for tourists you’ll really need to bargain if you want a good deal. You should also note that if you intend to go on to some of the lovely islands in Malaysia (such as Langkawi), you can find the same items a lot cheaper – so if you do intend to shop make sure you plan it. Central market is located along jln Hang Kasturi).
Somewhat more rustic is the Kuala Lumpur Arts Market within Laman Seni KL is quite a good place to pick up home made crafts – you deal with the artists/craft makers directly which makes for a nice story when you tell people about the painting hanging on your wall.
In Kampung Baru is the delightful Night Market (called the Sunday market because it starts on Saturday but runs through into Sunday).
A huge selection of crafts and pewter can be purchased at Kompleks Budaya Kraf, which is also well worth a visit.
Ultimately, markets are an intrinsic part of Malaysian life – and if you’re there on anything but a stopover, they should make it on to your agenda of places to visit.
The other end of shopping within Malaysia includes grand shopping malls that would put anything in New York or London to shame.
Right in the heart of the golden Triangle is the immaculate Pavillion Mall – this mall covers a huge area containing hundreds of shops as well as some outstanding eating areas. The topmost floor contains some excellent and well priced restaurants – a particularly popular one is Spice Of India which offers some truly wonderful Indian cuisine.
Other really popular shopping malls include Berjaya Times Sq which claims to be South East Asia’s biggest shopping centre. It certainly is big and includes several restaurants and a cinema.
Near the Petronas Towes, Suria Mall also has a good selection of boutiques inside.
Mid Valley Megamall is another blockbuster with hundreds of shops, cinema, bowling alley and a plethora of mid range and quality restaurants.
If your credit card knows no bounds then check out Starhill Gallery which is where the elite of Kuala Lumpur shop for designer name clothing & products.
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