Introducing Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur – KL to its friends – is more than just a capital city: it is a monument to Malaysian ingenuity and determination. From humble beginnings as a tin-mining shanty town, KL has evolved into a 21st-century metropolis, dominated by the tallest skyscrapers in Southeast Asia and flush with the proceeds of international trade and commerce. Over the years, KL has faced its share of challenges but nothing has succeeded in suppressing the determination of locals to make KL, and Malaysia, a leader among Asian tiger economies.
The marketing slogan for the Malaysian tourist board is ‘truly Asia’ and nowhere is this more true than in the capital. KL is every inch the Asian cyber-city: historic temples and mosques rub shoulders with space-age towers and shopping malls; traders’ stalls are piled high with pungent durians and counterfeit DVDs; and locals sip cappuccino in wi-fi–enabled coffee hops or feast at bustling streetside hawker stalls serving food from across the continent.
The most striking thing about KL from a visitor’s perspective is its remarkable cultural diversity. Ethnic Malays, Chinese prospectors, Indian migrants and British colonials all helped carve the city out of the virgin jungle, and each group has left its indelible mark on the capital. Eating, shopping and nightlife are undeniable highlights of any visit to KL, but don’t restrict yourself to the city – there are numerous parks and monuments dotted around KL that make easy day trips for a break from the hustle and bustle.
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Best places to stay in Kuala Lumpur
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Fabulous food in Kuala Lumpur
Architecture in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur destination guides
Thaipusam: a guide to Kuala Lumpur's biggest Hindu festival
This is an excerpt from Lonely Planet's A Year of Festivals. Location: Batu Caves, outside of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Date: full moon day in the 10th Tamil month of Thai (mid-January to mid- February) – for 2013, it is on 27 January Level of participation: 1 – watch the pain from the sidelines 'IMG_5514' by beggs.
Contemporary art in Kuala Lumpur
Bangkok to Singapore on a Shoestring
Bliss out on world-class beaches in exotic southern Thailand before cooling off in the Cameron Highlands of Malaysia. This 2-week tour will introduce you to three diverse nations—and three of the region’s most vibrant cities. Sample street food or hit Bangkok’s clubs with other travellers your own age—so you can be sure to get down with those that’ll keep up.
Private Tour: Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary Day Tour from Kuala Lumpur
Enjoy a private tour of the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary (also called the Elephant Orphanage Sanctuary), an elephant conservation center managed by the Malaysian Wildlife Society. Drive by private vehicle to a beautiful tropical rainforest, located just 1.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur, stopping at Deerland Park along the way.
Malaysia by motorcycle: through the heart of Pahang
In Kuala Lumpur, ‘right of way’ goes to the craziest, and the city’s chaotic streets are a dangerous place for a man of slight build to be teetering precariously at alternating speeds on an enduro bike designed for longer legs.