Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Please enjoy this guest article on Kuala Lumpur, one of my favorite cities.

Kuala Lumpur, aside from being the federal capital of Malaysia, is also its principal center of commerce, politics and even entertainment. The city brings together Malaysia’s past and present, its many constituent cultures, and even its remarkable natural treasures. The city gives visitors an opportunity to see Malaysia as a whole before setting off to its other parts.

Things to see while in Kuala Lumpur

Stop One: Merdeka Square

The Merdeka Square is an 8.2-hectare area of historical interest. Here one can find a 100 meter-high flagpole that marks the spot where the Malayan flag was hoisted, to signify the country’s independence from British rule, in August 31, 1957. Aside from the historical value given by Merdeka Square, it is also an inviting spot for relaxation. At one end of the square is a site where visitors can loosen up amid the soothing waters of fountains, elegant walkways and eye-refreshing beds of marigolds and zinnias.

Stop Two: Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Facing the Merdeka Square is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. This magnificent building was erected in 1897 to house several important government departments during the British occupation. With its shiny copper dome and 40 meter-high clock tower, this construction serves as a major landmark in the city. It currently houses the Supreme Court and Textile Museum. During every end of the year the Sultan Abdul Samad Building serves as a backdrop of how the Malaysians welcome the coming New Year.

Stop Three: National Monument

The famous sculptor Felix de Weldon designed this 15.54 meter-high bronze monument. The monument was constructed in 1966 in honor of the country’s fallen heroes during the Communist insurgency. This massive bronze structure is one of the largest freestanding sculptures in the world.

Stop Four: ASEAN Sculpture Garden

A harmonious combination of waterscape and landscape found just below the National Monument. The garden has a collection of prize-winning sculptures by some of the finest artists in the Southeast Asian region.

Stop Five: Lake Gardens

Here one is treated to a first glimpse of the unsurpassed beauty and variety of Malaysia’s flora and fauna. The park, which is built around two lakes, provides pedestrians with a soothing ambience as they walk through a panorama of lush foliage, exotic blooms, creative themeparks and regal raintrees.

Stop Six: Planetarium Negara

A blue-domed structure atop a hill in the Lake Gardens. Its attractions include a space theater, which screens space shows and movies. Its observatory houses a 14-inch telescope through which on a full moon a visitor can view heavenly bodies.

Stop Seven: Central Market

Here music, crafts and cultural practices from all over Malaysia can be explored and experienced. Local artists thrive here in order to demonstrate their skills and display their works. Look on as natives transform plain, white fabric into wonderful batik cloth by placing wonderful patterns on them. It is also a haven for shoppers due to its numerous stalls and boutiques selling antiques, handicrafts, souvenirs and Asian artifacts.

Stop Eight: Petronas Twin Towers

The 88-story twin towers soar to a nauseating height of 452 meters above the city skyline. This piece of architecture is inspired by the Five Pillars of Islam. The towers house the Petronas Philharmonic Hall, which is home of the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra and Petronas Performing Arts Group. Currently, the Petronas Twin Towers are the world’s tallest two freestanding towers.

Stop Nine: Istana Negara

Located just outside the city center, the official residence of His Majesty, the King of Malaysia. Pristine lawns and colorful gardens enhance the expansive grounds. Official functions and ceremonies are hosted in the palace. Visitors and tourists can witness the changing of the guards, garbed in their brilliant uniforms, daily.

Stop Ten: Menara Kuala Lumpur

It is the tallest tower in Asia at its height of 421 meters. It is currently the fourth tallest in the world. It can give tourists a panoramic view of KL from its observation deck. It also serves a transmission station for television, radio and telecommunications.

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Comments (3)

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  1. dee says:

    malaysia truely asia

  2. afif says:

    salm buat pra tki

  3. M says:

    No 1-10 on the list sounds great and should be good for a couple of days of sight-seeing and photo-snapping. Thank goodness they had the good sense to leave off the National Museum (Muzium Negara) which is to put it mildly, dusty and antiquated. I swear some of the exhibits have not been updated since my last visit when I was in primary school.

    What about the shopping and the cuisine?? That has to definitely be the highlights of Malaysia, what with the favourable exchange rate and the plethora of delectable Malaysian cuisine.

    Firstly the shopping – definitely venture to Mid-Valley MegaMall which is one of the biggest in Asia. Nice comfy shoes are a must and don’t expect to cover everything (comprehensively that is!) in a day. It’s not too far from KL city center and you can easily cab there, providing 1. the cab is metered or 2. in the absence of a meter, a fare is agreed upon BEFORE you step into the vehicle.

    1-Utama and it’s extension 2-Utama is probably the suburban shopping mall to hit – but it’s located quite a distance from KL, so have a think about that one. It’s where the locals shop though and the shops are nice, if a little pedestrian, but there are plenty of small, independent stalls/ shopfronts to mix things up a little.

    There is of course the usual suspects located right in the heart of KL – pricey and a little touristy, but hey, who cares? KLCC shopping center located on the lower levels of the Petrona Twin Towers is undeniably swanky, as is StarHill and Lot 10. On the plus side, I’ve heard that StarHill houses an excellent buffet place with a definite Japanese slant – Jogoya?

    As for the food *sighs* – it’s incomparable, cheap and very very addictive! I can hardly do it justice here but remember to try a little of everything as Malaysia is a melting pot of Malays, Chinese and Indians, and the cuisine reflects that. And of course, unless you must, avoid McD’s like the plague – pointless, plus it’s expensive by Malaysia standards.

    In Malaysia, expensive does not always equal good. In fact, the best places are usually unpreposessing hole-in-the-wall establishments where plates of food are sold for RM (Ringgit Malaysia) 3 and the stream of customers is constant.

    There are a few kick-arse Malaysian food blogs out there, which are dedicated to scouring KL (and it’s suburbs) for the best/ authentic food experiences.

    Try:

    http://www.eatingasia.typepad.com

    http://www.masak-masak.blogspot.com

    for starters

    Both have links to other food blogs.

    Happy travelling!

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