Malaysia Travel Trip Guide
Kuala Lumpur Introduction
Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia, boasting gleaming skyscrapers, colonial architecture, charming locals, and a myriad of natural attractions.
Divided into numerous districts, its main hub is called the Golden Triangle which comprises Bukit Bintang (shopping district), KLCC (iconic building) and Chinatown (famous bargain bazaar).
*Kuala Lumpur was also known as one of the “Global City” which is a primary node in the global economic network.
Sightseeing & Popular Landmarks
Kuala Lumpur Attractions
As a first-timer visit to Kuala Lumpur city, spend some time visiting around the “Golden Triangle” is a must in order to learn the Malaysian colonial architecture and culture.
The Kuala Lumpur city is rather compact that you could even visit most of the iconic attractions (half day tour) just by traveling on foot, now how good was that! 😉
*If you had joined and explored all of the major city tours, do consider spending a day visiting Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park – Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens
Petronas Twin Tower (KLCC)
Petronas Twin Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world. Now the world’s tallest twin structures, the 88-story buildings were designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates with both towers joined at the 41st and 42nd floors (175m above street level) by a 58 meter-long, double-decker Sky Bridge.
Located in the KL city center, the Petronas Twin Towers’ architecture is Islamic-inspired and the buildings primarily house the corporate headquarters of the Petronas Company and other offices.
*Do remember to spend some time and visit Aquaria KLCC, the Largest Aquarium in Southeast Asia which situated right inside the Petronas Twin Tower!
Menara KL Tower
Along with the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL Tower is easily Malaysia’s most recognizable and popular landmark. Constructed in 1994, the tower stands at 421 meters and effortlessly trumps the Petronas Twin Towers with the highest and most spectacular view of the city.
The tower is erected atop the Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill) Forest Reserve – the oldest gazetted forest reserve in the country, which houses age-old trees as well as flora and fauna indigenous to Malaysia’s tropical climate. Primarily used as a communications infrastructure, it is the fifth-tallest telecommunications tower in the world.
*You can even book a sky deck ticket to experience the 360° spectacular view from the very top of Menara KL!
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The distinguished landmark originally served as the secretariat for the colonial British administration, was originally designed by AC Norman, the architect who also responsible for Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque).
This historically-significant building used to house the superior courts of Malaysia: the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Court of Appeals and the High Court of Malaya, before they moved to Putrajaya.
*The building also well-equipped with an old classic English clock tower that will rings (up till date) when it hits each quarter.
Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka)
Merdeka Square is undoubtedly KL’s best-known landmark. Also called Dataran Merdeka, it is set in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (the former State Secretariat).
Within the colonial core of Kuala Lumpur, where the remnants of the British empire are especially evident, Merdeka Square seems to be nothing more than a giant field with perfectly manicured green lawns and a centerpiece of the tallest flagpole in the world (95m) proudly displaying the Jalur Gemilang (Malaysian flag).
*This is where the major event takes place during the Malaysia National Day which held every year on 31st August.
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
Gold Award Winning Centre Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, owned by ARCH, tells the story of Kuala Lumpur’s Past, Present, and Future through miniatures. It is located right in Independence Square (Dataran Merdeka), Kuala Lumpur’s historical enclave!
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is a must stop for everyone who wants to Experience 360° of Kuala Lumpur where visitors can learn about Old Kuala Lumpur through prints, photos, and architectural miniature models.
*This popular landmark is simply the best place for tourist to get some best photo shoot in Kuala Lumpur city.
Perdana Botanical Garden
The Perdana Botanical Gardens, set within the Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park, contain the largest collection of flower gardens and animal parks in Kuala Lumpur city center.
One of its standout features is the Orchid Garden, which is a five-minute walk from the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. This flower garden spans 10,000 square meters, housing walking paths, and manmade fountains, as well as a semi-circle pergola and rock garden that house 800 species of orchids from both climbing and terrestrial varieties.
*Perdana Botanical Garden is best visited during the weekends when it’s packed with locals enjoying various activities on the main square.
Shopping & Food Paradise
Chinatown (Petaling Street)
Chinatown aka Petaling Street is also a well-known bargain hunter’s paradise, a place where you can find all sorts of stuff from Chinese herbs to imitation goods.
At night, its main market area, Petaling Street, transforms into a lively and vibrant night market, filled with hundreds of stalls offering all kinds of goods at dirt-cheap prices.
*Apart from great street foods, you can also expect on buying heaps of AAA-branded goods at a very cheap and reasonable price.
Built in 1928, Central Market it just a short walk away from Petaling Street, along Jalan Hang Kasturi. Also called Pasar Seni, it used to be a simple wet market but in the early 1980s was revamped into a handicrafts outlet.
The focus for the city’s artistic community inside the building is a warren of boutiques, handicraft and souvenir stalls with traders selling local merchandise such as authentic Malaysian batik prints and more.
*You can also consider visiting Kasturi Walk, a well-decorated food & art bazaar which is right outside the central market.
Lifestyle & Culture
Islamic Art Museum Malaysia
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most popular attractions, and well-regarded as Southeast Asia’s largest museum of Islamic art.
An impressive architectural feat, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia feature a huge blue turquoise dome on top of the building, glass walls that allow natural light to flow in, domed ceilings adorned with intricate Islamic patterns, and a vast exhibition space which spans 30,000 square meters.
*A must-visit for those who wish to know more about Islam, the National Mosque of Malaysia is also situated right opposite of the museum.
Masjid Jamek Mosque
Masjid Jamek Mosque, also known as Friday Mosque, is recognized as the oldest Islamic place of worship in Kuala Lumpur.
Overlooking the Klang River, it offers breathtaking photo opportunities for travelers due to the combination of ancient Moorish, Islam and Mughal architectural styles, verdant surroundings, and distant views of KL’s other iconic landmarks.
*Masjid Jamek is open to the public daily (apart from Friday), visitors are only allowed to visit the mosque after prayer session.
Kuan Ti Temple
Kuan Ti Temple is a 121-year-old Taoist temple located along Jalan Tun HS Lee (within Petaling Street). An easily recognizable building with a bright orange façade, it is dedicated to Guandi, the Taoist God of War and Literature; there is a red-faced, long beard statue of Guandi at the rear of the temple.
Also known as Guan Di Temple, on the altar in front of the statue of Guandi (also called Guan Gong or Guan Yu) is guan dao and guan jie – a famous sword and spear. Deified in the Sui Dynasty (580-618 AD), devotees believe that Guandi’s weapons have special powers and that they will be blessed by ‘touching’ or ‘lifting’ the 59kg copper guan dao three times.
*The Kuan Di Temple opens at 6.00am-5.00pm daily, make sure to be there in time if you wish to visit the temple interior.
Sri Mahamariamman Temple
South of Jalan Hang Lekir, tucked away on Jalan Tun HS Lee, is the extravagantly decorated Sri Mahamariamman Temple. Incorporating Spanish and Italian tiles, precious stones and gold in its design, KL’s main Hindu temple is an incongruous sight situated between two Buddhist temples at the edge of Chinatown (Petaling Street).
This large and elaborate Hindu temple was founded by Tamil immigrants, from southern India, who arrived in Malaya as contract laborers to build the railways and roads or work in the rubber plantations – its primary purpose was to serve as a solace from the rigors of their working life.
*Be there around 7.30am, 12.15pm, and 5.30pm daily, if you wish to witness the Puja (praying) session.
Kuala Lumpur City Transportation Information
Malaysia Tourism Centre
Once you drop down at Kuala Lumpur City, the first thing you might want to do is to visit the Malaysia Tourism Centre situated along the road towards KLCC.
Inside the building, there is a lounge for resting, restaurant a meal, money changer, information center and even some free tour guidebook which makes your trip easier! 😉
*Outside the building, there is a KL Hop On and Off bus station if you wish to explore the city on a double-decker bus.
KL Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour
The KL Hop-on Hop-Off City Tour is an informative tour bus service where you get to disembark and spend more time at certain areas within the city throughout the entire duration of the excursion. Operating at 20-minute intervals daily between 09:00 and 20:00, there are 23 designated stops near more than 40 attractions throughout Kuala Lumpur.
The double-decker tour bus is equipped with such facilities as onboard commentary in English for each of the attractions and complimentary Wi-Fi, making it one of the most convenient tours around. The bottom deck is fully air-conditioned, while the top deck is divided into an air-conditioned and an open-air section that’s ideal for cooler days.
Ticket Purchase Method
Tickets can be purchased when boarding the bus or at official KL Hop-On Hop-Off ticket counters, which are located at the Malaysian Tourism Centre, KL Sentral’s arrival hall and KLCC.
Passengers can also choose between 24-hour or 48-hour tickets, which are priced at RM55 for adults and RM30 for children (3-12 years old) for the former, while the latter costs RM85 and RM50, respectively.
*We recommend for you to start your tour in the morning to avoid traffic congestion after 4.00 PM (on normal weekdays).
Fun Facts About Kuala Lumpur City:
This is what you need to know while traveling in Kuala Lumpur
- In Malay, Kuala means “Muddy,” and Lumpur means a “junction between two rivers.” Kuala Lumpur is given the name because it is situated at the junction of Gombak River and Klang River.
- Kuala Lumpur is the largest and most populated city in Malaysia with an estimated population of 1.8 million.
- Although Kuala Lumpur is one of the fastest growing cities in the world, it only acquired the status of being a city in 1972.
- The Malaysian Houses of Parliament is located at the Lake Gardens in Kuala Lumpur.
- Kuala Lumpur is fondly called as KL and residents of the city are known as KLites.
- Due to the tropical rainforest climate, flash floods are a regular occurrence in Kuala Lumpur during the monsoon season, especially in the city center and other low-lying areas. So keep this in mind and check the weather conditions while making plans to visit the Kuala Lumpur.
- Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world – The Petronas Towers. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 until the opening of Taipei 101. Also, the double-decker bridge connecting the two towers on 41st and 42nd floors is the highest two-story bridge in the world.
- To meet the deadline, two different companies were hired to build the Petronas Twin towers. The Japanese company, Hazama Corp built one of the towers while the other was built by the Korean company, Samsung. However, Hazama Corp made a mistake and discovered that the tower has a 25mm tilt. To correct the tilt, next 16 floors were slanted back 20mm. Interesting! Isn’t it?
- The tallest twin towers in the world, Petronas Towers are created in just six years.
- Kuala Lumpur Tower or KL Tower is the seventh tallest tower in the world and tallest telecommunication tower in Southeast Asia. It provides panoramic views of KL.
- The official residence of Malaysian King Yang di-Pertuan Agong is Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur. The lavish palace compound covers around 50,000-meter square area and is favorite among tourists.
- One of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, the Batu Caves are located in Gombak district near Kuala Lumpur. Batu Caves are a series of many cave temples and caves in a limestone hill and are dedicated to Hindu God “Murugan.” The limestone forming the cave is said to be 400 million years old.
- Kuala Lumpur is the retail hub of Malaysia and boasts a total of 66 shopping malls. One Utama mall in Kuala Lumpur is the fourth largest shopping mall in the world covering a total of 5,000 square feet. Another popular mall among tourists is “The Sunway Pyramid” shopping mall noticeable for its Egypt-inspired architecture.
- Kuala Lumpur hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998. It also hosted A1 Grand Prix and Motorcycle Grand Prix in the Sepang International Circuit in Selangor.