Kuala Lumpar, the capital of Malaysia is home to an estimated 6.5 million people within the larger city limits.
It is a city with a recent history having only been founded in the 1850’s when tin prospectors started to open tin mines. The immediate vicinity of the mines became a trading post which in turn became a frontier town. The growth of the city has been phenomenal, and today, tourism plays a central role in Kuala Lumpar’s or KL’s service driven economy.
The city has a host of attractions for the tourists that flock into this sprawling urban agglomeration, situated along the West Coast of the Malaysian Peninsula. As the Asian Tiger economies have grown over the last two decades, nothing symbolizes more, this astonishing growth than the Kuala Lumpar skyline. Below is a look at some of the top rated tourist attractions in KL.
Kuala Lumpar’s central market was built in 1888 and is an excellent way to spend a couple of hours browsing the wonderful handicrafts made by locals. The market is housed in an art deco building. Stall holders in the market are not pushy and will allow you time to browse in a pleasant air conditioned environment. Amongst the products available for purchase are silk scarves and jewellery which is produced to a high standard by local artisans. For those that want to take the weight off their feet, there a number of nice coffee shops as well as a food court.
Masid Jamek, is one of the oldest mosques in KL, when it was opened over one hundred years ago. The mosque is constructed in a Moorish influenced style with white domes and is pressed between both the Klang and Gombak rivers and hidden by the huge number of skyscrapers in the surrounding area. For those looking to visit the mosque, consider visiting at the weekend where there are stalls and a good atmosphere. As a word of caution, if you are not a Muslim you will not be able to enter the praying area, however a stroll around the rest of the mosque makes for an interesting addition to any travel itinery.
Petronas Twin Towers
The Petronas Twin Towers at 1453 feet, dominate the KL skyline. It was here where Katherine Zeta Jones and Sean Connery filmed ‘Entrapment’ and where they abseiled from the sky bridge. The towers are open six days a week from nine until nine and have an entry fee of eighty myr for adults and thirty myr for children. There is an observation deck located on the eighty sixth level and the sky bridge is found on the forty first level. For tourists, there is no need to queue for tickets if you buy in advance on the Petronas Towers website. Otherwise, tickets are offered on a first come, first serve basis and once sold out there are no further tours on that particular day. The Petronas Towers are located in the KL City Centre in what used to be the race course, and for visitors the nearest stop is the train station within the tower complex, and is called KLCC.
Kuala Lumpar Bird Park
The Kuala Lumpar Bird Park is the largest walk-in aviary in the world and is set in a huge valley. It is home to over three thousand birds and is marketed as an eco-tourism park. Although entry to the park is not cheap at 38 myr, it does take a few hours to walk through the park and is great for children. Walking amongst the birds, including hornbills and local species is a fantastic experience and for those weary of spending hours on their feet, there is a café located at the entrance of the park.
The SriMahamariamman is Malaysia’s oldest Hindu temple that is still functioning. The temple was constructed in 1873 and is a superb example of South Indian architecture. There is no entry fee into the temple and the visiting time will take less than an hour; however, the colour and the history behind the temple make it well worth a visit. The temple is located close to the central market; the only downside is you will have to take your shoes off when entering the temple; however these can be left with an attendant for a small fee.
Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum has been voted by respected travel review site, Trip Advisor as second out of a hundred tourist attractions to visit in Kuala Lumpar, and won the 2013 Travellers Choice award. The museum is made up of four levels where it houses an incredible collection of Islamic artefacts. The museum is open plan and it is well worth spending a morning browsing through what the museum has on display. Travel to the museum is not easy as Kuala Lumpar is not the world’s most pedestrian friendly city but due to the interesting artefacts and the superb architecture of the museum it is well worth a visit.
On a final note, transport links are adequately developed for convenient travel, being part of the city’s growing public transport system. Like all cities, however, there is room for improvement and KL is often consumed by traffic jams. Consider avoiding either bus or taxi travel as a result, and instead it is worth using either the monorail transport service or the train. Full details of these two travel services can be found on myrapid.com, an excellent resource for all travellers to Malaysia. It gives all the routes available on KL’s integrated rail system and mono rail as well as the Kelana Jaya Line and Ampeng line.
Hopefully, this brief travel guide of Kuala Lumpar including a brief history and the principal tourist attractions has been useful. Ahead of any journey to Malaysia a great resource to consult is Travel Advisor or Lonely Planet. They make essential reading for tourists who want to get the most out of their holiday to Malaysia’s sprawling metropolis.