Kuala Lumpur is an old town, built in the middle of the jungle. It is therefore up to its name, meaning "muddy river". It was given this name by the city's former inhabitants, who settled in the middle of swamps. Therefore, nobody could have tought of these origins when you contemplate what it has become : prestigious buildings or immense towers. These disproportionate buildings emerge everywhere from the ground, beginning with the city airport, where, after getting down from the plane, you need to take the train to fetch your luggage !
Kuala Lumpur is a combination of different cultures. The Malays, the Chinese and the Indians form the Malaysian population. Mosques, temples and churches stand side by side in many places without any problem.
Getting to Kuala Lumpur makes it obligatory to pay several visits to places like the Petronas Towers, or the Sri Mahamarianan Temple. In addition, shopping maniacs will not know which way to turn. Huge shopping centres are scattered throughout the city. It is especially a concentration of shops on the Jalan Bukit Bintang avenue. Lovers of massages will be thrilled to see the number of shopkeepers offering their service. As for nightlife, Kuala Lumpur offers very lively evenings, with the upscale district of the city, Bangsar.
Kuala Lumpur has a highly developped urban network. It is very pleasant to use the elevated railroad to travel around the city. The Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower offers a superb 360° view of the city, at a height of 276 metres, its size up to 421 metres. Do not forget to get lost in Chinatown and Little India. Unfortunately, you will find a lot of fake items, including in Jalan Pelating. There is also a small tower on the side of the Istana Negara, the official residence of the king of Malaysia. This royal palace is magnificent, where you can also attend the change of the guard.
The Petronas Towers. A total of 88 floors measuring 452 meters in height. Both towers are very impressive during the day but they are really beautiful at night. Its lighting gives it a look of diamond, which blends the colours of gold and silver. The Islamic Art Museum. It has several galleries, including one devoted to Islamic architecture. The museum exhibits mainly miniature mosques, memorials and mausoleums. There are also manuscripts, arms, coins, jewellery, textiles and costumes of the Islamic world. Sri Maha Mariamman Temple : the Hindu temple, which is the starting point of pilgrimage for the religious festival Thaipusam. The war memorial. Next to the House of Parliament, there is a bronze national monument. It was erected in memory of the Malaysian, English and Commonwealth soldiers killed during the communist insurrection between 1948 and 1960. It measures 75 metres in height.
Remember to take an anti-malaria treatment, if you go into the jungle. Mosquitoes are not many in the city. It is always recommendable to take a repellent to avoid mosquito bites. Even if you are accustomed to the sun, it is important to bring sun protection. Like many hot-spot destinations, you would not feel too strongly the heat from the sun during the day but you would bitterly regret it once the evening comes in ! The beaches are not the only place where the sun rages, it is also in the city.
You should know that during public school holidays, hotels and transport are rather busy. The Malays are not accustomed to point the finger at someone and might also be offended by this gesture. They use therefore their thumb to indicate one direction or another. As for hard bargain, the Chinese are quite fond of this practice, but do not play this game with the Malays. The prices are fixed, they may not appreciate your desire to bargain.
The Malay cuisine is a combination of different flavours. A world of mixed spices : pepper, ginger, Indian saffron, caraway, curry? The Malay meal is mostly based on rice. It is cooked in different ways: steamed, fried, boiled simply or seasoned with coconut milk, spices and herbs. It is often served in the form of a rice cake or lemang, sticky rice cooked with charcoal in a hollow bamboo tube, garnished with young banana leaves. Rice is accompanied by vegetables, meat or fish. In Kuala Lumpur, there are restaurants with different types of cuisine : China, India, Thailand ... Special mention to the Vietnamese cuisine served at the "Tamarind Restaurant." Far from the excitement of downtown, it is possible to have a hearty meal mixing up several flavours : shrimp cake, rice cake with fig jam with sesame ... All for a trivial price. Remember also to visit the "Restauran Sri Thai", located on the Jalam Sultan Ismail Street, where you will enjoy the delicious Thai cuisine.
In shopping centres, you will find almost all Western brands but not always at prices more attractive than in the UK, some brands are even more expensive. However, to find local crafts, it is better to go to the Central Market. Designed in Art Deco style by the architect TY Lee, this building was built in 1936. Used mainly to sell food to the needy, the market is now specialized in manual work. You will find there pieces of art, antiques, clothing and jewelry. The pashminas are not expensive at all.