Kuala Lumpur Essentials:

How big is Kuala Lumpur?
Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it's often known, covers almost 244 kilometres square. It's the largest city in Malaysia, and also acts as the country's capital.
How many people inhabit it?
At the moment, around 1.6 million people call KL their home.
What are the language and the currency?
The official language is Malay; however, other languages including English, Mandarin, Tamil and Cantonese are also widely spoken. The official currency is the Malaysian Ringgit.
  • Jalan Petaling, Chinatown
Jalan Petaling, Chinatown Clothes for sale in Little India View from Skybridge at Petronas Twin Towers Stairs up to the Batu Caves Petronas Towers Skybridge

Things to see in Kuala Lumpur

Murugan statue at the Batu caves
What is Kuala Lumpur's main attraction?
The Petronas Twin Towers are the city's main attractions.
What's so great about them?
Well, until recently, they were the tallest buildings in the world. Construction on the towers lasted from 1992 to 1998, and today they stand an imposing 452 metres or 88 storeys tall. The Skybridge on the 41st floor is a great way to take in the sprawling metropolis that is Kuala Lumpur. Unlike many other similar viewing towers, there's no admission fee here. Each day 1,400 free tickets are issued. The ticket opens at 8.30am, and it's best to come early as this is a hugely popular attraction. When you have your ticket, you can head up to the bridge and enjoy your 15-minute visit.
Anything else which shouldn't be missed?
No visit to KL is complete without a trip to the Batu Caves. Totally worth the 13km journey north of the city centre, these caves were discovered in 1878 by William Homaday, an American naturalist. Here, you can take in the imposing statue of Murugan, the largest statue of this Hindu god in the world. These ancient caves are filled with shrines and temples. It's a 272-step climb up to the caves, but even that is almost an attraction in itself. If you find yourself flagging though, why not take a moment to make friends with one of the gang of monkeys guarding the route. Another way to get some amazing views of the city is to head up the Menara KL Tower. Though it's not quite as well-known as the Petronas Twin Towers, the Menara KL actually has the city's highest viewing deck. The Sri Mahamariammen Temple is another must-see. It is Malaysia's oldest practising Hindu Temple and was wounded in 1873. See the renowned 'silver chariot' in the main prayer hall, and marvel at the fascinating exterior.
On average how much does it cost to get into Kuala Lumpur's top museums?
As it happens, two of KL's best museums are free. The National History Museum is the country's only museum which is entirely dedicated to Malaysia's complete history. Exhibits cover everything from Islam to Japanese occupation, and beyond. Also offering free entry, The National Art Gallery opened in 1958. It is home to over 2,500 works of art, spread throughout 5 different gallery areas.
How's the shopping?
KL is filled with great shopping opportunities. From huge malls to markets, there's a staggering selection of goods available, including designer brands and handmade offerings. One of the most impressive shopping malls in the world is the Suria KLCC, which covers an incredible 1.5 million square feet. Air-conditioned and entirely modern, the centre is filled with stores like Zara, GAP, Levis and much, much more. To practice your haggling skills, why not head to Jalan Petaling in Chinatown. Famous for its DVDs of slightly dubious origin, its leather goods, and its counterfeit clothing, this market is home to a huge number of stalls, and it does a huge trade.

Going out in Kuala Lumpur

Petronas Twin Towers at night
Where are most of the bars found?
Two of the most popular areas when it comes to KL's nightlife are the Golden Triangle and Bangsar. Whether you're looking for a pub, a club or a fancy bar, you'll be able to find it here.
Where would you recommend?
For breathtaking views to go with your drink, check out Luna on Jalan Punchak. Located on the 34th floor of the Pacific Regency Hotel Apartments, this chic bar looks out at the spectacular Petronas Twin Towers. KL's number one club is Zouk on Jalan Ampang in the Golden Triangle. Some of the world's top DJs often provide the tunes here, and there's plenty of room to dance. The club's 'Velvet Underground' area is a little less crazy, if you're looking for a more chilled spot. Found on the vibrant Jalan P Ramlee in the Golden Triangle, the Beach Club Café has a unique atmosphere complimented by its beach-hut look. It is an outdoor bar sporting a plethora of palm trees, along with a huge range of delicious cocktails. Bangsar Avenue, which is not so surprisingly located in Bangsar, is a large venue with a variety of different areas. From the outdoor terrace to the dance floor in the club area to the pool table, it has something for everyone.
Anything else I need to know?
Taking in KL's skyline at night is one of the most enjoyable parts of visiting this city. From the huge Petronas Twin Towers to the impressive Menara KL, take a walk and see how these spectacular buildings light up the Golden Triangle each and every night.

Eating Out in Kuala Lumpur

Food stalls on a KL street
Is it expensive to eat out in Kuala Lumpur?
No. You'll always be able to find somewhere cheap to eat in KL.
Where is the best selection of restaurants in the city?
There are lots of good options in KL. Check out Jalan Alor in the Golden Triangle, where you'll find a large number of restaurants, complete with coaxing spokesmen stationed outside on the street. Other areas to check out include Chinatown and Little India.
Any places you'd recommend?
The Chinatown Pavillion on Jalan Hang Lekir is centrally located in Chinatown, and offers a great selection of food, making it equally popular with locals and visitors. Noodles and rice dishes are staples here, and provide a tasty meal. On Jalan Alor, the Meng Kee Grill offers many fishy delights. Dishes include everything from swordfish to stingray. But if you're not a seafood fan, don't worry. This restaurant also offers vegetarian and meat options. ABC's Food Corner on Jalan Masjid India in Little India is a great place to try traditional Indian cooking. From the naan breads to the set menus, this restaurant serves great food at low prices.
What times do restaurants close?
You'll never go hungry in KL, with many restaurants open until the wee hours. Some are even open 24 hours a day.
Say I just want a snack. What
Well, all over the city you'll see a large number of street stalls. Selling everything from chicken skewers to noodles, these stalls provide a quick snacking option. Prices are incredibly low too.

Transport in Kuala Lumpur

Walking around in Kuala Lumpur
Can I get around on foot?
You can walk from some parts of the city to others, like from the Golden Triangle to Chinatown. However, due to the hot and often rainy weather, you'll more than likely have to use public transport at some stage during your stay.
So, what are my options?
Getting around KL using public transport is actually pretty easy, and there are two main ways of doing this: the LRT (Light Rail Transit) and the Monorail. The LRT is operated by Rapid KL and runs across three lines. Services are efficient, and it's cheap too. If you're looking for a more unique transport experience, check out the Monorail. Not only does it look cool, but it's cheap and quick, as well as offering some spectacular views of the city.

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  • Posted: Thursday, November 4, 2010
  • Comments: 0
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