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Your guide to Kuala Lumpur
All About Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia’s capital city, Kuala Lumpur is a dizzying amalgamation of the modern and the ancient, with gleaming skyscrapers residing beside colonial residential homes, natural wonders, and spiritual sanctuaries. As culturally rich as it is massive, the city is home to a unique blend of Malay, Chinese, and Indian architecture, traditions, and cuisines.
The central hub of the modern city, referred to as the Golden Triangle, comprises three districts: KLCC, Bukit Bintang, and Chinatown. KLCC is the city’s economic center and is home to three of the world’s largest shopping malls. The staggering KL Tower features an observation deck where you can get an excellent view of the cityscape, and you certainly won’t miss the Petronas Towers, the world’s largest twin skyscrapers, which light up the night sky. In Bukit Bintang, the city’s entertainment district, you’ll find the heart of the city’s food scene, Jalan Alor — a dense strip of seafood restaurants and hawkers selling barbecued meats, noodles, and desserts. Amidst Chinatown’s bright and colorful architecture is the Petaling Street Flea Market, a shopper’s dream that transforms at night into a vibrant hub with bars, live entertainment, and a thriving night market.
Alongside these dens of leisure are an array of temples, such as the elaborately adorned Sri Mahamariamman Temple and the open, symmetrical Kuan Ti Temple. Just outside of Kuala Lumpur proper, you’ll find the 400-million-year-old Batu Caves, home to a century-old Hindu temple.
The best time to stay in a vacation rental in Kuala Lumpur
Due to its tropical location, Kuala Lumpur is hot and humid all year round, but May through July and December through February are the most comfortable times to visit the city. Kuala Lumpur experiences two types of monsoons. East monsoons bring light, on-and-off showers during October and January, and west monsoons blanket the city with rain during March and April. Many of the major events in the city are based around religious festivals. Keep in mind, while some of these festivals do have fixed dates based on the Gregorian calendar, many operate based on the lunar cycle, with the dates changing each year. The most opulent annual festivals are during Ramadan, Lunar New Year, Deepavali, and Christmas.
Top things to do in Kuala Lumpur
One of the tallest freestanding structures in the world, the Menara Kuala Lumpur is visible from nearly anywhere in Kuala Lumpur. The tower sits on top of the Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill), the oldest gazetted forest reserve in the country, and reaches over 900 feet high. At the top of the tower, you’ll find a revolving restaurant, a theater, and the best views in the city.
Perdana Botanical Gardens
Located in Tun Abdul Razak Heritage Park, these gardens contain the largest collection of flower gardens in Kuala Lumpur. The 10,000-square-meter site is home to an orchid garden, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, and a rock garden that houses 800 species of climbing and terrestrial orchids. You’ll also find fountains, artificial waterfalls, benches for quiet reflection, and a cafe.
About 25 minutes outside of the city center, Batu Caves are one of the most culturally significant Hindu shrines in the world. The caves themselves have existed for hundreds of millions of years, but the site is now home to a set of nearly 300 steep, brilliantly colored stairs leading into the entrance of the temple in the caves, with a 140-foot golden statue of Lord Murugan, to whom the temple pays tribute. Inside, several smaller temples, intricate shrines and statues merge with the natural rock formations to create a stunning effect.