Kuala Lumpur City Guide
About Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur or ‘KL’ as it is popularly called is the capital city of Malaysia, which is usually used by visitors as a gateway to the rest of Malaysia. KL whose name translates as ‘muddy estuary’ is located on the confluence of the Kelang and Gombak Rivers and is an enchanting, busy metropolis whose landscape is peppered with modern, glistening, sky scrapers that coexist with colonial buildings.
If you have never been to KL, you are in for a real treat for this fascinating city offers a plethora of world renowned attractions that never fail to enchant visitors to the city.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur
Golden Triangle Hotels
Most of the hotels in KL are concentrated around an area of the city known as the ‘Golden triangle’ which is bordered by the main streets of the city namely Jalan Imbi, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Chulan. Also included within this Golden Triangle area is KL’s prime shopping and dining area called Jalan Bukit Bintang(also known as Bintang Walk).
The Golden Triangle area is home to several upscale hotels and is well served by various modes of KL’s public transport like the Monorail, KTM Komuter and the LRT. These Golden Triangle Hotels are usually the preferred accommodation choice of visitors on a trip to Kuala Lumpur.
KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) is the city’s most prestigious enclave that plays host to most of the city’s super luxury hotels. This area is bordered by Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak and is also home to prestigious shopping complexes, like Suria KLCC and Avenue K, which house several well known luxury brands as well as premier local brands.
Accommodation at luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur tends to cost an arm and a leg. However if you have a preference for over the top luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur, you need not despair for Fare Buzz can guarantee you mouth-watering hotel discounts for your stay at any luxury hotel property in Kuala Lumpur.
Places to see in Kuala Lumpur
The Petronas Towers
The Petronas towers were until recently the tallest buildings in the world. These towering edifices are located on Jalan Ampang and house the upscale KLCC shopping mall at their base. The towers and their observation decks are open every day except Monday. Entry is free but limited to the first 1200 visitors so if you are desirous of taking in one of KL’s most famous sights on your vacation to Kuala Lumpur, you must aim to get there early.
The KL Tower
The concrete KL tower is also known as the Menara KL and it towers to a height of 421m (1,381 ft). This tower is the fifth tallest tower in the world and it affords fabulous views of the city as it is built on a hill.
The Merderka square has much historical importance as it was here that the declaration of Malaysian independence was made in 1957 at the open field known as Padang. The square hosts the tallest flag pole in the world and it is surrounded by other prominent and historical buildings like the Anglican St Mary’s Cathedral, the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and the Royal Selangor Club.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building
The Sultan Abdul Samad building served as the colonial secretariat at the time of the British rule in Malaysia. The building now houses the courts of law. This building is an exponent of Islamic style of architecture and it is equipped with a 40 ft clock tower which is a gathering point for various celebrations.
The Masjid or mosque is the oldest mosque in KL, which was built in the style of the Mughals and it sports three domes. The name Masjid Jamek also refers to the area surrounding the mosque that hosts Kuala Lumpur’s ‘Little India’.
Sri Mahamarriaman Temple
Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, which is located on Petaling Street, is yet another attraction worth visiting in the city. This bustling district is a maze of narrow alleyways filled with vendors who sell wide variety of wares. Located within this district is a famous Hindu temple called the Sri Mahamarriaman temple. This temple is similar in design to the many temples of Southern India as it is topped by an elaborate gopuram(tower).
However, this temple is particularly known for its association with an important, Hindu festival, Thaipusam which is celebrated with much fan fare in KL during January or February every year. The Sri Mahamarriaman temple is the starting point for the Thaipusam procession wherein devotees in a prayer fueled trance, pierce their bodies with iron skewers and participate in a procession while carrying altars on their heads. This procession then makes its way to the Batu Caves, which are located 13 km away from the city. The Thaipusam procession finally terminates at a temple located within the caves. If you are on a visit to Kuala Lumpur during the Thaipussam festival, you must try and take in this fascinating and bizarre spectacle.
The National Monument is a massive bronze sculpture that was sculpted by Felix de Weldon. This landmark is located off Jalan Parlimen commemorates the Malay soldier who laid down his life as a supreme sacrifice of the country.
Best time to visit Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is located quite close the Equator and is bestowed with hot and steamy weather all year round. Daytime temperatures in Kuala Lumpur often touch 95° F or 35° C though the city often experiences thunder storms during the afternoons or early evenings, which helps cool things down a bit.
Kuala Lumpur can thus be classified as year round destination and no matter when you decide to visit Kuala Lumpur, Fare Buzz can offer you attractive hotel and flight deals for your trip. If you prefer to combine the two, then the team at Fare Buzz can help and create a suitable vacation package to Kuala Lumpur for you as well.
Getting around in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur can be easily accessed via its hyper modern glass and steel airport, called KLIA( Kuala Lumpur International Airport), which is located in the suburb of Sepang. Sepang lies at a distance of approximately fifty kilometers from the heart of the city.
This state of the art, modern airport which often ranks amongst the top airports of the world was commissioned in 1998 when it replaced the older Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah airport. Today the older airport is almost exclusively used for charter flights while KLIA caters to all the international and budget carriers that serve Malaysia. Fare Buzz routinely offers cheap air tickets to Kuala Lumpur and if you are planning a visit to Kuala Lumpur any time soon, you may want to check the many Kuala Lumpur cheap air ticket deals that Fare Buzz currently offers.
The KL airport is served by an express coach service as well as the city’s regular taxi service however the quickest way to access the city from KLIA is by taking the KLIA Ekspres, a non-stop express train, which has a terminal within the airport and can easily accommodate passengers who are traveling with luggage. The KLIA Ekspres provides a connection between KLIA and KL Sentral which is the transport hub in the city.
KL is busy, bustling city and is unfortunately known to have horrendous traffic snarls. The city is still heavily car dependant though the development of the Light Rail Transport system known as the LRT has alleviated the traffic problem somewhat in recent years. The LRT is composed of 3 lines run by three private companies, the KTM Komuter, the Star LRT and the Putra LRT. Banks, shopping Malls and other sections of the city are accessible by the LRT. Additionally the city also has the KL Monorail system, which serves the main tourist hub of the ‘Golden Triangle.
The city is also served by the Rapid City shuttle buses; and rather inexpensive red and white taxis, which are by far the easiest way for a tourist to get around in the city.
However, if you feel that you can battle Kuala Lumpur’s traffic and would like to rent a car for the duration of your stay in Kuala Lumpur then you can make your car rental booking for Kuala Lumpur at the various booking platforms offered by Fare Buzz. Fare Buzz in addition to its flight and hotel deals also offers affordable car rental rates for Kuala Lumpur and various other destinations.
Where to shop in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is an immensely popular shopping destination in South East Asia. KL as the city is popularly referred to, is especially known for its wide range of goods and very competitive prices. Moreover, Kuala Lumpur in recent years is also becoming a locale for tax-free shopping as the Royal Malaysian Customs Department has declared more than 300 products including goods like cameras, wrist-watches, computers, fragrances and cosmetics, leather goods and shoes from leading global brands to be ‘free duty’.
These ‘free duty’ goods at readily available at Kuala Lumpur’s many well-stocked malls like the Pavilion Mall, Starhill-Gallery, Suria KLCC, Mid-Valley Mega Mall and the Gardens, Lot 10, Fahrenheit 88, One Utama Mall and Plaza Low Fat.
However, if the goal of your shopping expedition in Kuala Lumpur is to acquire souvenirs or authentic Malaysian arts and crafts, then a trip to Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market is definitely recommended. This covered art-deco building located in the heart of the city hosts numerous vendors who offer traditional wares from all parts of Malaysia like rich batik and songket fabrics, pewter and silver wares, beaded slippers, purses and garments associated with Malaysia’s native Nyonya people, ceramics, word works produced by Malaysia’s indigenous Orang Asli(native people) and much more.
Where to eat in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is known for its mouth-watering street-food fare which is served at hawker stalls and food courts, located all over the city. For a truly authentic KL street-food experience, you should sample dishes like Satay, Claypot rice, Roti Tarbus, Asam Laksa, delicacies easily served at the stalls located on the city’s various ‘food streets’ like Jalan Alor and Petaling Street, or then at local markets like the Little India Night Market or the Chow Kit Market.
If you would rather not take a chance and eat street side , you could always partake of a more ‘refined’ experience in air-conditioned comfort and sample these eats at the many food courts housed in popular malls like Suria KLCC, the Pavilion Mall or then at Lot 10. The last mentioned mall is known for its celebrated Hutong Food court which hosts outposts of the best-known family-run eateries in Malaysia.
However it’s not all about street-food in Kuala Lumpur, for this cosmopolitan city also hosts several fine-dining outlets, which offer a variety of global cuisines. Some of the highly-ranked and well-regarded eateries in Kuala Lumpur include establishments like Enak and Bijan (high-end Malay cuisine), Cilantro (Japanese and French fusion), La Vie en Rose (French), Garibaldi (Italian) and Shanghai (Shanghainese).
Nightlife in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur offers a lively nightlife scene. Nightclubs, jazz bars, lounge bars, karaoke bars abound in Kuala Lumpur, a city which is in fact home to a predominantly Muslim population. Popular nightlife haunts in the Malaysian capital currently include joints like the Hill, the Butter Factory, Zouk, Frangipani, Skybar and No Black Tie (a jazz club).