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Top destinations in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur, simply called KL by locals, is the federal capital and the largest city in Malaysia. Literally meaning muddy river confluence in Malay, Kuala Lumpur has grown from a small sleepy Chinese tin-mining village to a bustling metropolis of around 6.5 million (city-proper population of 1.8 million) in just 150 years. Kuala Lumpur is cultural melting pot with some of the world's cheapest 5-star hotels, impressive shopping districts, even better food and some of nature's wonders just an hour away, making this a dynamic city with much to offer.
Petronas Twin Towers
Perhaps the most iconic building of Malaysia and the tallest twin building in the world. Visitors first head up to the Skybridge at level 41-42, one of the highest suspended bridges in the world, before going up to level 86 to marvel at Kuala Lumpur from the observation deck. There are also displays and informational videos about the tower and its construction. Tickets can be purchased online or at the base of the tower. Do note that a ticket allows you access during a specific time block only and are limited, so either turn up early or purchase online in advance.
An kid-friendly urban park surrounded by a concrete jungle. It boasts a children's pool and playground, walking/jogging tracks, a bird sanctuary, sculptures and 66 species of palm trees. Check out the lake symphony fountains which spray water up into the air. During the evening the fountains are the centrepiece of a light and music show at 20:00, 21:00 and 21:45.
This square has a special place in the hearts of all Malaysian as it was here that the Union Jack was lowered for last time in 1957 and Malaysia gained her independence. Standing tall here is also one of the tallest flag poles in the world, measuring in at 100 m. Surrounding the area are host of historical structures like Sultan Abdul Samad building (see below) and the Old City Hall. The Royal Selangor Club and St. Mary's Cathedral are two famous landmarks nearby.
Masjid Negara is unique in that it incorporates Malay-Islamic rather than the usual Arabic-Islamic architecture. It is known for its conspicuous turquoise umbrella-like roof. A yellow umbrella is usually part of the royal regalia of the sultans of Malay kingdoms.
Hindu priests have used these caves as temples since their discovery in 1878 by William Hornaday. Crowds of Hindus visit the caves in January/February for the spectacular Thaipusam festival, when devout Hindus skewer portable shrines to their bodies and carry them all the way from central KL. They contain a large number of beautiful and fascinating statues of the Hindu Gods. Beware of the thieving monkeys (long-tailed macaques), discarded rubbish on the steps, and bat droppings in the cave. 272 stairs lead up to the cave.
From beautiful peacocks to the alien looking birds from all over the world, this 60-hectare bird park is home to 200 species. Highlights of the park include the free-roaming birds (which seem to cope rather well with the enthusiastic children and photographers), the artificial but well-made waterfall, and the large flamingo pond. You can actually experience part of the bird park without paying to go in by eating at the Hornbill Restaurant and Cafe, which is actually built within the bird park where you can get up close with some of the birds that wish to share your lunch including the large and entertaining hornbills. The restaurant is also not cheap - the set meals are about the same price as the park's tickets, although Malaysians enjoy a measly discount. Getting to the park on public transport is rather inconvenient as it involves a long uphill walk from the old Kuala Lumpur station, which can be exhausting on hot weather. Hence, consider getting there by taxi and going back by walking + public transport. The park is also a destination of sightseeing buses.
Contains exhibits on traditional life among the various ethnic communities of Malaysia, numerous well-explained artifacts including fine clothing and shadow puppets and Orang Asli woodcarving pieces. The history section is divided into four galleries - Gallery A (prehistoric), Gallery B( Malay kingdoms), Gallery C (colonial era) and Gallery D (modern Malaysia). A visit to this museum can help you to understand more about Malaysian history and culture.
This immense bronze structure was built as a memorial to the soldiers who gave up their lives for their country. This sculpture depicts seven soldiers holding the Malaysian flag, each symbolising one of seven qualities; unity, strength, leadership, sacrifice, courage, suffering and vigilance. It was sculpted by Felix de Weldon, who sculpted the famed Iwo Jima Memorial statue in Virginia, United States.
A gigantic aquarium housing over 5,000 aquatic and terrestrial species. The aquarium has many displays including an underwater tunnel, interactive touch pools, exhibits of flora and fauna and multimedia kiosks. They also have feeding sessions throughout the day at specific exhibits, see their website for specific times.