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Kuala Lumpur

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© Lonely Planet Publications
69
KUALA LUMPUR

Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur – KL to its friends – is more than just a capital city: it is a monument to
Malaysian ingenuity and determination. From humble beginnings as a tin-mining shanty
town, KL has evolved into a 21st-century metropolis, dominated by the tallest skyscrapers
in Southeast Asia and flush with the proceeds of international trade and commerce. Over
the years, KL has faced its share of challenges but nothing has succeeded in suppressing the
determination of locals to make KL, and Malaysia, a leader among Asian tiger economies.
The marketing slogan for the Malaysian tourist board is ‘truly Asia’ and nowhere is this more
true than in the capital. KL is every inch the Asian cyber-city: historic temples and mosques
rub shoulders with space-age towers and shopping malls; traders’ stalls are piled high with
pungent durians and counterfeit DVDs; and locals sip cappuccino in wi-fi–enabled coffee
hops or feast at bustling streetside hawker stalls serving food from across the continent.
The most striking thing about KL from a visitor’s perspective is its remarkable cultural
diversity. Ethnic Malays, Chinese prospectors, Indian migrants and British colonials all helped
carve the city out of the virgin jungle, and each group has left its indelible mark on the
capital. Eating, shopping and nightlife are undeniable highlights of any visit to KL, but don’t
restrict yourself to the city – there are numerous parks and monuments dotted around KL
that make easy day trips for a break from the hustle and bustle.

HIGHLIGHTS
„ Giddying views from the Skybridge (p86) at

the Petronas Towers or the Menara KL (p88)
„ Feasting in KL’s fabulous mamak

restaurants (p110)
„ Shopping till you drop at KL’s city-sized

shopping malls (p122) – bring the platinum
card!
„ Taking in the temples and markets of China-

town (p76) and the colonial architecture of
Merdeka Square (p80)
„ Exploring the peaceful Lake Gardens – don’t

miss the Bird Park (p82) and the Islamic
Arts Museum (p83)
„ Hiking up the 272 steps to the Batu Caves

(p131)
„ TELEPHONE CODE: 03

ὈὈ

„ POPULATION: 1.8 MILLION

To Batu Caves
(11km)

Mamak
Restaurants

Merdeka
Square

KL Bird Park

Skybridge

Menara KL
Chinatown

Islamic Arts
Museum

„ AREA: 243 SQ KM

Shopping
Malls

K UA L A LU M P U R • • H i s t o r y

HISTORY
The founding of KL was almost an accident.
In 1857, 87 Chinese prospectors in search of
tin landed at the meeting point of the Klang
and Gombak r...
KUALA LUMPUR
Kuala Lumpur – KL to its friends – is more than just a capital city: it is a monument to
Malaysian ingenuity and determination. From humble beginnings as a tin-mining shanty
town, KL has evolved into a 21st-century metropolis, dominated by the tallest skyscrapers
in Southeast Asia and flush with the proceeds of international trade and commerce. Over
the years, KL has faced its share of challenges but nothing has succeeded in suppressing the
determination of locals to make KL, and Malaysia, a leader among Asian tiger economies.
The marketing slogan for the Malaysian tourist board is ‘truly Asia’ and nowhere is this more
true than in the capital. KL is every inch the Asian cyber-city: historic temples and mosques
rub shoulders with space-age towers and shopping malls; traders’ stalls are piled high with
pungent durians and counterfeit DVDs; and locals sip cappuccino in wi-fi–enabled coffee
hops or feast at bustling streetside hawker stalls serving food from across the continent.
The most striking thing about KL from a visitor’s perspective is its remarkable cultural
diversity. Ethnic Malays, Chinese prospectors, Indian migrants and British colonials all helped
carve the city out of the virgin jungle, and each group has left its indelible mark on the
capital. Eating, shopping and nightlife are undeniable highlights of any visit to KL, but don’t
restrict yourself to the city – there are numerous parks and monuments dotted around KL
that make easy day trips for a break from the hustle and bustle.
Kuala Lumpur
© Lonely Planet Publications
TELEPHONE CODE: 03 POPULATION: 1.8 MILLION AREA : 243 SQ KM
HIGHLIGHTS
Giddying views from the Skybridge ( p86 ) at
the Petronas Towers or the Menara KL ( p88 )
Feasting in KL’s fabulous mamak
restaurants ( p110 )
Shopping till you drop at KL’s city-sized
shopping malls ( p122 ) – bring the platinum
card!
Taking in the temples and markets of China-
town ( p76 ) and the colonial architecture of
Merdeka Square ( p80 )
Exploring the peaceful Lake Gardens – don’t
miss the Bird Park ( p82 ) and the Islamic
Arts Museum ( p83 )
Hiking up the 272 steps to the Batu Caves
( p131 )
(11km)
To Batu Caves
Square
Merdeka
Malls
Shopping
Restaurants
Mamak
Menara KL
Islamic Arts
Museum
Skybridge
KL Bird Park
Chinatown
69
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