Once little more than mud and marsh, compact Kuala Lumpur is a fast rising metropolis which effortlessly blends its colonial past with space-age towers and mega malls. KL, as it's fondly known, is best explored on foot or via the excellent public transport network including buses, metro (Light Rail Transit) and a monorail making it easy to get around. Taxis are also available, but as the roads can be busy, they may prove be a more expensive option.
At its historic heart is Merdeka Square (Independence Square). Ringed by handsome colonial-era buildings, including the Royal Selangor Club and Sultan Abdul Samad Building, the square marks the place where the Malaysian flag was first hoisted after independence from British rule in 1957. Other notable buildings include the imposing Old Railway Station and the highly acclaimed Jamek Mosque, which is a vision of soaring minarets and onion-shaped domes.
KL’s Golden Triangle is comprised of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and Chinatown. It’s in modern KLCC where you’ll find the eye-catching Petronas Twin Towers. Soaring 88 storeys, you can take in the sweeping vistas from the sky bridge linking the two towers at the 41st and 42nd floors. Alternatively, for skyline views including the Petronas Twin Towers hotfoot it to the higher observation deck of the Menara KL Tower.
Swanky Bukit Bintang is chock-a-block with shopping malls and boutiques as well as trendy cafés, restaurants and nightspots. There’s more high end fashion in the KLCC or at Berjaya Times Square, while Petaling Street in colourful Chinatown is a bargain-hunter’s paradise, particularly the lively night market.
Food is without a doubt a highlight of any visit to KL, with so many opportunities to feast on diverse local and international cuisine. Expect everything from award-winning gourmet restaurants with menus from around the world, to chic bistros and traditional street stalls that tempt with a choice of inexpensive dishes.
GMT +8 hours
Kuala Lumpur is approximately 13 hours (non-stop flights) from the UK.
Kuala Lumpur has a tropical climate with consistently high temperatures in the 30ºs, making it a year-round destination. The wettest weather is usually February to May and September to December when sudden thunderstorms or downpours may occur.
A tourism charge is payable locally at all hotels throughout Malaysia. Details will be advised at the time of booking.
A must-do for first time visitors, highlights of this half day tour include photo stops at the Petronas Twin Towers, King’s Palace and National Mosque, plus visits to the National Monument, National Museum (excl entrance fee), Sultan Abdul Samad Building and the Tudor-styled Cricket Club.
Begin this half day tour at the Royal Selangor Pewter factory and then visit a Batik factory. Continue to the spectacular limestone Batu Caves which house a Hindu temple and involves a climb of 272 steps to the main cave temple, where you’re also rewarded with magnificent views.
Visit the bustling night markets of Chinatown. Stroll through the open-air market and test your bargaining skills for a wide variety of merchandises spread out across the street. Stop at the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple located in the heart of Chinatown. As you explore the temple, the smell of burning jasmine, the incessant chanting of the Hindu priest, intricately carved deities and the mystical aura combines to form a lasting impression of this religion. Afterwards, enjoy a delicious Malay dinner at a typical local restaurant accompanied by traditional Malay cultural performances
Petaling Street (Chinatown) is the place to go to experience and embrace food enriched with a deep tradition and heritage. Most people speak of this place as the birthplace of Kuala Lumpur. As you walk, admire the heritage buildings, find delicious street food hidden in nooks and down obscure alleys, and discover bargains galore.
Start this five hour tour at a typical Malay village “Kampung Baru” where small houses have the Petronas Twin Towers as a backdrop. Stop at food stalls and try some local sweets or cakes, before venturing into Chow Kit Market and then discover Little India, the beautiful Masjid Jamek Mosque and onwards to Chinatown where you visit a traditional Tea House.