Photo credit: Stuck in Customs
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is the melting pot of Asia. This is the place where you could see the faces of people from this region – from Nepal right next to an Iban from Borneo, mesmerized by a huge number of languages being spoken in the street and taste the spicy, sweet and exotic foods derived from the many cultures sharing the city.
And despite the city center being smaller than the neighboring Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur has many attractions on offer. If time is short and you need a quick guide to where you should go next time you’re in Kuala Lumpur, head on to these 5 tourist attractions.
Built on a former race course ground, these two metallic towers are the tallest twin structures in the world and were once the tallest in the world before Taipei 101 took over.
But this is not the sole reason why people love to flock to the area. City dwellers and tourists congregate here because the towers are also homes to a posh shopping mall, a cooling green garden and a modern underground oceanarium.
And if you’re new to Asian food, the towers have plenty of international and Asian restaurants that you can choose from. You could sample Italian pizzas, Lebanese Kebab, Thai Tom Yam, Japanese Sushi and Malay Curry all in the same building.
In short, if you only have a day to explore, you should stay in a hotel near this area and explore the KLCC area. It has plenty to offer.
2. Islamic Arts Museum
Malaysia does not have many museums that she can be proud of. But the Islamic Arts Museum is different.
Surrounded by huge green trees in the Perdana Lake Garden, this modern museum is built by the richest Muslim in the country and with 7,000 artifacts, is considered one of the most completed museums on Islamic arts in the South East Asia.
Here, you can see the contribution of the Muslims to the world – from simple everyday items from soap to the world of science and medicine.
If you go to Kuala Lumpur but do not make the effort to get here, you lose the chance to learn about the faith and the foundation that builds the city.
3. Bukit Bintang Area
To learn why Kuala Lumpur is voted as one of the best place to shop in the world, head on to Bukit Bintang.
Here, you can sample a variety of Asian food, browse fancy Japanese fashion boutiques and gulp at the prices of high-end luxury watches that only the royalties could afford.
But if money is tight, try the foot massage by the roadside and visit the Starhill food court. The place is a good spot to try authentic Chinese hawker food in an air-conditioned mall.
4. Petaling Street
If the Bukit Bintang area is home to posh malls and hip youth outlets, the Petaling Street night market is the poor man’s mecca.
This is the place where you can buy a lychee drink in a plastic bag for RM 1 and walk through the crowded isle full of stalls selling handbags, sunglasses, shirts and watches – mostly fakes peddled by immigrants of Kuala Lumpur.
The best time to go is at night where you can dine under the stars at the various Chinese open air restaurants in the area before you start shopping.
5. Central Market
Once a wet market, the British made Central Market is the place to go for souvenirs. Unlike the Paddy’s Market in Sydney, the Central Market houses handicrafts and bric a brac from all over South East Asia.
You will be able to buy the replica of the twin towers made by the well-known Royal Selangor Pewter, bangles from Jakarta, delicate Malay traditional costumes or wooden mask made by the natives from the jungle of Borneo here.
Those who wish to buy arts depicting Malay villages or life scenes of Kuala Lumpur can also buy readymade or custom paintings made by the many in house artists.
In short, this is the place to go before you leave Kuala Lumpur.
The good thing about Kuala Lumpur is the attractions are mostly concentrated in the city center. And while the rain could hamper your visit, there are many indoor places that warrant your visit. Those feeling a little romantic and do not mind a little walk under the heat of Kuala Lumpur can also join the walks offered by government agencies and private groups while in Kuala Lumpur.
Whatever you do, respect the cultures of the many races you will meet here, and try the food. See in you in KL!
Iskandar is a single dad who loves waterfalls. In his spare time, he writes for the JomJalan.com – A tourist attractions & hotels directory for the city of Kuala Lumpur.