Welcome to Malaysia's colourful, industrious and occasionally congested capital city, Kuala Lumpur. Although its history began only a little over 150 years ago, KL's attractive modern facade and traditional charm make it one of Asia's most popular tourist destinations.
A city that never sleeps, there is always some festival or celebration taking place in Kuala Lumpur, whether it is a food fest, city-wide sales or an art exhibition. You could be sweating it out at an underground gig at Central Market's Annex Gallery and later find yourself contemplating paintings at the Petronas Art Gallery, and somehow end up having roti canai with locals at the old Kuala Lumpur Railway station.
There is plenty to see and admire in Kuala Lumpur. Architecture in Malaysia in general is beautiful and in Kuala Lumpur in particular is simply spectacular. A city of delightful opposites, on one hand Kuala Lumpur nods her head to the past with an abundance of restored pre-war shophouses that have mostly been converted into bars and restaurants; on the other hand, the towering skyscrapers in KLCC are a testimony to her post-colonial success and her international status as a metropolis. Look out for favourites such as the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, the Mughal-influenced KL train station and the intricately conceived and Islamic-inspired Dayabumi Complex.
Shopping is a grand experience in Kuala Lumpur, especially during the Malaysia Year-End Sale (mid November to early January) and the nation-wide Malaysia Mega Sale in August. Popular shopping destinations like Suria KLCC, Mid Valley and The Pavillion are overrun with swarms of eager shoppers hunting for a good bargain.
Malaysians are big on their food and proud of it. Street food is especially prevalent in Kuala Lumpur. If the tantalizing aroma of noodles and dumplings at the colourful Petaling Street doesn't tickle your appetite, then there are always plenty of fine-dining restaurants to take your pick from.
Kuala Lumpur's transport system is efficient, making it easy to get around. The Putraline, especially, does a good job of connecting KL city center with interesting areas within Greater Kuala Lumpur. If you are coming from Singapore, Thailand or travelling within Malaysia, it is easy enough to reach KL by bus or by plane at Kuala Lumpur International Airport.