Kuala Lumpur was made for wandering. Big noisy roads trail off into quieter lanes and alleys, walking through which you might, unexpectedly, stumble upon a sight you had no intention of seeking out but is so much more pleasant for it. That's KL - it likes to surprise. And if you wander around enough, you are bound to stumble across a few of these gems.
- Central Market. Along Jalan Hang Kasturi is the renowned centre of arts and handicrafts in a late 19th century building currently protected by the Malaysian Heritage Board.
- Dayabumi Complex. This whitewashed building is a modern reinterpretation of archaic Islamic motifs - and is a beautiful architectural landmark. You can spot this from Central Market.
- KTM Headquarters, Masjid Jamek, Old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. All three were designed by one Arthur Benison Hubback, responsible for some of the most recognizable Mughal-inspired buildings in Kuala Lumpur. Look out for the slender minarets, intricate embellishments and onion domes.
- Lake Gardens. The lungs of Kuala Lumpur sit right smack in the middle of a bustling city and are KL's oldest and most popular park. They are also home to KL Bird Park and some beautifully landscaped gardens.
- Islamic Arts Museum. The largest dedication to Islamic arts in all of Southeast Asia, the building houses spectacular artefacts amounting to more than 7,000, including an 8th century copy of the Qur'an.
- Petronas Twin Towers. Of course, the symbol that identifies Kuala Lumpur and once the tallest building in the world. The best way to enjoy it is from the Skybridge, which connects the two towers at the 41st and 42nd floors.
- KLCC. There are a bunch of attractions to check out in Kuala Lumpur City Centre - art galleries, science centres and a lake that breaks into a water ballet every afternoon.
- National Mosque. One of the largest mosques in Asia is also one of the most modern in design. You're likely to see this on your way to the Lake Gardens.
- Petaling Street. The darling of Chinatown, famous for its pirates, this is an open-air street market that looks much better at night than during the day. If you're looking for a Gucci or Chanel knock-off, there's no better place to get it.
- Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. A colourful and incredibly beautiful Indian temple, it is also the oldest in KL. You will find yourself staring at the magnificent gopurum for a long time.
And if you wander further afield, you will find these:
Titiwangsa Lake. Surprisingly under-visited but all the better for that, Titiwangsa is a ten minutes' train ride from KL Sentral, and then a short walk to a lake that offers a lovely view of KL city's skyline. Perfect for a picnic.
Batu Caves. 400-million-year-old limestone caves dedicated to Lord Murugan and probably the most well-known and beloved shrine of the Hindus in Malaysia. Visiting the caves is a very humbling experiece.
Zoo Negara. The national zoo is managed by an NGO, whose accomplishments include the natural breeding of the highly endangered Milky Stork.
Putrajaya. A 30-minute train ride from Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia's administrative capital - an architectural explosion, and probably the only place we recommend to visit on weekends and public holidays because the streets will be devoid of people and office workers, and perfect for walking. Check out the beautiful Putra Mosque, the sci-fi Wawasan Bridge and Malaysian Prime Minister's office. Boulevards, lakes, beautiful long bridges with splendid views make Putrajaya one of the most photogenic places in Malaysia.