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Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia's capital
CCNPIC  By Nestor

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is located on the west coast of Peninsula of Malaysia. Covering some 243 sq km, it lies approximately 40 km from the coast. Kuala Lumpur ( or KL ) as it is commonly called- lies in a valley surrounded by jagged hills. Kuala Lumpur was originally a mining settlement in the late 1800s where tin was discovered at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers. Although KL's tin trade has declined since, the prosperity of the city has continued to grow.

ID:001-4292 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's magnificent Parliament Building

ID:001-4292 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's magnificent Parliament Building   Picture

Today, KL is the political and cultural centre of the nation. Kuala Lumpur leads Malaysia's fast paced development in trade and commerce, banking and finance, manufacturing, transportation, information technology and tourism. Malaysia is considered one of the fastest growing country in South-East Asia.

Kuala Lumpur has plenty to offer in terms of sights and shopping. Not to be missed is the Petronas Twin Towers at the heart of the city, one of the modern marvels of the world.  The Towers are called Menara (Malay for "tower") 1 and 2, and until October 2003,  they were the tallest buildings in the world. The towers are connected at the 41 and 42 level by a Skybridge. This is open to visitors on Tuesdays to Sundays from 8.30am to 5pm. At the foot of the towers, there is the superb KLCC shopping  mall,  offering brand-name items, superb eateries and several attractions such as the Petrosains Discovery Centre and the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra. KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre) is easily accessible by taxi and the Light Rapid Transit train system.

Another vantage point for a bird's-eye-view of KL is the KL Tower ("Menara KL") a telecommunication tower. The uniquely designed building resembles a giant baby's rattle and is one of the world's tallest concrete structures at 421m. The tower has an observation deck offering a 360-degree view of the city, and a restaurant serving a scrumptuous buffet lunch and dinner. Reservations are needed as it is usually fully booked.

Other sights that are good for photo opportunities are the Jamek Mosque at the confluence of Klang and Gombak Rivers, the National Mosque, the Thean Hou Temple and the Sri Mahamariaman Temple. Do note that visitors to these places of worship are requested to dress appropriately. In mosques, visitors may be asked to put on a robe to cover exposed arms and legs, before allowed entry.

ID:108723-00002 Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Square Lawn

ID:108723-00002 Kuala Lumpur Merdeka Square Lawn    Picture LiZhaolin

Close to downtown is the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, a 10.5ha natural jungle sanctuary for birds and wildlife, with footpaths for visitors. The Lake Gardens area contains a few pleasant attractions. There is the National Monument (a war monument featuring a dramatic and stunning bronze statue designed by American sculptor Felix de Weldon to commemorate the fallen heroes during World War II and the Emergency period of communist unrest), the KL Bird Park which boasts of being the largest open aviary in the region, the Orchid Garden, the Hibiscus Garden, the Butterfly and Deer Park and the National Planetarium, with several exhibits of interest (although not that many to warrant a specific visit - go there if you are in the vicinity and have time to spare). The planetarium is joined by a pedestrian bridge to the National Museum.


The Sultan Abdul Samad building (where the Supreme Court sits) and the old Railway Station, Parliament House are interesting pieces of architecture that never fail to attract shutterbugs.


KL is fast becoming a city of museums, with a myriad of sites for the curious visitors, sited about the Lake Gardens vicinity. The National Museum contains exhibits of Malaysia's past and holds themed exhibits seasonally. There are also the Tunku Abdul Rahman Memorial housing the memorabilia of the nation's first prime minister, including his first office and official residence; the Tun Abdul Razak Memorial in memory of the second Prime Minister (the memorial itself is housed in the official residence of the Prime Minister); the Police Museum; the Islamic Art Museum; the Civil Service Memorial; the KL Natural History Museum. The Islamic Arts Museum is especially breathtaking with its inverted domes and miniature of mosques from around the world.


Kuala Lumpur is also a shoppers'haven. The Central Market is a huge centre with restaurants and a good place to shop for curios and handicraft items. If your timing is right visit the Sunday Market (it usually opens from Saturday night until the wee hours of Sunday morning). When tourist arrived there, they will find out full of Malaysian culture, and it could probably get some Malaysia history through the handicraft items.


Other shopping opportunities are Lot 10 (upmarket branded goods); KL Plaza; Sungai Wang Plaza; Imbi Plaza and Low Yat Plaza (computer and electronic goods); and Berjaya Times Squares (upmarket, too). All located in the so-called Golden Triangle of KL. Slightly out of town is the Mid-Valley Megamall. In the Petaling Jaya area, place to shopping are 1Utama, Sunway Piramid, and IOI Mall Puchong. There is great of city life as a lot of variety in Kuala Lumpur.


The most popular day trip from Kuala Lumpur is to the limestone Batu Caves. It lies a short distance north of town and the main cave has to be accessed by climbing up 272 stairs. Hindu devotees perform annual pilgrimages during the festival of Thaipusam by putting on kavadis and climbing these steps to the temple inside the main cave. Besides that, if you want to get around the forest enviroment. There is a place called Rawang which about 40 KM away from Kuala Lumpur City. Temple Park is one of the well-known place for local and tourist. Temple Park has covered by forest environment and there is a water falls within it. So, usually those who wants to reduce stress and had a family day, Temple Park is quite good for them.


About 45 minutes away from the heart of the city is Genting Highlands, practically a city in itself. Billed as the City of Entertainment, it boasts a family-oriented theme park, internationally-billed shows and live performances, a golf course, an equestrian course, and the country's only licensed casino. The highlands resort offers low-cost but very comfortable bus services at frequent intervals from several main destinations in KL. The buses travel up to a cable-car station midway and visitors continue their journey on what Genting claims to be the fastest cable-car in the region. Article Sources: (CCNPIC Nestor)

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