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Kuala Lumpur (or “KL,” as the locals say) is the capital of Malaysia, and – according to a recent study – the second-friendliest city in the world as of 2019. The days when it all began as mud flats and tin deposits (in the 1850s) seem unimaginable compared to its current state. Today, Kuala Lumpur is the International Garden City of Lights where shoppers are spoiled for choice. Gastronomy connoisseurs broaden their palates, party animals find sanctuaries, and nature-lovers are wowed.
Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
RM1 ~ US$0,25
Police and Ambulance: 999 (112 from a mobile telephone)
Tourist Police: +60 32149 6590
New Straits Times Press
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Banks: Monday-Friday 10.00 -15.00, Saturday 9.30 -11.30
Shops: Daily 10.00-22.00
Museums, galleries and parks: Daily 9.00-17.00
Malaysia Tourist Information Counter (MATIC)
109 Jalan Ampang
50450, Kuala Lumpur
+60 3 9235 4848
Information Counter: Daily 8.00-22.00
Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of cross-cultural influences and the result is an exciting mixture of cultures, costumes and cuisines; it is the capital and largest city of Malaysia. It is also one of the three Malaysian Federal Territories, together with Putrajaya and Labuan. The city is surrounded by satellite cities like the administrative capital Putrajaya, Cyberjaya, Sunway (great amusement park), Cheras, Shah Alam, Subang and Petaling Jaya. KL consists of various districts with their own identities.
The Classic Centre is where KL was born, at the meeting of Klang and Gombak Rivers. You will find historical sites like the first large mosque Masjid Jamek, Central Market, Little India, Dataran Merdeka, Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad and the Selangor Club. Lively Chinatown is still authentic and features Petaling Street - Kuala Lumpur’s first market and various temples (Buddhist and Hindu). The Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower in the Grand Jalan Ampang district are hard to miss as they dominate the city’s skyline. The nostalgic Lake Gardens boasts the romantic park Taman Tasik Perdana, the Islamic Arts Museum, National Museum and the National Monument is just a stone’s throw away. The posh Bangsar is where Kuala Lumpur’s rich come out to play. The highlight is Jalan Telawi, packed with nightspots.
For shopping, head off into the direction of the hip Bukit Bintang which is dubbed “The Shopper’s Paradise.” Do the Bintang Walk and find out why! The rest of KL includes sights such as the Batu Caves Hindu Temple, Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) Park, Selangor Pewter, and the National Zoo. Or why not take a relaxing day, and just absorb the atmosphere of wandering through such diverse communities as Chinese, Malay, South Indian and East Malaysian and many more. Each community offers its own festivals, food, music, art and fashion, while lending its own unique additions to Malaysian culture.
Kuala Lumpur combines a modern city with an old feeling of the town. Visit for example the Petronas Twin Tower which used to be the highest buildings in the world or visit the oldest market in town where you can find lovely souvenirs to take home.
Head to Jalan Alor for an al fresco meal at one of the meany tables lining this KL street food hub, or try one of these similar spots favored by locals: Pudu Wai Sek Kai (also known as 'Glutton Street'), an area referred to as Lucky Gardens (here, restaurant or cafe-type establishments are a good bet in terms of both quality and variety), plus eateries around Brickfields, home to KL's Little India, which translates into the dominant type of food offerings here.
Malaysian cuisine is a fusion of cultural influences. For instance, 'nasi lemak' is historically Malay, 'rojak' is Indian Muslim, 'char kuay teow' is Chinese and the spicy-hot 'laksa' is Nyonya (a mix of Malay and Chinese). Each culture emphasises different ingredients and flavours; for example the Malay curry tastes tangier compared to Indian.
Kuala Lumpur offers many café options, for the regular coffee drinker to the casual one. There is also a mixture of the types of cafés offered, from the outdoor locations where the locals hang out, to the indoor cafés for a convenient shopping break. The numerous options of popular franchise chains and local cafés offer great choices for all coffee experiences.
Malaysia is a Muslim country, but non-Muslims are free to enjoy the alcoholic aspects of the nightlife. As dusk falls, Kuala Lumpur transforms into a vibrant city of entertainment and fun, becoming a playground for party-goers of all walks of life. The club culture is concentrated mainly in Jalan Telawi and Jalan P Ramlee.
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Shoppers will find their trip to Kuala Lumpur worthwhile to say the least. There are many ways to pursue your shopping needs from a shop house to a street stall, or from a night market (“pasar malam”) to a shopping mall. You may not always find exactly the same product but you have a lot of choice in price and quality. There are great shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, namely Suria KLCC (just below the Twin Towers) and Mid Valley Megamall, Bangsar Village. However, the most famous area for shopping is Bukit Bintang, with the highest density of malls and shops in the city. You can find anything from the smartest Japanese hi-tech gadget to the latest French designer piece.
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There are two airports: Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) at Sepang, 55 km from the city, and Subang Airport is 12 km from the city—just a quick taxi ride away. Subang Airport caters mostly domestic flights.
From KLIA to the Kuala Lumpur city centre you can take the high speed train KLIA Ekspres & KLIA Transit. Travelling time is 28 minutes for KLIA Ekspres and 35 minutes for KLIA Transit. www.kliaekspres.com
Phone: +603 8776 2000 (KLIA)
More Information: www.malaysiaairports.com.my
Since most people don’t live downtown, the most common way of getting around in Kuala Lumpur is driving. There may be light traffic jams during rush hours, but nothing serious. However, for the visitor, the public transport system is well-expanded and consists of an underground system, a monorail line, a series of different train lines and several bus operators.
More Information: www.klsentral.com.my
If you are not familiar with the city and only staying for a short period, taxis can be the most convenient way of getting about. Taxis are easily available and economical. Fares are charged according to the zone and are subject to change. An extra 50 percent is added for services between 24.00 (midnight) and 6.00. All taxis should use meters.
Phone: +60 3 62 59 20 20
There are several post offices in Kuala Lumpur. Most of them are open Monday to Saturday but each post office has different opening or closing hours.
Country code: +60
Area code: 3
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