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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrOne of the most exciting cities in the world to visit, has to be the capital city of Malaysia - Kuala Lumpur. It's dazzling lights and buzzing atmosphere make for a tremendous visit. Home to the world famous Petronas Towers, the architecture in Kuala Lumpur is second to none. There are older areas that highlight its traditional buildings and newer parts that boast the modernness of the city.
A Bit of HistoryThe city of Kuala Lumpur was founded "by accident" in 1857. A group of 87 Chinese prospectors in search of tin set up camp calling the spot Kuala Lumpur meaning "Muddy Confluence". Unfortunately, within a month, 17 of the prospectors died from tropical diseases such as Malaria, however the tin was so valuable it attracted many miners making Kuala Lumpur a noisy and violent town ruled by secret societies and gangs.
An elected Chinese man called Yap Ah Loy was tasked with the responsibility of bringing peace and is known as one of the founders of Kuala Lumpur. Loy had just about gained control when locals went to war over the throne and its tin mines starting the Malay Civil War. Kuala Lumpur was surrounded by conflict and burnt to the ground in 1881. It provided a chance for the British Government to step in, and by 1896 Kuala Lumpur became the capital city of the Malay States.
In the early World War I, the British surrendered and Kuala Lumpur was occupied by the Japanese. They brutally tortured and killed many Chinese, while Indians and British were sent to work in Burma on the Burma Railway .
Malaysia declared its independence in 1957 and Kuala Lumpur continued to thrive, but then its confidence took a knock when thousands of Chinese began to riot. Many lives were lost and the Malays dispossessed the Chinese homes, the Muslim Malays then took control of the army and police.
After this, the city eventually became the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur in 1974.
Kuala Lumpur City Centre - KLCCThis is the place that all tourists come to see, the home of the almighty Petronas Towers. At 452 m high, the Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world. Visitors have the opportunity to take an elevator up to floor 42 for $ 25 USD , where they can walk across the sky bridge which is 170 m above ground and then if they dare, they can take the elevator up a further 44 floors to level 86, where they can look out over the magnificent city at 360 m above ground! Cars are the size of ants and other skyscrapers look like small office blocks. The best time to do this is at sunset around 6 PM, when lights brighten the city although anytime is pretty spectacular. The visiting times for the Petronas Towers are from 9 AM to 9 PM.
Apart from the Petronas Towers, there are also other things to do while in Kuala Lumpur City Center. One of those things has got to be shopping! Directly underneath the towers is a gigantic shopping mall called Suria KLCC, with every shop you could dream of and on one of the top floors, a modern food court with cuisines from all around the world.
Outside the mall, directly in front, you will find a park and a fountain show. This can be a great place to take a walk around, to have a spot of lunch, or maybe just to take a few photographs. Directly across from the mall is a luxury hotel called The Traders Hotel. If you have got the money, this is the place to stay. From $ 128 USD per night for a standard room to $ 190 USD per night for a Petronas Towers View Room, this place is not cheap, but for the view that you get, the money would be worth it. If this price is way out of your price range, The Traders Hotel does have a Sky Bar situated on the 33rd floor which is open to the public, although it may be best to book in advance to ensure you get a good seat.
There are a variety of Sky Bars in Kuala Lumpur that offer views that are just as great such as the revolving restaurant at Kuala Lumpur Tower. Why not dine while looking out onto this magnificent city. There is also the Luna at the top of the Pacific Regency and the G Tower, which has not only one but two bars!
Places to Visit in and around Kuala LumpurKuala Lumpur is the hub for any transportation. There are many day trips that you can take by literally hopping on a coach or by catching the train. At only 4 and a half hours' drive, the Cameron Highlands is a great place to see Malaysia's tea plantations. There is also the limestone forming Batu Caves that are only 13 km north of Kuala Lumpur. You can reach the caves by jumping on a train at Kuala Lumpur Sentral station. The trains run every 30 minutes and cost just over $ 1.00 USD for the return journey.
Other close landmarks are Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, which is less that 30 minutes by bus from Kuala Lumpur Sentral and costs under $ 1.00 USD per return ticket. Finally there is Bukit Bintang. This is the shopping and entertainment district of Kuala Lumpur with tons of cafés, restaurants, and shopping malls. Bukit Bintang has a station on the monorail line which you can pick up from Kuala Lumpur Sentral for under $ 1.00 USD each way.
ChinatownAll visitors must not miss a walk down Petaling Street in Chinatown. There are stalls everywhere you look selling clothing, from handbags, and watches to fruit, tea, and chestnuts. It is the street of fake goods. If you want to bag a bargain, this is the place to come.
Tourists must also visit the Tan City food court situated adjacent to Petaling Street. They sell a variety of different foods like Indian, Chinese or Malay all ranging from $ 1.00 USD - $ 2.00 USD per dish. It's quite frankly the best food you will find in the city! Visitors must also try a pot of Chinese tea, it's very refreshing and for a few dollars it would be rude not to.
Chinatown is one of the best areas to stay as it is only a few stops on the trains to the city center and a third of the price. If you want to stay in Chinatown, hotel Chinatown Inn offers great rates from $ 17 USD a night, depending on the time of year. Each room has superb WiFi, air conditioning and a boiling hot power shower - all you need for a comfortable stay in the city.
Little IndiaAnother place to visit while in Kuala Lumpur is Little India. Although not as lively as the other two areas, Little India does offer a very unique experience. At the weekends, markets crowd the streets with some stalls selling local food and drink, and others selling clothes and shoes. There are a variety of Indian restaurants to choose from and some fabulous architecture that you can take a few snaps of along the way.
How to get thereKuala Lumpur is extremely accessible via land and air due to it being the country's capital city. The two airports, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) and Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) are very modern with a lot of restaurants and amenities, and you will find that most airlines fly to and from both airports - this can help a lot when trying to find cheap deals on the internet! If you would like to travel by land into Kuala Lumpur from Thailand or Singapore, coaches are regularly available and tend to be a lot cheaper than travelling by air - although the travel time is a lot longer.
Rail systems throughout the city are fantastic. They are the best form of transport to use when going to different areas as they are very reliable and are a lot cheaper than taxis! A single journey costs less than $ 1.00 USD and the stations are also situated right outside the biggest tourist spots so it is almost impossible to get lost.
When to VisitKuala Lumpur has a tropical climate with high temperatures all year round and rainfall during most months of the year. The best time to visit is from January to February, as they tend to be the driest months of the year with less humidity, making it feel slightly cooler. Festivals take place throughout the year so there is always something going on in this exciting city.
Safety TipsPlease be aware of bag snatchers when roaming the streets of Kuala Lumpur. It is very common for locals to target tourists when driving past on motorbikes. It is wise for visitors to carry bags away from the roads or to use bags that have a shoulder strap to keep it secure.
Also tourists should be mindful of cars when crossing the roads in the city. Junctions can get very busy and vehicles come out of nowhere when you are not paying attention.
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Author: LucyMclean. Last updated: May 29, 2015