Kuala Lumpur: Wikis

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Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
(Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur)
Clockwise from top left: Petronas Twin Towers, Petaling Street, Masjid Jamek and Gombak/Klang river confluence, Tugu Negara, Masjid Negara, skyline of KL. Center: KL Tower

Flag

Seal
Nickname(s): K.L.
Motto: Maju dan Makmur
(English: Progress and Prosper)
Kuala Lumpur is located in Malaysia
Kuala Lumpur
Location in Malaysia
Coordinates: 3°8′00″N 101°42′00″E / 3.1333333°N 101.7°E / 3.1333333; 101.7
Country Malaysia
State Federal Territory
Establishment 1849
Granted city status 1972
Granted Federal Territory 1974
Government
 - Mayor (Datuk Bandar) Dato' Ahmad Fuad Ismail
From 14 December 2008
Area
 - City 243.65 km2 (95.18 sq mi)
Elevation 21.95 m (72 ft)
Population (2009)[1]
 - City 1,809,699 (1st)
 Density 7,388/km2 (18,912/sq mi)
 Metro 7.2 million
 - Demonym KL-ite / Kuala Lumpurian
Human Development Index
 - HDI (2003) 0.908 (very high)
Time zone MST (UTC+8)
 - Summer (DST) Not observed (UTC+8)
Postal code 50xxx to 60xxx
68xxx
Mean solar time UTC + 06:46:48
National calling code 03
License plate prefix Wxx (for all vehicles except taxis)
HWx (for taxis only)
ISO 3166-2 MY-14
Website Official Kuala Lumpur Website

Kuala Lumpur (Jawi: كوالا لومڤور; translated as: "muddy confluence," "muddy estuary," and "muddy city"; pronounced /ˈkwɑːləlʊmˈpʊər/ in English;[2] Malay [kwɑlɑlʊmpʊ], locally [kwɑləlʊmpɔ] or even [kɔlɔmpɔ],[3] and often abbreviated as K.L. is the capital and largest city of Malaysia. The city proper, making up an area of 244 km2 (94 sq mi), has an estimated population of 1.6 million in 2006.[4] Greater Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Klang Valley, is an urban agglomeration of 7.2 million.[5] It is the fastest growing metropolitan region in the country, in terms of population as well as economy.[6]

Kuala Lumpur is the seat of the Parliament of Malaysia. The city was once home to the executive and judicial branches of the federal government, but they have since moved to Putrajaya starting in 1999.[7] Some sections of the judiciary remain in the capital. The official residence of the Malaysian King, the Istana Negara, is also situated in Kuala Lumpur. The city is also the cultural and economic centre of Malaysia due to its position as the capital as well as being a primate city.[8] Kuala Lumpur is rated as an alpha world city, and is the only global city in Malaysia, according to the Globalization and World Cities Study Group and Network (GaWC).[9]

Kuala Lumpur is defined within the borders of the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and is one of three Malaysian Federal Territories. It is an enclave within the state of Selangor, on the central west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.[10] Residents of the city are known as KLites.[11]

Beginning in the 1990s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Formula One World Championship.[12] In addition, Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers.[13]

Kuala Lumpur is served by two airports: the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, the main international airport for Malaysia, and Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang, which handles general aviation and turbo-prop flights.

Contents

History

Kuala Lumpur has its origins in the 1850s, when the Malay Chief of Klang, Raja Abdullah,[14] hired some Chinese labourers to open new and larger tin mines.[15] They landed at the confluence of Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang (Klang River) to open mines at Ampang.[15] Sungai Gombak was previously known as Sungai Lumpur, which means muddy river. The Original name for this city was "Pengkalan Lumpur", which means bundle of mud. As time passes by the name changed to Kuala Lumpur which literally means “muddy confluence” in Bahasa Melayu. Later, tin mines were opened at Pudu and Batu. Among the early notable pioneers are Hiu Siew and Liu Ngim Kong.

These mines developed into a trading post which became to be considered a frontier town. Early Kuala Lumpur had many problems, including the Selangor Civil War; it was also plagued by diseases and constant fires and floods.[15] Around the 1870s, the Chinese Kapitan of Kuala Lumpur, Yap Ah Loy, emerged as leader, and became responsible for the survival and subsequent systematic growth of this town. He began to develop Kuala Lumpur from a small unknown place into a mining town with economic boom.[16] In 1880, the state capital of Selangor was moved from Klang to the more strategically advantageous Kuala Lumpur.[17]

In 1881, a flood swept through the town following a fire which engulfed it earlier. These successive problems destroyed the town's structures of wood and atap (thatching). As a response, Frank Swettenham, the British Resident of Selangor, required that buildings be constructed of brick and tile.[17] Many of the new brick buildings mirrored that of shop houses in southern China, with "five foot ways" as well as skilled Chinese carpentry. This resulted in a distinct eclectic shop house architecture typical to this region. A railway line increased accessibility into this town. Development intensified in the 1890s, leading to the creation of a Sanitary Board. In 1896, Kuala Lumpur was chosen as the capital of the newly formed Federated Malay States.[18]

A scene during World War II on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. The scene depicts Japanese troops clearing up the streets.

A mixture of different communities settled in various sections of Kuala Lumpur. The Chinese mainly settled around the commercial centre of Market Square, east of Klang River, and towards Chinatown. The Malays, Indian Chettiars, and Indian Muslims resided along Java Street (now Jalan Tun Perak). The Padang, now known as Merdeka Square, was the center of the British administrative offices.[15]

During World War II, Kuala Lumpur was captured by the Japanese army on January 11, 1942. They remained in occupation until August 15, 1945, when the commander in chief of the Japanese Seventh Area Army in Singapore and Malaya, Seishirō Itagaki, surrendered to the British administration following the Atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.[19] Kuala Lumpur grew through the war, the rubber and tin commodity crashes and the Malayan Emergency, during which Malaya was preoccupied with the communist insurgency.[17] In 1957, the Federation of Malaya gained its independence from British rule.[20] Kuala Lumpur remained the capital through the formation of Malaysia on September 16, 1963.

On May 13, 1969, one of the worst race riots in Malaysia took place in Kuala Lumpur.[21] The May 13 Incident was a riot between the Malays and the Chinese. The former being dissatisfied with their socio-political situation at the time. The riot resulted in the deaths of 196 people,[21] and led to a major reform in the country's economic policy favouring the Malays.

Kuala Lumpur later achieved city status in 1972,[22] becoming the first settlement in Malaysia to be granted the status after independence. Later, on February 1, 1974, Kuala Lumpur became a Federal Territory.[23] Kuala Lumpur ceased to be the capital of Selangor in 1978 after the city of Shah Alam was declared as the new state capital.[24]

On 14 May 1990, Kuala Lumpur was celebrated 100 years of local authority. The new federal territory of Kuala Lumpur flag and anthem were introduced.

In 1998, another political movement known as Reformasi took place mainly in this city.[25] The movement was a result of the sacking of former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim, and resulted in a chain of protests until 1999, where supporters of Anwar Ibrahim took to the streets to demand reforms in the government's administration, among others.[25]

On February 1, 2001, Putrajaya was declared a Federal Territory, as well as the seat of the federal government.[26] The administrative and judicial functions of the government were shifted from Kuala Lumpur to Putrajaya. Kuala Lumpur however still retained its legislative function,[27] and remained the home of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (King).[28]

Geography

A pedestrian mall by KL's central market.

The geography of Kuala Lumpur is characterized by a huge valley known as Klang Valley. The valley is bordered by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the east, several minor ranges in the north and the south and the Strait of Malacca in the west. Kuala Lumpur is a Malay term which translates to "muddy confluence" as it is located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers.[29]

Located in the center of Selangor state, Kuala Lumpur was previously under the rule of Selangor State Government. In 1974, Kuala Lumpur was separated from Selangor to form the first Federal Territory governed directly by the Malaysian Federal Government. Its location on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, which has wider flat land than the east coast, has contributed to its faster development relative to other cities in Malaysia.[citation needed]

The municipality of the city covers an area of 243.65 km2 (94.07 sq mi), with an average elevation of 21.95 m (72.0 ft).

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Climate and weather

Protected by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the east and Indonesia's Sumatra Island in the west, Kuala Lumpur has a year-round tropical rainforest climate (Köppen climate classification Af) which is warm and sunny, along with abundant rainfall, especially during the northeast monsoon season from October to March. Temperatures tend to remain constant. Maximums hover between 31 and 33 °C (88 and 91 °F) and have never exceeded 37 °C (99 °F), while minimums hover between 22 and 23.5 °C (72 and 74 °F) and have never fallen below 19 °C (66 °F). Kuala Lumpur typically receives 2,266 mm (89.2 in) of rain annually; June and July are relatively dry, but even then rainfall typically exceeds 125 mm (5 in) per month.

Flooding is a frequent occurrence in Kuala Lumpur whenever there is a heavy downpour, especially in the city centre and downstream areas.[30] Dust particles from forest fires from nearby Sumatra sometimes cast a haze over the region. It is a major source of pollution in the city together with open burning, emission from motor vehicles and construction work.[31]

Climate data for Kuala Lumpur
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 32.1
(90)
32.9
(91)
33.2
(92)
33.1
(92)
32.9
(91)
32.7
(91)
32.3
(90)
32.3
(90)
32.1
(90)
32.1
(90)
31.6
(89)
31.5
(89)
32.4
(90)
Average low °C (°F) 22.5
(73)
22.8
(73)
23.2
(74)
23.7
(75)
23.9
(75)
23.6
(74)
23.2
(74)
23.1
(74)
23.2
(74)
23.2
(74)
23.2
(74)
22.9
(73)
23.2
(74)
Precipitation mm (inches) 169.5
(6.67)
165.4
(6.51)
240.9
(9.48)
259.2
(10.2)
204.4
(8.05)
125.3
(4.93)
127.2
(5.01)
155.7
(6.13)
192.8
(7.59)
253.1
(9.96)
287.8
(11.33)
245.7
(9.67)
2,427
(95.55)
Avg. rainy days 11 12 14 16 13 9 10 11 13 16 18 15 158
Source: World Meteorological Organisation (UN) [32] February 2010

Demographics

Bahasa Melayu—the national language, is the principal language of Kuala Lumpur. Other major languages spoken in the city are Cantonese, Mandarin, and Tamil. English has a strong presence, especially in business and is a compulsory language taught in schools.[33]

Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park

Kuala Lumpur also has a mix of different cultures which include Malays, Chinese, Indians, Eurasians, as well as Kadazans, Ibans and other indigenous races from East Malaysia and Peninsula Malaysia.[33][34]

Kuala Lumpur's rapid development triggered a huge influx of low skill foreign workers from Indonesia, Nepal, Burma, Thailand, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, and Vietnam into Malaysia, many of these low skill workers enter the country illegally or without proper permits .[35][36]. However, at the same time there are more than 500,000 Malaysians, of which are mostly professionals and highly skill peoples working or residing abroad.

In the late-18th century, when Europe underwent Industrial Revolution, large groups of Chinese from Fujian and Guangdong in China were brought in to Malaya to work in the booming tin mining industry.[37] The Chinese in Kuala Lumpur speak different dialects but the majority in Kuala Lumpur are of Cantonese descent,[38] and the Hakkas.[39]

Indians form 10% of the population in Kuala Lumpur (as in 2000), mostly practise Hinduism and speak Tamil and other Indian and Pakistani languages such as Hindi, Malayalam, Punjabi, Telugu and Pashtu. Historically, most of the Indians were brought in during the British colonisation of the Malaysia.[37] Their popular festivals are Thaipusam, Deepavali and Pongal.[33]

Islam is practised primarily by the Malays and the Indian Muslim communities. Other major religions are Hinduism (mainly among Indians), Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism (mainly among Chinese) and Christianity.[40] The city has many places of worship catering to the multi-religious population.

Population statistics

The connecting bridge between Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens, spanning above the central boulevard.

The estimated population of Kuala Lumpur in the city proper for 2006 was 1.58 million.[4] It has a population density of 6,502 inhabitants per square kilometre (16,840 /sq mi), and is the most densely populated administrative district in Malaysia.[4] With an estimated metropolitan population of 6.9 million in 2007, it can be considered a primate city.[1] The continuing decline in the birth rate for Kuala Lumpur has resulted in the decline in the proportion of young people below 15 years old from 33% in 1980 to slightly less than 27% in 2000.[34] On the other hand, the working age group of 15–59 increased from 63% in 1980 to 67% in 2000.[34] The elderly age group, 60 years old and above has increased from 4% in 1980 and 1991 to 6% in 2000.[34]

Based on the census of the Department of Statistics (see http://www.statistics.gov.my/eng/), the percentage of Bumiputera population in Kuala Lumpur alone was around 38% in 2000 (next census is in 2010) while the Chinese population comprised 43% and Indians 10%.[34] A notable phenomenon has been the increase in the presence of foreign residents in Kuala Lumpur, who now constitute about 9% of the city’s population.[34]

Government

Local government

The local administration is carried out by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, an agency under the Federal Territories Ministry of Malaysia.[41] They are responsible for public health and sanitation, waste removal and management, town planning, environmental protection and building control, social and economic development and general maintenance functions of urban infrastructure. Executive power lies with the mayor in the city hall, who is appointed for three years by the Federal Territories Minister. This system of appointing the mayor has been in place ever since the local government elections were suspended in 1970.[42]

Since Kuala Lumpur became a Federal Territory of Malaysia on February 1, 1974, the city has been led by nine mayors.[43] The current mayor of Kuala Lumpur is Dato' Ahmad Fuad Ismail, who is in his first term of office.[44] He was appointed in 2008.

Politics

Kuala Lumpur is home to the Parliament of Malaysia. The parliament is composed of a lower House of Representatives (Dewan Rakyat) and an upper House of Senate (Dewan Negara). The city is represented in the lower House of Representatives by eleven Members of Parliament (MPs),[45] who are elected to five-year terms. Traditionally, political leanings in Kuala Lumpur have been dominated by Barisan Nasional (BN), with seven representatives from BN and the other four from the Democratic Action Party (DAP) prior to the 2008 General Elections. After the 2008 elections BN was left with just one representative, Zulhasnan Rafique, in the Setiawangsa seat. DAP took control of five seats, Parti Keadilan Rakyat taking four seats, and PAS one seat, marking the first time in which the majority of the Federal Territory's constituencies was dominated by opposition parties.

Economy

A street view of the Old Market Square (Medan Pasar)

Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding urban areas form the most industrialized and economically, the fastest growing region in Malaysia.[6] Despite the relocation of federal government administration to Putrajaya, certain government’s important machineries such as Bank Negara Malaysia (Central Bank of Malaysia), Companies Commission of Malaysia and Securities Commission as well as most embassies and diplomatic missions have remained in the city.[46]

The city remains as the economic and business center of the country. In fact, the city is a center for finance, insurance, real estate, media and the arts of Malaysia. The infrastructure development in the surrounding areas such as the Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang, the creation of the Multimedia Super Corridor and the expansion of Port Klang further reinforce the economic significance of the city.

Bursa Malaysia or the Malaysia Exchange is based in the city and forms one of its core economic activities. As of 20 November 2007, the market capitalisation stood at US$318.65 billion.[47]

The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for Kuala Lumpur is estimated at RM25,968 million in 2000 with an average annual growth rate of 4.2 percent.[34] The per capita GDP for Kuala Lumpur in year 2000 is RM30,727, an average annual growth rate of 6.1 percent.[34] The total employment in Kuala Lumpur is estimated at around 838,400.[34] The service sector comprising finance, insurance, real estate, business services, wholesale and retail trade, restaurants and hotels, transport, storage and communication, utilities, personal services and government services form the largest component of employment representing about 83.0 percent of the total.[34] The remaining 17 percent comes from manufacturing and construction.

Pre-war shoplots refurbished into restaurants and bars along Tengkat Tong Shin.

The large service sector is evident in the number of local and foreign banks and insurance companies operating in the city. Kuala Lumpur is poised to become the global Islamic Financing hub[48] with an increasing number of financial institutions providing Islamic Financing and the strong presence of Gulf's financial institutions such as the world's largest Islamic bank, Al-Rajhi Bank[49] and Kuwait Finance House. Apart from that, the Dow Jones & Company is keen to work with Bursa Malaysia to set up Islamic Exchange Trade Funds (ETFs), which would help raise Malaysia's profile in the Gulf.[50] The city has a large number of foreign corporations and is also host to many multi national companies’ regional offices or support centres, particularly for finance and accounting, and information technology functions. Most of the countries’ largest companies have their headquarters based here and as of December 2007 and excluding Petronas, there are 14 companies that are listed in Forbes 2000 based in Kuala Lumpur.[51]

Other important economic activities in the city are education and health services. Kuala Lumpur also has advantages stemming from the high concentration of educational institutions located within its boundaries, providing a wide range of courses. Such public institutions include the International Islamic University Malaysia, University of Malaya, the Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, International Medical University and the Medical Faculty of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. There are also a large number of private colleges, including the Universiti Tun Abdul Razak and Tunku Abdul Rahman College, in and around Kuala Lumpur providing a wide range of courses which attract students from all over Malaysia as well as from other countries. There are numerous public and private medical specialist centres and hospitals in the city which offer general health services and a wide range of specialist surgery and treatment catering to locals and tourists.

There has been growing emphasis to expand the economic scope of the city into other service activities such as research and development which supports the rest of the economy of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur has been home for years to important research centers such as the Rubber Research Institute of Malaysia, the Forest Research Institute Malaysia and the Institute of Medical Research[52] and more research centers are expected to be established in the coming years.

Tourism

Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur's bustling Chinatown

The tourism sector also plays an important part in the city’s economy, providing income, employment and expanding business opportunities. As an extension of this, many large worldwide hotel chains have presence in the city. Kuala Lumpur has also developed into an international shopping destination with a wide variety of shopping centres and megamalls which carry well-known global and local brands. Conference tourism—which mainly encompass conventions—has also expanded in recent years and is becoming a very important component of the industry.

The major tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur include the Dataran Merdeka (the Independence Square), the House of Parliament, the Istana Budaya, the Istana Negara (National Palace), the Kuala Lumpur Tower, the Muzium Negara (National Museum), the Putra World Trade Centre, the Tugu Negara (National Monument) and mosques such as the Masjid Jamek, the Masjid Negara (National Mosque) and the Federal Territory Mosque.[53]

Other tourist attractions include the Aquaria KLCC, the Batu Caves, the Makam Pahlawan (National Mausoleum), the National Science Centre, Petaling Street, the Royal Selangor Pewter Visitor Centre, the Zoo Negara (National Zoo), and events such as Malay cultural centres, the Chinese cultural festivals at the Thean Hou Temple and the Thaipusam procession at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple. The Golden Triangle, the commercial hub of the city, contains the Petronas Twin Towers and has a distinctive nightlife. Trendy nightclubs, bars and lounges, such as the Beach Club, Espanda, the Hakka Republic Wine Bar & Restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, the Luna Bar, Nuovo, Rum Jungle, the Thai Club, Zouk, and many others are located within and around Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang.

Hotels, from five-star to budget types, have cropped up everywhere to accommodate the influx of tourists each year. There are many hotels near Kuala Lumpur's entertainment and business districts.

Retail

Berjaya Times Square, the world's largest building ever built in a single phase

Kuala Lumpur alone has 66 shopping malls and it is the retail and fashion hub for Malaysia.[54] Shopping in Malaysia contributed RM7.7 billion (USD 2.26 billion) or 20.8 percent of the RM31.9 billion tourism receipts in 2006.[55] and Kuala Lumpur plays a big role in attracting consumers.

Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia's premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers.

Apart from Suria KLCC, Bukit Bintang, which resembles Tokyo's Ginza, New York's Fifth Avenue and Singapore's Orchard Road has the highest concentration of shopping outlets in Kuala Lumpur. Bukit Bintang, which is part of the Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle, spans over 3 roads, namely Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Imbi and Jalan Sultan Ismail. It houses various cafes, alfresco (open air) dining outlets and shopping complexes such as Berjaya Plaza, Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Kuala Lumpur Plaza, Lot 10, Low Yat Plaza, Pavilion KL, Starhill Plaza and Sungei Wang Plaza. It is also the location of the largest single department store in Malaysia, SOGO Kuala Lumpur[56] (also known as KL SOGO) which is located at a landmark site on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, one of the best known shopping streets for locals in Kuala Lumpur.

The Bangsar district also has a few shopping complexes, including Bangsar Village, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Mid Valley Megamall and The Gardens. The Damansara area north-west of Kuala Lumpur, though not in the city-proper, is the home of the only IKEA outlet in the country, and a cluster of locally-operated malls like Cathay Multi Screen Cinemas, The Curve, Ikano Power Centre, NiuXehSui at Ara Damansara and One Utama.

The Central Market, which is located in the proximity of the Dayabumi Complex, offers an assortment of arts and craft merchandise

Apart from shopping complexes, Kuala Lumpur has designated numerous zones in the city to market locally manufactured products such as textiles, fabrics and handicrafts. The Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur, or commonly known as Petaling Street, is one of them. Chinatown features many pre-independence buildings with Straits Chinese and European traditions influence.[57][58] The Kuala Lumpur's Central Market, which was once the city's wet market, offers an assortment of arts and craft merchandise, varying from antiques and paintings to souvenirs and clothing. It is also known as Pasar Seni in Malay.

Since 2000, the Ministry of Tourism of Malaysia has kick-started the mega sale event for all shopping in Malaysia. The mega sale event is held thrice in a year—in March, May and December—where all shopping malls are encouraged to participate to boost Kuala Lumpur as a leading shopping destination.[59]


Cityscape

Kuala Lumpur skyline at night

Architecture

The Petronas Twin Towers at dusk.

The architecture of Kuala Lumpur is a blend of old colonial influences, Asian traditions, Malay Islamic inspirations, modern, and postmodern architecture mix.[60] Being a relatively young city compared with other Southeast Asian capitals such as Bangkok, Jakarta and Manila, most of Kuala Lumpur's colonial buildings were built toward the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries. These buildings have Moorish, Tudor, Neo-Gothic or Grecian-Spanish style or architecture.[61] Most of the styling has been modified to use local resources and acclimatised to the local climate, which is hot and humid all year around.

The Petronas Twin Towers seen from Pertama Complex.

Prior to the Second World War, many shophouses, usually two storeys with functional shops on the ground floor and separate residential spaces upstairs, were built around the old city centre. These shop-houses drew inspiration from Straits Chinese and European traditions.[57][58] Some of these shophouses have made way for new developments but there are still many standing today around Medan Pasar (Old Market Square), Chinatown, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, Jalan Doraisamy, Bukit Bintang and Tengkat Tong Shin areas.

Independence coupled with the rapid economic growth from the 1970s to the 1990s and with Islam being the official religion in the country, has resulted in the construction of buildings with a more local and Islamic flavour arise around the city. Many of these buildings derive their design from traditional Malay items such as the songkok and the keris. Some of these buildings have Islamic geometric motifs integrated with the designs of the building, signifying Islamic restriction on imitating nature through drawings.[62] Examples of these buildings are Menara Telekom, Menara Maybank, Dayabumi Complex, and the Islamic Center.[63] Some buildings such as the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia and National Planetarium have been built to masquerade as a place of worship, complete with dome and minaret, when in fact it is a place of science and knowledge. The 452-metre (1,483 ft) tall Petronas Twin Towers were designed to resemble motifs found in Islamic art.[64]

Late modern and postmodern architecture began to appear in the late-1990s and early-2000s. With the economic development, old buildings such as Bok House have been razed to make way for new ones. Buildings with all glass shell appears around the city, with the most prominent example being the Petronas Twin Towers and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.[65]

Kuala Lumpur's central business district today has shifted around the Kuala Lumpur city centre (KLCC) where many new and tall buildings with modern and postmodern architecture fill the skyline.

Parks

Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park as seen from the Traders Hotel

.

The Perdana Lake Gardens, a 92-hectare (230-acre) manicured garden near the Malaysian Parliament building, was once home to a British colonial official. The park includes a Butterfly Park, Deer Park, Orchid Garden, Hibiscus Garden and Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Southeast Asia's largest bird park.[66] Other parks in the city include, the ASEAN Sculpture Garden, KLCC Park, Titiwangsa Lake Gardens, Metropolitan Lake Gardens in Kepong, Forest Research Institute Malaysia,[67] Taman Tasik Permaisuri (Queen’s Lake Gardens), Bukit Kiara Botanical Gardens, Equestrian Park and West Valley Park near TTDI, and Bukit Jalil International Park.

There are three forest reserves within the city namely the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve in the city centre, the oldest gazetted forest reserve in the country 10.52 ha/26.0 acres, Bukit Sungai Putih Forest Reserve (7.41 ha/18.3 acres) and Bukit Sungai Besi Forest Reserve (42.11 ha/104.1 acres). Bukit Nanas, in the heart of the city centre, is one of the oldest virgin forests in the world within a city.[68] These residual forest areas are home to a number of fauna species particularly monkeys, tree shrews, squirrels and birds.

Culture

Arts

Frieze depicting Malaysian history at the National Museum

Kuala Lumpur is a hub for cultural activities and events in Malaysia. Among the centres is the National Museum which is situated along the Mahameru Highway. Its collection comprises artifacts and paintings collected throughout the country.[69]

Kuala Lumpur also has an Islamic Arts Museum which houses more than seven thousand Islamic artefacts including rare exhibits as well as a library of Islamic art books.[70] However, the museum's collection not only concentrate on works from the Middle East, the museum also puts the emphasis on Asia, with China and Southeast Asia especially well represented. This museum features some impressively decorated domes and large open exhibition spaces. It is located at Jalan Lembah Perdana next to the National Mosque.

The premier performing arts venue is the Petronas Philharmonic Hall. The resident orchestra is the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra (MPO), consisting of musicians from all over the world and features regular concerts, chamber concerts and traditional cultural performances.[71]

Kuala Lumpur City Centre Park at night.

The National Art Gallery of Malaysia is located on Jalan Temerloh, off Jalan Tun Razak on a 5.67-hectare (14.0-acre) site neighbouring the National Theater (Istana Budaya) and National Library. The architecture of the gallery incorporates elements of traditional Malay architecture, as well as contemporary modern architecture. The National Art Gallery serves as a centre of excellence and trustee of the national art heritage.

The Petronas Art Gallery, another centre for fine art, is situated in Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). The Galeri Tangsi near Dataran Merdeka houses exhibitions of works by local and foreign artists.

The Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) in Sentul West is one of the most established centres for the performing arts, notably theatre, music, and film screening, in the country. It has housed many local productions and has been a supporter of local and regional independent performance artists.[72] One of the highlights in 2006 was the KL Sing Song 2006 music fest which featured Malaysian singer-songwriters of various cultural backgrounds, from both West and East Malaysia, through two days of performances and workshops.[73]

Kuala Lumpur holds the Malaysia International Gourmet Festival annually.[74] Another event hosted annually by the city is the Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week,[75] which includes international brands as well as local designers.

Royal Selangor has an ultra modern Visitor Centre, which allows tours to be conducted through its pewter museum, gallery and its factory. In its pewtersmithing workshop, "The School of Hard Knocks," participants are taught to create their own pewter dish using traditional tools and methods.

Sports and recreation

Kuala Lumpur has numerous parks, gardens and open spaces for recreational purposes. Total open space for recreational and sport facilities land use in the city has increased significantly by 169.6 percent from 586 hectares (1,450 acres) in 1984 to 1,580 hectares (3,900 acres) in 2000.[76]

Kuala Lumpur is one of the host cities for the Formula One World Championship,[12] the open-wheel auto racing A1 Grand Prix[77] and the Motorcycle Grand Prix[78] with races being held at Sepang International Circuit in the neighbouring state of Selangor, next to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. The Formula One event contributes significantly to tourist arrivals and tourism income to Kuala Lumpur. This was evident during the Asian Financial Crisis in 1998. Despite cities around Asia suffering declining tourist arrivals, Kuala Lumpur tourist arrivals increased from 6,210,900 in 1997 to 10,221,600 in 2000, or 64.6% increase in tourist arrivals.[79]

KL Grand Prix CSI 5*,[80] a five-star international showjumping equestrian event is held annually in the city. This annual event draws the world’s top riders and their prized horses to Malaysia.

Other annual sport events hosted by the city include the KL Tower Run,[81] the KL Tower International BASE Jump Merdeka Circuit and the Kuala Lumpur International Marathon. Kuala Lumpur is also one of the stages of the Tour de Langkawi cycling race.[82]

The annual Malaysia Open Super Series badminton tournament is held in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur has a considerable array of sports facilities of international class after hosting the 1998 Commonwealth Games. Many of these facilities including the main stadium (with running track and a football field), hockey stadium and swimming pools are located in the National Sports Complex at Bukit Jalil while a velodrome and more swimming pools are located in Bandar Tun Razak, next to the Taman Tasik Permaisuri Lake Gardens. There are also soccer fields, local sports complexes, swimming pools and tennis courts scattered around the suburbs. Badminton and ‘takraw’ courts are usually included in community halls.

Kuala Lumpur has several golf courses including the Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club (KLGCC) and the Malaysia Civil Service Golf Club in Kiara and the Berjaya Golf Course at Bukit Jalil. The city also has numerous large private fitness centers run by Celebrity Fitness, Fitness First, True Fitness and major five-star hotels.

Kuala Lumpur is also the birth place of Hashing which began in December 1938 when a group of British colonial officers and expatriates began meeting on Monday evenings to run, in a fashion patterned after the traditional British Paper Chase or "Hare and Hounds".

Media

The Kuala Lumpur Tower is an important broadcast centre in the country.

There are several newspapers, including daily newspapers, opposition newspaper, business newspapers and also a digital newspaper, based in Kuala Lumpur. Daily newspapers include Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian, Harian Metro, The Star, New Straits Times, The Sun, Malay Mail, Kosmo! as well as other language newspapers like Sin Chew Daily, China Press, Nanyang Siang Pau and others oppositions newspapers such as Harakah, Suara Keadilan, Siasah and Wasilah. Kuala Lumpur is also the headquarters for Malaysia's state broadcaster RTM and Media Prima, a media corporation which houses the commercial television stations TV3, ntv7, 8TV and TV9. Programmes are broadcast in Malay, English, Chinese and Tamil.

TM Tower is the headquarters of Malaysia's principal telecommunication service provider, Telekom Malaysia.

The city is also home to the country's main pay-TV service, Astro, a satellite television service, which broadcasts local and global television channels such as CNN, BBC World, Star World and HBO.[83] Al-Jazeera, the Doha-based Arab news network has launched a new English-speaking channel called Al-Jazeera English to boost its international viewership with one of its broadcast centers based in Kuala Lumpur.[84] Phoenix TV, a Hong Kong based television broadcaster has also announced plans to expand its regional business by partnership with local satellite TV provider, Astro.[85][86] The Hong Kong office of Channel V International, an international music channel, relocated its programme production unit in Kuala Lumpur by appointing the local company Double Vision Sdn Bhd.[87] In March 2008, Time Out, the international listings and events magazine, launched in Kuala Lumpur as its 24th global city.

Kuala Lumpur has been featured in all aspects of popular culture such as movies, television, music and books. Movies set in Kuala Lumpur include Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Children of Men, (starring Clive Owen) where the Petronas Twin Towers were depicted in flames for a few seconds.[88] Books which were set in Kuala Lumpur include KL 24/7 by Ida M Rahim, Shireen Zainudin and Rizal Zainudin,[89] My Life As a Fake by Peter Carey, and Democracy by Joan Didion.[90] Kuala Lumpur is also mentioned in many songs by local Malaysian artists such as Keroncong Kuala Lumpur by P. Ramlee,[91] Kuala Lumpur, Ibu Kota by Saloma, Chow Kit Road by Sudirman Arshad, Senyumlah Kuala Lumpur by Alleycats, Streets of Kuala Lumpur by Murkyway, K.L. by Vandal, Kuala Lumpur by Poetic Ammo, Anak Dara by Azmyl Yunor and KL by Too Phat. Kuala Lumpur was also one of the destinations in The Amazing Race Asia and The Amazing Race.[92] Games have also been set in Kuala Lumpur. They include three levels of the game Hitman 2: Silent Assassin and two levels of the PlayStation 2 game Burnout.

Transportation

The old Moorish influenced KL train station was completed in 1910
The busy Jalan Ampang at night leading straight to the Petronas Towers.

Unlike most other Asian cities, driving is the main mode of commuting in Kuala Lumpur.[93] Hence, every part of the city is well connected by highways. As capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur has a comprehensive road network that leads to the rest of Peninsular Malaysia.

In terms of air connectivity, Kuala Lumpur is served by two airports. The main airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), which is also the aviation hub of Malaysia, is located about 50 kilometres (31 mi) south of city. The other airport is Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, formerly known as Subang International Airport and served as the main international gateway to Kuala Lumpur from 1965 until KLIA opened in 1998. KLIA connects the city with direct flights to destinations in six continents around the world,[94] and is the main hub for the national carrier, Malaysia Airlines and low cost carrier, AirAsia. KLIA can be reached using the KLIA Ekspres high-speed train service from KL Sentral which takes only twenty-eight minutes,[95] while travelling by car via highway will take about an hour. Air Asia flights do not fly out of KLIA but from the LCC terminal for Air Asia, which is served by buses from KL Sentral, and is a 20-30 minute taxi ride from KLIA. As of 2007, Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport is only used for chartered and turboprops flights by airlines such as Firefly and Berjaya Air.[96]

KL Sentral at night.

Public transport on Kuala Lumpur and the rest of the Klang Valley covers a variety of transport modes such as bus, rail and taxi. Despite efforts to promote usage of public transportation, utilisation rates are low as only 16 percent of the population used public transportation in 2006.[93] The rapid transit system in Kuala Lumpur consists of three separate rail systems which meet in the city and extends towards other parts of Klang Valley. The rail systems are RapidKL RAIL, KL Monorail, and KTM Komuter. These lines have either underground or elevated stations around the city. The main rapid transit hub is KL Sentral which facilitates as an interchange station for the rail systems. KL Sentral is also a hub for intercity railway operated by KTM Intercity. It provides rail services to as far as Singapore in the south, and Hat Yai, Thailand, in the north.[97]

Platform of the KLCC LRT station along the Kelana Jaya Line (Putra LRT) in Kuala Lumpur.

The largest public transportation operator in Kuala Lumpur and the Klang Valley is RapidKL.[98] Since the take over from Intrakota Komposit Sdn Bhd, RapidKL has redrawn the entire bus network of Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley metropolitan area[99] to increase ridership and improve Kuala Lumpur's public transportation system. The management of RapidKL has adopted the hub and spoke system to provide greater connectivity, and cut down the need of more buses.[100] RapidKL is also the operator of three rapid transit rail lines in Kuala Lumpur, namely Ampang Line, Sri Petaling Line and Kelana Jaya Line.[101]

In Kuala Lumpur, most taxicabs have distinctive white and red liveries. Well established meter taxis companies like Innovasi Timur Orange TaxiCab can have their own bright orange colour liveries with approval from the government. Kuala Lumpur is one of the major ASEAN city with taxicabs extensively running on Natural Gas Vehicle . To hail a taxicab, you normally just wait on the street or go to locations called taxi stands. Taxicabs are referred to as taxis in Malaysia and the most reliable and popular in Kuala Lumpur is Innovasi Timur Orange TaxiCab.


Kuala Lumpur is served by Port Klang, located about 64 km (40 mi) southwest of the city. The port is the largest and busiest in the country handling about 6.3 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of cargo in 2006.[102]

Education

Victoria Institution is one of the oldest secondary schools in the country.

According to government statistics, Kuala Lumpur has a literacy rate of 97.5% in 2000, the highest rate in any state or territory in Malaysia.[103] In Malaysia, Malay is the language of instruction for most subjects while English is a compulsory subject and is used as the language of instruction for mathematics and the natural sciences. There are also schools which provide Mandarin and Tamil as languages of instruction for certain subjects.

In Kuala Lumpur alone, there are 13 tertiary education institutions, 79 high schools, 155 elementary schools and 136 kindergartens.[104]

There are several notable institutions located in the city which have existed for more than 100 years, such as Victoria Institution (1893); Methodist Girls' School, Kuala Lumpur (1896); Methodist Boys' School (1897); Convent Bukit Nanas (1899) and St. John's Institution (1904).

Kuala Lumpur is home to the University of Malaya. Established in 1962, it is the oldest university in Malaysia, and one of the oldest in the region.[105] It is also the most prestigious tertiary institution in Malaysia, having been ranked first among the universities in Malaysia in the 2004 THES international rankings.[106] In recent years, the number of international students at University of Malaya has risen, a result of increasing efforts made to attract more international students.[107]

Other universities located in Kuala Lumpur include UCSI University, International Medical University, Open University Malaysia, Universiti Kuala Lumpur, Wawasan Open University and the branch campus of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and Universiti Teknologi Malaysia.

The National Defence University of Malaysia is located at Sungai Besi Army Base, at the southern part of central Kuala Lumpur. It was established to be a major centre for military and defence technology studies. This institution covers studies in the field of army, navy, and air force.[108]

Sister cities

See also

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  97. ^ "Intercity services". Keretapi Tanah Melayu Berhad. http://www.ktmb.com.my/article.asp?id=49. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  98. ^ Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop (Minister of Finance II). "Launching of the Cyberjaya Dedicated Transportation System" Cyberjaya (September 10, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-12-14.
  99. ^ Rapid KL to revamp network
  100. ^ "Getting around Petaling Jaya". WikiTravel. http://wikitravel.org/en/Petaling_Jaya#By_bus_2. Retrieved 2007-12-14. 
  101. ^ "About Us". RapidKL. http://www.putralrt.com.my/about_us.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  102. ^ "Port Klang retains top ranking among Malaysia's ports". SchedNet. 2007-05-24. http://www.thaishipper.com/Content/Content.asp?Archives=true&ID=19058. Retrieved 2007-12-19. 
  103. ^ Department of Statistics, Malaysia (August 2002). "Education and Social Characteristics of the Population, Population and Housing Census 2000.". Press release. http://www.statistics.gov.my/English/news/pressedu.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-10. 
  104. ^ "Existing situation of Educational facilities". Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020. Kuala Lumpur City Hall. http://www.dbkl.gov.my/pskl2020/english/community_facilities/index.htm#13_2_4. Retrieved 2007-12-12. 
  105. ^ Carnegie Mellon University. "Carnegie Mellon University's Heinz School to Offer Professional Master's Degree at University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur in New Collaboration". Press release. http://www.icarnegie.com/about/pr/pr_19jan06.html. Retrieved 2007-12-13. 
  106. ^ "World University Rankings 2004". http://uniranks.unifiedself.com/2004top200.html. Retrieved 2007-12-07. 
  107. ^ "UM out to woo foreign students". The Star Malaysia. 2007-07-02. http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2007/7/2/nation/18189116&sec=nation. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  108. ^ "Background" (in Malay). National Defence University of Malaysia. http://www.upnm.edu.my/media/v3/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=34&Itemid=28. Retrieved 2007-12-18. 
  109. ^ "Mashad-Kuala Lumpur Become Sister cities". FARS News Agency. 2006-10-14. http://kuala-lumpur-news.newslib.com/story/453-3234431/. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  110. ^ "Sisterhoods". Isfahan Islamic Council. 2005. http://www.council.isfahan.ir/EStatic/WFESisterhood.aspx. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  111. ^ a b c Kuala Lumpur fact file, Asian-Pacific City Summit. Retrieved on November 3, 2007.
  112. ^ Lam, Edwin Chong Wai (2006-06-24). "Kuala Lumpur: the Scent of a City". Chessbase News. http://www.chessbase.com/newsdetail.asp?newsid=3201. Retrieved 2007-12-04. 
  113. ^ Delhi to London, it’s a sister act The Times of India. Retrieved on August 30, 2008

External links


Coordinates: 3°08′09″N 101°41′17″E / 3.1357°N 101.688°E / 3.1357; 101.688


Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Kuala Lumpur is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — consider printing them all.
Kuala Lumpur's Skyline
Kuala Lumpur's Skyline

Kuala Lumpur [1], or simply KL, is the capital of Malaysia. Literally meaning "muddy estuary" in Malay, KL has grown from a small sleepy Chinese tin-mining village to a bustling metropolis of around 6.5 million (city-proper population of 1.6 million) in just 150 years. With the world's cheapest 5-star hotels, great shopping and even better food, increasing numbers of travellers are discovering this little gem of a city.

KL's symbol, the Petronas Twin Towers
KL's symbol, the Petronas Twin Towers

Kuala Lumpur is quite a sprawling city and its residential suburbs seem to go on forever. The city also merges with the adjacent towns of Petaling Jaya (originally developed as KL’s satellite town), Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Klang and Port Klang, creating a huge conurbation called the Klang Valley.

The city can be divided into the following areas, each of which offers a particular attraction or activity.

  • City Centre – This is the traditional core of Kuala Lumpur where you’ll find the former colonial administrative centre, with the Merdeka Square, Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Selangor Club. This district also includes Kuala Lumpur’s old Chinese commercial centre which everyone refers to now as Chinatown.
  • Golden Triangle – The area of Kuala Lumpur located to the north-east of the city centre, the Golden Triangle is where you’ll find the city’s shopping malls, five-star hotels, Petronas Twin Towers and party spots.
  • Tuanku Abdul Rahman – This is the traditional colourful shopping district of Kuala Lumpur north of the city centre that moves into high gear when the festivals of Hari Raya Puasa (Eid ul-Fitr) and Deepavali approach. Located just beside the Golden Triangle (northern neighbour) with many popular budget accommodations. The gigantic Putra World Trade Centre & the traditional Kampung Baru food haven are among the most important landmarks.
  • Brickfields – This area, located south of the city centre, is Kuala Lumpur’s Little India filled with saree shops and banana leaf rice restaurants. Kuala Lumpur’s main railway station – KL Sentral – is located here.
The Eye On Malaysia
The Eye On Malaysia
  • Bangsar and Midvalley – Located south of the city, Bangsar is a popular restaurant and clubbing district while Midvalley, with its Megamall, is one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations.
  • Damansara and Hartamas – Largely suburban, these two districts to the west of the city house some interesting pockets of restaurants and drinking areas. This district virtually merges into the northern part of Petaling Jaya.
  • Ampang – Located east of the city, Ampang is home to Kuala Lumpur’s Little Korea and most foreign embassies.
  • Northern suburbs – This huge area to the north of the city is home to several attractions, such as the Batu Caves, the National Zoo and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia.
  • Southern suburbs – This district may not interest travellers much, although Kuala Lumpur’s main stadium at Bukit Jalil and The Mines theme park are located here.

Merdeka!

Prior to independence, Malaya was a British colony. When Malaya's independence, to be attained on 31 August 1957, was approved by the British Government in 1956, the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman announced it to the public in Malacca at what is today Dataran Pahlawan.

On the evening of 30 August 1957, crowds gathered at what was then known as the Selangor Club Padang (Green) to celebrate the historic event. As the clock on the State Secretariat Building (today's Sultan Abdul Samad Building) struck 12 midnight, the crowds, led by Tunku Abdul Rahman, shouted "Merdeka!" seven times. The Union Jack was lowered and the flag of the new country was raised to the strains of the national anthem, Negaraku. The Selangor Club Padang is today known as Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square). The next day, the official handing over of power by the British was held at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium).

The country was renamed Malaysia on September 16, 1963, when Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya formed a new federation.

Founded only in 1857 as a tin mining outpost, Kuala Lumpur is fairly new as far as Malaysian cities go and lacks the rich history of George Town or Malacca. After rough early years marked by gang fighting, Kuala Lumpur started to prosper and was made capital of the Federated Malay States in 1896. Malaysia's independence was declared in 1957 in front of huge crowds at what was later named Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), and Kuala Lumpur continued as the new nation's capital. The economic boom of the 1990s brought KL the standard trappings of a modern city, bristling with skyscrapers and modern transportation systems. Like most of Malaysia's big cities, about 55% of Kuala Lumpur's population is of Malaysian Chinese descent.

Get in

By plane

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA)

All scheduled jet flights, whether domestic or international, arrive at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport [2] (IATA: KUL ICAO: WMKK) located about 50km to the south-west of Kuala Lumpur, in the Sepang district of Selangor. The US$2.5bil modern structure of glass and steel was inaugurated in 1998 and has been ranked as one of the top airports of the world. It replaced the former Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah International Airport in Subang, which is now used for chartered and turboprop flights. Over 50 airlines call at KLIA.

A new Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) opened in March 2006, and is currently used by AirAsia [3], Tiger Airways [4], and Cebu Pacific [5]. Though the LCC Terminal is across the runway tarmac from the Main Terminal Building, it is nearly 20km away by road. Frequent shuttle buses connect the two terminals, costing RM1.50 per trip. At the Main Terminal Building, catch the shuttles at the Bus Terminal on the Ground Floor of the Car Park C building, while at the LCCT, wait for the buses at the bus bays right in front of the terminal. If transferring from the KLIA Ekspres train, make your way to Level 2 and follow the signs to Car Park C and the Bus Station.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport's Terminal
Kuala Lumpur International Airport's Terminal

Be careful when locating the transfer bus from the main terminal to the LCCT, as taxi drivers giving the appearance of being airport customer service personnel will try to steer tourists to a mini-bus or taxi with a cost many times greater than the actual LCCT transfer bus. Frequently they will ask for a fee similar to a taxi ride into Kuala Lumpur, typically RM90.

Transfers - Main Terminal

By train:

  • The high-speed KLIA Ekspres [6] links the airport directly with the KL Sentral transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur in 28 minutes. Trains run from 5AM to 12 midnight. There is one train every 15 minutes between 5AM and 9AM, and between 4PM and 10PM; while trains run every 20 minutes outside those hours. The cost of a one-way ticket is RM35. There is no discount on return tickets. If flying Malaysia, Emirates, Cathay or Royal Brunei, you can also check in your baggage at the Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal in KL Sentral. See "Get around" section below on how to get to/away from KL Sentral.
  • The KLIA Transit [7], like the KLIA Ekspres, also links the airport with KL Sentral except that it stops at three intermediate stations - Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya, and Bandar Tasik Selatan. The journey takes 36 minutes. The fare from end to end is the same as for the KLIA Ekspres, which is RM35. Different fares apply for journeys to the intermediate stations. From KL Sentral, trains run every half hour from 5.33AM to 12.03AM, while from KLIA, trains run every half hour from 5.52AM to 1AM. You may use the KLIA Ekspres' check-in services even when holding a KLIA Transit ticket.
  • You can also catch KTM Komuter [8] trains to Nilai station and take a connecting bus to KLIA. The frequent Nilai-KLIA buses are operated by Airport Coach and Sepang Omnibus. The entire journey may take about two hours, but the cost is considerably cheaper than the above two options. For example, the fare from KL Sentral to Nilai is RM4.70 while the bus fare from Nilai to KLIA is about RM2.50. You can also use the KTM Komuter to go to other destinations, such as Seremban in Negeri Sembilan. For other KTM Komuter destinations, see "Get around" section below.

By bus:

  • Airport Coach runs a one hourly express bus between KL Sentral and KLIA from 5AM to 10.30PM from Sentral, and 6.30AM to 12.30AM from KLIA. RM10 one way, or RM18 return.
  • Star Shuttle bus runs from KLIA to Kota Raya and Pudu Raya (both are near the Chinatown), RM10 one way.
  • Both Airport Coach and Sepang Omnibus run frequent buses between KLIA and Nilai where you continue your journey on the KTM Komuter. See the "Get around" section below for details on the KTM Komuter.

Alternatively, you can take the bus to the LCCT then connect to KLIA.

Note that taxis hovering outside, near where the airport shuttle buses depart from, will try to get your business claiming that trains and the Monorail are not working, or finished for the day. Always check these schedules before believing a word the taxi drivers say.

By taxi:

Travel Warning

WARNING: Do not to accept offers from touts in the arrival foyer because they usually charge more than Airport Limo taxis. Even if you are shown what seems to be legitimate price lists. These touts are usually drive private vehicles not meant to ferry passengers and the drivers do not have PSV (public service vehicle) licenses to take passengers. You will also not be covered by insurance if an accident happens.

  • From KLIA: Only Airport Limo limousines and budget taxis are allowed to pick up passengers at the airport. You buy coupons from Airport Limo counters just before you exit the international arrivals gate, or just outside the domestic arrivals gate. Ask for a budget taxi, which is perfectly fine and costs a fixed RM 74.80 to get to Kuala Lumpur; otherwise you'll be given a misnamed "premier" car that costs an extra RM25. If there is more than one person, it is probably cheaper to take a taxi directly to your destination, rather than going by train and then having to take a taxi onto your destination.
  • To KLIA: Any taxi can bring passengers to KLIA, including Kuala Lumpur's metered red-and-white taxis, although you will find it very difficult to get drivers to use the meters. Make sure you agree on a price before getting into the taxi. Fares should be between RM80 and RM100. For your information, in December 2009, I took a taxi from Jalan Ipoh (downtown of KL) by meter, and it cost around RM 70, plus additional airport surcharge RM12 and some toll fees (taxis only pay half the normal toll fees), totally became RM 90).

By road:

If you have your own wheels, KLIA is well connected to Peninsular Malaysia's expressway network. The airport is directly linked with the North South Expressway Central Link (known by its Malay abbreviation "Elite") about 70km or nearly one hour away from Kuala Lumpur city centre. Exit the expressway at KLIA interchange for both the Main Terminal and LCCT.

Transfers - Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT)

By train:

  • There are no direct train connections to the LCCT (although the government has agreed to build one). However, you can buy a "KLIA Transit to LCCT" ticket (RM 12.50/22 one-way/return), which covers the KLIA Transit to the ERL Salak Tinggi Station and a free connecting bus to the LCCT.

By bus:

  • SkyBus [9] runs direct services every half hour or so from KL Sentral to the LCCT. RM9 one-way.
  • Aerobus [10] also runs direct bus services every half hour from KL Sentral to the LCC Terminal. RM8 one-way, free return journey.
  • Star Shuttle [11] (Tel: +60-3-40438811) has direct buses to the Pekeliling Bus Terminal and Batu 3 (3rd Mile) Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur, as well as direct connections to the Subang Jaya KTM Komuter station and the PKNS Building in Shah Alam. Check its website for schedules. Fares are RM9 per trip.

By road:

The LCCT is about 20km from the Main Terminal and can be accessed via the KLIA circular or airport cargo road.

Note: The Government is planning a newer, larger and more permanent LCCT Terminal closer to the Main Terminal Building but this is not expected to be ready for several years.

Subang Airport

The Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (IATA: SZB) (ICAO: WMSA), more commonly referred to as the Subang Airport, was the country's main international airport until KLIA was opened in 1998. As it is much nearer to the city centre than the newer KLIA, it can make a convenient entry point for those flying from Singapore or other parts of Malaysia. It was designated for turboprop aircraft and is currently served by two airlines:

Getting there/away: The airport is 25 km from the city centre and the best way to get there is by taxi. Rapid KL bus U81 (destination Mah Sing and Pekan Subang) from the Sultan Mohd Bus Hub next to the Pasar Seni LRT station goes past the airport. Fare is RM2 and the ticket is valid for the whole day for all RapidKL routes with "U" prefix.

By road

Most important roads in Peninsular Malaysia lead to/from Kuala Lumpur. The city lies about midway along the North-South Expressway (Motorway) (NSE; route numbers E1 and E2) which runs from the Malaysia-Thailand border at Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah to Johor Bahru in the south, on the Malaysian side of the Causeway to Singapore. The main expressway exits for Kuala Lumpur on the NSE are Jalan Duta (from the north) and Sungai Besi (from the south).

Kuala Lumpur Skyline
Kuala Lumpur Skyline

The Karak Highway (E8), which later turns into the East Coast Expressway, links Kuala Lumpur with the East Coast states of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan.

For those who do not want to pay toll, Kuala Lumpur is on Federal Route One (the "Trunk Road") which, like the NSE, runs through all West Coast states of Peninsular Malaysia from Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah to Johor Bahru.

Those travelling along the West Coast Road (Federal Route Five) should leave the road at Klang and get to Kuala Lumpur via the Federal Highway.

By bus

Kuala Lumpur has several bus stations or terminals/terminuses/termini(Malay: stesen bas or hentian) which handle long distance express bus services; many destinations are served by more than one terminal.

Hentian Puduraya

The biggest (and invariably most crowded) terminal, located in the city centre near Chinatown. Beware of pickpockets, ticket touts and other undesirables, especially late at night.

Access: Plaza Rakyat station (Ampang and Sri Petaling Lines) is within walking distance; many local bus stops nearby.

To/from Hat Yai, in Thailand:

  • Konsortium Bas Ekspres Semenanjung (KBES [14]) (Counter 73. Tel: +60-3-20313036) has departures at 10:30 & 23:00 - RM45 one-way.

To/from Singapore:

  • Transnasional (Tel: +60-3-20703300) is Malaysia's biggest long-distance bus company. Economy class departures to Singapore's Lavender Street terminal at 08:45, 10:30, 13:30, 17:30, 22:30 & 23:59 - RM30 one-way and takes 5 hours.
  • Konsortium Bas Ekspres Semenanjung (KBES [15]) (Counter 81. Tel: +60-3-20701321) has several buses daily to/from the Golden Mile complex in Singapore.

Hentian Putra

Most East Coast services use this terminal which is in the northern part of the city centre on Jalan Putra.

Access: PWTC station (Ampang and Sri Petaling Lines) and Putra station (both KTM Komuter lines) are within walking distance. Also the Chow Kit station (Monorail train) is only 15 minutes walk away.

Hentian Duta

Many north-bound Transnasional [16] express buses use this terminal which is located a distance to the west of the city centre on Jalan Duta.

Note that Airport Coach buses to Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) no longer use this terminal - they now use KL Sentral instead.

Access: the only convenient way is by taxi.

Kuala Lumpur Old Railway Station

Now used as a bus terminal, but still handles commuter trains on both KTM Komuter lines, also accessible via Rapid KL City Shuttle No. 109, 115.

Plusliner luxury services (under the brand names "Nice" and "Platinum Service") are based here; destinations include Penang, Johor Bahru, Singapore, and Hat Yai in Thailand.

Others

Pekeliling Bus Terminal is on Jalan Tun Razak to the north of the city centre, and handles local bus services to some Pahang destinations like Genting Highlands, Bentong, Raub and Temerloh. Access: Titiwangsa station is within walking distance. Rapid KL City Shuttle No. B101, B102, B103, B104, B109.

Deluxe long-distance buses leave from all over the place:

  • Aeroline [17] uses the Corus Hotel (on Jalan Ampang) serves as the terminal for express buses to/from Singapore. Access: KLCC station is 300m away. Rapid KL City Shuttle No. B103, B104, B105, B106, B114. The company also runs the same service from various locations around Klang Valley.
  • First Coach [18] services to/from Singapore leave Bangsar LRT station.
  • Transtar [19] uses the Pasar Rakyat bus station off Jalan Melati, a 5-min walk from Bukit Bintang.
  • Transnasional [20] Executive Coaches to Singapore and Penang leave from the Malaysian Tourist Information Complex (MATIC) on Jalan Ampang, between KLCC and Bukit Nanas.

By train

KTM's intercity trains arrive at the new KL Sentral [21] railway station, located (despite the name) a fair distance to the south of the city centre. Take the Putra LRT, which goes from Kelana Jaya in Petaling Jaya to Gombak in Kualar Lumpur. Or KL Monorail to the city centre, or RM10 coupon taxi to most destinations in the city centre.

Note that taxis hovering outside, near where the airport shuttle buses depart from, will try to get your business claiming that trains and the Monorail are not working, or finished for the day. Always check these schedules before believing a word the taxi drivers say.

Most services are available at the station, including showers (RM5 for shower only, RM15 if you want a towel & toiletries too).

By boat

Kuala Lumpur is not located by the sea. However, there are ferry connections to/from Sumatra (Indonesia) at Port Klang, about 40 km west of Kuala Lumpur. See the Port Klang article for details on how to get there.

KL Monorail
KL Monorail

The first phase of Kuala Lumpur's ambitious public transport system is now complete, the city's public transport system is excellent but there's still a fair amount of room for improvement. The city, like many developing cities, suffers from paralytic traffic jams periodically throughout the day. In rush hours, it may be worthwhile combining public transport by different means. For example: soar over traffic jams by monorail to the station closest to your destination and thereafter take a taxi for the final leg.

By train

Kuala Lumpur's public transport system consists of 3 LRT (Light Rail Transit) lines operated by RapidKL [22], the semicircular KL Monorail [23] looping through the Golden Triangle and the KTM Komuter [24] for trips to the outer northern, southern & western suburbs. Fares are cheap (RM1.2 and up), although connectivity between the lines is poor (read: you will also need to buy a new ticket for the next leg of your trip, and will likely get wet if it is raining since connections are not covered). The Touch 'n Go [25] card, which can be purchased for RM10 at major stations, can now be used on all lines except the airport express. Some particularly convenient stations include:

http://zarenclyde.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/malaysia_putra_lrt2.jpg

  • Bukit Bintang (KL Monorail), for shopping in the Golden Triangle
  • Bukit Nanas (KL Monorail), for clubbing at P. Ramlee
  • KLCC (Putra), for the Twin Towers and the Suria KLCC shopping mall
  • KL Sentral (Kelana Jaya/KL Monorail/KTM Komuter), for intercity trains and the KLIA Ekspres to the airport
  • Masjid Jamek (all LRT lines), for LRT interchange as well as access to Chinatown and Little India
  • Plaza Rakyat (Sri Petaling/Ampang), for Puduraya bus station

A few quirks to be aware of:

  1. The Kelana Jaya and Gombak LRT lines, formerly known as "PUTRA LRT", is now known as "Putraline" while the Sri Petaling and Ampang LRT lines, formerly known as "STAR LRT", is now known as "Starline". Signage is a bit inconsistent but is slowly being updated.
  2. The KL Monorail's "KL Sentral" station is now a bit of a haul from KL Sentral. The covered walkway and the parking lot that was once used for access has been closed off for construction. To get to the KL Monorail, you will have to walk around the parking lot which doubles the distance you had to walk before.
  3. Trains usually follow a timed schedule, with the frequency increased to two/three minutes during peak hours. Take note however that as Putraline is a "driverless" system (unlike Starline where the trains are driven by human drivers), in the event of a train breakdown, service may be disrupted for two hours or more, although such breakdowns are few and far between.

By bus

City Shuttles (this part is not updated, most of the buses are no more in service)

RapidKL's [26] City Shuttle (Bas Bandaran in Malay, hence the B prefix in its route numbers) buses come in handy for tourists. The 10 routes cover most major areas in Kuala Lumpur city centre. The fare for City Shuttles is RM2 for the whole day. If you buy an integrated daily pass (Sepadu) for only RM7, you can ride any RapidKL bus and LRT for as many trips as you like for the whole day. Buy a ticket on your first ride and just flash your ticket at the driver for all subsequent rides.

All City Shuttles have a B prefix in their route numbers. Most City Shuttles operate from "hubs" which can be accessed by rail-based public transport. The routes are:

  • B101: Titiwangsa to KL Sentral via Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman
  • B102: Titiwangsa to Bukit Bintang via Kampung Baru
  • B103: Titiwangsa to Bukit Bintang via KLCC
  • B105: KLCC to MidValley Megamall via City Centre
  • B110: MidValley Megamall to Bukit Bintang via City Centre
  • B111: Maluri to Chow Kit
  • B112: Maluri to KL Sentral via Jalan Loke Yew
  • B113: Maluri to Pasar Seni
  • B114: Maluri to Titiwangsa via KLCC
  • B115: Pasar Seni to Jalan Duta government offices

Other services

RapidKL also operates other bus routes which serve the far flung suburbs of the Klang Valley. There is little reason to use them unless you are going to be living in Kuala Lumpur for a period of time.

There are many other bus operators besides Rapid KL (Metrobus, Len Seng, Permata Kiara, Selangor etc) and a severe lack of signboards and other forms of passenger information makes Kuala Lumpur's complete bus network just a little too complicated for a short-term traveller to fathom. Specific bus information is given at each place of interest on this page.

By taxi

With RM3 flagfall (2 km) and around RM0.90/km afterward, red and white normal taxis are reasonably priced and probably the best way to get around, at least outside the congested peak hours. Bright yellow premium taxis have a RM4 flagfall and also charge a bit more by the kilometre. There are also various small surcharges for radio call (RM2), baggage (RM1 per piece), etc.

While all taxis are supposed to use the meter, when demand exceeds supply or during rush hour, they may ask for a fixed price before commencing travel. This is technically illegal (and reportable), and happens most often with cabbies who lurk outside hotels, stations and major malls, waiting for unwary tourists to come along. Hail cabs off the street if you can, but if you must, at least negotiate hard: RM5 should cover most cross town trips of 15 minutes or so, even with traffic. If you're staying in an expensive hotel, give a nearby shopping mall as your destination instead.

It is cheaper to use the meter through the day, although the opposite is true late at night, and especially after midnight, when the displayed meter price at the end of the journey is increased by 50% (ie. at 1AM, if the meter shows RM12, then you have to pay RM12+6).

A few popular places (notably the airport, KL Sentral and Menara KL) enforce prepaid coupon systems, which generally work out more expensive than using the meter, but cheaper than bargaining.

Combining public transport with taxis can sometime make trips quicker if there are traffic jams.

Some taxi drivers will hang around near hotels offering tours similar to those offered by established companies. Feel free to listen to their offers and bargain with them if you like. Some of these cabbies are quite knowledgeable and you may end up with a specially tailored, private tour for less than the cost of an official tour.

If you get so off the beaten track that you need to call a cab:

  • Comfort Cabs +60-3-62531313
  • Sunlight Taxi +60-3-90575757
  • Public Cab +603 62592020
  • Uptown Ace +603 92832333

By car

Driving in Kuala Lumpur can be a nightmare, with heavy traffic, a convoluted web of expressways and too many signages that can confuse. Reckless drivers are common - Malaysia infamously has one of the highest road accident rates in the world. Suicidal motorcyclists will also keep you on your toes.

Do not park at the road of busy districts such as Bangsar, Bukit Bintang etc. Other cars might lock you in by parking next to you in the 2nd or 3rd lane. Use covered car parks or park a bit off the beaten path and then walk back.

On foot

Depending on your age, physical fitness and urban inclination (or not), Kuala Lumpur is a fine city for walking. It must rank as tops in the world for clear, well-placed signage. Street signs are jumbo sized, blue with white lettering at eye level. Most corners have multi-directional pointers. There are city maps in places. Tiled sidewalks are 5 meters in width, on average (a warning: treacherously slippery at sloped curb sides!). Main arteries are boulevard-broad and tree-lined. Most intersections have bright, yellow striped pedestrian crossings. While traffic can be daunting at times, it rarely moves fast enough to be seriously hazardous. Beware of speeding and criss-crossing motorcyclists, though!

Here is a walking tour (circle) that encompasses the main centre attractions (2-3 hours): starting at Chinatown (Petaling Street), identify on a map the following landmarks: the Maybank building, the Times Square towers, the Petronas Twin Towers and KL Tower. Once on the street do a visual scan of these buildings. You'll likely not need the map henceforth. Proceed from the Maybank building (vertically striped wedge) up Jalan Pudu, which turns into Jalan Bukit Bintang (Royale Bintang Hotel) at about 1 km. Stop for coffee at Bintang Walk, or check out the electronics mega-mall, Plaza Low Yat. Continue on Jalan Sultan Ismail towards Petronas. Be amazed! Wind your way from Petronas along Jalan P. Ramlee past the KL Tower and down Jalan Raja Chulan back to the Maybank building and Chinatown.

If you're fortunate enough to do this walk on a typical Sunday afternoon, you'll be blessed with a calmness unimaginable for a city this size.

When it rains the pavements and streets turn into small rivers and crossing a street can be an adventure.

Generally, it is safe and rewarding to walk in the city but caution must still be exercised, especially if walking alone or in a small group.

Care must also be taken with any alleyways or parking grounds that appear to be dark and deserted. Petty thieves with knives or sometimes even small firearms might mug you, at especially night time of the day.

That said, enjoy your walks!

KL Tower
KL Tower
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station

Despite having many attractions,Kuala Lumpur is one of those cities which is short on must-see attractions: the real joy lies in wandering randomly, seeing, shopping and eating your way through it. It's hot, humid and sometimes crowded though, so schedule some air-conditioned downtime in shopping malls or restaurants into your plan. You may find that most attractions are only crowded on weekends/holidays and deserted on weekdays.

The following gives a brief description of KL’s attractions according to district. See the respective district pages for more details.

The main attractions are spread throughout the city, although the greatest concentration of places of interest are in the City Centre, where you’ll find Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square), where Malaysia would usually celebrate the Malaysian independence day (the exact spot where independence was declared at the start of Aug 31, 1957 is at the Stadium Merdeka); the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and other Colonial-era buildings surrounding the square; the modern and rather unadorned National Mosque; the Moorish-style Kuala Lumpur Railway Station which now houses a mini-museum on Malaysian railway history; many of KL’s other museums including the recently refurbished National Museum (RM2) tracing the history of the region through prehistory and the Malaccan empire to Independence, and the extremely well-regarded Islamic Arts Museum (RM12, 10-6PM), and the nearby 'Police Museum; and the pretty Lake Gardens to the west. Within the city centre is also the fascinating narrow streets of Chinatown, KL’s traditional commercial district, with its many Chinese shops and places to eat.

Another area of interest to the traveller is the Golden Triangle. Although predominantly a shopping and night-life district, it is also home to the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) and the Petronas Twin Towers, once the world’s tallest building. In the nearby KL Convention Centre is the Aquaria KLCC which contains some 5,000 varieties of tropical fish. Just south of the Twin Towers is Menara KL Tower, which is situated on top of Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill), a forest reserve right in the heart of the city. PDA-Guided views from Menara Tower (RM38, 9AM-10PM) being at 276m, are far superior than those from the Petronas Towers (viewing deck at 170m), and come highly recommended since it allows first time visitors the chance to quickly orient themselves about the layout of the city. It is however, not a particularly easy place to reach by public transport, so use either a taxi or the "hop-on/hop-off" tourist bus that makes a continuous circuit through the city.

There are also several attractions just outside Kuala Lumpur which are worth visiting. The Batu Caves in the Northern suburbs of Kuala Lumpur, are located in a limestone outcrop and are the focal point of the fascinating annual Thaipusam festival, usually held in February. The caves are easily accessible by RapidKL bus U6 from Titiwangsa station, though ask the driver to let you know the correct stop as the caves are not immediately obvious. Do some light cave exploring in Batu Caves which is really facinating.The entrance is 50 ft below the main temple cave and on the left as you climb. The event will be memorable and is not risky even for children as young as 3 years. Another option is to catch Metrobus 11 for RM2 at Lorong Bas, near Central Market. Malaysia’s National Zoo (Zoo Negara) is also located in the north of the city.

  • KL Bird Park (free-flight walk-in aviary), 920, Jalan Cenderawasih, Taman Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur (Next to Islamic Art Museum in the City Centre), +60322721010, [27]. 9:00-18:00. Great semi-wild habitat for many different species of mostly Asian birds. The Bird Park allows you to approach quite close to the birds which are skittish but not fearful for some very nice photos. A bit pricey, but makes for a nice long day in a mostly shaded area. Feedings and shows throughout the day give something to see at any time, and the 20+ acres provide plenty of area to walk and explore. The photo booth offers a wide array of tamed birds that will happily sit on you and pose for photos for a small price (RM 5 per person: your camera, 2 birds; RM 20 per print: glossy printout of your group covered in birds). Concession stands are priced fairly and offer drinks, ice cream, etc. Bring bug spray as the mosquitoes can be rampant. RM 39 (adult), RM 29 (child).  edit
Lake Titiwangsa
Lake Titiwangsa

KL is the type of city where the first things that come to mind when you talking of doing anything is "shopping", both of which are adequately covered by the Eat and Buy sections.

Those activities aside, KL has its fair share of sporting opportunities such as golfing, cycling, running, jogging and even equestrian. If you’re into rock climbing, the Batu Caves in Northern Kuala Lumpur is a popular weekend haunt of those wanting to scale some heights. However, for anything more strenuous and challenging, you’re better of heading to other spots in country.

Malaysia is trying to encourage greater cultural expression and KL has several good theatres and places for performances, such as the National Theatre (Istana Budaya) and KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) in the northern part of the city, the KL Philharmonic in KLCC, and the Actors Studio in Bangsar.

You can also get a good dosage of pampering in KL. For those in search of spas, there are several five-star hotel-connected as well as independent treatment centres in the Golden Triangle. You’ll also find heaps of reflexology and foot massage places everywhere but especially in Bukit Bintang in the Golden Triangle and Chinatown.

Volunteer

If you are taking an extended trip consider spending a week or more volunteering.

  • Nur Salam (Chow Kids), No. 24A-B Jalan Chow Kit, +03 4045-4021, [28]. Volunteer with the street kids of Chow Kit (KL) to "help improve the quality of live for the children of Chow Kit whose parents are usually former & current drug addicts & sex workers in Kuala Lumpur". Chow Kids offers training for volunteers who wish to spend any amount of time interacting and helping these deserving children.  edit
  • Zoo Negara, Hulu Kelang 68000 Ampang, Selangor, +603-410-822219 (), [29]. Love animals? Volunteer at the National Zoo - Zoo Negara outside the city. Simply fill out the Volunteer Form on the website and show up for a shift at the zoo in a variety of areas. Check out their volunteer website for more information.  edit
Starhill Gallery KL
Starhill Gallery KL
The Pavilion KL
The Pavilion KL

There's some great shopping to be done in Kuala Lumpur. Goods are available in every price bracket, and while electronics are a tad more expensive than in Singapore or Hong Kong they can still be much cheaper than Europe.

Kuala Lumpur's premier shopping district is the Bukit Bintang area in the Golden Triangle, named after the street of the same name, although stores and hotels sprawl in all directions along Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Imbi. A number of large shopping malls within the area cater to varying budgets. Fans of electronic gadgets would delight in the multitude of choices at Low Yat Plaza, whilst shoppers hunting for the latest in affordable Asian style should definitely check out Times Square and Bukit Bintang / Sungei Wang Plaza. Pavilion is a recent addition to the cluster of shopping malls in this area and houses a wide range of international retail brands in an ultra-modern complex. There is also a large shopping mall at KLCC, which is approximately 2 km walk from the Bukit Bintang area.

Several popular malls lie outside the Golden Triangle. The Bangsar and Midvalley areas are home to some of the best shopping malls in KL, namely the MidValley Megamall and the adjacent upmarket The Gardens, the more cozy Bangsar Village and Bangsar Shopping Center in Bangsar.

There are also many shopping malls in the neighbouring towns of Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya.

Despite the onslaught of malls, KL still offers some Asian tradition with traditional shopping streets and markets. The best area for such shopping is Chinatown in the City Center. This district is also the best place to hunt for souvenirs, especially in Central Market, a former produce market which has been converted into an art and craft market.

The Little India near Jalan Masjid India offers various fabric for use. Most of the fabrics are imported from countries like Indonesia, India and China while some are locally produced. Indonesian traditional batik and songket are traditional fabric commonly found in Central Market. For greater satisfaction choose the hand made ones. You may be interested to buy ready made baju kurung or baju kebaya(the traditional Malay dress). For peace of mind, buy from the bigger stores. Some Thailand's handicrafts are also sold here, besides handmade Malaysia's wooden souvenirs.

  • SKOOB books, Lot 122, Menara Mutiara Majestic, 15 Jalan Othman. close 8PM. An old fashion book shop frequented by expats looking for English titles sold no-where else in the city. They import most of their books directly from London. SKOOB is staffed by well-read university students that are handy at online advertising.  edit

Eat

Malaysians are obsessed with food and it is hardly surprising that as the country's capital, Kuala Lumpur reflects this love affair with eating. You'll be able to find the entire range of Malaysian cuisine (although some, especially those from Penang, argue that what you get in KL is not the best) as well as food from around the world.

As far as the budget is concerned, you can eat fairly well for fairly little in KL. Just head to the roadside stalls and what Malaysians call coffeeshops (kedai kopi) - a shop which operates like a food court with many stalls selling a variety of food (some of them are halal and some non-halal, Chinese coffee shops usually serve non-halal) . Some coffeeshops offer streetside dining by placing their tables on the sidewalks of roads. Coffeeshops are found on virtually every street in KL but Chinatown (especially Jalan Sultan, Jalan Hang Lekir and Jalan Petaling) in the City Center and Jalan Alor in the Golden Triangle have some of the greatest concentration of coffeeshops and stalls. They mostly open only at night.

Rivaling the coffeeshops in terms of numbers, as well as the price of food, are what Malaysians call "Mamak shops" - food outlets run by Indian Muslims. They can also be found at almost every street corner in KL. The food is of course halal (Food permissible by Muslim law - much like Kosher for the Jewish tradition). The streetside version, called the "Mamak stall" is also popular. One famous collection of streetside Mamak stalls is at Jalan Doraisamy near the Heritage Row (see Tuanku Abdul Rahman page). The most popular food is the 'roti canai'.

Food courts in shopping malls can also provide you with a good opportunity to sample Malaysian food in more hygienic conditions, although the prices will be a little higher than coffeeshops.

KL has a good number of restaurants, some of them offering better food than others. The Golden Triangle, Bangsar and Midvalley, Heritage Row and some areas in Damansara and Hartamas are the usual places for people looking for a restaurant meal. Beware that most restaurants close by 10 PM, so you'll probably need to look for street food if hungry at night. the street food stalls are getting better during the late night.

In terms of ethnicity, Malay food can be found in Jalan Masjid India, Chow Kit and Kampung Baru areas in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman district.Chinatown is the best place to search for Chinese (especially Cantonese) food, although all kinds of Chinese cuisine, from the simplest to the most sophisticated, can be found all over KL. Head to Lebuh Ampang in the City Center and Brickfields for Indian food. Bangsar has many high-end restaurants offering Western food. If you are dying for Korean food, head to Ampang Jaya. A lot of Arab and Middle Eastern restaurants have mushroomed in Bukit Bintang.

Jalan P.Ramlee
Jalan P.Ramlee
The Skybar KL
The Skybar KL

KL has quite a vibrant night-life and the Golden Triangle is the epicentre of most of the partying which goes on in the city. Jalan P. Ramlee, just south of KLCC, is Kuala Lumpur's central clubbing area, while the action also spills onto Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Pinang and Jalan Perak. Nearby Bukit Bintang also throbs with action, and its neon-lit nightclubs, many of them with hostesses, certainly have a more Asian feel to them.

Heritage Row, in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman district, is fast catching up as a popular nightspot. It occupies a row of refurbished colonial-era shop houses and is now home to one of KL's swankiest clubs and trendy bars. Strictly for well heeled visitors and locals. It is on Jalan Doraisamy just off Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Dang Wangi.

Bangsar has long been one of the busiest places in Kuala Lumpur after the sun goes down. The action is around Jalan Telawi and its side streets, and is definitely the place to go for clubbing and deafening music.

Sri Hartamas and Mont Kiara in the Damansara and Hartamas district have popular pubs and some clubs as well as nice coffee places. You may be able to find live performances in some of the outlets.

After a tiring night out, Malaysians like to head to Mamak stalls - streetside stalls or shops operated by Indian Muslims - which offer a range of non-alcoholic beverages like teh tarik (frothed tea) and light food. In fact, these stalls have also become night hangouts in their own right, and many outlets have installed wide-screen projectors and TV where they screen football matches. Most outlets are open 24 hours. They are found all over the city and are a wonderful part of the Malaysian night scene.

Another trend that has hit Malaysia is the kopitiam fad, a more upmarket version of the traditional Chinese coffeeshop. These mostly open during the day and offer some of the best tea and coffee and light meals and snacks like nasi lemak (coconut flavoured rice with fried anchovies and peanut) and the ever popular toast with kaya (coconut curd, used as a spread). If you prefer Western style coffee, there are many coffee outlets in KL, most of them part of international and local chains like Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and San Francisco Coffee. Most of them can be found in shopping malls.

Sleep

KL's budget accommodation is mostly found in the City Centre where a bed for the night can be as little as RM20. Increasingly, more are opening in the Bukit Bintang and Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman / Chow Kit and Jalan Ipoh / Jalan Pudu ( which is just opposite Hentian Puduraya bus station ) areas which are near the Golden Triangle, where prices are slightly higher than in Chinatown but you’ll be next to KL’s entertainment, shopping and dining centre.

If you are arriving on the overnight buses from the east coast islands, buses will stop at Hentian Putra in the Chow Kit area.

Try and avoid any hostels marked Rumah Tumpangan; these are dodgy boarding houses for foreign workers or cater to the trade where rooms are rented out by the hour. Albeit being dodgy, these Rumah Tumpangan may be a good experience for those who have bored themselves with the luxury hotels.

Mid-range hotels are comparatively poor value in KL, and it's worth it to spend a little extra (or look a little harder) for a true luxury hotel on the cheap. KL has a deserved reputation as one of the world's cheapest places to experience five-star luxury, with rooms available for as little as RM250 (at the right time and with the right discounts).

Please see the individual KL district pages of a list of places to stay.

Contact

Internet cafés are quite plentiful in KL and you can find them in most shopping centres. If you have your own laptop, Maxis' [30] WLAN service is the best deal around: as of Dec.07, a prepaid RM15 card gets you unlimited use for two weeks. Few hotels in Kuala Lumpur offer Internet access in their rooms. However, some hotels around the KL Sentral station now start to install LAN cables with Internet access in the rooms. Furthermore, many hotels offer free WiFi access in their lobbies. Free WiFi access is also available from many dining establishments and shopping complexes in the city

  • Malaysia Tourism Centre (MTC), 109 Jalan Ampang (between KLCC and Dang Wangi), [31]. Formerly MATIC, this tourist information centre has a wealth of information on Malaysia, occasional cultural shows, surly staff and semi-crippled but free PCs for browsing the Net.
  • Starbucks Coffee Company, selected outlets in KL (including KL Sentral). Selected outlets of Starbucks in KL have partnered with the Time telecommunications company to provide free Zone Wi-Fi service to customers who have Wi-Fi-equipped laptops or PDAs. Outlets which do not have free Zone Wi-Fi usually have commercial WLAN services such as Maxis' WLAN in its place.
  • Coffeebean, free wi-fi in all Coffeebean outlets, you just ask for the password when you order.
  • Air Asia Counter in KL Sentral Several computers with internet access are available for you to check out the Air Asia website (and maybe glance at your e-mail or the news quickly)
  • Argentina Embassy, 3, Jalan Semantan Dua, Kuala Lumpur, +603 2550176/2552564.  edit
  • Australian High Commission, 6 Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21465555, [32].  edit
  • Austria Embassy, Wisma Goldhill, Suite 10.10-01, Level 10, 67, Jalan Raja Chulan, Kuala Lumpur, +603 20578969, [33].  edit
  • Bangladesh High Commission, Blok 1, Lorong Damai 7, Jln Damai, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21487940/21423271/21422505, [34].  edit
  • Belgium High Commission, Suite 10-02, 10th Floor, Menara Tan & Tan, Letter Box N 10-02 207, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21620025, [35].  edit
  • Brazil High Commission, Suite 20-01, 20th Floor, Menara Tan & Tan, 207 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21711420, [36].  edit
  • Brunei Darussalam High Commission, No. 19-01, Tingkat 19, Menara Tan & Tan, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21612800.  edit
  • Cambodia Embassy, 83/JKR 2809, Lingkungan U Thant, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42571150.  edit
  • Canada High Commission, 17th Floor, Menara Tan & Tan, 207 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 27183333, [37].  edit
  • People's Republic of China Embassy, 229, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21636815 (extension: 102,103,104,105,106), [38]. Also handles Hong Kong/Macau visas.  edit
  • Croatia Embassy, 3, Jalan Mengkuang, Off Jalan Ru, Off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42535340.  edit
  • Czech Embassy, 32, Jalan Mesra, Off Jalan Damai, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21427185/21413205, [39].  edit
  • Denmark Embassy, Wisma Denmark, Denmark House, 22nd floor, 86 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 20322001, [40].  edit
  • Finland Embassy, Wisma Chinese Chamber, 5th floor, 258 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42577746, [41].  edit
  • French Embassy, 192-196, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 20535561, [42].  edit
  • German Embassy, 26th Floor, Menara Tan & Tan, 207 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21709666, [43].  edit
  • Greek Consulate, 33rd Floor 340-33-1, Vista Damai 340, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 27752388.  edit
  • India High Commission, 2, Jalan Taman Duta, Off Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, +603 20933510, [44].  edit
  • Indonesian Embassy, 233, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21164000, [45].  edit
  • Iranian Embassy, No. 1, Lorong U Thant Satu, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42515576.  edit
  • Irish Embassy, Ireland House, The Amp Walk, 218 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21612963, [46].  edit
  • Italian Embassy, 99, Jalan U Thant, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42565122-42565228, [47].  edit
  • Japanese Embassy, 11, Persiaran Stonor, Off Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42565122-21772600, [48].  edit
  • DPR Korea (North Korea) Embassy, 4, Persiaran Madge, Off Jalan U Thant, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42569913/42516713.  edit
  • Republic of Korea (South Korea) Embassy, No. 9 and 11, Jalan Nipah, Off Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42512336/42515797.  edit
  • Kuwait Embassy, 229, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21421062.  edit
  • Laos Embassy, No. 12 A, Persiaran Madge, Off Ampang Hilir, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42511118.  edit
  • Maltese Consulate, No. 51-3, 2nd Floor, Feisco Suite, Kompleks Udarama, Jalan 2/64A, Off Jalan Ipoh, Kuala Lumpur, +603 40423618, [49].  edit
  • Mexico Embassy, Menara Tan & Tan, 22nd Floor, 207 Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21646362, [50].  edit
  • Myanmar Embassy, 12, Jalan Ru, Off Jalan Ampang Hilir, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42560280/42570680.  edit
  • Nepal Embassy, Suite 13A.01, 13th A Floor, Wisma MCA, 163 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21645934/21649656, [51].  edit
  • Netherlands Embassy, 7th Floor, South Block, The Ampwalk, 218, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21686200, [52].  edit
  • New Zealand High Commission, Level 21, Menara IMC, 8 Jalan Sultan Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, +603 20782533, [53].  edit
  • Royal Norwegian Embassy, 53 Floor, Empire Tower, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21750300, [54].  edit
  • Pakistan High Commission, 132, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21618877/21618878/21618879.  edit
  • The Philippines Embassy, 1, Changkat Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21489989/21484233/21484682/21484654/21421508, [55].  edit
  • Poland Embassy, 495, 4 1/2 Miles, Jalan Ampang, Ampang, +603 42576733/42576719.  edit
  • Russia Embassy, 263, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42560009/42567252, [56].  edit
  • Royal Saudi Arabia Embassy, 4th Floor, Wisma Chinese Chamber, 258 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42579831/42579433/42579825, [57].  edit
  • Singapore High Commission, 209, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21616277, [58].  edit
  • South African High Commission, Suite 22,01 Level 22, Menara HLA, No. 3 Jalan Kia Peng, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21702400/21688663/21617629, [59].  edit
  • Spanish Embassy, 200, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21484868/21484655/21428776.  edit
  • Sri Lanka High Commission, 12 Jalan Keranji Dua, Off Jalan Kedondong, Ampang Hilir, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42568987/42571394, [60].  edit
  • Sweden Embassy, Wisma Angkasa Raya, 6th floor, 123 Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 20522550, [61].  edit
  • Switzerland Embassy, 16, Pesiaran Madge, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21480622/21480751/21480639/21428766, [62].  edit
  • Royal Thai Embassy, 206, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21488222/21488350/21488420/21458004, [63].  edit
  • Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Level 7, Menara Yayasan Tun Razak, 200 Jalan Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21614439, [64].  edit
  • Turkey Embassy, 118, Jalan U Thant, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42572225/42572226.  edit
  • United Arab Emirates Embassy, 12, Jalan Kenanji 2, Kuala Lumpur, +603 42535221/42535420.  edit
  • British High Commission, 185, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21702200, [65].  edit
  • United States Embassy, 376, Jalan Tun Razak, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21685000, [66].  edit
  • Vietnam Embassy, 4, Persiaran Stonor, Kuala Lumpur, +603 21484036/21414692/21484534.  edit

Respect

Kuala Lumpur is a liberal city and wearing shorts, short skirts and low-cut tops is fine. That said, many mosques and temples require covering up, and you'll get more respect from officialdom if you dress up a little.

Also, keep in mind that while you may drink at bars, public drunkenness is a no-no! You will be robbed while you are at it, and sooner or later you'll see yourself in the rear seat of a police car.

Stay healthy

Tap water in Kuala Lumpur is heavily chlorinated and thus safe, but unfortunately the pipes that carry it may not be. Most locals boil or filter it before use; alternatively, bottled water is cheap and ubiquitous.

There is no malaria in the city, but dengue fever can be a problem at times,so take precautions against mosquitoes.

Between May and October, KL is occasionally shrouded in dense haze from forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo, which can be a health concern for asthmatics (and pretty unpleasant for everybody). However, the haze comes and goes, and varies greatly from year to year: it was terrible in 2006, but non-existent in 2007, and had started again in 2008.

Stay safe

Kuala Lumpur is generally quite a safe city to visit. You're unlikely to be a victim of violent crime in KL, but pickpockets are common and bag snatching is rising significantly. Keep a close eye on your valuables in crowds, especially street markets and public transport (especially during rush hour), and hold your bag on the side away from the street if there are motorbikes around to avoid bag snatching.

Taxis are generally safe, but they often refuse to use the meter and a few cabbies will gouge tourists mercilessly. If they won't use the meter, then don't take that taxi, as by law they are required to use the meter. However if you are desperate to use that taxi, always agree on the fare in advance, and try to get an estimate of the cost from a local before you climb on board. Do watch out for counterfeit banknotes (such as RM50) given as change by a dishonest taxi-driver, the easiest way to tell being to hold it up to the light to see the continuous silver strip. If in doubt, don't pay with a RM100 note.

Be careful of a scam that has been going on for years, and seems to be doing the rounds again - you may be approached by someone on the street. They tell you that they have a friend / relative who is going to your country as a student and needs some information about living there. They ask you to go back to their place for 20 minutes to meet the person. When you get there, the person is out, so they ask you to wait and in the meantime an uncle or someone likes to play cards. They teach you how to play and how to win...... and to cut a long story short you end up gambling and losing money, and some people have had trouble getting away,etc.

Malaysian law requires that visitors carry their passport at all times, and both police and "RELA" (civil volunteers) carry out spot checks for illegal immigrants.

Locals are very friendly to the tourists, and many in Kuala Lumpur can speak decent English. Greet them well with warm smile and they will be happy to show you around. Be friendly! If you are lost, just ask someone on the street.

  • Genting Highlands, 40 minutes by road using the East Coast Highway, has cooler weather, theme parks for the kids and a casino for the adults.
  • Putrajaya, Malaysia's megalomanic new federal administrative centre is 30 km to the south (20 minutes by train called KLIA Transit) along the way to the airport.
  • Kuala Selangor, 1 hour north-west of KL, is famous for its fireflies and seafood restaurants.
  • Singapore. 55 minutes by plane, 5 hours by coach. A globalised city with good tourist attractions.
This is a guide article. It has a variety of good, quality information including hotels, restaurants, attractions, arrival and departure info. Plunge forward and help us make it a star!

Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

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Wikipedia has an article on:

Wikipedia

Contents

English

Etymology

From Malay kuala (confluence) + lumpur (mud), "muddy confluence"

Proper noun

Kuala Lumpur

  1. Federal territory in western Malaysia in which the country’s current capital of the same name is located.
  2. Current national capital of Malaysia, located in the federal territory of the same name.

Translations


Simple English

Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur
Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur
吉隆坡联邦直辖区
கோலாலம்பூர்
Skyline of Kuala Lumpur at night
File:Flag of Kuala Lumpur
Flag
Population
 - City 1,809,699
 Density 7,388/km2 (18,912/sq mi)
 Metro 7.2 million
Website Official Website

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia. Malaysia is a country in Asia. With the completion of Putrajaya in the late 1990s, the administrative capital has been moved to Putrajaya. Kuala Lumpur is home to one of the tallest buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers.

Climate

Kuala Lumpur is located in the climatic region of tropical wetlands.

The annual range of temperature in Kuala Lumpur is small, only 1°C. There is no distinct seasonal difference in temperature in the city. Kuala Lumpur is hot throughout the year. The annual mean temperature are 26.5 °C (79.7 °F).

The annual rainfall in Kuala Lumpur is high (2393mm). The rainfall distribution is even in the city, with heavy rainfall all the year. In April and November, the monthly rainfall is slightly higher.

Mayors of Kuala Lumpur

Since Kuala Lumpur became a Federal Territory of Malaysia on February 1, 1972, the city has been led by seven mayors. They are:

  1. Tan Sri Dato' Lokman Yusof (1972)
  2. Tan Sri Yaakob Latiff (1973 - 1983)
  3. Tan Sri Dato' Elyas Omar (1983 - 1992)
  4. Dato' Dr. Mazlan Ahmad (1992 - 1995)
  5. Tan Sri Dato’ Kamaruzzaman Shariff (1995 - 2001)
  6. Datuk Mohmad Shaid Mohd Taufek (2001 - 2004)
  7. Datuk Ruslin Hasan (since 2004) [1]

Other websites

bjn:Kuala Lumpur


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