Kuala Lumpur Tourism
A blend of cultural diversity, legendary skyscrapers and unique gastronomy!
Kuala Lumpur is famous for
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The place that literally glitters and shines
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Getting to Kuala Lumpur
Transit time: 6hrs from major cities
Cost ₹9,371 per person
Kuala Lumpur Overview
Kuala Lumpur is the largest city and the capital of Malaysia. Officially referred to as the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, the city has an official population of around 1.7 million, and is spread over ninety-four square miles of land.
Kuala Lumpur was originally a small hamlet consisting of a few houses and shops, located at the confluence of the Sungai Gombak and River Klang. It began its transition to a town with the tin mining activities in and around the 1850s, as the town became the collection and dispersal point for the mines.
Early Kuala Lumpur was prone to constant fires and flooding problems due to the existence of wooden thatched buildings. In 1872, Kuala Lumpur was captured by Raja Mahdi and was burnt to the ground. The war and a drop in tin prices led to the outbreak of cholera in the 1970s, leading many inhabitants to flee the town.
Construction of a railway line between Kuala Lumpur and Klang in the year 1886 led to the development and growth of the city.
Why You Should Visit
The city of Kuala Lumpur is a shopping haven and offers an interesting assortment of reasons as to why people come here so often.
Kuala Lumpur is one of the best shopping destination in Asia for international visitors. Fashionable shopping malls and local shopping markets are spread across city and are easy to access.
Kuala Lumpur is rich in wildlife attractions in and around the city. The Bukit Nanas forest reserve is located in the center of the city and is famous for its natural settings.
Kuala Lumpur is a paradise for night life lovers. The city interiors are throbbing with exotic night spots including pubs, discos, and dance clubs.
Get a sight of modern architecture at the world’s biggest twin towers, Petronas, located in the heart of the city, as well as jaw-dropping city sights from its observation deck.
Watch the exotic sights of rich marine life at the world’s largest aquarium, the Aquaria KLCC, with over 150 species of fish and other marine animals.
For museum lovers, the city of Kuala Lumpur offers a variety of museums with exhibits of its rich history and fine arts.
The city of Kuala Lumpur is filled with tourist attractions.
No visit to Kuala Lumpur city is complete without visiting the Petronas Twin Towers, located in the heart of the city. Built in the year 1998, the Petronas towers stands over 88 storeys in height and is the tallest twin tower structure in the world. The feature of these towers is a double-deck sky bridge connecting the towers, and which offers an amazing view of the city.
The Menara KL Tower is another landmark in the city of Kuala Lumpur, and is erected atop the Bukit Nanas forest reserve. The tower also offers a spectacular view of the city and features a 360-degree revolving restaurant in its vicinity. The Menara KL tower is among the tallest freestanding structures in the world and the fifth tallest telecommunication tower.
Looking for the best shopping bargain! Head to the Chinatown market in the heart of the city. Here you will find items for every shopper with a variety of stuff including Chinese herbs, imitation goods, fake and original branded items, and some yummy Chinese food. The Chinatown market features a vibrant night market, and is dotted with temples built with oriental architecture, and massage parlours.
Another market of prominence in the city is the Central market, ideal for shopping artistic items and handicrafts.
Located 11 kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur is the 400 million-year old Batu Caves, made of limestone. This tourist destination, popular with Hindus and other groups, is dotted with several Hindu shrines, enshrined in three major caves and a number of small caves. The highlight of this destination is the 140-feet tall statue of Lord Murugan.
For lovers of marine beauty, a must visit is to the Aquaria KLCC, the five thousand square feet large aquarium in Kuala Lumpur, making it the largest aquarium in the world. Get mesmerized with the views of over 150 species of marine animals, including tiger sharks, sea snakes, blue rays, massive arapaima, and more. A highlight of Aquaria KLCC is the 90-meter walk-through tunnel, where you will be surrounded by a giant tank with rich marine life.
Nature lovers must flock to the Bukit Nanas forest reserve, located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur. Dating back to over hundred years, the forest reserve is home to the Silver leaf langur and other interesting animals. Opt for a walking tour to get a glimpse of its natural surroundings and fresh foliage. Kuala Lumpur also offers other treats for nature lovers with the National Zoo and the KL Bird Park, the world’s largest bird park with over three thousand birds and over two hundred species.
Favourite Local Foods
Due to the diversity of its population, the food in Kuala Lumpur is a mixture of Malay, Indian, and Chinese cuisines, along with influences across South East Asia. Here are a few of the recommended local foods in Kuala Lumpur:
The Roti Canai is a popular bread dish that is served at many stalls in the city. The plain Roti Canai is light and crispy with a touch of sweetness. This bread dish tastes best with dal, sambhar, or mutton curry. The best Roti Canai is served at the Valentine Roti restaurant.
The Hokkien Mee dish is Fujian in origin and is made of bamboo-pressed Chinese noodles. Served with pork slices, prawns, or squid, this noodle dish is coated with thick sauce made of spices and shrimp paste. Savour this dish at the popular Kim Lian Kee restaurant, which dates back to the 1920s.
For breakfast, do not miss the Nasi Lemak dish, prepared with coconut milk and steamed with screw pine leaves. This dish is served with a variety of accompaniments including fried chicken, cow lungs, squid sambal, and kerrang.
Go for a serving of the Oyster Omlette, another Fujian-origin dish which is served at the Kong Tai restaurant, cooked in lard and served with tiny oysters, potato starch and topped with Chinese parsley.
Soup lovers will relish the Pan Mee, a Hokkien-style egg noodle soup, containing blanched noodles, pork, ikan bilis, and topped with poached egg. The place to eat this dish should be the Restoran Kin restaurant.
Favourite Local Things to Buy
Kuala Lumpur offers the best range of international designer brands and local things, all of which are available at the cheapest prices. If you are done with splurging on the designer labels and electronic items, here is a list of local things that you can buy in Kuala Lumpur:
Handicraft and Souvenirs: The malls and local market in Kuala Lumpur stock a range of traditional souvenir items that can be used for your home décor. Jewelry items and figurines made of pewter, silver, and brass are common and easily available.
Personal accessories including handbags, purses, shoes, belts, and watches are the best pick in Kuala Lumpur, all at the best discounted prices.
Art items: Pieces by local artisans are available in the Central market.
The Bukit Batang area of Kuala Lumpur is a preferred destination for shoppers, with multiple shopping malls and markets. The Petaling street in the location of China town is packed with stalls selling a variety of items including Football and “I Love Kuala Lumpur” T-shirts, fake handbags, sunglasses, second-hand books, watches, and a lot more. Other locations for street-side shopping are the Chow Kit market and Kasturi Walk.
Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
Besides shopping and nature trails, there is a wide array of activities that one can indulge in as a family while staying at Kuala Lumpur, including:
If you love outdoor theme parks, head to the Genting Highlands Theme park to the north of Kuala Lumpur. This amusement park offers plenty of activities including casinos, water parks, video games, snow world, and also indoor activities.
Nature trekkers will love the canopy walk at the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) with its natural forest, nature trails, and the rope-suspended walkway, 30 meters above the ground.
Get rid of dead skin on your feet with the numerous Fish spas in and around Kuala Lumpur. Beside fish spas, there are a number of other massage spas around the city offering services including body scrubs, facials, massages, and aromatherapy.
For a day of fun under the sunshine, head to the 80-acre Sunway Lagoon Theme Park, which is Malaysia’s largest water theme park. Popular water rides include the man-made river ride, beach surfing, wave pool, and a 360-degree revolving pirate ship.
For flying enthusiasts, the one-day helicopter tour is a must to get a spectacular aerial view of the city. The Pilot tour will also put you in charge of the helicopter, with pilot navigator providing a commentary of the city sights.
The best place for kids is the KLCC park in the vicinity of the Petronas Towers. It features a running track and many water fountains, that turn colourful in the evening. While the kids are playing, you can keep busy with some photography of the surrounding landscape and architectural wonders.
If you are fond of cooking, go for a cooking treat at Bayan Indah in Kampung Sungai Penchala. The owner and chief chef, Rohan Jelani, will be more than happy to share some cooking recipes.
VISA and Travel
Tourists visiting Malaysia must have a passport that is valid for at least six months from the date of leaving Malaysia. Visa applicants, travelling to Malaysia, must apply for a visa within one month from the date of travel. Tourists can stay for a maximum of 30 days, each time they enter Malaysia.
Indian passport holders can apply for a multiple entry visa, which is valid for twelve months. Indian visitors can apply for a tourist visa at any of the Malaysia Visa Application centres located in Hyderabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Chandigarh, Pune, and Ahmedabad. The visa applications can directly be submitted at these centres, who also offer courier services (at an additional charge) for the return of the stamped passports. The visa processing time at these application centres is 5 working days. The visa processing fee for Indian nationals is INR 1,000/-.
Note: MYR or the Malaysian Ringgit is the currency of Malaysia. The current exchange rate is 1MYR = 15.15 INR.
India is a major contributor to the tourism industry in Malaysia with over Seven lakh tourists in the year 2015, making it the sixth largest group of international tourists. To further boost tourism, Malaysia has introduced the E-visa (electronic travel authorization visa) that is valid for a single journey and is valid for a maximum stay of thirty days.
Best Time to Visit
Kuala Lumpur has a tropical climate, which makes it suitable for visiting through the year. Weather in Kuala Lumpur is hot and humid most times, but can cool down after a short monsoon shower. Temperatures in the city can range from 21-33 degrees centigrade.
The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur is from December to February, or from May to August. The wettest months in the city are from March to April, followed by the period from September to November. Being in the tropical zone, it can pretty much rain any time in Kuala Lumpur, hence it is best to carry some rain protection, when travelling.