Anchoring the sprawling Kuala Lumpur City Centre, are the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Hailed as the Twin Jewels of Kuala Lumpur, a visit to KL just isn’t complete unless you’ve visited these doppelganger structures. The 88-storey chrome and steel towers are the headquarters of Malaysia’s oil and gas company – Petronas – as well as many other corporations. The Dewan Filharmonik Petronas concert hall – Southeast Asia’s leading venue for classical music – is situated between the two towers. The sleek structures sport Arabesque and Islamic designs and the Skybridge on the 41st floor connects the towers and affords visitors spectacular views of Malaysia’s sparkling capital
Menara KL Tower - Jalan P.Ramlee
Standing atop the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, the 421-metre-high KL Tower is, at present, the world's fifth tallest structure. Officially known as Menara KL, it has been outshone by the Petronas Twin Towers but remains an important architectural marker and boasts spectacular views of the city. The viewing deck is at least 100 metres higher than the Petronas Tower’s Skybridge – to get free tickets be sure to arrive early. Housing a revolving restaurant at the top – Seri Angkasa – this telecommunications tower was completed in 1995 and the observatory deck at the top has built-in telescopes that can used to zoom in on the surrounding city.
The colourful Chinatown is a well-known bargain hunter’s paradise that seemingly never sleeps. Deeply immersed in Oriental culture, heritage and history, Chinatown is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist spots in Malaysia, and holds its own against its more glamorous neighbours, KLCC & Bukit Bintang. Representing Malaysia’s multihued multicultural background perfectly, you can find all sorts of stuff, from Chinese herbs to imitation goods in this area. At night, its main vein – Petaling Street – is transformed into a lively and vibrant night market filled with hundreds of stalls offering all kinds of goods at dirt-cheap prices as haggling is the way of life here.
One of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions; Batu Caves is a limestone hill comprising three main caves and a few smaller ones. Featuring idols and statues erected inside the main cave and around it, this temple has limestone formations said to be around 400 million years old. Considered an important religious landmark by Hindus, the most popular cavern in Batu Caves, Cathedral Cave, houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre arched ceiling. Visitors can scale 272 steps to access the caves; during Thaipusam thousands of Hindu devotees come to this site to perform religious rites.
Little India was once located along Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman in the older section of Kuala Lumpur’s busy city centre. Jalan Masjid India was its centre street and the whole place was reminiscent of a Middle Eastern bazaar. However, in 2009, Malaysia’s Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, announced that Little India would be moved to Brickfields – one of the oldest Indian settlements in the country.
Central Market - China Town
In the beginning Central Market – also known as Pasar Seni – was a simple wet market; today it is a permanent structure that houses all sorts of traders. This landmark is reminiscent of the SoHo flea market, housing a variety of shops that retail traditional goods such as batik, embroidery carvings, souvenirs, sculptures, clothes and other interesting items. Divided into different zones – namely Lorong Melayu, Straits Chinese and Lorong India – this multi-ethnic market displays goods based upon the features of the different races. The purpose of this zoning practice is to let visitors have an insight into the cultural difference of the various races in Malaysia.
Chow Kit Wet Market - Chow Kit
Chow Kit is acknowledged as one of Malaysia’s most infamous landmarks. It resembles Amsterdam’s Red Light District – though it’s not as prolific or as seedy. On the one hand there are ‘working girls’ hovering near doorways of the inner lanes, calling out sweet nothings as you walk by, but on the other hand the main street remains a lively and culturally-enriching scene. The area is obviously not the most kosher quarter of Kuala Lumpur yet it is plays host to the largest wet market in Malaysia – a Malay-oriented market that sells local goods and produce. This bazaar is popular with locals, especially the local Malay community.
Thean Hou Temple - Seputeh
The Thean Hou Temple is one of the oldest temples in Southeast Asia and a popular tourist attraction in Malaysia. This six-tiered Chinese temple sits on top of Robson Heights in Kuala Lumpur; dedicated to Tian Hou – a goddess said to protect fishermen – this temple is also a habitual spot of many devotees to worship Guan Yin – the Goddess of Mercy. Featuring imposing pillars, ornate carvings and murals on the walls, this grandiose structure houses a prayer hall with three altars. The temple is a popular wedding venue amongst the Chinese populace in Malaysia and during certain Chinese festivals thousands of devotees frequent the site.
Sri Maha Sakthi Mohambigai Amman Temple - Mid Valley
Adjacent to the Mid Valley Megamall is the ornate Sri Maha Sakthi Mohambigai Amman Temple. The thing that makes this temple so unique is its location – this 100 year-old sanctuary is situated smack in the centre of bustling Mid Valley City. Flanked by two imposing statues at its polychromatic gopuram (entrance gate) that act as guardians of the temple, this shrine also has a huge Bodhi tree inside with a statue of a meditating Buddha under it. Dedicated to the goddess Mohambigai, this Hindu house of worship’s distinctive architecture incorporates figurines of religious gurus on its walls and is a popular tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Part of the renowned Lake Gardens, the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is reputedly one of the largest in the world. This sprawling 20-hectare park comprises a few separate parks – Brahminy Land, Hornbill Park, Flamingo Pond and the World of Parrots exhibit – as well as a free-flight walk-in aviary – which houses over 3,000 birds. Storks and flamingos frolic in the water, finches and thrushes chirp among the trees and owls roost in barns; the tiled walkways are the perfect way to enjoy the sight of these beautiful birds and you can even take photographs of yourself with the eagles and macaws and even feed some of the pelicans.