Once the tallest buildings in the world and still the tallest twin towers in the world, a visit to the Petronas Towers is a mandatory stop in getting to know modern Kuala Lumpur. These building are sleek and beautiful and you can ride an elevator to the sky bridge, which connects the two towers, or all the way up to the observation deck at 360 meters above the ground. See the structure that put Malaysia on the world map.
Malaysians love food and they’re passionate about eating any time of day or night regardless of meal time. You can find a diverse offering of food in Kuala Lumpur, but perhaps the best is the Malay and Indian, and sometimes Malay-Indian fusion. Roti is delicious type of Indian-influenced flatbread which is served with some curry for dipping. For a more a more substantial meal, try roti with egg or sardines.
Kuala Lumpur is known for its cheap four-star hotels. If you’re not used to the luxury treatment, this is your chance. You might be able to score one for under a hundred dollars a night. Search AsiaRooms.com for a list of potential hotel rooms in Kuala Lumpur.
Although it’s a bit touristy, a walk through Chinatown is still an essential component to any visit to Kuala Lumpur. There are some temples, a market, and of course, great food.
Nasi Lamak is Malay cuisine’s standby. Everyone makes it slightly different, although it’s generally composed of rice (with subtle coconut flavor), fried peanuts, cucumbers, friend anchovies, a boiled egg, and spicy sambal. At first it seems like an odd combo, but the more you eat it, the more comforting and filling it becomes.
Now the old Central Market is a Cultural Bazaar, or Handicraft market with some decent shopping for visitors to Malaysia. It was previously a wet market serving locals in Kuala Lumpur with fresh seafood, meat, and vegetables. It first opened in 1888, but didn’t acquire its Art Deco facade until 1936.
Seriously, in how many cities can you ride a monorail? It’s not only a useful way to get around Kuala Lumpur, the monorail is inexpensive and fun to ride. And you get a great view of the city as you ride!
For a glimpse of the KL of yesteryear, drop into the Coliseum Café. Open since 1921, the café is a classic stop on the Kuala Lumpur city tour. Much of the interior décor of this place, like the woodwork and tiles, remain seemingly untouched for decades.
Malaysia’s favorite beverage, teh tarik literally means pulled tea. It gets its name from the art of pouring or pulling the tea to mix it and cool its temperature. Walk into nearly any eatery and order a teh tarik hot or a teh tarik ice. It’s made with tea and sweetened condensed milk and some other secret ingredients. A definitive Malaysian experience.
I published a Kuala Lumpur photo essay illustrating the diversity of the city, which I believe is one of its strengths. You can eat a variety of foods, see multiple religions being practiced, and here many different languages being spoken on the street.
Kuala Lumpur is an exciting destination that thrives on its multi-cultural makeup. The only way to experience it is to find one of the many hotels in Kuala Lumpur and see for yourself. Besides the sights, starting with the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur is well known for its Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisine.