Visit Kuala Lumpur (KL) Malaysia

Visit Kuala Lumpur (KL) Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is a buzzing, humming, metropolis where one can find anything and everything under the sun at any time of the day. Shops are open till 10pm seven days a week. Restaurants close very late at night. Some medical practices and clinics are still open 24 hours.

Thanks to careful city planning and attention to details, one can also enjoy main streets lined with tropical topiary. This "manicured" aspect of Kuala Lumpur makes it a very comfortable place to work and live in, quite unlike other major capitals that have forsaken the important and crucial addition of greenery in urban landscaping. K.L. seems packed with the latest of everything that is "just been done" somewhere else. The brand new Bintang Walk has shops, sidewalk cafes and restaurants offering a variety of fast foods and local delicacies. Huge "air-conditioning" mist fans allow patrons to linger, gossip, and lounge around in the usual 33 degree Celcius heat without a hint of discomfort. At night, the Walk is lit with miniature lights sparkling over the streets and palm trees.

The city, with a population of a million and a half, looks and feels much bigger. Its 94 sq. miles are spread out with large pockets of lush green areas like the Lake Gardens, a popular weakened place for families, which is safely watched over by mounted police. Yet a few "mini" jungles have managed to survive in between the city's highways and buzy overhead bridges, complete with monkeys and snakes trying desperately to avoid the ever-growing traffic.

Kuala Lumpur has been growing since its creation as a capital city for the Federated Malay States in 1896. It is under construction day and night with thousands of hardhat workers toiling under harsh sunlight and neon lights. Labor is cheap and land is becoming expensive and rare. Large real estate, construction and civil engineering companies vie to buy prime land to build luxurious condos, malls and office buildings. They are only briefly halted by the economic slowdowns that have affected the region during the late 90s/

Although the graceful Masjid Jamek mosque built in 1909 is overshadowed and hidden by tall buildings, this small patch of land nestled between the Gombak and Klang rivers is still a delightful and restful place where one can gaze at the bustling city on the opposite shores. On the other side of the road across from the mosque, the Masjid India area retains its "time-capsule" charm for lovers of all things traditional: textiles, knick-knacks, flowers, intricate jewellery, traditional outfits. Hawkers sell everything and anything, some worth buying only for their true exotic appeal. Chinatown's Petaling street is another example of the "old" K.L. fighting for breathing space. It is well worth a visit for the joy of haggling with hawkers and its exquisite Chinese shophouses. All over Kuala Lumpur you will find huge, modern malls filled with branded shoplots selling products from all over the world. Japanese, French, German, British, American, Australian, Indian, Indonesian, Malaysian, you name it, they are there.

The latest constructions in Kuala Lumpur are sometimes overpowering like the Petronas Twin Towers. When seen from the massive base, only one word comes to mind - wow ! Many a tourist brings out his camera with a sense of urgency to shoot them as if the towers are going to walk away. The Kuala Lumpur telecommunications Tower, yet another landmark dominating the city skyliner, is a real success in terms of attracting tourists. Its revolving restaurant and observation platform give a wonderful bird's view of K.L. The town planners have tried their best to adapt modern architecture to Malaysia's multi-cultural heritage. From the 1970s National Mosque to the 1990s National Art Gallery and Theatre, modern Malaysian architecture have been inspired by the more traditional architecture of the land, giving them a unique exotic feel and look. Most new luxury hotels have also been carefully planned to blend traditional designs with contemporary architecture.

From the kitsch of Sri Maha Mariamman and Thean Hou Temples to the perfect modernistic lines of the Telekom Building and Petronas Towers, the city boasts an interesting combination of Indian, Malay, Chinese and British colonial architecture with hyper-modern constructions. For those who want to know more about a city shaped over the years into a metropolis born out of multi-cultural influences, Kuala Lumpur is most certainly a real treat.

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