For many travelers in Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur is just a stopover at the airport while waiting for a connection. However, this is one of the most vibrant cities in the region, and it is well worth whiletaking some time to explore its many attractions. Just look around for car rental deals at the airport, and then head into the city, where you will find an extraordinary mix of cultures and fascinating things to do.
Of course, no trip to Kuala Lumpur is complete without a trip up the Petronas Towers. These used to be the tallest structures in the world, rising to a stunning height of 452 meters – or about 1483 feet. The architecture, while completely contemporary, is actually inspired by Islamic art – the shape is based on an Islamic geometric shape that resembles an eight-pointed star. Although the towers rise to 88 stories, the best view of the city and the surrounding country is on the double-decker Skybridge that joins the two towers – this is located on levels 41 and 42. The visiting hours are between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., but it is a good idea to arrive as early as possible – only a few tickets are issued to go on the Skybridge each day, and there is huge demand. Unfortunately, you’re not allowed to book in advance.
For something completely different, head out to the Batu Caves. This is a large limestone hill that is located about a 30-minute drive from the center of the city, and which is home to a series of caves and Hindu temples. The largest of the caves is the Cathedral Cave, which features a number of ornate Hindu shrines. Be warned, however, to reach the cave you have to climb a steep set of 276 steps. If this doesn’t seem too challenging, then you can also go rock climbing – the Batu Caves are one of the most popular rockclimbing sites in Southeast Asia, attracting thousands of professional and amateur climbers from around the globe each year.
Coming back to the city, pay a visit to Lake Gardens – one of the few parks that remain in the city proper. This dates back to the period of British colonial rule in Malaysia, and was designed to remind visitors of London’s Kew Gardens. The park covers a massive 92 hectares, and is home to lush native foliage, as well as an Orchid Garden that boasts no less than 800 species of the delicate flowers. It’s also worth while paying a visit to the Hibiscus Garden, where you can see Malaysia’s national flower growing in abundance.
OTHER PLACES TO SEE IN KL
Finally, check out some of the other attractions which form a part of the Lake Gardens, including the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, where you will find more than 200 different species of birds, and the Butterfly Park, which is graced with more than 6000 lepidopterans. The Deer Park is also well worth visiting – there are several species of deer here, including the mouse deer, which is the smallest hoofed animal in the world and a central figure in Malaysian folklore.