I have always had an inherent fascination towards multitudes of cultures residing in a single place. For the same reason, Kuala Lumpur, the federal capital of Malaysia, stands at the top, with its head held high, in the list of my recommended holiday destinations.
It is home to several religions and races where Malays, Chinese, Indians and other ethnic groups live together in harmony. This unity in diversity leads to a city bustling with colorful festivals and cuisines to gorge on.
Kuala Lumpur has several destinations with delectable food, beautiful temples, unbelievable shopping, relaxing spas and much more making it the sixth most visited city in the world. It has an old world charm that gracefully sits with vibrant night life. (Read: The Thrill at Genting HIghlands, Malaysia)
Following are the top five things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
1) Witness the Architectural Wonder: Petronas Twin Towers
Being an architecture enthusiast, my first destination had to be Petronas Twin Towers.
Standing at 452 m tall, the Petronas Twin Towers are among the tallest buildings in the world. The twin towers can be seen from almost anywhere in the city and one can expect a jaw-dropping view of the city standing over the bridge which doesn't connect the towers but hangs between them.
One has to queue up early in the morning as the visit to the bridge, on 41st and 42nd storeys, is on the first come first serve basis and limited number of passes are allocated per day.
The most prestigious shopping centre in the country, Suria KLCC, is located at the foot of the towers.
The building is based on the five pillars of the Islam, which can be seen in the round shapes of the towers.
|Petronas Twin Towers|
2) Visit The King's Abode: The King's Palace
My love for history took me to The King´s Palace, Istana Negara. It is the official residence of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, a Malay title usually translated as "Supreme Head”. The palace can be gawked at from the main gate where the Royal Guards, dressed in white Malay as well as red British inspired uniforms, are guarding the main gate on horse and on foot. It is surrounded by lush green lawns and ponds.
|The King's Palace|
3) Experience Spirituality: Thean Thou Temple
My reason for visiting the temples has always been my curiosity to explore various beliefs. Thean Hou Temple is a perfect place to relax and watch the majestic Kuala Lumpur skyline.
The entrance of the temple premises welcomes you with the fountain of Kuan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy and statues of gods and lions.
|The Goddess of Mercy|
The main shrine with Thean Hou Goddess, the Goddess of the Sea/Ocean, is located on the third floor of this temple spread over four levels.
|Thean Hou Goddess|
It hosts more than 100 cultural activities annually with the Chinese New Year celebration, when the temple is decorated with thousands of red lanterns, as the main event.
4) Shopping and Indulgence: Berjaya Times Square
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur is an experience in itself. Berjaya Times Square is the one-stop venue for great shopping, dining and entertainment experience. It is one of the largest shopping malls in the and holds over 1000 shops. From the local brands to the international names, one can find it all.
|Berjaya Times Square|
|Berjaya Times Square|
5) Local Food: Petaling Street
If you master the art of haggling, this street is for you.
Apart from the road side shopping,
the area has dozens of bistros and food
stalls, serving local favourites such as Hokkien mee,
ikan bakar (barbecued
fish), asam laksa and curry noodles.
Along with the Chinese traders, Indian, Malay, and Bangladeshi traders can be seen as well.
|Petaling Street |
|Shopping at Petalig Street|
Diverse Cultures, soothing spirituality, architectural marvels, shopping, delicious food: All packed in the city of Kuala Lumpur. What else one needs!
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