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Kuala Lumpur attractions

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Kuala Lumpur guide

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Kuala Lumpur the capital city of Malaysia sums up the best of Asian culture, showcased to perfection in contrast with fabulous modern infrastructure and architecture. With the opening of the PETRONAS twin towers in 1998, Malaysia came into its own as a bright modern city and immediately became the cynosure of international attention. Small wonder then that tourists start their exploration from the base of this splendid icon that has come to embody the country and its people.
Step into the Golden Triangle area that encompasses the twin towers, the central business district bounded by Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Tun Perak, and Jalan Bukit Bintang, where Jalan is Malay for street. Choc a bloc with skyscrapers of varying degrees of artistic merit housing billion dollar businesses, this stretch of KL is a tangible token of a booming economy. Mammoth shopping malls, Hotels, superb dining outlets, art galleries, museums, and theatres co-exist with multi-national businesses and showrooms. This is also where folks loosen up after a day of hard work. At sun down the streets literally lighten up in more ways than one and the restaurants, bars, and night clubs make their presence felt. Plan your vacation, find cheap flights to Kuala Lumpur and book hotels with Expedia.

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The Petronas towers by night is a sight to behold, and this is best done from a park bench in the vicinity. Bathed in ethereal beauty against the dark night sky, it's hard to believe it's just concrete and glass. Enter its vast portals to be transported to a mini-city with its own share of shopping, dining, and amusements galore. A trip to the 42 nd floor takes you to the connecting sky bridge from where you get mind blowing city views and a different perspective of the towers themselves.

A fun thing to do is grab a long, cool drink and watch the waterworks and light display at the base every evening at dusk. The City Centre or KLCC in the vicinity is a superb shopping venue for everything from shoes to designer wear. Of course, KL being a veritable shopper's paradise, every mall would seem better and bigger than the last. But having said that, there's something to be said for this particular location where good food, relaxation, and great views come together to complete the experience.

Another architectural beauty that means business would be the KL Tower. An innocuous telecommunications tower by profession, it moonlights as an aesthetic wonder in the form of a slender finger propping up a diamond encrusted ring at the tip. Slender it may be but it packs quite a punch in the form of exciting shopping, dining, souvenir outlets, and calming water fountains to add some yin to all that yang.

Speaking of shopping, Bukit Bintang is hard to beat for the enormous choices available. This whole street is just one monster mall after another. Head to Lot 10 for a range of upmarket outlets selling the latest in designer labels whether its shoes, bags, or clothes you are after. Right next door is KL Plaza which is where music aficionados will find all their needs met at Tower Records. There are four other shopping malls within walking distance and you'd be well advised to not do all your shopping at once as Bukit Bintang really has a lot to offer. For instance, Imbi Plaza and Low Yat Plaza can take care of all your electronic needs, while the Central Market would be the place to shop for exquisite souvenirs and batik handicrafts. The night markets that spring up at sun down and China town are where you get to imbibe the local culture while browsing for antiques and frivolous knick knacks.


Kuala Lumpur travel

The Merdeka Square is a happening place in KL, especially around the Malaysian Independence Day which falls in August. A world record holder in the form of a 100 metre flagpole draws a fair bit of attention, but the sight to behold would be the Sultan Abdul Samad building which houses the Supreme and High Courts, especially when highlighted in a flood of fluorescence at night.

Petaling Jaya or PJ is a welcome respite from the rigours of big city shopping, with certain charms of its own. The Sunway Lagoon Pyramid Shopping Centre here belies its label as a mere shopping mall to give you a tremendous experience that incorporates a water-park with real surf, a tropical resort ambience, and of course, a huge shopping mall with everything in it. Families with kids will love the added luxury of a supervised Kid's Club where kids get to paint, play, and generally do all sorts of kid stuff such as drawing inscrutable squiggles with the concentration of neuro-surgeons. PJ is not done yet, for there's One Uttam which is one heck of a shopping mall with the dimensions of a small city. From pearls to electronics and miles of clothing, be prepared to spend the better part of a day here, especially with splendid restaurants and cinemas for a change of pace.

A decided change of pace would mean a trip to the serenity of Seremban where nature takes over from man-made entertainments. A tropical beach would fit in nicely with most schemes. When the surf has done its job, there are the variety of Parks to be explored. The Galla Recreational Forest, Ulu Bendol Recreational Park, the Recreational Forest Park are all, as the name suggests, more than just trees. Enjoy trekking, mountain climbing, hiking, biking, and camping for a real close to nature tryst. The Lake Garden in Seremban is where you simply relax and regain a sense of placidity amidst violent bursts of orchid blooms and swathes of butterflies. While in Seremban, a touch of ethnic culture comes your way at the Seri Menanti Palace . This epitome of the ancient Minangkabau culture is sheer poetry in wood constructed entirely without nails. The edifice stands to this day as a magnificent token of a forgotten art.

Hopping aboard a water taxi to go shopping is certainly giving this activity a new twist. That's what's required to visit the Mines Shopping Fair in Seri Kembangan. A canal flows right through the plaza adding huge bytes of excitement to this routine. Stay aboard the water taxi for a ride that covers the Mines Resort City with its magnificent golf course, convention centre, and the spectacular Palace of the Golden Horses Hotel.

A noteworthy feature in KL and its outskirts is the ubiquitous mosque in various dimensions, hues, and shapes. The Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Mosque in Shah Alam stands dome and minarets above the rest for sheer architectural beauty that mesmerizes. The majestic domes with stained glass embellishments can be seen for miles around and draws spectators regardless of faith. Entry is restricted to Muslims and photography of interior is prohibited. Others can admire from the outside and peek through the doorway. Explore the splendid Shah Alam Lake Garden where they sometimes have events like Orchid shows and International Boat Shows. A floating seafood restaurant adds considerably to the fun quotient. For those whose interest in Islamic architecture has been piqued there are the Masjid Negara, the golden domed Masjid Jamek, and the modern National Mosque with its star shaped roof to consider visiting. A point to note here would be the need to be fully clothed from shoulders to knees while visiting mosques and other places of worship. It is also best to avoid visiting on Fridays and during prayer times.

On a religious theme but easily topping the charts of natural wonders is the Batu Caves . This here is a Hindu temple in a cave perched atop a hill. As to why this should attract a tourist, well, for one, the cave is a natural wonder in limestone that has been embellished with gleaming precious stones and made suitable to house a Hindu deity. Then there are the monkeys that have the run of the place and are best left alone while keeping a look out for monkey paws that snatch food and hand bags in the blink of an eye. To top it all, there are the 272 steps that need to be climbed to reach the wondrous cave on the hill, traversing lush tropical undergrowth and the aforementioned simians. Put simply, it is an experience that combines adventure, natural beauty, some religious sentiment, and an enormous sense of accomplishment. An art gallery attached to the temple atop the hill and a Museum Cave at the bottom have plenty of Hindu artefacts and other souvenirs on sale.

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