Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and a melting pot of cultures, made up of a number of different ethnic groups. With so many cultures in a single city, it’s a gastronomical experience and has a whole range of events and colourful festivals throughout the year.
To celebrate the new British Airways route between London and Kuala Lumpur, launching in summer 2015, Tourism Malaysia has put together the ten things you should definitely do if visiting Kuala Lumpur.
1. Petronas Towers
No trip to Kuala Lumpur is complete without a visit to these 1,483ft tall twin towers to take in the breathtaking views of the city. Half way up, visit the Skybridge, the world’s highest double-decked bridge at levels 41 and 42, before heading to the observation deck on the 86th floor at 360m high. The sun sets around 7pm year-round in Kuala Lumpur so be sure to time your visit well.
2. Batu Caves
The Batu Caves, with its Hindu temple and shrines, is situated seven miles north of Kuala Lumpur and attracts thousands of visitors every day. The caves, which were discovered in 1892, are made of limestone and are a staggering 100m high. A huge statue of Lord Murugan, the Hindu God of War, greets you at the entrance to the site, beside the 272 steps to get to the caves. On your ascent, watch out for the macaque monkeys.
3. Jalan Alor
Kuala Lumpur’s biggest collection of roadside restaurants stretches along Jalan Alor, a unique food destination in the heart of the city. From around 5pm, the whole street transforms into an open-air restaurant, with hundreds of tables and chairs. Here, visitors can sample a huge variety of Malay Chinese dishes. Jalan Alor is one of the most famous roads in Kuala Lumpur for food with a loud and vibrant atmosphere throughout the night.
4. Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square, located in downtown Kuala Lumpur, was once at the heart of the British colonial presence in Malaysia. Situated on one corner of the square is the Selangor Club, inspired by Tudor England along with the cricket pitch site of the Royal Selangor Club. Also in the square is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, designed by Arthur C. Norman, who took his inspiration from the architecture of northern India. It was at this square in 1957, that the Malayan flag hoisted, signalling Malaysia’s independence as a nation. The 95m flagpole, one of the tallest in the world, marks the spot.
5. Petaling Street
Petaling Street is the Chinatown of Kuala Lumpur, where visitors come to either dine on the famous street food or to bag a bargain on the stalls. Petaling Street is the shoppers’ paradise if you want to purchase clothes or souvenirs and haggling is a common sight here. One of the oldest parts of city, this is a great place to find restaurants and food stalls, serving local favourites.
6. Thean Hou Temple
This elaborate six-tiered Chinese temple, dedicated to the heavenly mother, Thean Hou, is one of the most ornate in Malaysia. Thean Hou’s statue can be found in the main hall, with Kuan Yin (the Buddhist goddess of mercy) and Shuiwei Shengniang (the goddess of the waterfront) on either side of her. The temple is located atop Robson Heights, overlooking Jalan Syed Putra.
7. Little India
This small district offers an injection of colour filled with the sounds and smells of India. The heart of Little India is the colourful shopping bazaar, Jalan Masjid India, and is the best place to find bright sarees and Bollywood-inspired Indian dresses. This area offers visitors a glimpse into the lifestyle of the Indian community in Malaysia.
8. Sky Bar
Located on level 33 of Traders Hotel is the award-winning SkyBar and complete with a 26m swimming pool this bar boasts beautiful glass and steel interiors. You’ll get fantastic views of the city and an extensive cocktail menu. This is a great place for those looking to unwind in style after a long day’s sightseeing.
9. KL Bird Park
Located in the scenic Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens, the KL Bird Park is home to more than 3,000 birds of approximately 200 different species. The park is hailed as the largest walk-in, free-flight aviary in the world. Only a ten minute drive from the centre of Kuala Lumpur, the park is a great place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city.
10. Menara KL Tower
Along with the Petronas Towers, Menara KL Tower is Malaysia’s most recognisable landmark. The tallest building in the capital, the tower often known as the KL Tower stands at 421m tall, built on the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve which has been kept intact to ensure a balance in development.
British Airways has announced that it will be running a daily service out of London Heathrow Terminal 5 from 27th May 2015. The outbound BA033 flight will depart at 20.15, landing in Kuala Lumpur for 16.00 local time, with the returning BA034 leaving Kuala Lumpur at 23.05 local time and arriving into London Heathrow at 05.25 the next morning. The daily service will be operated by a four-cabin Boeing 777-200ER, featuring 12 seats in First, 48 in Club World, 32 in World Traveller Plus and 127 in World Traveller.