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Kuala Lumpur

Published: 02/09/2014 - Filed under: Home » Archive » 2014 » September 2014 » Destinations »

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Kuala Lumpur’s most iconic landmark is a pair of 88-story skyscrapers called the Petronas Twin Towers. The two buildings soar 1,483 feet into the KL skyline, and the observation deck on level 86 offers an unrivaled view of the city. The world’s highest two-story Skybridge connects the two towers at 558 feet above ground. Open Tue-Sun, 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM; tickets RM80 ($25) per person. If the lines here are too long, consider the alternate high-rise experience at the KL Tower, the seventh-tallest communications tower in the world. Here too you can take in spectacular views of the city, plus there’s buffet dining in the round at the Seri Angkasa Revolving Restaurant.



Adjacent to the Twin Towers, KLCC is a 50-acre “city lung” filled with 1,900 indigenous trees plus other amenities such as a children’s playground, jogging track and sculptures. In contrast, across town the Lake Gardens offer a little tranquility in the middle of the city. Established in 1888, the 226-acre park is the oldest and most popular park in Kuala Lumpur. The main attraction is the lake surrounded by lush greenery, landscaped hills and beautiful trails, but you can also take a leisurely stroll through the aviaries at the Bird Park, Butterfly Park, Deer Park, or gorgeous Orchid Garden. The park is open daily between 9:00 AM and 6:00 PM. Admission is free.


Batu Caves is the site of a Hindu temple and shrine in Selangor, just 8 miles from KL. Its interiors are home to a Hindu shrine lined with different deities. The Hindu God Lord Murugan is situated at the entrance, welcoming guests. The shrine itself is located deep inside the high caverns, which take 272 steps to reach. The ceiling of the immense Cathedral Caves is 328 feet high, and offers a stunning skyline view of KL.



If you are into shopping or need to buy gifts, a surefire area to go is Bukit Bintang. A five-minute cab ride from the Twin Towers, the area is anchored at the eponymous jalan (street), between Jalan Raja Chulan and Pudu Road. On another side, there is also Jalan Sultan Ismail, which comes alive at night with a variety of bars and clubs. About a 10 minute walk farther on, Changkat Bukit Bintang is flanked by yet more watering holes, many featuring outdoor seating and balconies. For retail therapy the epicenters are Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Fahrenheit 88, Starhill Gallery and Pavilion KL. 


If you need a caffeine boost in the middle of the day, a cup of aromatic teh tarik (pulled tea) is an ideal pick-me-up, especially with a serving of kaya toast. It is widely available throughout the city, of course, but if you want to enjoy this humble drink in a posh setting with service to match, the Grand Hyatt is worth considering. The hotel is located to the southwest of the Twin Towers across the park. A teh tarik costs RM10/$3.20 and kaya RM18/$5.70. Open daily 9:00 AM – 11:00 PM. 



To the southwest of KLCC is another ethnic district: Chinatown, where you can find shops selling everything under the sun. Pirated goods are as common as water – sometimes the counterfeits are blatant, otherwise, you can expect to see “Tammy Hilfiger,” “Peter Smith” and maybe “Prado”. Haggling is a must. Many old shophouses have been preserved – and some were just basically left alone. While the overall feel is a little run down, it’s easy to appreciate the authentic flavor of the area. 

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