Kuala Lumpur

Travel guide - Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is an Asian megalopolis where Hindu temples and mosques keep company with modern skyscrapers. From its immense twin towers to its buildings from the colonial period, discover the unique diversity of the Malaysian capital as reflected in its architecture and its cuisine.

The architectural grandeur of Kuala Lumpur

With its 7 million inhabitants, Kuala Lumpur is a destination that will make your head spin - especially if you look upwards. Indeed, the capital of Malaysia is known largely for its high-rises, which you will discover over the course of your visit.
Some of the more unusual ones jump out at you immediately, such as the Petronas Twin Towers, one of the most well-known symbols of Kuala Lumpur. Given the omnipresence of the number 8 in the design and construction of these 88-story towers, they are supposed to bring good luck to the whole city. Catch an elevator to the 41st floor, where you can enjoy the view from the famous glass sky bridge.
Just as unusual but much more picturesque, the Istana Budaya stands out amidst the immense towers and skyscrapers of the financial district. This cultural centre reveals the ingenuity of the architect, who based his design on traditional Malaysian houses.

Kuala Lumpur: the crossroads of Asia

Kuala Lumpur considers itself as the crossroads of the Asian continent. In Chinatown, on Petaling Street, you will walk beneath red lanterns that seem to float above your head as you dive into the whirlwind of knick-knack vendors, markets and street food. The smell of incense will lead you to the end of the road. There you will find the Chan See Shu Yuen temple, with its enamelled ceramic and peaceful pavilions.
For a very different ambiance, head to Little India and in particular Jalan Tun Sambanthan, one of the neighbourhood’s main commercial roads. Between the spices being sold by the kilo and the piles of saris, savour the cosmopolitan aspect of this island of Indian culture.
To complete your image of this union between the East and the Far East, experience Malaysia’s Islamic side by heading to the city’s oldest mosque: Jamek, the “Friday mosque”.

Malaysia’s botanical origins

As urban as it can be, Kuala Lumpur is nonetheless the capital of the lush kingdom of Malaysia. With this in mind, it would be a shame not to discover its natural side. To do this, you can enjoy a nature break by heading to the suspension bridges of Bukit Nanas (Pineapple Hill), the city’s oldest forest. In these 9 hectares of greenery where crab-eating macaques dwell, you will discover lush flora composed of carnivorous and climbing plants, bamboo and shorea, the region’s distinctive gigantic trees.
Leave this verdant area and head for the Orchid Garden. This little bubble of botanical elegance is the perfect place to recharge your batteries in a delightful, silent setting in the shade of a pergola.

Kuala Lumpur: a gourmet city

With the cultural diversity in this city, it is to be expected that your visit to Kuala Lumpur will be marked by unforgettable culinary experiences. As is evidenced by the locally popular durian, a pungent-yet-delicious fruit, and the city’s street food, heavily influenced by Chinese and Thai cuisine, Kuala Lumpur is a gourmet destination. It is impossible to miss Jalan Alor during your stay. In this temple of good food, where you will find Chinese, Indian, Japanese and Malaysian restaurants alike, you can taste meat skewers called satay and the strange dessert called cendol composed of crushed ice with a coconut base. You can also appreciate the exotic flavours of Kuala Lumpur from on high, seated at one of the city’s numerous hip rooftop locations.
Kuala Lumpur is nothing like the boom towns that surround it. Unlike some oversized Asian megalopolises, the Malaysian capital has a distinctive balance between the verticality of its gigantic skyscrapers and the horizontality of its natural heritage.

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