Kuala Lumpur, often known as KL is the capital as well as the economic and cultural center of Malaysia. The city has become a symbol of the economic development of the country and has come a long way from its humble origin. In 1850, the Malay King settled some Chinese laborers here to operate the tin mines of the area. These mines later on developed into a frontier town. In 1881, the town was destroyed by flood and was redeveloped by the British resident, Frank Swettenham. Kuala Lumpur became the capital of the Federated Malay States in 1896. Today, it is the seat of parliament of the country as well as the residence of the constitutional king.
Kuala Lumpur is situated about halfway in the middle of the Malay Peninsula at the confluence of Rivers Klang and Gombek. It is located about 35 kms away from the coast. The huge Klang valley is the site on which the city has grown up. This valley is bordered by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the east, the Strait of Malacca on the west and a number of minor ranges on the north and the south. The city is located at an elevation of 21.95 meters.
It has a tropical rainforest type of climate. It remains warm and mostly sunny and the heaviest rainfall is noted between October and March. The city sometimes experiences haze from the dust particles which are carried here from the forest fires in Sumatra.
How to reach (transport)
The transport system of the city is well developed. The easiest way to reach the city is through the Kuala Lumpur International Airport, which is located about 75 kms to the south of the city in Sepang. You can also avail regular flights from here to a number of destinations in Europe and Asia. In addition, there is the Sultan Abul Aziz Shah Airport, which was the main airport earlier and is located much near to the city. However, as of now only few flights are offered from this airport to Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand and some domestic destinations.
If you are traveling from Sumatra in Indonesia to Kuala Lumpur, you can also avail the ferry connection. The railways system is extensive. In addition to domestic destinations in Malaysia, you can also travel to Singapore and Thailand by train from Kuala Lumpur. Long distance buses also connect the city with several domestic destinations and international destinations like Thailand and Singapore.
When to visit
As the weather is warm and bright during winters, the best time to visit Kuala Lumpur is in the winter months from December to February. However, the city receives heavy tourist traffic for the summer months as well.
Cultures (fairs and festivals) and traditions
Kuala Lumpur is a highly diverse city. The Chinese laborers, the Malays who migrated here in search of jobs, the Indian migrants and the British colonialists have all contributed towards the creation of this unique city.
Some of the major festivals celebrated in Kuala Lumpur are:
- Chinese New Year is celebrated in January or February with colorful parades, lion dances, fireworks and crackers. The floral fest is also held in this time with international floral parade and exhibitions.
- Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated during January or February. Metal frames are attached to the bodies of the devotees with hooks and skewers and they carry the deities on the frames in a parade.
- Federal Territory Day is celebrated on 1st February to commemorate the day Kuala Lumpur became a federal territory. Celebrations are held in Taman Tasik Perdena and Titiwangsa Lake Gardens.
- Malaysian Water Festival is celebrated from 12th April to 10th May with a number of water based activities.
- National Day is celebrated on 31st August with cultural shows and parades.
- Malaysia fest is celebrated for two weeks in May with huge exhibition of Malaysian crafts, cuisine and other merchandise.
- Two week long shopping carnival is held in October when the best bargains are to be found.
- International Busker’s Festival is celebrated for nine days in December with cultural shows and acrobatic performances.
There are a vast number of places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Some of them are as follows:
- The Petronas Twin Towers are the most iconic landmark of the city and with a height of 451.9 meters and 88 stories are a representation of a global vision for Malaysia.
- Aquaria KLCC located near the towers is a highly state-of-the-art aquarium containing over 5000 species.
- The Jamek Mosque which was declared as the National Mosque was built in 1909 and is a beautiful mosque with Moorish architecture.
- The Islamic Arts Museum contains a wide variety of artifacts,books, etc. related to Islamic history on display in its 12 galleries.
- The National Museum contains rotating exhibits detailing the history and cultural background of the country.
An ideal vacation is one that offers you the pleasure of an ideal stay, and you’ll have plenty of such options when in Kuala Lumpur The city offers world class accommodation to cater to every budget. The most luxurious hotels include Pacific Regency, Traders Hotel, Prince Hotel & Residence, Mandarin Oriental, Carcosa Seri Negara, Maya, Shangri La, Marriott, Hilton and many more. The three and four star hotels include Piccolo, Radius International, Alpha Genesis, Puteri Park, Swiss Inn, Nova etc. Budget accommodation is provided by a number of non rated hotels and hostels.
|Facts About Kuala Lumpur|
|Latitude and Longitude||3.1597° N, 101.7000° E|
|Population||1.627 million (2010 Census)|
|Area||93.82 sq miles (243 sq km)|
|Languages||Malay, English, Cantonese and Mandarin|
|Time Zone||MST (UTC+8)|
|Major Airport Names||Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport|
|Points of interest||Petronas Towers, Bukit Bintang, Genting Highlands, Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur Tower, Aquaria KLCC, Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Putra World Trade Centre, National Mosque of Malaysia, National Stadium, Bukit Jalil, Istana Budaya, KLCC Park, Thean Hou Temple, Stadium Merdeka, Bukit Tabur, Cosmo's World, Pusat Sains Negara, National Museum, Istana Negara, Jalan Istana, Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Royal Selangor Club, Stadium Negara, Jamek Mosque, Federal Territory Mosque, Buddhist Maha Vihara, Brickfields, As Syakirin Mosque, Menara Carigali, National Sports Complex, Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, Royal Malaysian Police Museum, National History Museum, Maybank Numismatic Museum, Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur Badminton Stadium|
|Demonym||KL-ite / Kuala Lumpuria|