Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Facts, Travel, and Points of Interest (Comments)

Author: Collins Obara

Malaysia is a country located in southeast Asia directly south of Thailand and with islands bordering Indonesia, Brunei, and the South China Sea, south of Vietnam. Comprised of 878 islands, over 500 of which are unnamed, It is a beautiful and tropical country known for having a significant influence in the world history. In the past, the Malaysian state of Malacca, south of Kuala Lumpur, used to be the center of the lucrative spice trade which attracted the attention of colonial powers like England, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Today, Malaysia is home to one of Southeast Asia's fastest developing cities: Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur and the Petronas Twin Towers
Kuala Lumpur and the Petronas Twin Towers

Kuala Lumpur was founded in 1857 as a mining town, but it eventually evolved into the capital of Malaysia as well as its largest city. A visit to the fascinating, diverse, and historic city of Kuala Lumpur is essential for any person traveling to South East Asia. It is only second to the world-renown Singapore when it comes to the thriving modern cities in the region.

Kuala Lumpur Panorama Circa 1884
Kuala Lumpur Panorama Circa 1884

5 Interesting Facts About Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Simply Means “Muddy Confluence”

The meaning of the Kuala Lumpur is not that glamorous although it has proven to be much more than the mud joining the rivers Klan and Gombak. Some individuals believe that the name was derived from Cantonese phrase lam-pa meaning “the flooded jungle.” However, there is no evidence to prove this is the case. Its residents are happy that Kuala Lumpur has managed to transform into a beauty over the years.

Home to Istana Negara

Malaysian Monarch’s Yang di Pertuan Agong's official residence is Istana Negara. It is important to never to confuse the new palace (Jalan Tuanku Abdul Halim) with the old (Jalan Istana). Currently, the former compound has been transformed into a royal museum which houses installations and grand exhibitions relating to the royal family. The new palace has been relocated to a new location in Kuala Lumpur and is now the official residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, the monarch of Malaysia.

The Largest Malaysian City

Kuala Lumpur is ranked at the top regarding area and population when compared to the other Malaysian states. However, this is not surprising considering the magnitude at which the capital has continued to grow since Malaysia's independence. The number of shopping malls and offices available in this city adds to the urban landscape with more people visiting it on a daily basis.

Kuala Lumpur Composite Image
Clockwise from top left: Petronas Twin Towers, Petaling Street, Jamek Mosque and Gombak/Klang river confluence, National Monument, National Mosque, skyline of Kuala Lumpur. Centre: Kuala Lumpur Tower

Founded by the Chinese Tin Miners

Another interesting fact about Kuala Lumpur is that it was founded by an average tin miner who discovered the precious tin. This city was not discovered by the ethnic Malays, but by Chinese immigrants; this explains the city's diverse culture.

The City Banned the use of Excess Lipstick

In 1996, the Kuala Lumpur government banned the use of excess lipstick which they believed were a prelude to illicit sex. It is not surprising that the Malaysia government chose a more conservative stance since it is an Islamic country.  The government defended its decision claiming that using lipstick defeats the purpose of wearing hijab. Most of the state's women never saw a reason why the use of lipstick was a problem.

Points of Interest in Kuala Lumpur

The Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers
Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Twin Towers have been the most striking feature and the Crown Jewel of Kuala Lumpur since their construction back in 1998. At the height of 452 meters, these towers were the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain among the tallest buildings in the world. The double-decker sky bridge, with its distinctive postmodern style, connects the towers and make them unique. The engineering and construction of the Petronas towers were considered a great success in helping the world embrace Malaysian culture and heritage.

A tour of the tower should include a visit to the 58-meter long sky bridge, which connects the two towers, and level 86 where you can enjoy great views of Kuala Lumpur city. However, getting the tickets to tour Petronas Towers is a challenge, and one should always reserve tickets early in the day.

KLCC Park

KLCC Park
KLCC Park

This park was designed to offer green space to the Petronas Twin Towers and the surrounding areas. KLCC park not only attracts tourists but also corporate workers and city joggers since it is situated directly in front of the Petronas Twin Towers. This park contains water fountains which can shoot up to a height of 42m in an hour and water show with lights and music called Lake Symphony.

This park is an excellent place for families with kids since it has a swimming pool and a playground. It also contains a walking/jogging path, waterfalls, and fountains. Just like the other parks found in Malaysia, the KLCC park fauna and flora are what makes it unique. Petronas Tower view from KLCC Park is spectacular.

Kuala Lumpur China Town

Kuala Lumpur Chinatown is located in the city center and is an area which never sleeps. It is always full of restaurants, colors, stores, and shops. Chinatown center is Petaling Street which has the noisiest markets in the world at night. It is a great place to shop for clothes, electronics, and sneakers since these are always available in high numbers.You can purchase anything at reduced prices with a little haggling. 

Batu Caves

Batu Caves
Batu Caves

The Batu Caves are famous and iconic tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur. There are also shrines and Hindu temple which attracts thousands of worshippers. There is a 43 meter Murugan statue at the entrance and 272 staircase steps to the actual caves. You will get an incredible view of Kuala Lumpur’s skyline when you get to the top of the staircase.  On your way up, you will always meet monkeys and tourists who like to feed them. However, beware, these are wild animals.

You will enjoy the paintings and Hindu Gods scenes which are visible inside the Ramayana cave as you move closer to the Batu Caves. Knowing a little about the Hindu mythology will make it an even more exciting trip. Even though the caves are on 20 km from the city center, it is best to use the metro station to visit them.

Batu Caves During the Murugan Thaipusam Festival
Batu Caves During the Murugan Thaipusam Festival

Merdeka Square

The Merdeka Square is an important location for the people of Malaysia since it is the place where Malaysia proclaimed its independence back in 1957. It is among the top Kuala Lumpur landmarks and point of interest. It is characterized by a prominent and green pitch with a giant pole flag and some historical buildings around it.

The KL Tower

The Kuala Lumpur Tower
The Kuala Lumpur Tower

The Kuala Lumpur Tower also referred to as the Menara Kuala Lumpur, is a communications tower measuring 421 meters which makes it the 7th tallest tower in the world. The KL Tower has grown to become a significant symbol, landmark, and a distinct point of interest.

Most of the visitors touring KL Tower enjoy the breathtaking views of Kuala Lumpur skyline from a height of 276 meters above the ground. In case you are more adventurous, you should consider purchasing the Skydeck ticket which will allow you to go up to the observation deck and skybox.

Some people claim going up to the KL tower is much better than going to the Petronas Towers, but this is debatable. If possible, visit both. If not, visit the Petronas Towers.

Little India

Little India is close to the Kuala Lumpur Central Station. Here the shops are known for selling everything from traditional goods such as Bollywood music, flower garlands, sarees, and spices, to local delicacies such as thosai, vadai and much more.  You cannot afford to miss out on this authentic Indian food during your trip to Malaysia.


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