To know Malaysia is to love Malaysia - a bubbling, bustling melting-pot of races and religions where Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together in peace and harmony. Our multiculturalism has made Malaysia a gastronomical paradise and home to hundreds of colourful festivals. It's no wonder that we love celebrating and socialising. As a people, Malaysians are very relaxed, warm and friendly.
Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) form Peninsular Malaysia which is separated by the South China Sea from East Malaysia which includes the 2 states (Sabah and Sarawak on the island of Borneo) and a third federal territory, the island of Labuan.
One of Malaysia's key attractions is its extreme contrasts which further add to this theme of ‘diversity’. Towering skyscrapers look down upon wooden houses built on stilts while five-star hotels sit just metres away from ancient reefs.
Rugged mountains reach dramatically for the sky while their rainforest-clad slopes sweep down to floodplains teeming with forest life. Cool highland hideaways roll down to warm, sandy beaches and rich, humid mangroves.
For the perfect holiday full of surprises, the time is now, the place is Malaysia.
*Further information on the country can also be obtained from the Malaysian government's official portal, www.malaysia.gov.my.
Kuala Lumpur Attractions
What to See in Kuala Lumpur
The most popular and iconic attractions in Kuala Lumpur have come to define the city as a tourist destination – from the unmistakable outline of the Petronas Twin Towers to the colossal standing Buddha image found outside Batu Caves. However, Kuala Lumpur attractions comprise so much more for those who want to look deeper into this fascinating city.....from the colourful Petaling Street market in Chinatown Kuala Lumpur and the famous Sultan Abdul Samad Building in the city’s colonial quarter, to the indoor Aquaria KLCC oceanarium and Petrosains Art Gallery in Suria KLCC.
There is a lot of greenery in Kuala Lumpur, with the Lake Gardens home to popular bird and deer parks you can freely visit, or you can head to i-City Shah Alam to take cool photos of its nightly colourful display of LED-lit attractions. We have covered the traditional, popular and unconventional Kuala Lumpur attractions on offer, sorted by location and even theme, making it easy for you to choose where to visit first.
Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Twin Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world. Now the world’s tallest twin structures, the 88-storey buildings were designed by Cesar Pelli & Associates with both towers joined at the 41st and 42nd floors (175m above street level) by a 58 metre-long, double-decker Sky Bridge.
Standing 452 metres tall, the Petronas Twin Towers retained its world-title claim to fame until 2004 when Taipei's 101 was built, measuring 508 metres tall. Today, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (opened in 2010) retains the spot as the world’s tallest building. Located in the KL city centre, the Petronas Twin Towers’ architecture is Islamic-inspired and the buildings primarily house the corporate headquarters of the Petronas Company and other offices.
Menara KL Tower
Along with the Petronas Twin Towers, Menara KL Tower is easily Malaysia’s most recognizable and popular landmark. Constructed in 1994, the tower stands at 421 metres and effortlessly trumps the Petronas Twin Towers with the highest and most spectacular view of the city. This gleaming tower’s spindle-like apex is visible from almost anywhere in Kuala Lumpur.
Menara KL’s viewing deck is, at 276 metres, at least 100 metres higher than the Petronas Twin Towers’ Skybridge; the view is marvellous during the day and even better at night when you can see the entire sparkling city centre.
Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur
Bukit Bintang is best known as the fashion and entertainment of Kuala Lumpur, but what do you do when you are all washed out on clubbing and retail therapy? Whether on a short visit or a longer stay, listed below are ten must-visit attractions when you are in Kuala Lumpur.
Explore stunning temples and colourful street markets where you can have a top day out without spending a dime, pick up some culinary tricks at a cooking class or even release our inner child at Asia’s largest indoor amusement park. All these experiences shape and define Bukit Bintang and to help you enjoy all its finest sites we have come up with a top 10 list so you can get out there and enjoy them for yourselves.
Located approximately 11 kilometres to the north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. Considered one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions, this 100-year-old temple features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it. Incorporated with interior limestone formations said to be around 400 million years old, the temple is considered an important religious landmark by Hindus.
Cathedral Cave – the largest and most popular cavern in Batu Caves – houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling. At the foot of Batu Hill are two other cave temples – the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave – which houses numerous Hindu statues and paintings.
Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
At the heart of Kuala Lumpur is an area which never sleeps, and far more colourful and bustling than its bigger and more glamourous neighbours, KLCC & Bukit Bintang. Chinatown, based in Petaling Street, is also known as 'Chee Cheong Kai' (Starch Factory Street), a reference to its roots as a tapioca-producing district. Deeply immersed in Oriental culture, heritage and history, Chinatown is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist spots in Malaysia.
Chinatown is also a well-known bargain hunter’s paradise, a place where you can find all sorts of stuff from Chinese herbs to imitation goods. At night, its main market area, Petaling Street, transforms into a lively and vibrant night market, filled with hundreds of stalls offering all kinds of goods at dirt-cheap prices.
Central Market Kuala Lumpur
Central Market is one of KL’s most familiar landmarks and a popular tourist attraction. Built in 1928, it is a short walk away from Petaling Street, along Jalan Hang Kasturi. Also called Pasar Seni, it used to be a simple wet market but in the early 1980s was revamped into a handicrafts outlet.
The focus for the city’s artistic community, inside the building is a warren of boutiques, handicraft and souvenir stalls with traders selling local merchandise such as authentic Malaysian batik prints and more. Central Market is located on the opposite bank of the Dayabumi Complex and is an art-deco style building with local ‘Baroque’ trimmings.
Aquaria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur
Aquaria KLCC located on the concourse level of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, the 5000sqft Aquaria KLCC is said to be largest aquarium in the world. Home to over 150 species of marine life, its star attractions include scary tiger sharks, lethal sea snakes, blue rays, bright coral fish, seahorses and more.
It’s a well-stocked aquarium just begging to be explored, and after a few hours here you'll have seen over 5,000 freshwater and marine creatures, including massive arapaimas, giant groupers, gar fish and more. Some people write it off as a tourist trap, but they’re sorely missing out – beyond the big tanks, with gallons of water, filled with necklaces of kelp, coral and mysterious and sometimes menacing sea creatures, is one of the country’s foremost sightseeing attractions with real depth and complexity.