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Why fly to Kuala Lumpur?
If you were to sprinkle a little Shanghai, a little Delhi and a little Phuket, you would have the loveliness that is Kuala Lumpur without the astronomical big city prices. You will spot the Titiwangsa Mountains as you fly closer to this city nextled neatly into an enormous valley. Kuala Lumpur is the busy capital of Malaysia, it's Malay culture has a strong Indian and Chinese influence which is apparent as soon as you get into the city center and find yourself in a maze of Chinese, Indian and Chinese-Indian restaurants.
The city is Malaysia's artistic treasure chest and with that is home to the National Art Gallery of Malaysia, the National History Museum and is also plays host to premier dance, theater and music performances at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Center.
As you begin your wanderings in the city you will come across beautiful old mosques, temples, mandirs and churches. The city is predominantly Muslim so you will see a larger number of mosques, which you can visit in between prayers (make sure you are appropriately covered).
One of the most popular areas to visit for its concentration of colonial era buildings is Merdeka Square, which is the city's independence square and where the annual independence march takes place. This is where the late 19th century Sultan Abdul Samaad Building sits and is an important representation of British colonial architecture. Additionally the square is also where you will find beautiful St.Mary's Anglican Cathedral and the National History Museum.
Step away from the square and past the old Neo-Gothic architecture and you will see old Kuala Lumpur quickly mixing in with the new. As of late Kuala Lumpur has become synonymous with the Petronas Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world. The towers provide a stunning view of the city and in the evenings turns into a virtual festival of light as the fountains on the tower grounds come alive.
Shopping centers rivaling any of those in the West are quickly multiplying and seem to be overtaking much of Kuala Lumpur. Whether it's designer labels or some air-conditioning you're looking for, they can be a welcome retreat for a few hours.
For a taste of colorful Malaysian life beyond glass towers, head to Central Market. This awesome artistic zone is truly a breath of fresh air in the city. The market is home to art galleries, restaurants as well as both kitschy and handcraft shopping. The market stage amps up the artistic quotient by providing a space for local talent to strut their stuff. Additionally, for a true Malaysian market experience you must visit a region in the city that is still home to traditional Malay homes circa the late 19th century. Kampung Bahru hosts a Sunday market (Pasar Minggu) that begins on Saturday evening and ends early Sunday. Here you can rub shoulders with locals, enjoy local delicacies and shop for traditional items like a sarong on Malay jewellery.
The city is a fascinating mix of old markets and fancy new towers, a virtual straddle of worlds in one city that creates the best of both worlds for curious travelers like yourself.
Kuala Lumpur Weather
The warm tropical climate means plenty of sun, but also plenty of rain through the year and especially from December to March when Southeast Asia gets a taste of the northeast monsoons. Temperatures are steady throughout the year ranging between 25 and 25 degrees on average.
When to fly to Kuala Lumpur
The city's beautiful weather makes it a popular destination regardless of the season. However flights in November and December are quite expensive as well as during July and August.
September to October is a great time to visit as flight fares decrease significantly and the city is not as busy as it is during the summer holiday break. February and March are also good times to book a flight, just plan ahead and you could save yourself a sizable amount.
Getting into Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur Airport is more than an hour drive outside of the city center, however if you take the train you will get into the city in half an hour. Taxis and private bus travel is also available from the airport. If you are too tired on the first evening just note there are several hotels surrounding the airport where you can easily spend one night before heading into the center of town.
Getting around Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur has a great public transportation system providing a plethora of choices when you don't want to walk in the heat. Light rail and monorail transits will get you around the city and drop you off in many of the tourist centers. Metered taxis can be easily found on the street and as the temperatures begin to cool down and traffic eases up in the evening, the city center can become quite pedestrian friendly.
- Bird Park in the city's Lake Gardens is just an awesome delight. Head there to mingle with ostriches and parrots and then take a stroll around Perdana Lake for a completely relaxing afternoon smack dab in the middle of the city.
- Head to the Batu caves just outside of the city for a unique experience that takes you into monkey hideaways and temples filled with statues of Hindu gods. It is really something you're not going to see anywhere else.
- There is something about going to a traditionally day-style market at night that makes it a little more exciting. Head to Chow Kit Market for an evening of fun and shopping for souvenirs. You can find clothing, CDs, jewellery and tons of other things. The market is open everyday and runs until 10 p.m.
- Meat on a stick is popular the world over and a children's delight, the difference in Kuala Lampur is succulent octupus also has a share in the stick market, for a taste of true Malay, grab an array of meat, seafood and vegetables hoisted on sticks at the food stalls in Bukit Bintang and take in the local scene.
- Compare flights to Kuala Lumpur from Australia on AirfaresFlights.com.au.
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