Kuala Lumpur is a modern city, filled with skylines and many green parks. It is a capital of Malaysia the 44th most populous country. The country and the city by itself is multi-ethnic and cultural for more than 100 years. And you can feel it on every corner.
If you traveled to Asia before, you know what the heat close to equator really means. Kuala Lumpur has one of the most intense heat and humidity that Earth has to offer. You will experience sweltering heat and humidity all year-round here. So if you are planning a trip to Malaysia’s capital, be ready to feel sweaty and a bit stinky most of the time!
Best area which never sleeps and far more colourful and bustling than its bigger and more glamurous neighbours KLCC & Bukit Bintang. Chinatown based in Petaling Street is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourists spots in Kuala Lumpur.
You can walk around the district and never stop wandering. Walls are colored by playful Street Paintings and streets are full of salesmen trying to sell something. In recent years, the Street Art in Malaysia has picked up quite a bit where many local and international artist have done some art pieces here and there.
While it may be new to some, many would already know the one who started it all. Lithuanian Ernest Zacharevic got the ball rolling in Penang in 2012. Today, there are mainly 10 cities around Malaysia that hosts these amazing street art paintings in various locations. Depending on where you visit in Malaysia, you may most likely encounter some of them without even trying as they are usually located in high tourist areas.
Biggest Chinese temple in town is Thean Hou. It is also one of the oldest and largest temples in Southeast Asia. Of course it is a popular tourist attraction and is located not far from Chinatown along Jalan Klang Lama. The six-tiered Buddhist temple is also known as the Temple of the Goddess of Heaven.
Thean Hous is decorated with many lanterns and while standing on the hill offers a great view for it’s visitors. You can walk to the upper deck to enjoy the panorama of Kuala Lumpur. It’s very spectacular in a day time, but it’s even more appealing in evening, when all lanterns are lighted up.
You can enter the Chinese temple and immediately will feel the aroma of incense. They use it in daily worship rituals and it holds an invaluable role. It is reputed to be a method of purifying the surroundings, bringing forth an assembly of buddhas, bodhisattvas, gods, demons, and the like.
In Chinese Taoist and Buddhist temples, the inner spaces are scented with thick coiled incense. Worshipers at the temples light and burn sticks of incense in small or large bundles, which they wave or raise above the head while bowing to the statues or plaques of a deity or an ancestor. Individual sticks of incense are then vertically placed into individual censers located in front of the statues or plaques either singularly or in threes, depending on the status of the deity or the feelings of the individual.
One of the most interesting and unique corners of the city. It will take you to original shopping heaven that is dated back over a century ago. There are spice shops, grocery outlets, sweet and snacks shops, textile shops, goldsmiths, hotels, restaurants, food stalls, printers and even flower stalls. And most of the shops that are owned by Indian businessmen.
This area is also known as a brickfields. The story tell that after disastrous fire wooden town’s structures were destroyed. And they started to rebuild Kuala Lumpur with brick and tile. That’s how the bricks industry started right in the Little India. It soon became the center for brick-making because the whole area was a clay pit. Therefore, Brickfields became synonymous with good quality bricks.
The Sri Mahamariamman temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur and whole Malaysia. It is situated at edge of Chinatown in Jalan Bandar. It was initially used as a private shrine by the Pillai family. But later on the family opened temple doors to the public in the late 1920s and eventually handed the management of the temple over to a board of trustees.
Now, you can enter the temple with no fee. Just one thing, you need to take off your shoes and leave it by the entrance. If you come in a day time, you will join many devotees who pass through the temple to pay their respects. Many Indians who visit this temple dress up in their traditional clothes. And I think it is beautiful to see.
You can see a lot of green parks right in the middle of center in Kuala Lumpur. But there is one called best in the world and it is Butterfly Park. It is located adjacent to the Lake Gardens and the Bird Park. The butterfly park houses many species that are local to the country. This is the largest butterfly garden in the world. The park is an imitation of the butterfly’s natural habitat and that’s the tropical rainforest. You can see butterflies resting on the leaves of the plants. Or sometimes they can even rest on you!
Kuala Lumpur Towers
Everyone knows something about the city. Even if he has never been to that place. And in Kuala Lumpur everyone knows Twin Towers or Petronas Towers. They were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. It is a business center with a beautiful KLCC park close by. You can enjoy shadows from big trees to chill and in the evening watch the fountain show.
Inside of the towers besides business offices you can also find a big shopping mall. It is a four-storey tall and has all luxurious shops, cafes, restaurants and food stores that you can need. The temperature in the shopping mall is chilly compared to outside. So it is a great way to cool down from the scorching Kuala Lumpur heat.
Batu Caves is an iconic and popular tourist attraction in Selangor. It is a site of a Hindu temple and shrine! And attracts thousands of worshippers and tourists every day. The main attraction is the large statue of the Hindu God at the entrance. But there is also a steep 272 steps climb up to view the stunning skyline of the city center and to enter the cave.
Batu Caves is also the centre of rock climbing development in Malaysia for the past 10 years. It offers more than 160 climbing routes. The routes are scattered all around the side of Batu Caves, which rise up to 150 m. These climbing routes are easily accessed, as most trails start from the ground level.
After a long climb either on rocks or stairs you can refresh with cold coconut. Many food stalls can be found by the entrance to the cave also. And if you ever wonder, Batu Caves is one of those things you cannot miss on your visit to Malaysia.
Beware of Monkeys
All around Batu Caves there are hundreds of monkeys. Some of them like to steel. Especially if you are holding something eatable in your hands. We heard people screaming from a surprise, when monkey grab last bite of sweet or even a water bottle. So put everything safety into your bag before you go out from the train!
All words by Eisve Treciakauskaite and all images by Justinas Lekavicius, unless otherwise noted.