The federal capital Kuala Lumpur lies in the middle of north and south very close to the west coast of the peninsula Malaysia, only 35 km to the Strait of Malacca.
It was not until 1857 that a group of tin seekers, led by the Malay rajas Abdullah, came to the area where the Gombak and Klang rivers meet. That is when the city came into being, whose free translation means something like “Muddy Estuary”. From then on it grew steadily, with the pewter came prosperity, and over the years the simple camp became a cosmopolitan city. The times are unforgotten, but the testimonies of this era are visible everywhere.
Under the influence of the British, the Federation of Malaysia was formed in 1896, in which the Malay sultanates of the time united and which then made Kuala Lumpur their first capital. The British also relocated all of their administrations to the city, which in turn benefited them in many ways: The road network was laid out, the markets and public buildings created, the graceful architecture of which is still one of Kuala Lumpur’s attractions today.
When the Malaysians gained their independence in 1957, they made Kuala Lumpur their federal capital. But it was not until 1972 that it became an independent city, because since 1887 it was also the capital of Selangor, on whose territory it is located. It was not until February 1, 1974 that it was made federal territory by federal law and received its own administration.
The clean, beautiful city of Kuala Lumpur with its tree-lined streets, parks and public flower arrangements is transformed into a veritable wonderland of lights at night and is rightly known as the “garden city of lights”.
Thanks to its strategic location in the region, Kuala Lumpur has become a major international trade and business center.
The city is integrated into a comprehensive modern transport system. More than 30 airlines from all over the world fly to the modern Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang, which opened in early 1998. There is also a second, smaller airport, the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport, which has lost its importance due to the new KLIA.
Rail and road connections from Kuala Lumpur provide quick access to other parts of the country. Buses, minibuses and taxis run regularly within the city. A railway service was also introduced that connects the metropolis with neighboring cities. The city’s public transport system was expanded further with the commissioning of the LRT “Light Rail Transit”.
Kuala Lumpur is also connected to the country’s largest seaport, Port Klang.
Malaysia Tourist Info Complex (MATIC)
It is always worth the stop, because there is a quick and complete overview of what Malaysia offers its visitors. Audio-visual material is available for every federal state and facilitates the planning and implementation of the tours. Here you can even book trips, order a sightseeing tour with the Trishaw in downtown Kuala Lumpur, exchange money, buy plane tickets and get bus tickets to all regions of Malaysia. A telecom center is also available with telephones, fax and telex.
There is also a restaurant in the side wing of the complex, where visitors can get their first taste of local cuisine. And there are also folklore shows here every day.
The central market
Almost 50 years ago that was the city’s big market, where people bought all their necessities – a very typical Asian “wet market”. It has been extensively restored and renovated and is now a cultural center with a wide range and also a true shopper’s paradise for handicrafts of all kinds of local art and antiques, as well as designer fashion and so on. In 1987, 1988 and 1992 the market even received the coveted “Malaysia Golden Award” for special achievements in promoting tourism. The central market was honored with the important “Coronation Architecture Design Award” as early as 1953 for the excellent restoration.
In the “Central Market” there is not only the shops and bars but also all sorts of things; Batik artists show their work; There are portrait painters, fortune tellers, glass blowers and art students of all kinds here. And a huge selection of typical souvenirs.
Independence Square/ Dataran Merdeka
Dataran Merdeka, as the large square in the heart of Kuala Lumpur is called, is an important historical point for all Malaysians. The British flag was brought in here on August 31, 1957, and the flag of Malaysia was hoisted at the point where the world’s highest flagpole, at 100 meters, stands today. The whole square used to be the sports field of the Selangor Club, the clubhouse was built in 1910 in Tudor style; it is still well restored on the edge of the square. The hundred-year-old St. Mary’s Cathedral in neo-Gothic style is also not far. The “Memorial Library” is also centrally located, a building from the turn of the century. Below the square is the underground Plaza Putra complex, with restaurants and leisure and entertainment facilities. The Putra Indoor Golf Center can also be found here. A real attraction with the only Par-T golf (computer simulation) in town.
The Sultan Abdul Samad building
Opposite Independence Square is the Sultan Abdul Samad building with Moorish style elements, gleaming copper domes and a 130 meter high clock tower.
The building was created by architects Norman and Bidwell. It was completed in 1897 after more than two years of construction. For a long time it was the administrative seat of the British, after which it was home to a wide variety of government agencies.
A few years ago the Malaysian judicial authorities moved in here and the “Textile Museum”.
Kuala Lumpur’s main train station
The main train station was also built in the Moorish style in 1910. The British architect A. B. Hubbock, who was known around the turn of the century, succeeded in creating an impression of the palace. On the occasion of the renovation in 1986, the station was thoroughly modernized, equipped with air conditioning and services including tourist information. The administration building of the Malaysian State Railways “KTM” is located exactly opposite the main train station.
The National Art Gallery
Malaysia’s National Art Gallery is located on one of the city’s largest avenues, on the famous Jalan Hishamuddin, and almost across from the main train station. The building was built in 1932 as a hotel under the name Majestic and was only used as a museum today after the country gained independence. Works of many styles by local artists are shown here, and an exhibition of national and international fine arts is also constantly open. Admission is free, the gallery is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and closed on Fridays from 12:45 p.m. to 2:45 p.m.
The national mosque
Malaysia’s National Mosque is located near the main train station and its folded roof makes it a prominent point in the city center. It can be visited, although visitors must of course follow the traditional rules: take off shoes, discreet clothes, visitors only in the area of women. Special clothing can even be borrowed at the gate if necessary.
The Islamic Center
The Islamic Faith Center “Pusat Islam”, a mixture of cubism and Islamic-influenced architecture, is also located near the national mosque. It serves to maintain the faith, rites, traditions and the cultural foundations of this leading world religion. National and international exhibitions whose themes come from Islam can also be seen here on a regular basis.
The National Museum
The Malaysian National Museum is located on a small hill on Jalan Travers not far from the city center. It was built in the style of the Malay palaces soon after independence. On its outer wall there are two huge mosaics that show scenes from history and record the eventful past of the country.
The museum has various departments:
- The historical gallery gives an overview of the historical periods
- The metal goods and music gallery displays many objects and utensils from household items and devices for ceremonial purposes to weapons and musical instruments.
- The culture gallery has many exhibits on the culture of the population; they show everyday life in the past up to the customs at high festivals. The traditional Malay wedding is shown alive, the circumcision ceremony of a noble son and scenes from the life of the Chinese ethnic group in Malaysia can be seen.
Still there is
- a national sports gallery
- a gallery of natural history
- and in the outdoor area railways, airplanes, vehicles, ancient artillery and sculptures.
The National Museum regularly hosts large exhibitions that deal with specific topics in many areas. The National Museum is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The “Lake Gardens” of Kuala Lumpur
The “Taman Tasik Perdana”, as this park located almost in downtown Kuala Lumpur is called, dates back to 1880. This park, popular with all city dwellers, is about 91.6 hectares and has a beautiful center artificial lake. The lush green of the park is embedded in blooming bushes and flowers and is covered by tall, shady trees. There is everything for the whole family here: children’s playgrounds, paths for joggers, many resting places, sports facilities and on the lake you can also paddle. Immediately by the park is a small valley where the Paggung Anniversary attracts many visitors every year. It is a festival with a lot of music and many cultural performances.
But there are the following very interesting sights in “Taman Tasik Perdana”:
The orchid garden
This is an almost one hectare sample show, where you can see 3000 different orchids, including around 800 from Malaysia itself. On the weekends, visitors can also buy the blooming treasures there. Open from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
The hibiscus garden
This garden is a unique blooming wonder, over 2200 different hibiscus plants can be admired here on a terraced area.
The butterfly park
It is home to 6,000 butterflies representing 120 species living in Malaysia. The park was modeled on the natural habitat of butterflies; The atmosphere of the rainforest was created here with almost 15,000 tropical plants. Open weekdays from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The bird park
This particular bird zoo is the largest in Southeast Asia. Over 5000 birds from 100 species live here. The bird park is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and is closed on public holidays.
The deer park
It is hidden in a wavy, wide depression near the fountain at the end of “Lake Gardens”.
Groups of musk deer live here, the smallest ungulates in the animal world and whose cleverness has immortalized them in many stories. The enclosure is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In the middle of the “Taman Tasik Perdana” is also the national monument of the country, which shows a hero scene from the World War and is one of the largest free-standing bronze sculptures in the world. In the vicinity of the monument are the ASEAN gardens and the memorial of the unforgettable second Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tun Abdul Razak.
The Forest Institute of Malaysia (FRIM)
There were once tin mines here, which were then renatured at great expense. Today the 600 hectare site is used for research purposes; Here all kinds of plants are being experimented with in order to determine their usefulness under the conditions in the tropical forests as well as for other cultivation purposes. The institute is located near Kepong, about 16 km northwest of Kuala Lumpur. There is a nature trail, small rivers and waterfalls, a herbarium, even a library and a forest museum. This facility is not regularly accessible to the public. Visitors must register in writing or by telephone at:
Public Realtions Officer
Forest Research Institute of Malaysia
Locked Bag 210, Jalan FRI Kepong
52109 Kepong / K.L. / Malaysia
Tel .: 03-6342633 Fax: 03-3667753
The national zoo and the aquarium
It only takes 20 minutes by car from the city of Kuala Lumpur to reach the large national zoo of Malaysia. More than 200 animal species live here, and its bird and reptile population is also of remarkable diversity. More than 80 species of marine animals live in the associated aquarium like inhabitants of inland waters. Opening times are daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
It rises above the “Lake Gardens”, was built in 1962 and from there you have a fantastic view over the gardens and the entire complex. The skyscraper with 18 floors rises above a three-storey base and houses all of the Parliament’s facilities; the two plenary halls for both chambers, the great hall, the library, offices and whatever else goes with them. In Malaysia, too, parliamentary sessions are mostly open to the public; Visitors must register, observe the dress code and the protocol.
The Hotel Carcosa Seri Negara
The former residence of the British Governor and High Commissioner is located on a hill above the “Lake Gardens” and is now one of the most luxurious first-class hotels in all of Southeast Asia.
The Jamek Mosque
In the city, in Jalan Tun Perak and very close to Dataran Merdeka, Independence Square, lies the magical little “Masjid Jamek”, exactly where the first settlers settled. It is the confluence of the Gombak and Klang, a place known as the birthplace of Kuala Lumpur.
Only built in 1910, inod is the capital city. The builder was Arthur Benison Hubbard, who had a great interest in oriental building arts and styles and who was strongly influenced by the Indian Mughal style. As a civil servant in the British Office for Public Works, he was responsible for building projects in Kuala Lumpur for a long time.
The Sri Mahamariaman Temple
This probably the most magnificent Hindu temple in all of Malaysia in Jalan Bandar, near the city center, was built in 1873. The decorations and ornaments worked out down to the smallest detail are finely carved, inlaid with gold and manufactured in a very time-consuming manual work, using many noble materials even in Italy and Spain. The temple is held in high esteem by the Hindus not only in Malaysia. Here you can also see the huge processional float on which the statue of the god is located during the annual Thaipusam festival.
The Dayabumi complex
This modern high-rise dominated the entire cityscape of the city of Kuala Lumpur from the day it was completed. His Moorish-Byzantine elements are a very successful example of a decorative combination of the most modern technology with the many fascinating segments of earlier oriental cultures. The Dayabumi is a prominent address in Kuala Lumpur for renowned companies. Here is a gallery of shops, City Point and the main post office.
Maybank Numismatic Museum
Malaysia’s state bank, or Maybank for short, has done a great deal of service to the history of money and has set up a small money museum on the ground floor of the company’s headquarters in Jalan Tun Perak. It is open every day for banks and many numismatic treasures from the beginnings of monetary transactions to the current monetary system are constantly on display.
MISC Maritime Museum
The Malaysian International Shipping Corporation, MISC for short, has set up a very interesting museum based on its small company museum, which mainly deals with the topic of sea freight in its many exhibits. Since the company was founded in 1968, everything that appeared to be important on this topic has been collated. The museum is located in the entrance area of the MISC building on Jalan Conlay, entry is free.
It was opened in 1992 and offers a good insight into maritime transport on 1,300 square meters. It is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m., Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. and closed on Sundays and public holidays.
The royal palace “Istana Negara”
The residence of our king, the Yang-Di-Pertuan Agong, is located on a small, green hill on the Jalan Istana. The castle park is well worth seeing and is fantastically decorated on certain festive occasions.
The national library
The distinctive building is located in Jalan Tun Razak in a small, blooming park. The blue roof, which is based on the “Tengkolok”, the Malay headgear and the songket, the indigenous, richly patterned brocade, is characteristic of the National Library of Malaysia. It was only inaugurated in 1992; on seven floors it offers the entire world of books including a complete inventory of all Malaysian publications. A special section contains all books written by Malaysian authors about the country itself. Comparative material, a multimedia collection and old manuscripts are accessible as well as modern copiers.
Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., closed on Mondays.
Petronas Twin Towers
The Petronas Twin Towers, currently the tallest free-standing towers in the world, tower 452 meters above the city skyline with their 88 floors. This architectural marvel, inspired by the five pillars of Islam, is the center of ultra-modern Kuala Lumpur. The towers house the Petronas Philharmonic and the Petronas Performing Arts Group. With a bit of luck, you can also go over the bridge that connects the two towers. However, this is only possible for a limited number of people, you can find out more at the reception in the twin towers.
The Textile Museum is located in the Sultan Abdul Samad building and shows an interesting selection of Malaysian fabrics and textiles from the various provinces. The Textile Museum was founded to preserve the ancient tradition of this craft. It offers visitors important information about the use, creativity and foreign influences in fabric manufacture. The exhibits give visitors an insight into the art of batik printing and show how sonket and pua are woven. It also provides information on Batik Pelangi as it was made by the Malays in the 18th and 19th centuries. Also on display are Kain Dastar, an indigenous fabric of the Lanun and Bejau tribe, and Pua Kumbu, a sought-after tra Sarawak.
Open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with free admission.
The Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra monument
This monument on Jalan Dato Onn was erected in memory of Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, also known as Malaysia’s “Father of Independence”. It is located in a spacious complex of three buildings and offers visitors a glimpse into the life and political career of the former prime minister, who is still an inspiration to today’s generation.
The “Kuala Lumpur Tower”
This modern 421 meter high concrete tower, which was opened in August 1996, is the tallest of its kind in Asia and offers an extraordinary appearance in the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. In the head part of the tower, visitors can enjoy a sweeping panoramic view of the entire Klang Valley either from the observation deck or while having a meal in the revolving restaurant. In addition to its role as a tourist attraction, it also serves as a transmission tower for telecommunications as well as for television and radio broadcasts.