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Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia, it’s the most populous city in the nation, and it’s become one of the hottest travel destinations in the world. Tourism is a major industry here, so there are lots of sites and attractions to entice people from all over the world. From towering skyscrapers to inspiring religious buildings, and tempting street food, Kuala Lumpur is a must-visit spot for the new year. Here are 10 of the best things to do on your trip!
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Although Kuala Lumpur is a large and busy city, there are still plenty of opportunities to get outside and experience the nature of the region here. One highly recommended spot is the Batu Caves, which is in the nearby suburb of Selangor. Here you’ll find cave temples and limestone cliffs, including some excellent rock climbing routes if you have some climbing experience. If not, you can still hike around the area and see the natural plants and wildlife here, including monkeys. The Batu Caves also have deep religious significance and are the site of a yearly Hindu festival called Thaipusam, which occurs in January or February and draws in almost a million people annually.
A beautiful place to visit during your trip to Kuala Lumpur is Lake Gardens, which dates back in history to 1888 and has lush greenery and walking/jogging paths. The park was opened in 1975 and spans over 92 hectares of space. This part of the city is accessible via taxi or by bus. After spending some time in the park, you can visit many of the Kuala Lumpur’s top attractions nearby, such as the National Mosque, Islamic Art Museum, and National Monument Kuala Lumpur.
Street food is a big part of Malaysian culture, so definitely plan a make a stop along Alor Street. While this used to be known as a “red light district,” it’s a favorite place among foodie travelers today. Here you’ll find food vendors and chairs and tables set up for trying local favorites and traditional specialty dishes. Jalan Alor is often referred to as the heart of the city’s local food scene, and the dishes you’ll find here are always among the best and most affordable in town.
KLCC Park is also a great place to slow down your pace of travel and get some exercise. This is a park with walking trails, a lake, and even a fountain that offers a water show. That show takes place at Lake Symphony and is the most popular reason to visit the park. KLCC Park is a 50-acre area that’s also very close to the Suria KLCC Shopping Center and a children’s swimming pool that’s open to the public.
The PETRONAS Towers are an iconic sight in Kuala Lumpur and the tallest set of twin towers in the world. There is a large Muslim population here in the city, so you may notice the Islamic design in the architecture. One of the best ways to take in the city views is to walk across the sky bridge that connects the two towers. The towers are 88 stories tall and joined together at the 41st and 42nd floors. You can hop off the Concord Hotel Monorail stop to get here.
Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Sri Mahamariamman is the oldest temple in the city and has a history that dates back to the 19th century. It is ornately decorated with Hindu deities and vibrant colors, making it truly stand out as a site to behold in Kuala Lumpur. This is an active temple, but the general public is welcome to stop by to check out the architecture and grounds.
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
Another fun place to visit on your trip is the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. There are thousands of birds that call this park home, and you can learn about them and their habitats in this large aviary. Conservation is at the heart of what this park does, and there may be educational programs offered during your trip. There is also a nice butterfly park in town that you can visit and take a leisurely stroll through.
Try Local Nasi Kandar Dishes
Visitors to Kuala Lumpur are in no short supply of amazing culinary experiences when they travel to this Malaysian city. Nasi Kandar is a very important part of Malaysian cuisine and translates to “mixed rice.” The best part about Nasi Kandar dishes is that you can typically choose from various sauces and toppings to go with your rice and suit your taste. Take your pick from delicious choices like curried meat, okra, and seafood. This food celebrates the city’s rich Tamil culture and the prevalence of South Indian immigrants who live here.
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia
The Islamic Arts Museum in Kuala Lumpur is nothing short of impressive, both outside and in. Take some time to admire the architecture before heading in to see Islamic decorative arts from artists all over the world. The museum is typically open daily from 10am to 6pm, it has a restaurant onsite, and adult admission is RM 14.00. Seminars, workshops, and children’s activities are also offered here, so check the museum’s website to see if anything special is happening during your visit to Kuala Lumpur.
The last must-visit spot that we’ll mention here is Kampung Baru, which is a neighborhood filled with traditional wooden houses that stand in stark contrast to the city’s bright lights and huge, modern skyscrapers. This is also an excellent place to come for foodies who love to try new things. Take some time to wander through the streets of this neighborhood and observe the sights, sounds, and smells around you. Kampung Baru has been inhabited since the 1880s and is actually made up of several villages near downtown. Visitors to Kuala Lumpur describe a visit to this neighborhood as a breath of fresh air and an authentic look at how locals live and operate hawker stalls to sell their delicious culinary creations. Here you can sample everything from fried chicken to barbecue beef, chicken satay, platters of vegetables, and much more!