The capital of Malaysia unites the most diverse cultures and religions, which is why the vibrant metropolis is characterized by many influences. Mainly there are Chinese, Malays and Indians, but also Arabs and Europeans.
KL, as the city is called by its inhabitants, offers various colorful neighborhoods, with delicious food and lots of street food, huge shopping malls, but also markets, as well as various sights, interesting places and highlights in and around the city center.
Tip 1: Petronas Towers
Built on a former horse racing track, the Petronas Towers are the landmark of the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur. Until 2004, they were the world’s tallest buildings at 452 meters. They still top the list of all twin towers on earth. In Malaysia and its capital, there is (still) no building that reaches further into the sky. The Petronas Towers were opened in 1999.
Commissioned by the petroleum company Petronas as its headquarters, the building was constructed by Argentine architect Cesar Antonio Pelli for $1.2 billion in the postmodern style. An observation deck on the 86th floor of the Petronas Towers offers visitors a breathtaking view of Kuala Lumpur. Popular with locals and tourists alike, the Petronas Towers are also a cultural and culinary experience, as well as a shopper’s paradise.
Tip 2: Batu Caves
About 15 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur are the stone caves, the Batu Caves, probably one of the most interesting and famous sights in Malaysia. These wondrous limestone caves can be reached via a total of 272 steps. A trip to the Batu Caves will take visitors back in time and introduce them to the culture of the foreign country. Visitors interested in the history of this culture will get their money’s worth here. The many shrines tell their own story. With a guided tour the Batu Caves can be visited and statues and paintings can be admired. The surrounding countryside also invites you to linger. The species-rich environment, which is home to the macaques, will become a unique experience.
Long before the American William Hornaday discovered the Batu Caves in 1878, the strange-looking cave system served the locals for their rituals and as a place of refuge.
Visitors to Batu Caves can admire the golden statue of Murugan, which is 42.7 meters high. It was completed in 2006 and stands in the forecourt of Batu Caves. In the 2 caves located at the foot of the mountain are other culturally valuable artifacts, such as paintings and Hindu statues. Open to guests is the main cave, also called Temple Cave or Cathedral Cave. It is about 100 meters high. Here culture lovers will find several Hindu shrines.
Tip 3: Merdeka Square
One of Kuala Lumpur’s main attractions is undoubtedly Merdeka Square, also called Dataran Merdeka or Independence Square. It was precisely on this spacious square in the center of the old city core that the British flag was hauled down for the last time on August 31, 1957, and the brand new Malaysian flag was hoisted for the very first time, sealing the country’s independence from Great Britain.
The site of the original flagpole is still marked today by a round slab of black marble. Not far from it rises a new, 95-meter-high pole on which the Malaysian national flag flutters more proudly than ever.
The course itself was established as early as 1884 as a sports field for the adjacent Royal Selangor Club, where mainly polo and cricket were played. The beautifully maintained 200 m long padang (green strip) still bears witness to this today. To the north of the square is St. Mary’s Church, one of the oldest Anglican churches in Malaysia.
The most famous building in the square is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (the former State Secretariat). The building is built in Moorish style and reflects the cultural background of Malaysia. The 41 m high tower, which is also called the “Big Ben”, is world famous.
Furthermore, the busy square is the venue for the annual Merdeka Parade (Independence Day) in Malaysia.
Tip 4: Sri Maha Mariamman
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple is the oldest Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur and is located near Petaling Street, the old Chinese quarter. It was built in 1873 at the beginning of the city.
By the way, this is also the starting point of the annual pilgrimage during the festival of Thaipusam to the Batu Caves. You enter the temple without shoes, of course. You can leave them next to the entrance for a small fee. The temple is very colorful. There are figures and statues everywhere – even inside it doesn’t get less colorful.
It originally belonged to the wealthy Pillay family who lived nearby and was used exclusively by them. Thamboosamy Pillay moved to Kuala Lumpur, where he made his fortune in tin mining The area was settled at the time thanks to a successful partnership with Chinese entrepreneur Loke Yew. He expanded his business by obtaining government contracts and quickly became the leader of the city’s Tamil-Indian community.
Originally, the original structure was located further away, but the works of the Kuala Lumpur Railway in 1885 forced it to be moved to its current location in 1887 and replaced by a brick building
Tip 5: Thean Hou Temple
The Chinese Thean Hou Temple in Kuala Lumpur is one of the largest and most magnificent Buddhist temples in all of Southeast Asia.
The temple is located on the southern edge of downtown on Robson Hill with a beautiful view over the skyline of Kuala Lumpur.
The temple complex is very complex and modeled after a temple in Hainan. Hainan is a place from which many Chinese Malaysians are descended. The complex has magnificent temple rooms, a huge banquet hall for weddings and other ceremonial occasions, stores, souvenir stores and a nice selection of dining options.
Wedding parties also like to gather at the temple. The young bride and groom ask Buddha’s blessing for themselves here. This temple is also a popular place to take beautiful wedding photos.
The front entrance of the temple consists of an archway with red columns. The red color symbolizes prosperity and good luck.
The temple itself contains elements of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. It has a grandiose structure and is a successful combination of modern architecture and techniques from traditional crafts.
Particularly impressive are the columns, the spectacular roof structure, the traditional ornate carvings and decorations.
In the magnificently landscaped gardens at the foot of the temple, you will find larger-than-life sculptures of the 12 animal signs of the Chinese horoscope, as well as a pitoresque-looking turtle pond.