Kuala Lumpur is an easy 2 hour flight from Hua Hin and 2 hours and 15 minutes from Bangkok. It is the cultural, financial and economic centre of Malaysia and home to the Parliament of Malaysia, and the official residence of the Malaysian King, Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
Commonly known as KL, it is the national capital of Malaysia as well as the largest city in the country. It covers an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi) and has an estimated population of 1.73 million as of 2016 and is among the fastest growing metropolitan regions in South-East Asia, in both population and economic development.
When visiting K.L. one of the must-see sights is the 451meter-tall Petronas Twin Towers, a pair of glass-and-steel-clad skyscrapers with Islamic motifs. Petronas Towers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. The towers were heavily featured in the action-packed scenes of the Movie Entrapment starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
Petronas features a double decker skybridge connecting the two towers on the 41st and 42nd floors, which is the highest 2-story bridge in the world. It is not attached to the main structure, but is instead designed to slide in and out of the towers to prevent it from breaking, as the towers sway several feet towards and away from each other during high winds. It also provides some structural support to the towers in these occasions. The bridge is 170 m (558 ft) above the ground and 58.4 m (192 ft) long, weighing 750 tons. The skybridge is open to all visitors, but tickets are limited to about 1000 people per day, and must be obtained on a first-come, first-served basis. Tower tours are available Tuesday thru Sunday from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM.
Another recommended sight to see while in K.L. is the Batu Caves. The limestone forming Batu Caves is said to be around 400 million years old. Some of the cave entrances were used as shelters by the indigenous Temuan people. The caves are one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India and are dedicated to the Lord Murugan whose large statue stands at the caves entrance. It is the focal point of the Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.
Rising almost 100 meters above the ground, the Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps.
At the base of the hill are two more cave temples, Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, both of which are full of Hindu statues and paintings.
A 42.7-metre (140 ft) high statue of Lord Murugan was unveiled in January 2006, having taken 3 years to construct. It is the tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world.
While in K.L. we also suggest you stroll Merdeka Square which is Malaysia’s Independence Square. It was here the Union Flag was lowered and the Malayan flag hoisted for the first time at midnight on the 31st of August 1957. Since then, Merdeka Square has been the usual venue for the annual Merdeka Parade, Malaysia’s National Day Parade.
Merdeka Square sits in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building which were the government offices of the British colonial administration. Now days they house the offices of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia. Topped by a shiny copper dome and a 41m high clock tower, it is a major landmark in the city. The clock tower houses a one-ton bell clock that strikes on the hour and half-hour.
A 95-metre flagpole, one of the tallest in the world, marks that spot with a flat, round black marble plaque.
And finally, what’s a holiday without a little shopping? Bukit Bintang, stylised as Bintang Walk or Starhill, is the shopping and entertainment district of K.L.. It encompasses Jalan Bukit Bintang and its immediate surrounding areas. This place has been transformed over the last 5 years to become one of the most trendy and busiest shopping clusters in the city. Street furniture lines the pavements. Upscale cafes, restaurants and clubs continue to open here. On weekends, thousands of locals as well as tourists throng Bintang Walk and its shopping centres. Many major nightlife events take place here such as the New Year’s countdown, Merdeka eve celebrations, street concerts and parties. The annual Malaysian F1 Grand Prix pit stop and Guinness St Patrick’s Day Celebrations are held here too.
Timed right, Air Asia flights to K.L. are ridiculously low and the two hour flight time passes quickly. For a quick couple of day holiday this city is well worth a visit.