Sights & Landmarks in Kuala Lumpur
When people think of Kuala Lumpur the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Petronas Towers, which is located in the Golden Triangle. Whilst they most certainly are an architectural delight (particularly at night), there is much more to be discovered in Kuala Lumpur. Competing with the Petronas Towers is KL Tower (Menara KL), which looks oddly similar to other famous skyscrapers. The real joy of Kuala Lumpur lies in wandering randomly, seeing, shopping and eating your way through it.
Being part of a former British colony, many colonial buildings are scattered throughout, with many lending themes from both British and North African architecture. The grandest colonial buildings lie in the city centre including the old Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, the charming Masjid Jamek at the confluence on the Klang River and the former offices of the Colonial Secretariat (now the Sultan Abdul Samad Building) on Merdeka Square. To top it off on Merdeka Square's west side, you will find the Royal Selangor Club, looking like a rejected transplant straight from Stratford-upon-Avon.
The National Mosque, Masjid Negara, (1965) celebrates the bold ambitions of the newly independent Malaysia. The National Monument in the pretty Lake Gardens is inspired by the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. Also in the lake gardens is Carcosa Seri Negara, the former residence of the British High Commissioner, which now houses an upmarket hotel and colonial-style tea rooms. Within the city centre is also the fascinating narrow streets of Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur's traditional commercial district, with its many Chinese shops and places to eat.
Nature and wildlife
While Kuala Lumpur is more of a concrete jungle compared to other parts of the country, it is still easy enough to delve into nature. The Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia (FRIM) [www] is a great escape from the busy life of Kuala Lumpur for RM5.30. The hikes are easy and you can go up a canopy walkway for RM10.60 to get a good view of KL on a clear day. There is a nice tea house in the FRIM compound where you can sample various types of local teas and snacks. Get there early as it is more likely to rain later in the day. You can get to FRIM via KTM Komuter. Stop at Kepong or Kepong Sentral and grab a short taxi ride.
For something more centrally located try the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve, located at the base of Menara KL. The forest provides for an easy trek that you can enjoy on your own; but the many specimens are likely more appreciated through guided tours which are free and can be arranged from KL Tower. The massive Lake Gardens, located in the western part of the Old City Centre is another great option and you could literally spend a whole day venturing around the park. Within Lake Gardens are many attractions and various parks including the KL Bird Park, Orchid Garden, Hibiscus Garden, Deer Park, Mouse Deer Park and a butterfly park. An indoor alternative is the Aquaria KLCC, in the Golden Triangle near the KL Convention Centre. The aquarium contains some 5,000 varieties of tropical fish.