Kuala Lumpur (KL), the glittering, bustling, dizzying capital of Malaysia, is a feast for the senses. An early sign of this for travellers is at Kuala Lumpur International, where flights to KL land. This major hub is ultra modern but has a section of transplanted rain forest in its satellite building.
The city’s architecture is a mix of old colonial buildings, Asian, Malay Islamic and modern of which the most sky scraping is the Petronas Towers, the tallest twin buildings in the world. To enjoy the view from the Skybridge on the 41st floor (at 170m) free, snap up one of the 1,300 timed tickets given out each day. The KL Tower offers fantastic views too, from 276m above ground level.
Down on the ground, KL is a mecca for shoppers. The Bukit Bintang area is where most shoppers go. Souvenir hunters head for Central Market, a great starting point for a wander through Chinatown (its heart is Petaling Street, home to bustling night markets) and Little India, a jumble of stalls selling brightly coloured saris and food stands offering Indian snacks.
For a brief respite from the city, Kuala Lumpur Lake Gardens (Taman Tasik Perdana) is green and verdant with resident monkeys.
Malaysians crowd the city during school holidays in early April, early August, and mid-November to early January. The hotels will be full, so book your reservations well in advance.
With its year-round, uniform climate, KL does not have an off season. The closest you can get to a low season are the holiday weekends when many city dwellers head for the beaches.