Learn more about this great destination and what it has to offer. Choose a section below for information on the area, including history and transportation details.
Kuala Lumpur Guide
Kuala Lumpur (KL) is in its totality, peripheral townships and all, a fairly large city of over 7 million people and may seem unwieldy to the unaccustomed eye. KL is the proud home of an amazing array of cultural and historical vestiges from a colorful past. It is also home to large Malay, Chinese, Indian communities, a number of lesser-known tribes, and a multitude of languages, religions, customs and quirks.
Malaysia offers an enticing concoction of some of the world's most interesting cultures - quite a deal for the Internet-age traveler looking to experience it all. At the very core of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is a kaleidoscope of architecture, lifestyles, tropical flora, percussion, and international cuisines. Step on in and experience its magic!
Kuala Lumpur began as a few square miles of unspectacular landscape that now hosts many of its most important buildings. Once you orient yourself along the lines of modern history, you will never get lost. Look for the
Across the street lies the
The progressive spread of Islam since the 15th century has bequeathed Kuala Lumpur some of the greatest mosques this side of Istanbul.
Lake Gardens Area
The greener side of Kuala Lumpur began as a vegetable and tapioca field. Today
Golden Triangle & Kuala Lumpur City Ccenter (KLCC)
For the city's newest gadgets and gizmos, head for one of the many shopping establishments. Which one? To err on the side of caution, choose the tallest among them: the
Certainly shopkeepers and department stores abounded before
What happened to the tin barons who got rich from the mineral that made Kuala Lumpur? The Ampang enclave hides a precious cache of private residences where the affluent still live. Some of these architectural marvels serve as glimmering veneers of cool and clever enterprises, and conceal several of the city's best-kept secrets, including
The old footpath to the Ampang tin mines evolved into Jalan Ampang, now lavishly adorned with eateries and merry-making stops of a tantalizing variety, seamlessly blending in with the adjacent instruments of commerce: high-rise office blocks, hotels, foreign embassies and political offices. For an unbeatable view of all these and more, head to one of the world's tallest telecommunications towers, the
Other Interesting Districts
For those who want a taste of India, check out Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman, a mile-long street running north from the
Kuala Lumpur's early history started taking shape when the state of Selangor gained eminence in the 16th century with the discovery of tin deposits, a material Western colonialists needed to build their empire. This brought the Chinese and the Bugis (Malays from Macassar) into the state's economics and politics. There, they established themselves throughout the 18th century forming the Selangor sultanate.
Kuala Lumpur (KL) itself was not built until 1857 when miners and traders came in search of tin and poled upriver to where the Klang and Gombak rivers converge. The Gombak estuary was the highest point upstream that the miners could land their supplies for prospecting tin in Ampang. Others soon arrived, building shelters and opening trading posts. They named the settlement Kuala Lumpur, which means "muddy estuary" in Malay. By the 1860s, the miners' landing place had become a flourishing village. The city's oldest mosque,
Kuala Lumpur was founded in turbulent times, when fierce rivalries over mining claims and water rights led to civil wars with frequent gang clashes, feuds and murders. Kuala Lumpur was a predominantly Chinese pioneer settlement with a rambunctious handful of brothels, gambling booths and opium dens. The continuous fighting worried the headmen so much they elected a kapitan cina (Chinese captain) named Yap Ah Loy to establish peace and order. He played a major role during the civil wars and continued to direct the affairs of the town until his death in 1885.
In 1881, fire and a flood destroyed the city and by the time of Yap Ah Loy's death, the town was nothing more than wooden huts huddled along narrow lanes. A few eateries, incense shops and medicine shops from the old days remain on
In 1882, Frank Swettenham was named Resident (advisor) to Selangor and the settlement began to assume its modern shape as he encouraged local businessmen to build brick houses, in contrast to the largely thatch and board structures that were washed away in the floods. Street by street, the old town was pulled down and reconstructed with wider thoroughfares and stone and brick structures. At the same time, Swettenham also encouraged the growth of the coffee and tobacco industries. During this time the British erected both a railroad and the
The city's oldest railway station, the
Kuala Lumpur's development was rapid from this time onwards. By the end of the century, it was the colonial capital of the newly created Federated Malay States. In 1946, Kuala Lumpur became the headquarters of the Malayan Union, which would become the Federation of Malaya two years later. The city gained historical significance again in 1957 when the Federation of Malaya gained independence from British rule and the first Malayan flag was raised on the grounds of the cricket field, known today as
For all its modernity, the atmosphere of British colonialism is still occasionally present in Kuala Lumpur. The
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) (http://www.klia.com.my/) is the city's main airport and located 50 kilometers (31 miles) south of the city. The following airlines serve the Kuala Lumpur International Airport:
Air Asia: (+60 3 8660 4343 / http://www.airasia.com/)
Air India: (+60 03 2142 0166 / http://www.airindia.com/)
Air Mauritius: (+60 03 2142 9161 / http://www.airmauritius.com/)
Cathay Pacific: (+60 03 8787 2808 / http://www.cathaypacific.com/)
China Airlines (+60 3 2148-9417 / http://www.china-airlines.com/)
Emirates Airlines: (+60 03 2058 5888 / http://www.emirates.com/)
Korean Airlines: (+60 3 2144 0200 / http://www.koreanair.com/)
Malaysia Airlines: (+60 3 7846 3000 / http://www.malaysiaairlines.com/)
From the Airport
The fastest way to reach the the city from the airport is via high-speed train. The ride from KLIA Ekspres (+60 03 2267 8000 / http://www.KLIAekspres.com/) to KL Sentral only takes 28 minutes.
Airport Coach SDN BHD: (+60 036203 3064) Triton Express: (+60 03 8787 4258)
Taxi ranks as well as a limousine service are located at the airport, all are operated by Airport Limo (+60 3 9223 8080). Coupons can be purchased at the international arrival hall, the domestic arrival hall, and the baggage reclaim.
To reach the city by car takes much longer than riding the KLIA Ekspres. It takes up to an hour to reach downtown Kuala Lumpur via highway. Car rental companies (all located at the arrival hall) at the airport include:
Kasina Baru (+60 3 8787 1739)
Hertz (+60 3 8776 8448)
Thrifty (+60 3 8787 1988)
National (+60 3 8787 3890)
Mayflower (+60 3 8776 4578)
Orix (+60 3 8787 4151)
Pacific (+60 3 8787 3922)
Avis (+60 3 8787 4087)
Kuala Lumpur's harbour, Port Klang (+60 3 3168 8211 / http://www.pka.gov.my/), is located about 64 km (40 mi) southwest of the city.
Pangkor Lumut Ekspres Feri Sdn. Bhd.: (+60 5 691 4102)
Gemilang Express: (+60 19 871 3561)
Anjung Holidays Sdn. Bhd: (+60 09 697 4095 / http://www.pulauperhentian.com.my)
Light Rail & Monorail
Only 16 percent of Kuala Lumpur's population use public transport. However, Kuala Lumpur's railway system consists of three different systems that extend throughout the Klang Valley:
KTM Komuter (http://www.ktmb.com.my)
KL Monorail (+60 3 2267 9888 / http://www.monorail.com.my/)
Stations, underground and above ground, are located throughout the city. Kuala Lumpur's central station is KL Sentral (http://www.klsentral.com.my/) which also provides trains to Singapore and Thailand.
Since driving is the main mode of transport in the city, Kuala Lumpur's highway grid offers connection to every part of the city. However, roads are not toll free. Fees can be payed in cash or via value cards such as Touch 'n Go or SmartTAG. Car rental companies in the city include:
ASIAN Rent A Car Sdn Bhd: (+60 3 7494 9800 / http://www.asianrac.com.my/)
Hawk Rent A Car: (+60 3 5631 6488 / http://www.hawkrentacar.com.my/)
Sime Darby Rent A Car: (+60 3 8776 4507 / http://www.simedarbycarrental.com/)
Dynadrive Rent A Car: (+60 3 2148 8877)
Boustead Emasewa: (+60 03 8787 3890 / http://www.emasewa-car-rental.com.my/)
Sistem Sewa Kereta: (+60 3 8787 4087 / http://WIDvis.com.my/)
Insas Pacific Rent A Car (+6 03 2287 4118 / http://www.iprac.com/)
The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation. Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., is not responsible or liable for any errors or inaccuracies with respect to the information contained on this page.
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