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A Kuala Lumpur city guide – Petronas Twin Towers, the Golden Triangle and markets galore

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Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it’s widely known, is the buzzing capital city of Malaysia. You’ll find it in the state of Selangor on the central west coast of Malaysia. It’s a cosmopolitan Asian city balanced between modernity and its old colonial roots. Malaysia is infused with Chinese, Indian, Malay and British culture. Home to the tallest building in Asia, the Petronas Twin Towers KL is at the forefront of engineering with a fast growing economy.

Ong Poh Seng

My Destination local expert on

Kuala Lumpur



Kuala Lumpur’s City Centre, otherwise known as KLCC is the central area of the city, home to the Petronas Twin Towers, KL’s best known icon. At the bottom of the towers is perhaps the most upmarket mall in the city, Suria KLCC. There is also KLCC Park, complete with water fountains in the paddling pool. The area is upmarket, clean, crisp and exciting. It is also full of malls, modern architecture and five star hotels.


Dataran Merdeka


Dataran Merdeka is the old city centre of Kuala Lumpur, before KLCC came along. As the traditional core of Kuala Lumpur, here you’ll find the old colonial administrative centre with attractive colonial purpose built official buildings. Inside you’ll find the Selangor Club, founded in 1994 and the impressive Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square), which is used for Independence celebrations, is the area where the Union flag was lowered and the Malaysian flag hoisted in 1957.


Golden Triangle


Home to world famous five star hotels and high end malls is the area known as the Golden Triangle. Inside the borders of the Golden Triangle is one of Kuala Lumpur’s busiest shopping areas; Bukit Bintang. Bukit Bintang is made up of three roads, Jalan Imbi, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Raja Chulan (Jalan means road). These three roads form a triangle shape, hence the name of the Golden Triangle. The Golden Triangle is easily accessible via KL’s monorail, where there is also plenty of nightlife action.




South of the city is Little India, also known as Brickfields. As Indian people make up a large part of the population and the melting pot of Indian culture, the area is an important part of the city. Here you’ll find shops upon shops selling beautifully colored sarees, handicrafts and other Indian souvenirs. There are cafes and restaurants producing the banana leaf rice and many other delicacies. It’s centrally located and home to the cities KL Sentral main station.


Petaling Street


Enter under the large red and green arches of the Chinese sign covered in lanterns that marks the entrance to Petaling Street, and you’ll arrive in KL’s Chinatown. One of the best known and most loved areas of the city; here you’ll find stalls spread out in an undercover shopping area. Markets here are full of questionable designer items, shoes, street food and everything else imaginable. Even if you don’t want to shop, this area is a must see. There is also colonial architecture in this older part of the city painted in different colors. At night time the amount of market stalls almost doubles in size.


Bukit Bintang


KL’s equivalent to New York’s Fifth Avenue and Singapore’s Orchard Street is the famous area of Bukit Bintang. Shopping malls such as Low Yat Plaza and Sungai Wang Plaza amongst lots more shops adorn the streets of Bukit Bintang. Shop here for the height of Malaysian and international fashion, designer fashion and electronic goods. There is also plenty of entertainment here too. At night time, the area turns into an alfresco dining area where modern cafes and restaurants sprawl out onto the street.