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A Kuala Lumpar travel guide – chic malls, village markets and futuristic buildings

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Take a Kuala Lumpur city break for a tropical metropolis of extremes. Postmodern skyscrapers tower above kampung village settlements and rainforest parks ease the frenetic pace of shopping malls. Book a Kuala Lumpur hotel for a taste of modern Malaysia.

Markets and malls

Peruse Cartier and Tiffany boutiques in the glitzy Suria KLCC mall at the feet of the sky-high Petronas Twin Towers. Haggle for Malay labels at Sungei Wang mall; over the bridge Lot 10 is where the locals go for beauty and hair fixes. The covered bazaar at Chow Kit Market wet market, north of the city centre, is full of silks and spices.

Parks and outdoors

Climb the 272 steps to the sacred limestone Batu Caves, 1km north-east of the city centre. Hindu shrines and cheeky resident monkeys are the draw at the Temple Cave. Taman Tasik Perdana Lake Garden’s rolling green lawns and botanical gardens are a rural oasis on central Jalan Perdana. Families flock to KL Bird Park where parrots flap through the walk-in aviary and flamingos wade in the waterfall plunge pool. The waterfalls in the rainforest jungle at Templer Park, just 21km north of Kuala Lumpur, are ideal for picnics.

Architectural extremes

The wooden houses of the Kampung Bahru district and old Straits Chinese shophouses in Old Market Square evoke a sense of traditional, low-rise Malaysia. At the opposite end of the scale, the glass twin giants of the Petronas Towers and the huge bamboo shoot of the Telekom Tower pierce the skyline. The Mughal domes of the Sultan Abdul Samad building on Merdeka Square are in stark contrast to the English Tudor wattle and daub walls of the Selangor Club sports venue opposite. 

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