Kuala Lumpur & Surrounds
Golf in Kuala Lumpur is a must for any serious golfer on a Malaysia golf vacation. This Malaysia golf mecca is the focal point of new Malaysia. While the city's past is still present in the evocative British colonial buildings of the Dataran Merdeka and the midnight lamps of the Petaling Street nightmarket, that past is everywhere met with insistent reminders of KL's present and future. The city's bustling streets, its shining, modern office towers, and its cosmopolitan air project an unbounded spirit of progress and symbolize Malaysia's unhesitating leap into the future.
To some, this spirit seems to have been gained at the loss of ancient cultural traditions, but in many ways KL marks the continuation rather than the loss of Malaysia's rich past. Like Malacca five hundred years before, KL's commercial centre is a grand meeting place for merchants and travelers from all over the world.
All roads away from Kuala Lumpur lead to the state of Selangor, Malaysia's most populated and prosperous state. Selangor surrounds the burgeoning capital with green suburban arms and industrial tracks, but as the city is left behind, a different, older and more natural order quickly unfolds.
To the west is the Klang Valley, whose tin mines were inextricably linked to the history and development of modern Malaysia. It was here that much of Malaysia's Civil War was played out. Continuing past the city of Klang, one eventually comes to Port Klang, where sampans come and go. Both to the north and south, Selangor is dominated by fishing villages on the coast and the Kampung inland. Heading east from KL, it is not the ocean but hills and forests that dominate. This is the beginning of the lush Malaysian heartland, and the spiritual connection to the landscape first takes hold at the extraordinary Batu Caves. Even further inland are the Genting Highlands, one of Malaysia's finest hill stations.
Kuala Lumpur Holiday Attractions
Malaysia Tourist Information Complex (MATIC) is A good place to begin any visit to Kuala Lumpur is the one-stop information centre, which provides a general picture of what the city and Malaysia have to offer. Audio-visual equipment provides background information on each state in the country. You can book a tour, arrange to go on a trishaw ride in the city, change your money, and book air or bus tickets to various destinations in Malaysia. International calls, facsimile and telex services are also offered. For your first taste of Malaysian cuisine, there is a restaurant in the right wing of the building. Cultural performances are held daily.
Thirteen kilometers north-east of Kuala Lumpur is the National Zoo. It contains hundreds of different species of animals, birds, and reptiles. The aquarium has an extensive collection of marine and freshwater species. Both the Zoo and Aquarium are open daily from 9am to 6pm.
Located at Jalan Hishamuddin, this Moorish-style Railway Station was designed by architect A.B. Hubbock, who also designed the Masjid Jam. Built in 1910, it underwent extensive renovations in 1986. It is equipped with air-conditioned waiting halls, snack kiosks, money changing booths, souvenir shops, restaurants and a tourist information counter. Across the street is the Malayan Railway Administration Building, another fine example of the British colonial adaptation of Moorish architecture. It is linked to the station by an underground thoroughfare.
Fifty years ago the Central Market was occupied by a wet market. Today, the art-deco structure of the Central Market is a centre for the display and development of Malaysian culture, arts and crafts. There are many performances, demonstrations, and activities offered here, including batik painting, fortune telling, shadow puppet plays, glass blowing, dance classes, art classes, and many others. The building won the Coronation Architecture Design Award in 1953.
The blue-roofed National Library was inspired by a tengkolok, the traditional Malay headgear, and songtet, a richly-designed brocade fabric. The library is a very recent addition to Kuala Lumpur, having opened only in 1992. The extensive holdings include a collection of publications on Malaysia by Malaysian authors as well as ancient Malay manuscripts. Open: 1Oam-5pm (Sat-Sun), Closed on Monday.
The center of Kuala Lumpur's original Chinatown. Petaling Street maintains much of its traditional atmosphere, particularly at night when vendors spread their wares out on the street. While it is possible to purchase anything from gems and incense to toys and t-shirts here, enjoying the night market is really a matter of just wandering about and enjoying its sights, sounds, and energy.