The Sultan Abdul Samad Building Attraction
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building attraction is among Kuala Lumpur’s earliest Moorish-style buildings. It is set to the east of Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) and the Royal Selangor Club, across from Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin. It was built in 1897 and was named after the reigning sultan of Selangor at the time.
The distinguished landmark originally served as the secretariat for the colonial British administration. Designed by AC Norman, the architect responsible for Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque), the historically-significant building used to house the superior courts of Malaysia: the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Court of Appeals and the High Court of Malaya, before they moved to Putrajaya.
Sultan Abdul Samad Building is now home to the Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture of Malaysia and sits beside the old KL Railway Station. Though it no longer serves an official purpose, it remains one of the city’s most important tourist attractions and a historical landmark in the city.
Constructed entirely of brick, the building features strong gothic, western and Moorish-style influences with an imposing porch, graceful arches, curved colonnades topped with shiny copper cupolas and a domineering 41.2m- high clock tower. It is frequently seen as the backdrop for Malaysia’s annual Independence Day parades (which take place past Dataran Merdeka).
The Old Railway Station Attraction
Kuala Lumpur Railway Station attraction is an almost fairytale Moorish-style building to the southeast of the National Mosque. Located along Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin (previously known as Victory Avenue), it used to be KL’s main railway hub until 2001 when Kuala Lumpur Sentral took over much of its role.
Adopting a mixture of Eastern and Western styles, it was designed by A.B. Hubbock in 1910. Opposite stands the Malaya Railway Administration Building, also designed by Hubbock in 1917. Beneath the Islamic exterior, the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station resembles a typical glass and iron Victorian-era English railway building.
The Kuala Lumpur Railway Station was Kuala Lumpur’s third railway station, the first was located along Jalan Cheng Lok while the second was set at the present site. The second station was demolished to make way for the present-day site.
It used to house the offices of the Federated Malay States Railways, but now its primary function is that of the administrative head office of the Keretapi Tanah Melayu. Built using convict labour, there is a hotel (the Heritage Station Hotel) on the first floor and inside is a restaurant plus several souvenir stalls.
The China Town (Petaling Street) Attraction
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur Chinatown attraction is a must when visiting this big, bustling city. Spread across several streets including Jalan Petaling, Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock and Jalan Hang Kasturi, Chinatown’s shopping bargains are deals of a lifetime, especially at the Petaling Street Night Market. What’s more, shopping in Chinatown is not just about buying modern items; a lot of locals visiting the herbal shops are here to purchase traditional medicine.
Without a doubt, Jalan Petaling, or Petaling Street as locals call it, is the most popular. Housed under a green glass roof, which allows the daily market to operate all day, it is crammed with market stalls selling reproduction designer handbags, shoes, apparel and more. Central Market KL is not too far away either and remains a favourite Kuala Lumpur Chinatown shopping spot for its one-of-a-kind local artwork and souvenirs.
Petaling Street is the shoppers’ paradise if you want to bargain your way to some cheap things. There is almost everything here from clothes, souvenirs to electronic items to fabrics. Other than cheap stuff, Petaling Street is renowned for selling imitation goods like handbags, wallets, watches and shoes from brands like Adidas, Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein, Nike and so on. Food here is also aplenty.
The Central Market Attraction
Central Market attraction is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most familiar landmarks and a popular tourist attraction. Built in 1928, it is a short walk away from Petaling Street, along Jalan Hang Kasturi. Also called Pasar Seni, it used to be a simple wet market but in the early 1980s was revamped into a handicrafts outlet.
The focus for the city’s artistic community, inside the building is a warren of boutiques, handicraft and souvenir stalls with traders selling local merchandise such as authentic Malaysian batik prints and more. Central Market is located on the opposite bank of the Dayabumi Complex and is an art-deco style building with local “Baroque” trimmings.
A Malaysian cultural landmark, it has been classified as a Heritage Site by the National Heritage Department. Similar to London’s Covent Garden or San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf, the 120 year-old Central Market has undergone several renovations over the years to attract younger generations and to foster greater appreciation for racial tolerance and integration.
Central Market is strategically located close to major public transportation links, making it easy to access from all major KL destinations. The second floor has several restaurants and a food court serving Asian cuisine.
The Batu Caves of Hindus Shrines Attraction
Located approximately 11 kilometres to the north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. Considered one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions, this 100-year-old temple features idols and statues erected inside the main caves and around it.
Cathedral Cave, the largest and most popular cavern in Batu Caves, houses several Hindu shrines beneath its 100-metre-high arched ceiling. At the foot of Batu Hill are two other cave temples, the Art Gallery Cave and Museum Cave, which houses numerous Hindu statues and paintings.
Batu Caves is the focal point of the annual Hindu festival of Thaipusam, which attracts thousands of devotees and visitors. Usually held at the end of January, the procession begins on the evening before the Thaipusam Festival at the Sri Mariamman Temple in KL city centre.
The procession more often than not, arrives at Batu Caves in the wee hours of the morning the next day; the entire celebration commences then and is a colourful event that lasts a total of eight hours. In the past the festival has attracted more than one million pilgrims, making it one of the largest gatherings in the world.
The Twin Towers of Petronas Attraction
Soaring to a height of 451.9 metres, the 88-storey twin structure is Kuala Lumpur’s crown jewel. Majestic by day and dazzling at night, the PETRONAS Twin Towers is inspired by Tun Mahathir Mohamad’s vision for Malaysia to be a global player. Together with master architect Cesar Pelli, the international icon powerfully captures the nation’s ambitions and aspirations.
A highlight of a trip to Kuala Lumpur, the views from the Skybridge at the Petronas Twin Towers are amazing day and night. Each morning 1,700 passes are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis to visitors who want to visit the skybridge. It’s best to start queuing at 7 a.m., as most tickets are gone by 9 a.m.
The views from the ground are equally incredible as you gaze up at the 88-story gleaming towers that reach 1,483 feet (452 meters) into the air. The floor plan was designed with the Islamic eight-pointed star in mind, and the five sections of the skyscraper reflect the five-pillars of Islam.
Beneath the Petronas Towers attraction is KLCC Park, a large urban area with jogging tracks, a playground and wading pools. There is also the huge Suria KLCC shopping mall with a number of good restaurants.