Tourist Spots in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

by Hallie Engel

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is a bustling city in Southeast Asia and the region's youngest capital. With a diverse population, the city is home to ethnic Malays, Indians, Chinese and others, who influence the city's culture, food and history. Travelers have much to explore when visiting Kuala Lumpur, from temples and mosques to state of the art shopping centers and busy street-side markets.

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Mosques

A primarily Muslim nation, the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur is home to many stately mosques. The Jamek Mosque, also known as the Jamek Masjid, is made of marble and brick and topped with domes and a minaret, from which the call to prayer is played. The Masjid Negara, also known as the National Mosque, has an umbrella-shaped roof that is partially open and holds 15,000 worshippers. Some mosques may not permit non-Muslims to enter but all travelers can enjoy their architecture from the outside.

Museums

Kuala Lumpur is home to several museums dedicated to Malaysian culture and history. The National Museum (muziumnegara.gov.my) is home to various artifacts and works of art, including an antique hand-written Koran and exhibits that explore Malaysian history from prehistoric to modern times. The Islamic Arts Museum (iamm.org.my) contains various items relating to Muslim history and culture, from Mughal armor to priceless jewelry worn and traded by Muslims from Morocco to China.

Markets

Shop like a local at Kuala Lumpur's bustling markets, which sell everything from clothes to music and exotic foodstuffs. The Chow Kit Market, located in the middle of the city, specializes in food, with stalls selling spices, meats, fruits, vegetables and seafood and also has items like electronics and shoes. Petaling Street, in Chinatown, is a daily market which is described as a "a hive of commercial activity" by AsiaWeb. The market sells lots of clothes and household goods and various area restaurants welcome shoppers.

Food Hawker Stalls

Sample spicy Malaysian cuisine, as well as that of India, China and other countries, in the food hawker stalls of Kuala Lumpur. Stalls are scattered throughout the city and consist of lone cooks making noodle soup to clusters of stalls selling a variety of dishes. Look for busy stalls with local customers to find the best food and try some of the region's most famous dishes. The Relax website recommends laksa, a coconut and curry soup filled with seafood and char siew, a specially grilled meat.

About the Author

Hallie Engel is a food and lifestyle writer whose work has appeared in several international publications. She served as a restaurant critic for "Time Out Abu Dhabi" and "Time Out Amsterdam" and has also written about food culture in the United Arab Emirates for "M Magazine." She holds a bachelor's degree in communications and film studies from University of Amsterdam.

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