Kuala Lumpur grew rapidly from its humble origins as a centre for tin mining in the 1850s. Although it began to prosper as a result of this, a huge fire and flood swept through the area in the 1880s and damaged most of the buildings beyond repair.
Part of the British Empire by the 20th century, the city was captured by the Japanese in the Second World War and then handed back to the Allies after the Japanese surrender.
Kuala Lumpur finally gained independence in 1957 and has grown since then to become one of the most populous cities in the world, as well as a cultural, financial and economic centre.
Popular with tourists, those who travel to Kuala Lumpur often make a beeline for the iconic Petronas Twin Towers and the Istana Negara, home of the Malaysian King.
KL Travel Tips
Kuala Lumpur International Airport is the main hub for the city and is around 50 kilometres away from the centre.
However, you can get to your Kuala Lumpur hotel using the KLIA Ekspres, which is a high-speed train service. It will also be possible to get a limousine taxi or a standard taxi from outside the terminal buildings, but make sure you are getting into a licensed vehicle and that it is metered.
If you decide to hire a car in the city, you will find that it is well connected by a number of highways.
When you get to your Kuala Lumpur hotel, do not put your passport away, as it is Malaysian law that visitors carry official documentation with them at all times for identification purposes.
There is a range of different public transport options available in Kuala Lumpur, but the best form is arguably the RapidKL. This incorporates the KL Monorail through the Golden Triangle and the KTM Komuter to the suburbs.
The KL Hop-On Hop-Off bus service may be a good alternative, however, as it features many of the main attractions along its route, while red and white taxis are also reasonably priced.
It could be a good idea to use a mixture of transport methods when you explore from the Grand Millennium Kuala Lumpur, as the city can get very busy and you could find yourself subjected to long delays.
What to pack:
Kuala Lumpur is known for its tropical climate and therefore gets very hot and humid. You will need to bring plenty of changes of clothes with you in case you get caught in a sudden downpour or out in the heat.
June and July are the driest months, but it is still wet relative to the western world, so do not forget your umbrella whenever you visit.
Although Kuala Lumpur is not as conservative as some destinations, it is worth packing some garments that will cover your bare skin if you intend to visit any religious buildings.
What to do and where to go?
Anyone who likes shopping will find Kuala Lumpur a great destination, as there are some huge malls. The Bukit Bintang area of the Golden Triangle would be a good place to start, as its stores are comparable with those on New York's Fifth Avenue for luxury.
Kuala Lumpur is a very diverse city culturally, so make sure you try lots of different restaurants in order to experience some of its best gastronomic delicacies.
Finally, the many religious buildings are well worth visiting, so do not forget your camera.
Our Kuala Lumpur travel guide below will give you some ideas for things to do.
House of Parliament
Petronas Twin Towers
Arts and Culture:
National Art Gallery of Malaysia
Parks and Recreation:
Titiwangsa Lake Gardens