The colorful enclave of Little India is filled with the sounds and scents of India. Bright bangles and trinkets glitter from stalls and the scents of sandalwood and cumin fill the air. Fantastic Indian dishes are on offer at roadside stalls, Indian breads like chappati and prata and snacks like vadai and stringhoppers.
The sari shops are very popular with people looking to buy vibrant beautiful material and use the skilled tailors who work in this area. The Saturday night market is when this area is at its bustling best as vendors trade late into the night.
In Malaysian, “Istana Negara” translates to “National Palace,” and Kuala Lumpur’s Royal King’s Palace (Istana Negara) serves as the official residence of the supreme King of Malaysia. The king relocated to a newly built Istana Negara in 2011, and while you can’t enter, it’s possible to see the beautiful architecture of the palace from afar and watch the hourly changing of the guards.
Before 2011, the Royal King’s Palace occupied another mansion. The structure was originally built in 1928 by a wealthy Chinese immigrant on a plot overlooking the Klang River. During the Japanese Occupation during World War II, the mansion became the home of the Japanese Governor before becoming a British military office after the Japanese surrendered in 1945. In 1950, the Sultan of Selangor moved into the residence and lived there until Malaysian independence in 1957.
An impressive six-tiered Chinese temple, Thean Hou Temple was opened in 1987 and is dedicated to Thean Hou, the heavenly mother.
It is the largest Chinese temple in Kuala Lumpur and sits atop Robson’s Hill 6 mi (8 km) from the city center offering excellent views back over the city. The prayer rooms are filled with bright golden statues and dedicated also to the Goddess of the Waterfront and the Buddhist Goddess of Mercy. Below the main prayer rooms are hawker stalls and souvenir stalls while outside there is a Chinese medicinal herbs garden and a tortoise pond. The celebrations at Chinese New Year are a riot of color and noise as revellers, wearing predominantly red (a lucky color), bang drums and clash symbols while watching the lions dance to ward off evil spirits.
Kuala Lumpur’s Central Market was established in 1888 as an open wet market for the local communities and ended up being so popular and conveniently located that it underwent several expansions and eventually moved into the Art-Deco structure it lives in today. The wet market moved out in the 1980s, but the Malaysian Heritage Society managed to save the original structure from demolition, instead renovating it into an arts center and heritage site.
Today, the beautifully restored building houses vendors selling handicrafts, souvenirs and artwork, as well as a batik emporium. The Annexe, located behind the main building, has gallery space for art exhibitions and film screenings, and a recently added covered pedestrian lane called Kasturi Walk lines the building’s exterior with even more kiosks and stalls to browse through. The Kasturi Walk is also a great place to sample some typical Malaysian street food as you shop.
Situata in un antico edificio coloniale accanto a Piazza Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery è il luogo ideale per conoscere la storia della capitale della Malesia, grazie ad una collezione di dipinti e fotografie del passato, oltre ad una serie di modelli in miniatura dei suoi monumenti più importanti. Un’enorme cronologia ripercorre la storia della città, dalle sue origini, dal 1850 fino ai giorni nostri.
Le principali attrazioni della Galleria comprendono il modello in scala ridotta della storica Piazza Merdeka e lo spettacolare City Model Show che rappresenta la moderna Kuala Lumpur. Potrete assistere anche a video di eventi importanti per la città, come ad esempio i XVI Giochi del Commonwealth e fotografie dei progressi delle singolari torri gemelle Petronas. Al Museo visiterete mostre sulla popolazione multiculturale del Paese, con abiti tradizionali nazionali come i baju kurungs e sarees.
Get up close and personal with rare Asian elephants—only 1,200 remain in the wild—at the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary outside of Kuala Lumpur. Established in 1989 within the Krau Wildlife Reserve, the sanctuary is managed by the Malaysian Wildlife Society and has a goal of taking in elephants orphaned by poaching or logging and raising them until they can be reintroduced to the wild.
The sanctuary is also home to a group of resident elephants. Visitors can come face to face with these gentle giants and get the unique opportunity to join baby elephants for a bath in the river, as long as the water level isn’t too high. If you prefer to just watch and learn about the elephants, the sanctuary has observation points, and a short National Geographic-produced video is often screened, telling about the organization’s elephant translocation project.