Kuala Lumpur is one of the most fascinating cities on the Asian continent, and is the capital of Malaysia. With a booming population of 7.1 million people, Kuala Lumpur is at once modern and historic, boasting a number of attractions you won’t want to miss.
Some of the most well-known things to do and see include the Petronas Towers, the Kuala Lumpur Tower, the Batu Caves, the Islamic Arts Museum and the National Mosque of Malaysia, but there’s more to this exciting city that often flies under the radar. As you explore Kuala Lumpur, don’t miss these culturally relevant and interesting attractions.
Pudu Wet Market
The city’s Bukit Bintang shopping market may be its most well-known, but don’t discount Pudu Market. Rather than displaying a variety of artisan goods simply begging to be purchased by tourists, this wet market (produce market) stocks up on Kuala Lumpur’s freshest vegetables, fruits and quality meats. By nature, this offers a more authentic look into life in the city, as residents flock to the market to stock up on goods they need for daily meals. Try authentic favourites like putu mayam, kuih, assam laksa and chicken rice.
If you simply must find some souvenirs, don’t worry: Clothing and other goods are also available for purchase at the market (though food remains its primary focus).
Hoping to catch a glimpse of the authentic Malay lifestyle? Head to Kampung Baru, a charming enclave and neighbourhood located right in Kuala Lumpur. With its sleepy atmosphere, Kampung Baru might as well be a small town (except for the fact that it’s located in Malaysia’s largest city, of course).
The neighbourhood boasts a number of traditional Malay buildings and public spaces, including wooden houses, lush parks, and numerous markets. Kampung Baru is also home to traditional religious institutions, including the Masjid Kampung Baru. On Saturday nights, the area comes alive with visitors as its pasar malam (night market) opens up shop.
For a taste of the Malay food scene, make a trip to Jalan Alor, located in Bukit Bintang. This street market is home to a variety of vendors that serve up some of the best food in Kuala Lumpur. The market really picks up steam at night as visitors and locals pour in to devour all the mouthwatering cuisine on offer. The primary ethnic cuisines available are Chinese, Malay and Indian.
Looking for some recommendations on what to eat at Jalan Alor? Stop at Wong Ah Wah, a stall known for its barbecued chicken wings. Savour your poultry alongside a beer, and give the stall’s other dishes a try: fried lala with black bean sauce, spring noodles, and fried egg noodles with roasted pork are just a few options.
Fat Brother Satay boasts some of the best lok lok in town. Whether you want to enjoy seafood, veggies or meat, all you have to do is dip your skewer into the vendor’s range of delicious sauces to enjoy authentic lok lok.
Kedai Makanan & Minuman serves up hot (and we mean hot) Szechuan cuisine slathered with chillies and spices. A few favourites from this popular vendor include beef and cabbage soup, fried chilli chicken and traditional pot stickers.
Istana Negara Lama
This former royal residence offers a glimpse into the way former Malay sultans once lived. Last used by Sultan Mizan of Terengganu in 2011, the palace has now been converted into a museum. Browse through the building’s intricately decorated rooms and halls to enjoy a peek into what life looks like for Malaysian royals.
From a private cinema to the sultan’s office to a number of beautifully decorated guest rooms, the museum boasts decor sure to impress people of any aesthetic perspective.