Aquaria KLCC in Kuala Lumpur – Nestled in the heart of the bustling Golden Triangle and within walking distance from the iconic Petronas Twin Towers, Aquaria KLCC is a state-of-the-art aquarium showcasing over 5,000 different exhibits of aquatic and land-bound creatures over a sprawling multi-level space in the Concourse Level of the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre.
From the tropical waters of the Asian region to the rainforests of the world, Aquaria KLCC takes you on a journey to discover the fascinating nature of aquatic life as well as the unique behaviour of animals and crawly creatures above water. Immerse in an absorbing aquatic experience (without getting your feet wet!) from the moment you enter Aquaria KLCC. An educational study charting the course of natural waters flowing from the highlands to the streams and deep sea is devised to help visitors appreciate water as a habitat and ecosystem.
Highlights include a 90-metre tunnel tank with a moving travelator where you can marvel at Sand Tiger sharks, stingrays, marine turtles and other sea creatures swimming around unhindered in the vast oceanarium, a spectacular live show of divers feeding these creatures at meal times and a rare opportunity to come into contact with live starfish and bamboo shark at the Touchpool area.
Central Market KL – Located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, a few minutes away from Petaling Street, Central Market is a famous landmark for Malaysian culture and heritage. The building was built in 1888 and originally functioned as a wet market. It has since been classified as a Heritage Site.
Tourists flock to Central Market for its variety of handicrafts, art, kebaya, songket, batik and authentic Malaysian souvenirs. A Batik Emporium houses well-known designer labels, with the best Malaysian-made batik items ranging from clothes, shoes, bags to home furnishing. The Central Market Outdoor Stage is where visitors can catch colourful arts and cultural events. During the country’s main festivals, the area will be lit up in theme, reflecting the multiracial diversity of Malaysians.
For a more contemporary take on the local arts scene, The Annexe Gallery, located at the back of Central Market, is a popular venue for events such as film screenings, art exhibitions and public discourses.
Cocoa Boutique Kuala Lumpur – Cocoa Boutique is the place where you can savour a wide selection of the finest locally produced chocolates. Created by chefs, the chocolates are always fresh and made from the highest quality ingredients, offering chocolate connoisseurs an exciting experience.
The range of fine chocolates are created and made to original Belgian recipes, using 100% pure cocoa butter in accordance with authentic Belgium formulation. Most of the cocoa ingredients are from Belgium but products from Ghana and Malaysia are also used. Durian Chocolate is most sought after for its unique taste and was awarded The Winner of the Most Innovative Chocolate Product 2004 by the Malaysian Cocoa Board. The Vezzo and Harriston brands are exported to China, Taiwan, India, Hong Kong, Australia and the Southeast Asian region.
New and innovative products are constantly being created at the factory. Good Manufacturing Process (GMP) and stringent quality control comply with international standards of hygiene.
Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia Kuala Lumpur – Interest in the Islamic arts has grown tremendously in recent years. Reflecting this awareness, in December 1998 Malaysia became home to Southeast Asia’s largest museum of Islamic art. The building occupies 30,000 sq.m., situated amid the leafy surroundings of Kuala Lumpur’s Perdana Botanical Gardens.
The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia houses more than seven thousand artefacts, as well as an exceptional library of Islamic art books. The art objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The aim is to create a collection that is truly representative of the Islamic world.
Instead of concentrating on works from the heartlands of Persia and the Middle East, IAMM also puts the emphasis on Asia. China and Southeast Asia are especially well represented. The third component of the Malaysian melting pot is India, which is also given special status. India, China and the Malay world are in an exclusive category. Other parts of the collection are displayed according to type of artefact rather than geographical origins in the museum’s 12 galleries.
KL Bird Park – The KL Bird Park is located in the serene and scenic Perdana Botanical Gardens, 10 minutes away from the Kuala Lumpur city centre. Home to more than 3,000 birds of 200 local and foreign bird species, the main feature that distinguishes KL Bird Park from other bird parks is the concept of free-flight.
Stroll through the park, and take the opportunity to see Mandarin ducks, hawk eagles, hornbills, ostriches and other birds. Visit the Egg Incubation Room and Nursery and see how chicken eggs are artificially incubated using incubators.
Don’t forget to take photographs with the different species of birds, and catch the feeding programme and daily bird shows taking place at the semi-open air amphitheater at 12.30pm and 3.30pm daily.
KL Tower Kuala Lumpur – Standing majestically atop Bukit Nanas at 421 meters and 94 meters above sea level, KL Tower is a prominent feature of the city’s skyline and perhaps one of the most enduring images a visitor to KL will remember.
Its architecture reflects the country’s Islamic heritage, with the construction detailing Arabic scripts, Islamic tiles, classic Islamic floral and abstract motifs and soothing colour combinations. Besides the panoramic view, KL Tower has something for city dwellers who love nature. The verdant green surrounding Menara KL is the Bukit Nanas Forest – the only oldest gazetted forest reserve in the country.
It covers an area of 10.05 hectares and is considered the green lung of Kuala Lumpur. It is sanctuary to a wonderful array of flora and fauna, unique to the country’s tropical climate.
Petronas Twin Towers Kuala Lumpur Malaysia – The 88-storey Petronas Twin Towers, otherwise known as KLCC, is the world’s tallest twin structures. Inspired by the geometric shape found in Islamic architecture, this gleaming mega-structure was designed by Argentinian-American architect Cesar Pelli. Stretching out to one side of this architectural masterpiece is the spacious and beautifully landscaped KLCC Park.
Other attractions at KLCC are Suria Shopping Complex, Petronas Philharmonic Hall, Petrosains Science Centre, Petronas Art Gallery and Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, where the Aquaria Oceanarium is situated.
Masjid Jamek Mosque KL – Built in 1909, Jamek Mosque – better known as Masjid Jamek among the locals – is the oldest mosque in the city. The mosque sits at the meeting point of the Klang and Gombak rivers, which is also the birthplace of Kuala Lumpur. Its architecture is inspired by Mogul influences of northern India. In 1965, it was officially declared as the National Mosque.
Today, there is a new National Mosque not far away, but Jamek Mosque remains important due to its strategic location in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.
Petaling Street KL – Petaling Street, the centre of Kuala Lumpur’s original Chinatown, maintains much of its traditional atmosphere, particularly at night when vendors fan out their merchandise along the street. While you can shop for anything from gems and incense to toys and t-shirts, the true allure of this night market is in wandering about and enjoying its sights, sounds and energy. Food is plentiful with many scrumptious varieties to choose from; some of the restaurants here have been in business for generations. Locals flock to Petaling Street primarily for bargain accessories and great Chinese food. So, go on, be brave – head down to Petaling Street with an empty stomach and an adventurous spirit. Even if you don’t spend a penny, (which will be hard!), you are guaranteed to have an amazing experience here.
At the end of Petaling Street, you can further explore the Chan See Shu Yuen Temple which dates back to 1906. The interior of this building features open courtyard pavilions, intricate carvings and paintings. On the exterior, the temple depicts elaborate glazed ceramic sculptures which grace the facade and roof ridges.
For more adventurous tourists, further down from Petaling Street is the South Indian Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. This temple is situated at Jalan Tun H.S. Lee which is within walking distance from Chinatown. Built in 1873, the temple is said to be the most ornate and elaborate Hindu temple in the country. The design and decorative features include intricate carvings of Hindu deities, gold embellishments, precious stones and hand-painted motifs. Exquisite Italian and Spanish tiles provide further ornamentation. A silver chariot housed within the premises features prominently in religious processions, transporting the statue of the deity through the city streets.
Outside the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple are stalls selling garlands and strings of sweet smelling jasmine. Additionally, the strong aroma of Chinese traditional herbs and that of freshly brewed coffee waft through the air from across the street.
Little India Brickfields Kuala Lumpur – Brickfields is many things to many people: a concentrated wedge of Indian culture; a bewildering smorgasbord of different worship houses; a haven of blind massage centres; the crossroads for commuters coming in from all parts of the country; a perfect study in contrasts. However you define it, one thing is in agreement: Brickfields is a vibrant community with a soul of its own.
Brickfields began as the centre of brick-making in the late 19th century, after a huge fire and flood swept through Kuala Lumpur in 1881. The double disasters took turns destroying the town’s wooden and thatched structures. Sir Frank Swettenham, British resident at that time, responded by ordering the use of brick and tile in the construction of buildings, thus summoning the town’s purpose into being.
The area soon developed as the nation’s main locomotive depot for the Malayan Railway during the colonial administration. The sights, sounds and colours of South Asia came to Brickfields along with the human capital brought in to work the railway and depot, which have since been transformed into KL Sentral, the nation’s transportation hub.
These days, old government quarters (The Hundred Quarters, built in 1905) can still be found around Jalan Rozario. As you walk along the roads and alleys, the smell of curries drift to entice passers-by, while popular Indian songs blast from family-run businesses that also seem to run round the clock.
In 2009, Little India was moved from the area surrounding Jalan Masjid India to Brickfields, in recognition of the township’s status as one of the pioneer Indian settlements in Kuala Lumpur, and its potential to further develop as a centre for Indian culture.
Visit the Vivekananda Ashram (1904), which is still used for spiritual education classes, prayer meetings and yoga. The Temple of Fine Arts (TFA) can be found closer to the river along Jalan Berhala. Famous Southern Indian restaurant, Annalakshmi, is housed in the TFA building.
Other notable attractions are the Sri Lankan Hindu Temple, Sri Kandaswamy Temple on Jalan Scott and the Buddhist Temple Maha Vihara. The Zion Lutheran Church (1924), St Mary’s Syrian Orthodox Church and Holy Rosary Church (1903), as well as the Madrasathul Gouthiyyah Surau, a mosque built in the 1980s catering mostly to Indian Muslims can also be found in the area.
These attractions can be visited through the Brickfields Guided Walking Tour, held every first and third Saturday, starting at 9.30am from the YMCA. Run by the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, Brickfields’ fascinating history is explained in detail through the walk.