Why Kuala Lumpur?

Because both my parents worked for the Government and were posted away from the capital for most of their career, I had actually never lived in Kuala Lumpur until I completed my Master’s degree and landed my first job with the national oil company, PETRONAS.

Growing up, a trip to the city was a chance to experience rapid development first hand; from efficient public transportation to high rise development and of course, one of the tallest twin towers in the world, the PETRONAS Twin Towers that shapes the skyline of bustling Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur is also a unique amalgamation of old and new, religious and secular, traditions and progress. Just 20 mins away from the city center lies Batu Caves, one of the most popular religious site for Hindus outside of India. Visitors will be greeted by a towering golden statue of Lord Murugan and climb 272 steps to reach the Temple Cave.

Kampung Baru, a traditional Malay enclave surrounding Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is a beacon of traditions that stood as a testament to the resilience of the Malay culture. Kampung Baru was the hub for Malay politics during the pro-independence movement post World War II and it also played a central role in various reformation movements in modern era. However, in my mind, the best gems are undoubtedly the amazing traditional Malay eateries that line the streets of Kampung Baru.

For those who are more comfortable in the modern settings, Kuala Lumpur or “Kay-El”, is spoiled for choices. On a clear night, why not treat yourself to the many rooftop restaurants and bars and enjoy a great view of the city with your favorite cocktails or two? Some of my favorites are:

·         Troika Skydining

·         The Apartment (KLCC)

·         Heli Lounge Bar

·         Hyatt Poolside

·         Nobu@56 Tower 3 (KLCC)

If the heat gets to you, why not try favorite local desserts such as Cendol, Ais Kacang, or Lai Chi Kang? And if you’re feeling more adventurous, go join the locals at “mamak”, a street style Indian Muslim restaurant and order “Roti Canai” and “Teh Tarik”. Check out Pelita Nasi Kandar and NZ Garden, both within 2 minutes walking distance from KLCC.

There is definitely a lot that you can do to experience Kuala Lumpur and my short writing will definitely not do the city justice, so get ready to pack your bags and experience Kay-El yourself!