Malaysia’s capital mixes old and new and East and West
When visiting Kuala Lumpur, tourists will want to see famous destinations such as the Petronas Twin Towers, the Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower, the Batu Caves and China Town. Along with modern architecture, the city center boasts many historic European-style buildings. Malaysians are very proud of their history and take pride in preserving their heritage buildings. This has resulted in a unique tourism destination.
In the center of the city, facing Merdeka Square lies a three-tiered, curved building that houses the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery. Some 900,000 visitors come here each year to view historic artifacts, drawings and photos detailing the city’s past. Short documentaries teach visitors about the founding of Kuala Lumpur. Nearby, also facing Independence Square stands the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, designed by British architect A.C. Norman and finished in 1897. This architect combined Muslim and European elements to create a harmonious and eye-catching design.
Also in the city center, the Railway Station attracts visitors with the unusual beauty of its pure white exterior. Designed by architect Arthur Benison Hubback, the station was finished in 1917 and is known as one of the top ten most beautiful railway stations in the world. The straight pillars, square walls, and evenly-spaced arched windows give the building a strong but pleasing appearance. Behind the main building rise slender circular towers that resemble ancient minarets. Combining Arabian, Indian and European elements, the train station is as impressive as a castle. A century after it opened the station is still operating. Visitors like to stroll along its long corridors and behold the outside scenery through doors shaped like flower buds. They also enjoy touching the flowery wrought iron gates and examining the old-fashioned signs and door knobs.
Visitors looking for a taste of Europe can drive to Berjaya Hill, which lies just one hour outside of the city center by car. Here, the Colmar Tropicale Resort features French-style villas modeled after those built during the 16th century in the French mountain region of Alsace. Visitors can explore a recreation of a French medieval village, eat in restaurants serving food from all over the world, and shop in eclectic galleries and souvenir shops.
Known for its cultural mix, Kuala Lumpur also mixes modern and ancient beauty. Visitors can explore a wide range of cuisines, and shop in modern malls and traditional markets. The city’s diverse people and historic architecture will leave a lasting impression on visitors.