For an Asian city that is only 155 years old, Kuala Lumpur is a wonder. The capital city of Malaysia, KL (as it is called) is situated midway along the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, at the confluence of the Klang and Gombek rivers (in Malay, Kuala Lumpur means Muddy Estuary). It is approximately 35 km from the coast and sits at the centre of the Peninsula’s extensive and modern transportation network.
The sixth most visited city in the world, with nearly 9 million tourist arrivals in 2008, KL is easily the largest city in the nation, possessing a population of over one and a half million people drawn from all of Malaysia’s many ethnic groups. It is the hub of commercial, economic, financial and even the entertainment life of the nation.
Says one expert Web site about the place: “While the city’s past is still present in the evocative British colonial buildings of the Dataran Merdeka and the midnight lamps of the Petaling Street nightmarket, that past is everywhere met with insistent reminders of KL’s present and future. The city’s bustling streets, its shining, modern office towers, and its cosmopolitan air project an unbounded spirit of progress and symbolize Malaysia’s unhesitating leap into the future. To some, this spirit seems to have been gained at the loss of ancient cultural traditions, but in many ways KL marks the continuation rather than the loss of Malaysia’s rich past. Like Malacca five hundred years before, KL’s commercial centre is a grand meeting place for merchants and travelers from all over the world.
“In the same way, the city brings together Malaysia’s past and present, its many constituent cultures, and even its remarkable natural treasures, allowing first-time visitors an invaluable opportunity to see Malaysia as a whole before setting off to explore its parts. In the botanical and bird parks of the Lake Gardens one is treated to a first glimpse of the unsurpassed beauty and variety of Malaysia’s plants and animals. In the vibrant Central Market, music, crafts, and cultural practices from Kelantan to Sarawak can be explored and experienced. And in the National Museum, the dizzying multiplicity of Malaysia’s cultural history comes into focus. As the entry point for most visitors and the meeting point of the country’s many attractions, Kuala Lumpur is a grand gateway to a fascinating destination.”
Kuala Lumpur is a sprawling city and its residential suburbs seem to go on forever. The city also merges with the adjacent cities of Petaling Jaya (originally developed as a satellite town), Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Klang and Port Klang, creating a huge conurbation called the Klang Valley. The city can be divided into the following areas, each of which offers a particular attraction or activity.
- City Centre – This is the traditional core of Kuala Lumpur where you’ll find the former colonial administrative centre, with the Merdeka Square, Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Selangor Club. This district also includes Kuala Lumpur’s old Chinese commercial centre which everyone refers to now as Chinatown.
- Golden Triangle – The area of Kuala Lumpur located to the north-east of the city centre, the Golden Triangle is where you will find the city’s shopping malls, five-star hotels, Petronas Twin Towers.
- Tuanku Abdul Rahman / Chow Kit – It’s fast regaining its old fame after a decade of slow growth. Located just 500 m north of Chinatown & adjacent to the Petronas Twin Towers, this is the traditional colourful shopping district of Kuala Lumpur north of the city centre that moves into high gear when the festivals of Hari Raya Puasa (Eid ul-Fitr) and Deepavali approach. Located just beside the Golden Triangle (northern neighbour) with many popular budget accommodations. The gigantic Putra World Trade Centre & the traditional Kampung Baru food haven are among the most important landmarks.
- Brickfields – This area, located south of the city centre, is Kuala Lumpur’s Little India filled with saree shops and banana leaf rice restaurants. Kuala Lumpur’s main railway station, KL Sentral, is located here.
- Bangsar and Midvalley – Located south of the city, Bangsar is a popular restaurant and clubbing district while Midvalley, with its Megamall, is one of the city’s most popular shopping destinations.
- Damansara and Hartamas – Largely suburban, these two districts to the west of the city house some interesting pockets of restaurants and drinking areas. This district also merges into the northern part of Petaling Jaya.
- Ampang – Located east of the city, Ampang is home to Kuala Lumpur’s Little Korea and most foreign embassies.
- Northern suburbs – This huge area to the north of the city is home to several attractions, such as the Batu Caves, the National Zoo and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia.
- Southern suburbs – This district may not interest travellers much, although Kuala Lumpur’s main stadium at Bukit Jalil and The Mines theme park are located here.
Only a half hour’s drive from the airport of this fascinating city is another city– The Mines Resort City, containing what the developers proudly call The Seven Wonders of Malaysia, incorporating a resort, business, conference, residential and entertainment facilities in a single complex.
For more than half a century, Hong Fatt Mine was the world’s largest open cast mine ever known to man. Today, the miners have gone and the machines have ceased operations. The area has now been transformed into a 150-acre lake. Surrounding the lake is a resort city that sprawls over 1,000 acres. The charm of this resort lies in the creation of a water canal that links all the components of the resort city by water taxis. You can catch a water taxi at the hotel and ride it to the shopping area, for instance, being thoroughly charmed the while. The canal also allows seaplane passenger transportation from any part of Malaysia to The Mines Resort City. Across the canal are Canal Broadwalk Restaurants, 38,000 square feet of Duty-Free shopping area, and an International Festive Market which carries souvenirs and handicrafts from all over the world.
Within this amazing complex is the Palace of the Golden Horses, a dual-affiliated RCI Gold Crown and Interval International Premier Resort offering 481 rooms & suites, 5 restaurants and an elegant lounge that offer everything from Cantonese cuisine, authentic Italian pasta, to the most sumptuous buffet spread. The distinctive Moorish-Malaysian architecture and equestrian theme of this property are complemented by lavish ornamentation inspired by Malaysian folklore. Indeed, it looks somewhat like a cross between the Arabian Nights and Las Vegas glitz, and it will not disappoint no matter where you choose to look.
Just walking into the massive lobby will make your breath catch in your throat. Palace of the Golden Horses has even been host to the world’s movers and shakers, including Kofi Annan, Queen Elizabeth II, the Sultan of Brunei, Madeleine Albright, Tiger Woods and many more.
Magnificent in achitecture and majestic in stature, it is a harmonious blend of beauty, grace and luxury. Palace of the Golden Horses takes pride in offering accommodation and conference facilities and services unmatched by any other hotel in the city. Tagged as Asia’s most extraordinary hotel, it is indeed palatial in scope, and with the construction architect being the famous Wimberly Allison Tong & Goo (WATG), of Hawaii, it is little wonder.
Perhaps you have never given Malaysia and Kuala Lumpur much thought as a destination. True, it’s pretty much hot and humid all year long and can fell even the hardiest of tropics travelers if they aren’t careful (the driest months tend to be June and July).
Still, if you have the least bit of adventure in your heart you should give KL a try. At the Palace of the Golden Horses you will not be allowed to experience the slightest discomfort.
Some Web sites you may want to visit for more information:
- http://www.palaceofthegoldenhorses.com.my/ — The resort’s website
- http://www.palacevacationclub.com –Palace Vacation Club website
- http://mwbp.mines.com.my/v1/ –The Mines Resort City
- http://www.impressions.com.my/kl/kl.htm –Places and things in Kuala Lumpur
- http://urinal.net/golden_horses/ –The final test of a good hotel: a photo of the urinals in a public restroom at Golden Horses
- http://www.interknowledge.com/malaysia/main.html –About Malaysia
- http://www.tourism.gov.my/ –Official Malaysian tourism site
“On the Road” is a compilation of destination ideas, resort reviews, videos and more gathered from a variety of sources that includes our readers.
The purpose of “On the Road” is to showcase some of the magnificent places in the world to visit, to give you an idea for someplace to go that you might previously not have thought of or known about. In most cases, but not all, we have provided a brief overview of a timeshare resort in the spotlighted area. Most of those resorts are either RCI Gold Crown or I.I. Premium quality. However, these resorts are not usually the only timeshare resorts in the area; be sure to check in your exchange catalog for a complete listing of available resorts. Check it out— enjoy yourself, go somewhere new this year!
Readers are encouraged to contribute their own stories and photos. Email email@example.com and put “On the Road” in the Subject line so we’ll know what it’s about.