Your essential guides to Kuala Lumpur

Guide
Find your bearings

 

Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur has an enviable location – tucked between the lush green KLCC Park and the striking, 452m-Petronas Twin Towers – the tallest pair of towers in the world. Step out of the hotel and you’re immediately part of the buzzing metropolis.

 

Feed your mind
 
Art and culture lovers are very much in luck: Kuala Lumpur is packed with excellent art galleries and heritage sites. One of the best is the Islamic Arts Museum, a stunning collection of more than 7,000 artefacts, from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. At the upscale Suria KLCC mall, adjacent to the hotel, Galeri Petronas displays rotating exhibitions of modern art and design pieces that reflect contemporary Malaysian life. Also within the mall is Dewan Filharmonik Petronas, a stately setting for the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, plus visiting international musicians. Tickets sell fast during high season, so it’s best to secure your seats in advance.
Shop like a local
 
Kuala Lumpur is a shopper’s paradise, especially during the mid-year and year-end nationwide sale periods. One of the best districts to pick up a designer bag is Bukit Bintang – home to some of the city’s best malls, including Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and Lot 10. Meanwhile, the upscale neighbourhood of Bangsar is a haven for local streetwear and homeware. Visit Nala for brightly printed cushions, and 17A Select Store for quirky custom terrariums.


See some sights

For a slice of history, a visit to the Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a must. The field opposite the building was where the British Union Jack flag was lowered in August 1957 and Malaysia was declared independent from colonial rule. Brickfields, the city’s Little India, is worth a detour for its colourful array of saree shops and the blaring Tamil music that spills out onto the streets. While you’re there, pick up a bag of aromatic spices and order a crispy chutney-laden dosa. 

 

Toast your arrival
 
Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur is home to kyō, the heart of the global underground soundscape.

Make time to unwind

Dine in style 
 
Classic Cantonese cuisine can be found at Lai Po Heen, specializing in Cantonese delicacies and dim sum specialities, and also know for their signature ‘Musang King’ durian pancakes for ‘discerning’ (or brave!) foodies."

If you have time, venture to the suburbs of Shah Alam. Dewakan, lauded as one of the best restaurants in the country, is an exciting fine dining space where native Malaysian ingredients are prepared using modern techniques. Try the tapai (fermented rice) with pickled rose.

And finally...
Kuala Lumpur’s best nightlife

For a taste of Kuala Lumpur’s independent music scene, visit No Black Tie to discover local jazz talent over a glass of wine.