Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
The unique design of the flag of Malaysia has significant meaning. The 14 stripes and 14-pointed yellow star represent the 13 member states of the Malaysian federation and the Federal District of Kuala Lumpur, each having equal status. The crescent and star represent the primary religion of Islam and yellow represents royalty. The blue square stands for unity of the Malaysian people as well as Malaysia’s heritage as a former member of the British Commonwealth (originally adopted from the British Union Jack).
A Day in Kuala Lumpur —
After a lovely day in Penang, our second Malaysian cruise destination was Kuala Lumpur. With some leftover Ringgits in our pockets, we took a taxi from the ship’s dock at Port Kelang and journeyed some 50 km (30 miles) into Kuala Lumpur, which took about 45 minutes. Our first stop was the famed Batu Caves, the largest Hindu shrine outside of India. Our interest wasn’t so much in the Hindu shrine (although the huge golden Murugan statue is quite impressive), rather our interests were in the famous 272 step climb to the limestone caves and dodging the many cheeky monkeys who would gladly pinch your sunglasses or water bottle. Honestly, upon arrival we dreaded the thigh burning climb in the hot muggy weather but we found it to be a surprisingly easy climb because we stopped several times along the way to take pictures of the monkeys and views looking back toward downtown KL.
While driving to the Batu Caves we negotiated a price with our taxi driver to give us a day-long tour of the city, including the presidential palace, KL Tower, and whatever else we wanted to see with transport back to Port Kelang. He was native Malaysian with very good English and quite knowledgeable of many facts about the city and Malaysia in general.
We stopped for photos at the immaculate presidential palace, which was only completed in 2011. Next we went to the KL Tower, an observation tower that stands 421 m (1381 feet) tall. Views from the KL Tower were amazing! It is the 7th tallest free standing tower in the world. Views of the Petronas Twin Towers were quite good as well. We did not have advance tickets for the Petronas Towers so we had to give it a miss. Instead our driver took us to a local marketplace where we had a bite to eat and did a bit of tourist shopping.
Kuala Lumpur is a great city and we would definitely go back. We would have loved to see the bright lights of the city at night.
Facts & Figures
— Kuala Lumpur, or KL for short, was established in 1857 as a result of the ‘tin rush’ upon discovery of large deposits of the silver-white metal
— The name Kuala Lumpur means ‘muddy confluence’ in Malay, depicting the confluence of the Gombak and Klang rivers
— KL is the capital of Malaysia and the country’s largest city with a metropolitan population of around 7 million people
— The official language of Kuala Lumpur is Malay, however English is widely spoken; we never had a problem communicating with locals
— Malaysia is a constitutional monarchy with an elected king from a pool of sultans who represent the nine Malaysian states with hereditary kingdoms (Malaysia has 13 total states); the king of Malaysia reigns for 5 years and resides in the Malaysian National Palace in KL
— English is widely spoken in KL; we had no problems communicating at all
— Taxis are safe and easy to use, fares are reasonable can be metered or negotiated, and drivers generally speak English
— The unit of currency for Malaysia is the ringgit (RM)
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