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Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur (KL as the locals call it) is the capital of Malaysia. From its centralized position, which spans 243.6 sq. km, the ultra-modern nerve center of Malaysia expands outwards to embrace the world. Discovering KL is like traveling through a time tunnel. Here, vivid traces of history continue to influence and inspire a country set on becoming a fully industrialized nation by the year 2020. Ultra-modern skyscrapers stand magnificently next to rows and rows of quaint old shop houses while haute cuisine are located beside simple hawker stalls.

In the beginning there was nothing but a lot of mud. Hence begins an accurate but unappealing chronicle of KL's origins. Returning to its roots may seem a waste of effort as this capital, lying in the heart of the Peninsula has never really left its past. Kuala Lumpur (Muddy Estuary), started off as a little village at the confluence of Klang and Gombak rivers and was chronicled to have been established by a group of enterprising miners led by one "Yap Ah Loy" or better known these days as Kapitan China. As time flew, Kuala Lumpur grew. Today, the city is one of Asia's most vibrant and aspiring cites. It is the focal point for business ventures and is enjoying an enormous amount of wealth from foreign investment. The city is well connected with excellent roads, rails, and air networks such as the newly completed and functional Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) in Sepang. The capital has also recently hosted the 16th Commonwealth Games 1998 with much success and grandeur! On narrow city streets and six-lane super highways, expensive European cars and more modest Japanese models rub hubcaps daily with the ever growing rash of Protons and Peroduas (results of Malaysia's very own automobile industry). Meanwhile, steel and glass skyscrapers of every conceivable design sprout almost indiscriminately amongst the older, more sedate buildings of the colonial past.

Getting Around

Kuala Lumpur has an efficient transportation network that gives the independent visitor the freedom to move around without much hindrance. Buses and taxi services are available at just about every nook and corner of the city. Furthermore, you may want to opt for the Light Rail Transit (LRT) if you wish to avoid traffic jams during peak hours. The KTM Commuter train also connects the city to nearby towns. Traffic congestion has improved tremendously with the operation of the LRT and various new highways such as the New Klang Valley Expressway (NKVE).

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