Kuala Lumpur, meaning a muddy confluence, had its origins as a shanty-mining outpost for the tin trade in the 1800s at the meeting point of the Gombak and Klang Rivers.
Today, KL as its is popularly known, is a bustling metropolis, the federal capital of Malaysia and the principal centre of commerce, politics, entertainment and international activities. The site of the original settlement draws a steady stream of tourists, largely to the adjacent Sultan Abdul Samad Building and the Merdeka Square where the British flag was lowered for the last time on August 31, 1957 and replaced by the flag of independent Malaysia.
The city's skyline is rapidly changing and currently boasts one of the world's tallest building, the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers - standing at 452 metres, as well as the Menara Kuala Lumpur, among the world's tallest.
Modern transportation that includes the Light Rail Transit system and a Rapid Transit monorail system, currently under construction, mean getting around is a easy.
However, despite its transformation into an ultra-modern city, KL still retains its old world charm - depicted in the majestic buildings of the colonial era, quaint pre-war shop houses and the way business is conducted.
More conspicuous is its 'Garden City' ambiance; apparent the moment one enters the city. At night, the streets re adorned with trees and decorative shrubs, as well as the buildings are colourfully lit to give the city a unique dazzle.
The Lake gardens, home to the Hibiscus and Orchid gardens as well as the Bird, Deer and Butterfly Parks, is just one of KL's many delights. For a sojourn in antiquity, the National Museum is a must but there are other museums with specific themes as well.
The city is also an excellent hunting ground for shopping buffs. Well-known establishments located along Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman and Jalan Ampang as well as The Mall, Central Market and Chinatown tantalise visitors with their sheer variety of products and the lure of attractive prices.
These areas also throb with nightlife and evening entertainment. Visit the National Theatre or the Dewan Philharmonik Petronas for an evening of local and western music or cultural performances. Night golfing is also available around the city.
A tempting variety of delectable local and foreign cuisine can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Explore the numerous food courts, fine restaurants and other eateries to discover the gastronomic delights of the city.