Getting there Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it's known to the locals, is Malaysia's cultural, business and transport centre. Kuala Lumpur International Airport is 45 miles south of the city centre at Sepang. The national carrier, Malaysia Airlines, flies between the capital and major cities around the world. Most regional carriers also fly into KL. A train from the airport to the city's Sentral station is quicker and cheaper than a taxi.
Business climate Office hours at Asia's high-rise business heavyweight are usually Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. English is the main business language, with most businesspeople (at all levels and in companies of all sizes) at least competent in English. Any attempts to use a few Bahasa Malaysian conversational words are greatly appreciated.
Don't miss Chinatown, Little India and Kampung Baru provide a lively alternative to the shiny Petronas Towers (also a must-visit). The Friday Mosque (Masjid Jamek) is a popular sight, as are the peaceful Lake Gardens. Head to the chic SkyBar at Traders Hotel for wonderful views.
Culture Malay, Chinese and Indian comprise the main races of KL's 1.3 million population. This ethnic diversity gives the city a truly multicultural feel, which is best seen in the architecture, festivals and cuisine. Be sure to visit the Islamic Arts Museum.
Shopping The favourable exchange rate with the Malaysian ringgit means shopping here is a pleasure and the choice is immense. Of the malls, try Suria KLCC (at the base of the Petronas Towers). IT geeks should head for Imbi Plaza and Low Yat Plaza. The Central Market is a great place for souvenir-hunters.
Where to stay For extravagance, KL has got it licked, but stand-outs include the Hilton Kuala Lumpur, the Shangri-La Hotel and the Ritz-Carlton for opulence, fine dining, pools, amenity-rich rooms, and location. For boutique options, try Carcosa Seri Negara. Budget travellers with a penchant for history and trains will love the Heritage Station Hotel by the railway station.
Eat like a local Don't leave the hawker centres to the backpackers, you'll find great authentic cuisine at the likes of Jl Alor (Chinese), Chow Kit Market (Malay), and Little India. The Seri Melayu chain is renowned for its extensive dinner buffet. Items include satay, rendang tek and a dance show. Try Hakka Republic if you desire western fare—it's got a good drinks list and a roof garden, too.