Kuala Lumpur – Where Futuristic and Traditional Meet

A few months ago I had the opportunity to visit Kuala Lumpur (KL), the capital of Malaysia for the first time. I didn't know much about KL beforehand, but I remembered that just before the .com crash all software startups envisioned having an office in KL. It seemed like a cool place.

Futuristic KL city centre. Like a scene from Blade Runner.

Futuristic KL city centre. Like a scene from Blade Runner.

And now, having been there, I can say that it really is a cool place, and I could easily imagine living there for a couple of months or even for a year. 

The city is a curious mix of new and old. In the city centre everything seems super modern, even futuristic. You get that feeling especially when you're sightseeing onboard the Monorail Train, high above the ground looking at the skyline. But when you start walking around you can suddenly find yourself in old traditional places like the Central Market or China Town.

KL is a pluralistic place and different religions and languages seem to co-exist nicely. Everybody speaks English and most signs are also spelled in English. Makes it very easy and convenient for tourists to explore the city. 

I was amazed how clean and well organised the city was. Everything ran like clockwork. Perhaps the large amount of police officers and security guards all around the city has something to do with it. I wouldn't mess around with local law enforcement in KL. Also, keep in mind that smoking and littering are considered serious offences in many places around the town.

If you only have a day or two to spend in KL, my best tip is to go to the SkyBar at Traders Hotel. In the evening you'll witness an incredible view of the city dominated by the Petronas Twin Towers. Oh, and the drinks are excellent too.