Kuala Lumpur is an Asian tiger that roars: in 130 years, it has grown from nothing to a modern, bustling city of almost two million people. Take in its high-flying triumphs from the viewing deck of the world's tallest building and explore its cultural depths in the back lanes of Chinatown.
It's a modern Asian city of gleaming skyscrapers, but it retains much of the local colour that has been wiped out in other Asian-boom cities such as Singapore. It has plenty of colonial buildings in its centre, a vibrant Chinatown with street vendors and night markets, and a bustling Little India.
KL (as it's almost universally known) is a federal territory, directly under the control of the Malaysian federal government. The city's urban sprawl extends well beyond the boundaries of the territory into surrounding Selangor state, particularly along the Klang Valley - the powerhouse of the Malaysian economy, where much of the city's workforce and industry resides.
Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track