Kuala Lumpur - Sightseeing
Shopping is elevated to a high art in Kuala Lumpur. It's really almost a national pastime and with new malls constructed at a dizzying rate, there really is no sign of this addiction coming to an end any time soon!
Try the following destinations, but know that the best form of KL shopping is merely wandering the city's streets at random and happening upon a great locals' market or arcade filled with a myriad of different boutiques.
With more malls than any other city on Earth, Kuala Lumpur is an air-conditioned, climate-controlled shopping paradise: ideal for escaping the muggy Malaysian climate.
For glitzy buys, the city's Golden Triangle district is the place to head. Especially the Bukit Bintang's roll-call of top international fashions, jewellers, sports brands and accessories.
For more affordable fashions, try Pavilion Kuala Lumpur and for the very latest electronics, head to Low Yat Plaza.
Just north of the city centre, the Bangsar Shopping Center offers a high concentration of famous-name brands, discounted outlet stores, entertainment complexes and occasional street markets.
For more authenticity, Chinatown is the place to head - with its chaotic stalls, street food and craft markets; this is shopping with real Asian flavours thrown in. Meanwhile, at Little India you can grab a handmade suit for under around £100, or simply shop for gorgeous Indian, Chinese and Malay batik fabrics.
But, for sheer drama and scale, don't miss the Berjaya Times Square - the world's 12th biggest shopping mall and a 12 level behemoth with a great selection of international and Asian brands, a 3D cinema and plenty of eating options.
Petronas Towers and the City
The ultimate symbol for the thrusting, ultra modern KL, these audacious twin towers, adjoined by a two-storey walkway in the sky (on the 41st and 42nd floors) were the world's tallest building until 2004. They're still mightily impressive and well worth a visit for the views from the observation deck alone.
Below the towers, Suria KLCC is a luxury mall with all the trappings: premium brands, art gallery, philharmonic hall, thrilling Science Centre and huge aquarium.
Outside, the KLCC Park is a lush plantation of shrubs, orchids and lawns, criss-crossed with paths leading to fountains, pools and outdoor performance venues. A great spot for an afternoon's picnic in the shadow of the towers!
Somewhat overshadowed by its taller competitor, the Menara KL Tower is however, a better bet, should you seek a stunning panorama of the city.
The tower - a slender column topped by a ball-shaped observation deck, containing a swish revolving restaurant, is situated at the top of Pineapple Hill (Bukit Nanas), a lush forest reserve.
The best place to escape the rat-race of the Golden Triangle is to act like a local and head to the beautiful Lake Gardens. Here, not far from the thrum of downtown, lies a 172 acre oasis, laid out during the British colonial rule at the end of the 19th century. Elegantly proportioned, the gardens are surrounded by fine villas and are home to a boating lake and wonderful hibiscus garden.