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Kuala Lumpur travel guide — Kuala Lumpur tourism and travel information

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about Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the largest city in Malaysia and the capital of the federation. Within Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is almost always fondly abbreviated to KL. The executive branch has shifted to a new administrative capital called Putrajaya, but the legislative branch, parliament, and the judiciary branch remain seated in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuala Lumpur is one of the three Federal Territories, and is physically located within the state of Selangor, on the west coast roughly halfway up in West Malaysia.

In August 1998 Kuala Lumpur became the first Asian country to host the Commonwealth Games &#8211.

Kuala Lumpur history

Kuala Lumpur was founded in 1857 at the confluence of the Gombak and Kelang rivers. In Malay, the name means "muddy confluence". The settlement started when a member of the Selangor royal family, Raja Abdullah, opened up the Klang valley for tin prospectors. 87 Chinese prospectors went up the river Klang and began prospecting in the Ampang area, which was then jungle. Despite 69 of them dying due to the pestilential conditions, a thriving tin mine was established. This naturally attracted merchants who traded basic provisions to the miners in return for some of the tin. The traders set up shop at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers. Thus was a city born. As it grew, the British, who ruled Malaya at the time, felt the need to appoint a headman (called the Kapitan Cina, or Captain of the Chinese) to administer the settlement and ensure law and order. The first Kapitan Cina was Hiu Siew. It was the third Kapitan Cina, Yap Ah Loy, who oversaw the rise of Kuala Lumpur from a sleepy little mining town to become the foremost city of Selangor. In the early years, Kuala Lumpur was the centre of the Selangor Civil War, in which two conflicts could be discerned; a fight between Selangor princes over the revenue of tin mines, and the other one a vendetta between Kapitan Yap and Chong Chong, who wanted the Kapitanship. Kapitan Yap and his backer, Tengku Kudin, were successful and it was from then, thanks to Kapitan Yap's able leadership, that Kuala Lumpur became Selangor's biggest city. He rebuilt Kuala Lumpur, which was devastated by the Civil War and repopulated it with Chinese miners from elsewhere in Selangor. He also encouraged Malay farmers to settle near Kuala Lumpur in order to have a steady and accessible source of food

It was made capital of Selangor in 1880 due to Kapitan Yap's success. He gave Kuala Lumpur a system of frontier justice which effectively maintained law and order, and ensured that Kuala Lumpur became the centre of commerce in Selangor. After Kuala Lumpur burnt down in 1881, Kapitan Yap decided to rebuilt Kuala Lumpur in brick and tile to replace the dangerous attap houses. He set up Kuala Lumpur's first school and a shelter for the homeless. Yap's Kuala Lumpur was very much a rough frontier town as Yap himself was a member of the Hai San triad and gang warfare was common. Kapitan Yap licensed brothels, casinos and drinking saloons. Sir Frank Swettenham was at this time appointed Resident of Selangor and he was the person responsible for making Kuala Lumpur the seat of administration of Selangor. It was under his rule that after Kapitan Yap's death the city continued to prosper. When the Federated Malay States were incorporated with Swettenham in charge in 1896, Kuala Lumpur was made the capital.

During World War II Japanese forces captured Kuala Lumpur on January 11, 1942 and briefly occupied the city.

After independence in 1957, Kuala Lumpur was the capital of the Federation of Malaya and continued to be the capital of the renamed Federation of Malaysia in 1963. For the occasion of independence, A large stadium, Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), was built, where Malaysia's frist prime Minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, declared Malaya's independence in front of a massive crowd. The Union Jack was lowered from the flagpole at the Padang (now known as Dataran Merdeka; Independence Square) and the Malayan flag was raised. The Padang symbolized British sovereignty as it was a cricket ground for the colonial administrators and fronted the Selangor Club, Malaya's most exclusive Whites-Only club.

In 1974 Kuala Lumpur ceded from Selangor and the city became a Federal Territory (Wilayah Persekutuan).

Kuala Lumpur has advanced by leaps and bounds ever since the Asian Economic Boom of the early 1990s (when Malaysia was averaging 10% economic growth). Skyscrapers have shot up and Kuala Lumpur, formerly a languid colonial outpost, has become one of the most lively, advanced and vibrant cities in South East Asia. Unfortunately the infrastructure has barely been able to keep up with this rapid growth, although a new rapid transit system was built in the 1990s. Traffic jams are a scourge commuters endure daily, despite the numerous 6-lane highways constructed all over the city (including two elevated highways). Bus services are notoriously irregular and inadequate and water quality has suffered severely.

Most of central KL has grown without any central planning whatsoever, so the streets in the older parts of town are extremely narrow, winding and congested. The architecture in this section is a unique colonial type, a hybrid of European and Chinese forms.

The stretch of road facing Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) is perhaps the most famous road in Kuala Lumpur. The Federal Court (the highest court in the federation) building with its signature copper domes and 'Moorish' architecture stands here, as does one of the tallest flagpoles in the world, which stands in the Dataran Merdeka itself. The Dayabumi building is visible, being down the road. This area used to be the focal point of Malaysia's Hari Merdeka (Independence Day) parade, which was televised all over Malaysia. Last year however, the parade was moved to the Boulevard in Putrajaya, in keeping with Putrajaya's status as the new administrative capital of Malaysia. Interestingly, the white Police Headquarters located atop Bukit Aman (literally 'Peace Hill') faces the Dataran.

The rest of the city has mostly developed in the standard way, with the standard skyscraper format. Aware of this, architects have been urged to incorporate traditional design elements into their work. Notable examples of this fusion are the Dayabumi building, Kuala Lumpur's first skyscraper, the Tabung Haji Building and Menara Telekom, both designed by local architect Hijjas Kasturi, and, of course, the Petronas Twin Towers.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Kuala Lumpur".

This city is also known as: Kuala Lumpur.

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