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Kuala Lumpur, the gateway to Malaysia

Malaysia’s buzzing capital may be best known for its ultra-modern skyscrapers and super-sized shopping malls, but Kuala Lumpur is also blessed with a fantastic geographical location. You’ll discover contrasting landscapes and world-class destinations on its doorstep.

Bursting with energy - this forward-thinking city manages to balance contemporary design with ancient culture, as larger than life shopping malls and sky-skimming buildings sit beside traditional temples and nature sanctuaries. Often described as a melting pot of cultures, the colourful food-stall-lined streets highlight Kuala Lumpur’s love for gastronomy. While the glitzy sheen of the city’s nocturnal scene gives an insight into its hip persona. Just footsteps from the city centre, you’ll find Kampung Baru, an authentic Malay township that will charm you with its less polished appearance. If you enjoy this contrast, you’ll love Sekinchan, with its sprawling paddy fields, and the verdant peaks of the Cameron Highlands.

MY-KUL-LEAD-ISTOCK.

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Kuala Lumpur: ten unlikely shopping mall experiences

It’s not just international fashion labels that you’ll find in Kuala Lumpur’s colossal malls. From a vintage record store to a street food market, Faris Mustafa tracks down the most unexpected finds.

Guitars.

Where: Amcorp Mall

Standing for ‘music, art and collectibles’, Joe Rozario’s eponymous shop is a treasure trove of old Malaysian records, movie posters, pop culture relics and memorabilia. Find it in the basement of the slightly dated, yet delightfully kitsch, Amcorp Mall.

Lower Ground Floor, Amcorp Mall, 18 Jalan Persiaran Barat, Taman Jaya, Petaling Jaya

Find out more about Joe’s MAC

Title Bee.

Where: Publika Mall

It’s billed as a neighbourhood food and drink outlet, but since opening just under three years ago, The Bee has also become Kuala Lumpur’s premier live music venue, hosting the city’s most interesting up-and-coming acts on a regular basis.

Level G2, Publika, 1 Jalan Dutamas, Solaris Dutamas

Find out more about The Bee

Title.

Where: Starhill Gallery

Sitting among the major international luxury fashion brands on show at the elegant Starhill Gallery is the flagship store of Khoon Hooi – the cool, young Malaysian womenswear label that’s headed up by Lee Khoon Hooi.

Gallery 181, Jalan Bukit Bintang

Find out more about Khoon Hooi

Paintings.

Where: The Gardens Mall

Celebrated local art collector Lim Wei-Ling opened an innovative and accessible modern art gallery recently. The space is minimalist, but echoes the modern warehouse feel of her Brickfields flagship.

6th Floor, The Gardens Mall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City

Find out more about Wei-Ling Contemporary

Lamps.

Where: Sunway Pyramid

Also known as ‘the bean bag hall’, Beanieplex touts itself as the world’s most comfortable cinema. Two-seater beanbag sofas replace traditional seats – so it’s perfect for cosying up while watching a schmaltzy rom-com.

Bandar Sunway, No. 3 Jalan PJS11/15, 46150 Petaling Jaya, Selangor Darul Ehsan

Find out more about Beanieplex

Amusement park.

Where: Berjaya Times Square

In addition to an indoor theme park, this mall also has a bustling video arcade on its sixth floor that features rows of retro games. Look out for crowds watching the hallowed high-score contenders in action.

1, Jalan Imbi, Bukit Bintang

Find out more about Amusement Square

Images.

Where: Sunway Pyramid

Malaysia’s leading streetwear store stocks over 50 international urban fashion brands that are mostly unavailable elsewhere in the country, including Gourmet Shoes and Dime Piece.

Lot F1.85, 1st Floor Blue Atrium, Sunway Pyramid, No 3 Jalan PJS 11/15, 46150, Petaling Jaya, Selangor

Find out more about Major Drop

Spa.

Where: Bangsar Village

Bangsar Village’s hammam is a novel solution to those who don’t find retail therapy all that therapeutic. Decorated in a charming Moorish pastiche, treatments range from the standard hammam scrub to aromatic massages and body wraps.

Bangsar Village 2, Jalan Telawi 1, Bangsar Baru

Find out more about Hammam Spa

Food court.

Where: Lot 10

In contrast to the traditionally bland mall food court aesthetic, Bukit Bintang’s Lot 10 has designed its basement with a vibrant street-food theme – so you feel as though you’re wondering through hawker-filled alleyways. Stalls have a variety of Malaysian, Chinese, Thai and other Asian cuisines available at very reasonable prices.

50, Jalan Bukit Bintang, Bukit Bintang

Text.

Where: The Gardens Mall

This sneaker freak haven has carved itself a niche as a limited-edition specialist store. Expect to find the latest collaborations and one-off lines from Nike, Adidas, New Balance and other big names on the scene.

Second Floor, The Gardens Mall, Lingkaran Syed Putra, Mid Valley City

Find out more about Sole What

Business Life in Kuala Lumpur

Five Malaysian business leaders give us the inside track on this fast growing Asian hub, and BA’s latest long haul destination.

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