Museums and galleries:
Kuala Lumpur is the right place to see a creative dialogue between east and west, modernity and traditions, fantasy and reality. To learn more about the city rich heritage and valuable pieces, you should visit the followings:
The National Museum: Combines a historical gallery, a musical instruments gallery, a natural gallery and a national sports gallery.
The Islamic Arts Museum: A stunning building including thousands of beautiful Islamic decorative arts like precious jewelries, impressive textiles, antique carpets and amazingly decorated domes.
The National Visual Arts Gallery: A pyramid shaped building including more than 4000 contemporary art pieces and interesting temporary shows.
Petrosains: A high-tech interactive science discovery center engaging visitors through imaginative experiences, perfect for a few hours fun filled science activity with family.
The city is full of other cultural centers as well.
Kuala Lumpur organizes every year various types of music festivals and events showing the citizens love of music. You won’t get enough from Jazz festivals, opera shows, Electronic dance music, traditional instruments… the city has it all.
Magnificent mosques, revolutionary forms, smashing skyscrapers… The city is a compilation of the world’s most extraordinary buildings. Take a camera and set yourself a walking trail. Start from Petronas twin towers then pass by Masjid Jamek, the royal Selangor club and especially the As-Syakirin mosque and end your journey with a fantastic view of the city from Marina tower.
Kuala Lumpur hosts one of the country’s oldest theatres like Panggung Bandaraya and most entertaining festivals such as Kuala Lumpur international comedy festival.
The city celebrates attractive events all year long.
In March, you have the chance to attend Sunburst KL International Music Festival: More than 20 live performances featuring different music genres.
During May, don’t miss Colors of Malaysia, a celebration of traditional dances, colorful parades and exhibitions.
Held in May, July or August, The Starlight Cinema is Asia’s largest outdoor film festival.
During Autumn, The Eco Film Fest is an environmental themed festival taking place in September or October.
In January, you can join the locals in spiritual Thaipusam festival attended by millions devoted.
Language and conversations
The official language of the city is Behasa Melayu, however English is taught in schools, widely spoken and considered the working language so you won’t find any problems in communication. However, it’s always good to learn some greetings to socialize with locals.
The use of acronyms is widespread so it’s useful to know some common ones: The city itself is known as KL, KLCC for Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, KLCE for Commodity Exchange and KLOFFE Options and Financial Futures Exchange.
English newspapers, books, magazines are available in large shopping centers, book boutiques and some hotels.
General etiquettes and manners
- Handshaking is the most common manner of introducing a person from same gender. For example if you’re a male it’s better to greet Malaysian women by a smile only.
- You should know that hugging and kissing are only for family members to avoid uncomfortable situations.
- A friendly way of greeting is to put the hand on the left side of the chest while smiling it means I greet you from the bottom of my heart.
- To address a Malay or Indian use Mr., Mrs., Miss… accompanied by their first name whereas for Chinese use the family name.
- Although the capital is very modern and opened, you need to consider that it still a predominantly Muslim city. Women should dress conservatively, cover shoulders and breast and wear a scarf and a robe before entering a mosque.
- Malaysian love colorful clothes so don’t dress all in black as they consider it a bad luck.
When visiting someone:
- Any footwear should be left outside the door to keep the house clean.
- It’s very rude to point to someone with a finger.
- Always use your right hand in receiving, giving and passing things.
- Don’t keep staring at Muslim women.
- Don’t touch the house furniture.
- The best gift to bring is a small basket of fruit. Don’t give flowers or mirrors as they mean funerals. A fancy gift will be unwelcome.
- Wait for the host to make the introductions and tell you your sit.
- As a modern city, usually you will find tables but don’t be surprised to have dinner on the floor.
- To be polite, never refuse a drink or food offered when you’re someone’s guest.
- It’s better to leave your plate empty.