Kuala Lumpur is the bustling capital of Malaysia and its showpiece of grandeur and prosperity. The city's somewhat unromantic name translates as 'muddy confluence', and was given by Chinese prospectors who were searching for tin at the meeting point of the Klang and Gombak rivers in 1857. KL has come a long way since then, with the river water now reflecting the city's elegant, glittering skyscrapers.
Today, Kuala Lumpur is a blend of old and new worlds, where visitors will find a melting pot of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures. Many begin their adventure in Merdeka Square, which is the heart of the city. The modern business centre and colourful streets of Chinatown lie southeast of the square. Travellers heading south will find the picturesque National Mosque (Masjid Negara) and the impressive railway station. To the west, nature lovers can enjoy the city's green belt, where the lush and tranquil Perdana Botanical Gardens provide some respite from the KL's frenetic pace. The National Museum and (Muzium Negara) and the Malaysian Parliament are also found on this stretch.