Kuala Lumpur is an exotic garden of flavours, where travellers can indulge in a wide variety of the region's most delectable cuisines. Visitors will find thousands of roadside stalls and food bazaars that cater to all kinds of tastes and budgets. Popular bites include satay (marinated and barbecued meat, normally chicken, beef or mutton), nasi lemak (savoury rice steamed in coconut milk) and chicken rice and fried noodles.
Indigenous Malaysian cuisine is influenced by Thai, Indian and Chinese cooking, and offers exciting flavours. Indian Muslim (Mamak) cuisine is especially fragrant, with spices, curry leaves, and coconut milk characterising its dishes. Malaysian Chinese food is also widely loved, and remains distinctly Chinese.
Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia's retail, fashion and electronics centre. The Golden Triangle is the city's premier shopping area, where visitors can pick up high-end items produced by the most sought-after brands. Bukit Bintang Street is the best place to start spending. The Suria KLCC is another of the country's most famous shopping spots, given its location beneath the iconic Petronas Towers.
The Central Market on Jalan Hang Kasturi is a great place to buy anything from antiques and paintings to handicrafts, clothing and quirky souvenirs. Best buys include pottery, woodcarvings, and brass, pewter and silver jewellery. Visitors can also walk across to nearby Chinatown, where they can purchase dried food, jewellery and herbal medicines, among other things. They'll need to embrace haggling, though, as it is very much part of the culture.
Pubs, bustling bars, pumping clubs and karaoke lounges offer lots of after-dark entertainment in a city that never sleeps. Indeed, visitors will find one of Asia's best nightlife scenes when they explore Malaysia's capital. And though Kuala Lumpur is predominantly Muslim, its cosmopolitan nature allows for alcohol to be widely available.
The city centre has some of KL's trendiest clubs and most eccentric bars. Bukit Bintang is another of the city's most popular areas for nighttime entertainment, where visitors can dine at great restaurants or enjoy vibrant bars.
Tourists looking for a quieter night out should stop at a karaoke bar: a staple in Malaysian society. Singing is entirely optional and it's great fun to simply watch. Local theatres and cabarets are also an option, and cinemas show contemporary English, Malay, Chinese, Hindi and Indonesian movies.