Kuala Lumpur is the capital and largest city of Malaysia.
Beginning in the 1990s, the city has played host to many international sporting, political and cultural events including the 1998 Commonwealth Games and the Formula One World Championship. In addition, Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world, the Petronas Twin Towers.
Protected by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the east and Indonesia's Sumatra Island in the west, Kuala Lumpur has a tropical rainforest climate which is warm and sunny, along with abundant rainfall, especially during the northeast monsoon season from October to March.
The major tourist destinations in Kuala Lumpur include the Dataran Merdeka (the Independence Square), the House of Parliament, the Istana Budaya, the Istana Negara (National Palace), the Kuala Lumpur Tower, the Muzium Negara (National Museum), the Putra World Trade Centre, the Tugu Negara (National Monument) and mosques such as the Masjid Jamek, the Masjid Negara (National Mosque) and the Federal Territory Mosque.
Other tourist attractions include the Aquaria KLCC, the Batu Caves, the Makam Pahlawan (National Mausoleum), the National Science Centre, Petaling Street, the Royal Selangor Pewter Visitor Centre, the Zoo Negara (National Zoo), and events such as Malay cultural centres, the Chinese cultural festivals at the Thean Hou Temple and the Thaipusam procession at the Sri Mahamariamman Temple. The Golden Triangle, the commercial hub of the city, contains the Petronas Twin Towers and has a distinctive nightlife. Trendy nightclubs, bars and lounges, such as the Beach Club, Espanda, the Hakka Republic Wine Bar & Restaurant, Hard Rock Cafe, the Luna Bar, Nuovo, Rum Jungle, the Thai Club, Zouk, and many others are located within and around Jalan P. Ramlee, Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Ampang.
Hotels, from five-star to budget types, have cropped up everywhere to accommodate the influx of tourists each year. There are many hotels near Kuala Lumpur's entertainment and business districts.
Kuala Lumpur alone has 66 shopping malls and it is the retail and fashion hub for Malaysia. Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia's premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers.
The Perdana Lake Gardens near the Malaysian Parliament building includes a Butterfly Park, Deer Park, Orchid Garden, Hibiscus Garden and Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Southeast Asia's largest bird park.
There are three forest reserves within the city namely the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve in the city centre, the oldest gazetted forest reserve in the country, Bukit Sungai Putih Forest Reserve and Bukit Sungai Besi Forest Reserve. Bukit Nanas, in the heart of the city centre, is one of the oldest virgin forests in the world within a city. These residual forest areas are home to a number of fauna species particularly monkeys, tree shrews, squirrels and birds.
Kuala Lumpur is a hub for cultural activities and events in Malaysia. Among the centres is the National Museum which is situated along the Mahameru Highway. Its collection comprises artifacts and paintings collected throughout the country. Kuala Lumpur also has an Islamic Arts Museum which houses more than seven thousand Islamic artefacts including rare exhibits as well as a library of Islamic art books. However, the museum's collection not only concentrate on works from the Middle East, the museum also puts the emphasis on Asia, with China and Southeast Asia especially well represented. This museum features some impressively decorated domes and large open exhibition spaces. It is located at Jalan Lembah Perdana next to the National Mosque.
Kuala Lumpur is one of the host cities for the Formula One World Championship, the open-wheel auto racing A1 Grand Prix and the Motorcycle Grand Prix with races being held at Sepang International Circuit in the neighbouring state of Selangor, next to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.
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