Why isn’t there more travel buzz about Kuala Lumpur?

Kuala Lumpur Petronas Towers from Tourism Centre (photo by Sheila Scarborough)“How do you like our highways? Are they like those in the US?”

My hosts for the MITBCA tourism bloggers conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia were obviously proud of their country’s transportation infrastructure….as they should be, since what I saw blew the doors off of many urban roadways in the US, to say nothing of public transport that had me doing Foursquare checkins on my phone at KL monorail stations.

My knowledge of Southeast Asia is not that deep (Brian Spencer’s Bangkok posts are helping to improve that) so this was my first visit to Malaysia other than steaming through the Straits of Malacca on Navy ships many years ago.

From what little I was able to see outside of the convention center and hotel during the conference, I honestly wondered why there isn’t more buzz about Kuala Lumpur?

There are interesting Indian, Malay and Chinese neighborhoods.

The cuisine is delicious and unique, reflecting the heritage mix of the country.

The people are friendly and welcoming.

The city’s architecture is a mix of British colonial history as seen in the photo; with the Petronas Towers gleaming in the background, the older building (built in 1935) is now the MaTiC Malaysia Tourism Centre but it served as military headquarters for both the British and the Japanese during World War II.

There are side trips galore across Malaysia, with discount airlines like Air Asia and train systems that make it pretty easy to get around.

Sure, I explored the Petronas Towers – they may not be the tallest buildings in the world anymore, but they are quite impressive and a source of tremendous national pride.

Somehow, though, I don’t hear as much traveler buzz about this city, and I’m not sure why.

Have any of you visited Kuala Lumpur? What did you think?

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  1. paula May 29, 2012
    • Sheila Scarborough May 31, 2012
  2. Rachel G. June 25, 2012

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