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Escorted Rail Tours to Kuala Lumpur

The stunning, modern capital of Malaysia

Frenetic, fast-paced and exciting, Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia's capital and largest city, packed with interesting sights. Immediately obvious are the twin peaks of the city, the futuristic Petronas Twin Towers; less initially apparent is the tangle of delightful streets that spread out below them. Kuala Lumpur's growth has been rapid, as the area was virtually uninhabited until the 1850s. At that time, the area at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers began to be mined for tin. Several more small mines opened in the vicinity, and before long the region had grown into a sizeable town.

Before long rival factions were struggling to gain control of the mines, and halted production. The British forces in the area at the time then appointed a Chinese foreman to oversee the work, and with this structure in place the town began to develop anew. By the 1890s Kuala Lumpur had grown significantly, and was connected to the railway network; its growth and prominence was such that it was proclaimed the capital of the newly-formed Federated Malay States in 1896 - a position it has maintained since Malaysia gained independence.

In quite a short time Kuala Lumpur has evolved into a major centre of commerce, transport and tourism. It has continued to grow whilst retaining a significant number of its earliest buildings; historic religious buildings and colonial architecture sits side-by-side with skyscrapers and gleaming shopping centres.

Sri Maha Mariamman Temple

Among the highlights of this incomparable city is the Sri Maha Mariamman Hindu Temple. Staggeringly ornate, the temple was founded in 1873, built for the Indian immigrants who had been working on the mines. It is now an important cultural monument, decorated with images of the Hindu gods and featuring a selection of brightly coloured shrines inside. The temple is also of national importance: being not only the oldest Hindu structure in Kuala Lumpur, but in all of Malaysia.


The main artery of Chinatown runs along Petaling Street, which is the area where the very first Chinese immigrants settled in the late 1850s. Nowadays this area is an explosion of colour, as the streets hosts a busy market most nights of the week. Here many tourists and locals browse the stalls, taking in the alluring aromas and produce on offer.

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