Malaysia is a familiar country to most Indonesians. It is only a short distance away by plane and the country’s Malays belong to the same race as Indonesians. Of course, Malaysia does not have the Borobudur temple, but the country, which is 329,847 square kilometers in area and has a population of 27 million, has one modern artifact, namely the Petronas Twin Towers. The 88-story towers are also called KLCC (Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre). They were built in 1988 and were the tallest buildings in the world until Taipei 101 was built in 2003.
KLCC is more than a concrete and glass building. The pride of the city is located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur and has an officials’ compound, convention board, a huge park and a modern business center. The towers were designed by Argentine Cesar Pelli, who was inspired by the geometric design often used in Islamic architecture, under the consultancy of Julius Gold.
Obviously KLCC is one of the major tourist attractions in Malaysia, especially Kuala Lumpur. The twin towers, which are the icon of the country, have unique tourist attractions, such as Aquaria, like Sea World in Ancol, Jakarta, and shopping malls. One of the most popular malls is Suriah, which is the favorite destination of shopaholics from many countries, including Indonesia.
Kuala Lumpur has become the favorite destination for those looking for top branded items. Next to KLCC, Bukit Bintang also called Bintang Walk, is another popular shopping destination. Here you can find traditional shops as well as modern boutiques. Many Indonesians seek Vincci shoes, which is Malaysia’s top brand for shoes sold at affordable prices.
Besides Kuala Lumpur there is also Sunway Pyramid in Petaling Jaya, where one can find a luxury mall. Here there are many programs during the year-end and branded items are sold at discounted prices. Apart from Indonesian tourists who visit, there are a great number of Indonesian students staying in this area, so it is not surprising to find numerous Indonesian restaurants around the mall.
There is also an outdoor park, called Sunway Lagoon Theme Park. One of the favorite parks for visitors is the water park, which resembles the water boom in Lippo Cikarang or the water park in Ancol, Jakarta. Also found here are an extreme park, scream park, wildlife park and amusement park just like Dreamland in Jakarta, but they are smaller in size. One can also find the Sunway Resort, so the whole area becomes an attractive integrated destination for the entire family.
A shopping trip is not complete without the uniquely Malaysian pewter accessories and jewelry made by Royal Selangor, which is finely made and famous worldwide. In the early days of Royal Selangor, the pewter was polished with “stone leaf” (tetracera scandens), a wild tropical leaf, to give it better shine. Royal Selangor, due to the fine craftsmanship, received recognition as DiRaja from Sultan Selangor, and was later recognized as Royal Pewter.
One of the attractions for tourists here is the School of Hard Knocks, where they are given a piece of pewter to make into any shape they want. Another tourist attraction is the world’s largest beer mug, which has been recorded in the Malaysia Book of Records and the Guinness Book of Records. The mug is 1.987 meters tall and weighs 1.577 kg and can hold 2,976 liters of beer. The mug has been exhibited in many countries, including Canada, Australia, Singapore and China.
Kuala Lumpur is indeed the starting point, but do not forget other interesting areas, such as Putrajaya, 30 kilometers away. It is the country’s third federal territory after Kuala Lumpur and Labuan. Here is the headquarters of the Malaysian government, just like Canberra in Australia. This was an ambitious project of former prime minister Mahathir Mohamad, who is believed to have spent more than US$6 billion establishing the city. The Putrajaya master plan commenced in 1993 and today most of the government offices have moved to this new city.