Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur

Sprawling metropolis

Kuala Lumpur is the modern, bustling and lush-green capital of Malaysia, a testament to the Southeast Asian nation clawing its way in recent decades out of the developing world and into the WiFi-enabled modern one.

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At the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers, and lying just over 30 kilometres from the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia, KL, as it is commonly known, is not as old as some other Southeast Asian capitals. But it still lays claim to some historical sites of interest, such as mosques, temples, and British colonial-era architecture.

Still muddy, not so much malaria though. Photo by: Stuart McDonald.
Still muddy, not so much malaria though. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The city began life as a tin-mining operation, with the confluence of the Gombak and Klang rivers (Kuala Lumpur means “muddy confluence”) serving as a base for tin mining operations in nearby Ampang—a district which today is home to many foreign embassies. The miners were predominantly Chinese and over time formed themselves into gangs and the leaders of the growing Chinese community were given the title Kapitan Cina (Chinese headman)—an honorific also used in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore. These leaders often gre out of the merchant trade—trading goods and supplies to the tin miners in return for the fruits of their labour—tin—and many became ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 3,500 words.)

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