Kuala Lumpur is the shining jewel in Malaysia’s crown, so it’s not surprising that the King lives here and tourists flock to admire his royal abode. Fun fact: the King is part of the only rotating monarchy in the world. One of the New 7 Wonder Cities and home to the world’s tallest twin towers and highest double bridge, Kuala Lumpur has lots of fascinating landmarks and engineering marvels. Ready to learn more? Here are some of the most interesting facts about Kuala Lumpur.
7 Interesting Facts About Kuala Lumpur
1. Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia
The official name of Kuala Lumpur is the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur. It is the national capital and largest city in Malaysia. It is commonly and fondly known as KL. The residents of KL are KLites.
2. Kuala Lumpur means muddy estuary
Malay is the official language of Malaysia. In the Malay language, Kuala Lumpur means “muddy estuary”. The city sits on the confluence of the Sungai Gombak and Sungai Klang rivers, which is how it got its name. The muddy waters of these rivers quite often flood the city during heavy rains.
3. Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin towers
Kuala Lumpur is home to the tallest twin buildings in the world – the Petronas Towers – which are symbols of Malaysian development. Argentinian architect, Cesar Pelli, designed the Petronas Twin Towers, which took six years to build. At 452 meters each, the towers were, from 1998 to 2004, not only the tallest twin towers in the world but the world’s tallest buildings. The Taipei 101 building in Tawain surpassed them when it opened. Today, as well as being the tallest twin towers, they also hold another record – the double-decker bridge connecting the two towers on the 8th and 12th floors is the highest double bridge in the world.
4. Kuala Lumpur is one of the New 7 Wonders Cities
Kuala Lumpur was named as one of the New 7 Wonders Cities. Millions of people cast their vote to choose the cities that, according to the official website: “best represent the achievements and aspirations of our global urban civilization”. From more than 1,200 nominees from 220 countries, officials shortened the list to 77, with a limit of one city per country. They then whittled this down to 28 finalists and the public voted for the top seven. Alongside Kuala Lumpur, the following locations make up the rest of the New 7 Wonders Cities – Beirut, Doha, Durban, Havana, La Paz and Vigan.
5. The King lives in Kuala Lumpur
Malaysia has a Parliamentary Democracy with a Constitutional Monarchy. His Majesty The King is the Paramount Ruler. The Malaysian king is called Yang di-Pertuan Agong, which translates as ‘He Who is Made Lord’. The King is elected to a five-year term by and from the nine rulers of the Malay states. Malaysia’s system of elected, rotating monarchy is the only one of its kind in the world. The King lives in Istana Negara in Kuala Lumpur city. The magnificent Palace with its 22 domes is one of the top tourist spots in the city.
6. Kuala Lumpur was a mining town in the 1800s
In 1957, the Federation of Malaya gained its independence from British rule. In 1963, Malaysia was formed and Kuala Lumpur remained the capital. However, it wasn’t until 1972 that Kuala Lumpur achieved city status, up until then it was a town. The city is, however, a lot older than that and its roots go back all the way to the 1800s. The Malay Chief of Klang formally established Kuala Lumpur as a mining town in 1857.
7. Kuala Lumpur hosted the Commonwealth Games in 1998
Here’s a bit of trivia that might come in hand at a pub quiz – Kuala Lumpur was the first Asian city to host Commonwealth Games. Kuala Lumpur hosted the XVI Commonwealth Games in 1998. This was the first time in the Games’ 68-year history that Asia hosted the games. The XVI Games included 15 sports. Of those, cricket, hockey, netball and rugby sevens were included for the first time.