In the space of a century, Kuala Lumpur grew from a trading post and tin-mining shantytown into a colonial capital. Today, it is a modern, cosmopolitan business hub and centre of government.
The economic boom that started in the late 1980s has caused a building bonanza. In downtown Kuala Lumpur, old and new are juxtaposed. The jungled backdrop of the copper-topped clocktower of the Supreme Court of 100 years ago has been replaced by scores of stylish, high-rise office blocks, dominated by the soaring, angular-roofed Maybank headquarters. The Victorian, Moorish and Moghul-style buildings, the art deco Central Market and the Chinese shophouses stand in marked contrast to these impressive skyscrapers. The Petronas Twin Towers offer the most impressive addition to the modern skyline; part of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) development, these are the tallest twin towers in the world.
Around the city are the intriguing Batu Caves and some good entertainment in the form of the Sunway Lagoon and Mines Wonderland. Seremban, a former tin-mining centre and window on the world of the Minangkabau culture, is south of the capital.
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