The old: Jalan Alor
Prepare your stomach for a culinary onslaught: the bustling district of Jalan Alor is famous in Kuala Lumpur for lip-smacking street food. With row upon row of mamak (Tamil cuisine) stalls and outdoor Chinese restaurants, you’ll find everything from barbecued duck to classic Malaysian dishes like nasi lemak.
The new: CoChine Lounge and Restaurant & Bar SaVanh
A fabulously modern take on Vietnamese, Laotian and Cambodian cuisine, this eatery/bar has the ‘wow factor’, beginning with eight massive Cambodian stone sculptures and a banyan tree growing in the centre of the bar.
Jalan Doraisamy, Asian Heritage Row (+603 2697 1180; www.indochine-group.com)
The old: Carcosa Seri Negara
Part museum, part mansion and steeped in history, this gorgeous colonial-style hotel was the residence of the highest order of British representatives to the Malay states during the ’40s and, as a hotel, it’s even hosted Queen Elizabeth ll and Prince Phillip.
Taman Tasik Perdana, Persiaran Mahameru (+603 2295 0888; www.ghmhotels.com)
The new: Piccolo Hotel
Created by conservationist and photographer Dr Karl Svrcula and his wife Suzianna, this boutique hotel is an extension of the pair’s love of marine life. The hotel functions ecologically, with award-winning underwater photography adorning the walls and a beautiful Morino Kaze aromatherapy spa to pamper to your every need.
Jalan Bukit Bintang (+603 2303 8000; www.thepiccolohotel.com)
The old: Batu Caves
The 400-million-year-old Batu Caves make a fantastic day trip out of the city. These limestone wonders are sacred to Malaysian Hindus – making them particularly colourful when the Thaipusam festival draws more than a million people on a holy pilgrimage.
The new: Petronas Twin Towers
This architectural feat captured worldwide attention and was the world’s tallest freestanding twin structure until Taipei 101 took the title in 2004. Towering 451.9m into the skyline, the 88-storey towers successfully blend Western modernism with Islamic features.
(+603 2331 8080)
Emirates flies from Dubai to Kuala Lumpur currently for around Dhs3,500 return.