Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
Escape the city and hit the beach
Kuala Lumpur is about an hour from the coast, but if you crave a fix of sea and sand the nearest beach is in Port Dickson, 90km (50 miles) west of the city. It takes a couple of hours to get there by bus (http://portdickson.info/how-to-go.htm) and the beach is only so-so, though. A more attractive option is Pangkor Island (www.malaysiasite.nl/pangkorbuses.htm), on the coast near Lumut.
Explore KL’s incredible jungle
There are jungle reserves all around KL where you can experience the rainforest first hand. Best is the unspoiled forest to the north of the city at Templer's Park, where you'll find walking trails, waterfalls and, praise be, no traffic noise. If you want to reward yourself after all the trekking, stay a night at the luxurious Templer Park Rainforest Retreat (tel: +60 16203 8562; www.tprr.net)
Go exploring in Malaysia’s crystal waters
Some of the best diving in Asia is around the idyllic islands of Tioman and Perhentian. You can tie it all together yourself, or let an agency make all the arrangements – dive shops in Kuala Lumpur such as Planet Scuba (tel: +60 3 6203 3366; www.planetscuba.com.my) will provide recommendations and any courses and/or gear you need.
Learn to cook like a Malay
Malay might not be the most feted of Asian cuisines but there are some true earthly pleasures to be found in its Rendang curries. A course at the much-loved LaZat (tel: +60 19 238 1198; www.malaysia-klcookingclass.com) starts off in a local market before heading back to the school, where you'll be taught the classics of Malaysia and the countries that inspire its food - primarily China, India and Thailand.
Play a round of golf on Asia’s oldest course
Golf is becoming ever more popular in Malaysia, and new courses are mushrooming around the capital. However, the most famous is the Royal Selangor Golf Club (tel: +603 9206 3333; www.rsgc.com.my) situated right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, built in 1893 and the oldest in Asia. Not one for beginners, and you’ll need to be a guest of a member to access its plush lawns.