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Dubbed affectionately as ‘KL’, Kuala Lumpur started out life in the 1850s as a Chinese mining shanty town, but over the ensuring century-and-a-half has expanded into a metropolis of 1.4 million (with and an urban agglomeration of around five times that). One of Asia’s principal financial centres, it’s a stridently modern, cosmopolitan, upbeat place. Zoom to the observation deck of the 421-metre Menera KL tower for an astounding panoramic view. Soak up the cultural diversity of Chinatown, and the faded elegance of the colonial quarter, with its onion-domed British-era buildings. The fabulous Islamic Art Museum and National Museum of Malaysia are just two more of the city’s many un-missable sights.