More than any other spot in the country, Kuala Lumpur, or “KL” as it is commonly known, is the focal point of new Malaysia. While the city’s past is still present in the evocative British colonial buildings of the Dataran Merdeka and the midnight lamps of the Petaling Street night market, that past is everywhere met with insistent reminders of KL’s present and future. The city’s bustling streets, its shining, modern office towers, and its cosmopolitan air project an unbounded spirit of progress and symbolize Malaysia’s unhesitating leap into the future. To some, this spirit seems to have been gained at the loss of ancient cultural traditions, but in many ways KL marks the continuation rather than the loss of Malaysia’s rich past. Like Malacca five hundred years before, KL’s commercial centre is a grand meeting place for merchants and travelers from all over the world.
With a height of 1,453 feet, one of the world’s tallest buildings rise above the skyline of Kuala Lumpur. They are called the Petronas Towers, and, inevitably, they have become the symbols for the astounding growth that has taken place in Malaysia over the last two decades.
Akureyri is a city in northern Iceland. Nicknamed “the Capital of North Iceland,” Akureyri is an important port and fisheries centre. It is Iceland’s second largest urban area (after the Greater Reykjavík area) and fourth largest municipality (after Reykjavík, Hafnarfjörður, and Kópavogur).
The area where Akureyri is located was settled in the 9th century but did not receive a municipal charter until 1786. The city was the site of Allied units during World War II. Further growth occurred after the war as the Icelandic population increasingly moved to urban areas.
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it serves as the country’s principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre.
Cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, its extensive World Heritage Site includes the banks of the Danube, the Buda Castle Quarter, Andrássy Avenue, Heroes’ Square and the Millennium Underground Railway, the second oldest in the world. Other highlights include a total of 80 geothermal springs, the world’s largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, and third largest Parliament building. The city attracts about 2.3 million tourists a year.