After 3 flights and 18 hours worth of travelling to say I was happy to finally touchdown in Kuala Lumpur would be quite the understatement. To be honest it wasn’t that bad of a flight; I had an empty seat next to me, there was decent on flight entertainment and most importantly there seemed to be no demonic children on board. But non the less I was happy to arrive.
Eager to get to the hotel. I booked a taxi from one of the kiosks inside the airport. Thought this would be a good idea as I’ve never been to Kuala Lumpur and didn’t want to get ripped off from a taxi driver. In the end I paid 75 ringgit (18 usd) which is pretty good considering that the airport was approximately 55km from our hotel and according to out hosts at our hotel said this was more than acceptable.
After an hours taxi ride I arrived at the Sarang Vacation Homes. My home for the next 3 nights. 130 Ringgit per night may seem a little steep for Southeast Asia but since I was only in Kuala Lumpur for a few nights I decided to splash out a little. If anyone is travelling here I can’t recommend this place enough. The two women who run the hotel are lovely. They go that extra mile to make you feel welcome. They give you lots of ideas about where to visit in the city and also how to get there. You get a nice big, clean room to yourself and there are only 2 other rooms so its pretty quiet if you are looking for some downtime. In the morning they prepare a mean breakfast for you. Fresh fruit first and then Roti Canai with some sauces. It was delicious and it was devoured. This was my first Malay breakfast and let me just say I don’t intend to miss one. Kind of makes me want to stay for another night just for brekky!
After breakfast it was time to get out and explore the City. The weather was humid but not unbearable. Weaving my way through the sea of people I arrived in China Town where I discovered alleys full of market stalls selling all kinds of goods from delicious street food to knock off designer gear. Through the hustle and bustle of the markets I stumbled upon a Chinese Taoist temple. Inside was beautiful. An array of different colors and the scent of burning incense sticks. It was very calm and peaceful. The people inside use incense sticks to pray to their various Gods; The smoke is said to carry their prayers.
Leaving the Chinese temple I wandered down the street about 100 meters and came across a Hindu temple. You can go inside but you will have to remove your shoes and hats as a sign of respect. This was a completely different vibe altogether from the Chinese temple. There were bells ringing and drums being beaten. It was a lot more energetic in here. Two temples right next to each other and two totally different practices to worship their Gods but both special in their own way.
While I was in Kuala Lumpur it just happened to be Buddha’s Birthday. It’s known as Wesak. So as you can imagine there was a lot of festivities going on around the city. I managed to catch a glimpse of this parade.
Walking around the markets is a sure way to work up an appetite. All the different smells will have you drooling. Follow your nose and sniff out some street food from the hawker stalls. I only got a few snacks to tide me over. A few spring rolls and a chicken samosa only set me back 3.50 ringgit and it is very tasty to say the least.
From China Town it is only a 15 – 20 minute walk to both the Masjid Negara National Mosque and the Islamic arts museum. The national mosque can hold up to 15000 worshipers at time. A quick look around here and you can see the beautifully crafted architecture that lies within. After you leave the mosque make your way up the road to the Islamic art museum where they have an outstanding collection of art from around the world. Even the building itself is something to be admired. Be sure to have something to eat before you come here as you will work up an appetite walking around. There is a restaurant here but it’s quite expensive. 50 Ringgit for a set meal was a little steep for my liking so made our way back down the hill where there lies a local diner. The food was delicious and at 7 Ringgit was only a fraction of the price. As you can probably tell by now I love food!
Jump on the free bus and make your way towards the Pavilion shopping mall. This place is HUGE! I seriously couldn’t believe the size of it. There’s 8 floors packed with 231 stores, 40 restaurants and 12 Cinemas! The Pavilion is a shopaholics dream and a husbands nightmare. You can literally get lost in here. There is a connecting bridge that leads to the Petronas Towers. This is the quickest and easiest way to get here as you don’t have to dodge the traffic to get across the roads.
The Petronas Towers are the pride and joy of Kuala Lumpur. They dominate and illuminate the skyline. Standing at 452m with 88 floors it is currently the tallest twin towers in the world. I recommend going to see them at night as there is also a water light show that can be seen. There is the option to go up to the viewing deck but I decided not to but I’m sure the view from the top would be incredible.
If you head North of Kuala Lumpur either catch a train which takes about 30 mins or order a uber (another great way to get around Kuala Lumper) you will come to the iconic Batu Caves. The Batu caves are a sight to behold. At the bottom of the 272 step ascent the stand a 43m high gold Murga statue that protects the caves. Scramble your way to the top of the steps and you will be rewarded with the sights that lie within this Hindu shrine. There’s also lots of monkeys here. Dont feed the monkeys they can get quite aggressive.
No trip to Kuala Lumpur would be complete without a visit to the Jalan Alor. Thee place to go for street food! The food here will make your taste buds sing. There’s so much variety in what to eat it will blow your mind. I’m not entirely sure what I had, it was some sort of noodle omelette and then had some Dim Sum pork. Just incredible food full of flavor. Street food is the way to go when visiting KL.
This is how I spent my time in Kuala Lumpur and it was a great experience for my first time in Southeast Asia and I cant wait for what is to come next.
- Uber is a great way to get to the airport and is much easier and safer than hailing a taxi at 3am.
- Eat the street food! Much cheaper than restaurants and is delicious.
- I think the best way to experience this city is by walking. I would have missed out on so much if I just took taxis everywhere.
How did you spend your time in Kuala Lumper? Any more useful tips? Leave a comment below.