Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur (KL) was my first stop in Southeast Asia after five months in India. It is a city I would return to numerous times and a place I came to love. The main attraction of Kuala Lumpur are the 452m high Petronas Twin Towers, which I will discuss later in this post.
You can get from the two main airports Kuala Lumpur International (KLIA) 1 and 2 to KL Sentral via the KLIA Ekspres train. A one way ticket will cost 35 MYR. From here you can connect to most parts of the city. A taxi from either airport to the downtown area or Bukit Bingtang area (where I stayed) will cost will cost 80 MYR between 7 am and 12 am. Outside of these hours you’ll be looking at around 100 MYR. When you get off your flight, if you are traveling on your own might be a good idea to see if anyone else is heading in your direction and split the cost.
On my visits to Kuala Lumpur I’ve always stayed at Sunshine Bedz hostel which is located right next to the Bukit Bingtang monorail station. A bed in a 6 person dorm costs 35 MYR/night. A basic breakfast is included, lockers and really good showers! They also have female only dorms. To get here from KL Sentral take the monorail green line in the direction of Titiwangsa alighting at Bukit Bingtang. The hostel is diagonally opposite the exit of the station next to Mc Donald’s. The owner Patrick and his staff are professional and friendly. They’re usually out with the guests having a few drinks.
The food in Malaysia matches its cultural diversity. The most popular place to eat is Jalan Alor. However I think the food here is overpriced and the quality isn’t that good. The food courts in The Pavilion Shopping Centre offer a wide selection of food at reasonable prices. You’re not going to have the atmosphere that you’ll find on Jalan Alor. Right next to the Step Inn Guest House is one of my favourite eateries severing excellent Indian food.
Tip: At the bottom of the stairs that lead up to Sunshine Bedz, turn left and at the end of the street you’ll see a Shawarma stand. A small one costs 5 MYR, large 8 MYR and a small falafel 4 MYR. On this same street on the right is a stall selling Malay food. A dish with rice, curry and vegetables meal will cost around 7 MRY. If you take a right at the bottom of the stairs and take a right again, at the end of this alley there is another stall again selling Malay food which shouldn’t set you back more than 10 MYR.
The Petronas Twin Towers
The crown jewel of Kuala Lumpur. The towers were featured in the 1999 heist film Entrapment staring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones. The towers are a 20 minute walk from the Bukit Bingtang area and are best seen at night. You can watch the water fountains dancing to the music at might. A ticket to go up the towers is 80 MYR, which I thought was a bit steep so decided not to do.
A popular Hindi shrine with 272 steps to the top. To get there take the Komuter train from KL Sentral, the stop is Batu Caves. A one way ticket will cost 2 MYR.I just left India so to be this close to monkeys wasn’t anything new. I would advise a) wear comfy shoes b) don’t wear glasses or have any valuables hanging off you, unless you want to chase a monkey around all day in order to get it them back.
Islamic Arts Museum
I can’t say that I travel to visit historical museums. Art gallery perhaps. But with a lot of things when you travel on your own, a group of people invite you somewhere and you might as well join them. At a cost of 14 MYR, I can say The Islamic Arts Museum is one of the more impressive and interesting museums I’ve visited. In the first section of the Museum they display scale models of some of the world’s most famous mosques. The rest of the museum has Islamic artefacts and manuscripts throughout history.
Plaza Low Yat
One of the largest electronics stores in Southeast Asia. I got lost in here for hours. You’ll find every type of phone, accessory and computer here. The better known brands can be found on the first couple of floors. Moving higher up the building you’ll see stalls displaying the latest smart phones along with neon signs offering to repair them. Remember this is Southeast Asia so I would question the authenticity of anything you purchase.
Changkat is the most popular drinking area in Kuala Lumpur. On Wednesdays a few bars in Kuala Lumpur have a Ladies Night where girls drink for free. Sunshine Bedz organise a pub crawl which will take you to The Skybar, Luna and Sutraa. The Irish Bar Healy Mac’s offer Happy Hour drink prices to guess of Sunshine Bedz all night. The seats with the best view at The Skybar are usually reserved but there is a pool (for display only) and a relaxing atmosphere. I’d advise going in smart casual dress. i.e. no Beer Change t-shirts, vests or flip-flops.