Popularly known as the Garden City of Lights, Kuala Lumpur is one of the most tourist- friendly destinations in Asia. Geographically small yet it offers a multitude of attractions and receives an overwhelming number of daily visitors. It is perfectly diverse with a mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay cultures. The warm climate appeals to all kinds of travelers and is perfect for affordable and casual sight-seeing adventures around the city.
Most tourists find Kuala Lumpur as one of the most accessible destinations in Asia. Its KLIA, Kuala Lumpur International Airport has reachable connections to several flag carriers across the globe. Tempting rates on budget airlines like AirAsia, JetStar and Cebu Pacific bring a high number of daily travelers in and out of the city.
Public transportation in Kuala Lumpur is accessible, efficient and cheap, too. You can choose to ride a taxi, bus or the MRT and Monorail.
WHERE TO STAY
Luxurious, the most reasonably-priced to the cheapest accommodations are widely available around the city, making it the perfect spot for low-budgeted travelers like backpackers as well as for businessmen and jet-setters. Famous hostels like Reggae Mansion and Number Eight Guesthouse showcase their one-of-a-kind interiors and splendid facades apart from its inexpensive room rates ranging from 38 (RM) to 45 (RM) respectively.
For those looking for well-appointed facilities and par excellence service, Shangri-la, the Hilton and Le Meridien would more than satisfy your meticulous tastes.
TIP: We normally stay at Corus Hotel. We like the big rooms and the fact that it’s very near Suria KLCC. It also serves as our jump off point to other cities in Malaysia as Aeroline has an office at the hotel lobby and the pickup point for passengers is just outside the hotel. If you plan to visit Penang, Genting Highlands or Malacca after KL via bus, I highly recommend Aeroline. Very convenient.
(I don’t even know why I never bothered to take pictures of our hotel room.)
WHAT TO DO
A 2 or 3-day itinerary would be ideal to fully embrace the magnificent city of Kuala Lumpur. Visiting the famous Petronas Tower is a great way to start an unforgettable city tour and just nearby are the cheapest shopping districts of Pasar Seni and Jalan Petaling (commonly known as Chinatown). Be careful though as there is a lot of fake items here.
Experiencing the unique attractions of Batu caves would be a good destination for a second day; with side tours to Indian restaurants near the area (a superb way to experience authentic local dishes).
Your last day could be devoted to shopping as Kuala Lumpur has so many shopping districts, or a food tour and have chance to taste unique Malaysian cuisine and witness how Malaysians spend their day to day. Bukit Bintang is the best place to do both.
SIDE NOTE: If ever you get tired of shopping and just want to chill for a bit but you’re not looking at another cafe (plenty of those in Bukit Bintang), why not try happy hour at Changkat Bukit Bintang? Lots of bars here that offer happy hour promos.
Things To Do with Kids
Too bad MG is not really into kid’s stuff as Kuala Lumpur has a ton of attractions geared towards kids. She gets annoyed with other kids pretty easily and isn’t really into theme parks. The only kid-friendly thing she likes is a day spent in Hong Kong Disneyland. If you’re traveling with kids, here are some of the places I’d recommend.
- Petrosains Discovery Center (perfect for kids of all ages)
- KL Aquarium (just beside Petronas)
- KLCC Playground (free to use)
- Berjaya Times Square Theme Park (inside a shopping mall and rides are perfect for small children)
- KidZania (we now have it in Manila but I guess it’s still worth a visit and check if it offers something different)
- Sunway Lagoon (a 6-in-1 themed park with outdoor pools, bowling alleys. It’s just a short drive from KL city center.)
WHAT TO EAT
We never really stay that long in Kuala Lumpur. For us, it’s just a hub that takes us to other parts of Asia. And when we have a day or two here, we just go to our favorites, Nando’s (so many branches around KL) and Restoran Yut Kee. This is without fail. We visit these two whenever we are in the city.
Then, Old Town White Coffee of course for coffee and snacks and Lot 10 in Bukit Bintang for Bak Kuh Teh and Macau Porkchop Bun.
But the city offers something for everyone. Indian, American, Chinese cuisines…name it! Every type of food is here.
I barely took photos of Kuala Lumpur during our numerous trips there. Sorry about that but this doesn’t mean KL is not phot0-worthy. It is! Just see for yourself and do consider the city when you plan your Southeast Asia trip.
Not fond of DIY tours? You can join one of these tours, and don’t forget to compare hotels, vacation rentals, rooms, or even homes for your trip before you go. And never leave home without Travel Insurance!