KUALA LUMPUR An asian metropolis with an abundance of character. Famous for its Sky Scrapers, Culture, History, Shopping and the Golden Triangle.
When I first got to Kuala Lumpur, I wasn’t sure there would be enough things to do to fill my four days. However, I quickly discovered that this city and its outskirts has so many things to do, places to discover and sights to take in. This city is full of culture, history and religion with many day trips extending past the city. The city is also known for its shopping, where you can easily spend your entire trip shopping at the markets and malls.
The quick six:
- Weather: The weather varies between seasons, however, it is usually very hot and humid year-round. Between October and January and March and April, the city is usually hit by heavier rainfall (usually in the afternoon and evenings). The best time of the year (driest) to visit Kuala Lumpur without consistent rain is between May to July.
- Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (1 AUD buys 2.86 RM)
- Prices: $ (very cheap) The dollar goes far and you get a lot of value for your money.
Walking (most sites are within walking distance)
Grab (order online and know immediately what RM is being charged)
Taxis (make sure they run the meter)
Train (rapid KL)
- Language: Malaysian
- Cultural Days: There are numerous celebrations and festivals held in Kuala Lumpur throughout the year. Some of these celebrations include Thaipusam (Jan/Feb), Vesak Day (full moon of May) and Chinese New Year (February).
Most airlines fly to Kuala Lumpur daily. To get to KL city from the airport, it is a 65-75 RM ($22 AUD – $26 AUD) Grab ride and takes between 1 – 2 hours depending on traffic.
Top three things to do:
- Batu Caves and temples
- Petrona’s Twin Towers
- Roof top drinks overlooking the city
However, if you have more time, the following is a base itinerary.
- Botanical Gardens – Free
- Taman Burung (Kuala Lumpur Bird Park) – 63 RM ($22 AUD)
- Petronas Twin Towers (free to view from the outside, unless you want to enter (- 80 RM [$28 AUD])
- KL Tower (75 RM – 104 RM ($26 AUD – $36 AUD) entry
- Merdeka Square (free)
- National Monument (free)
- National Mosque (free)
- Lake Gardens KL (free)
- Sultan Abdul Samad Building (free)
- Batu Caves (early in the morning or late in the afternoon for a quieter visit without all the tourist buses) (free entry, around 25 MR ($9 AUD) each way for Grab, 5 MR for train ($1.75 AUD))
- Genting Highlands (various attractions including cable cars, shopping and temples)
Day 4 (Shopping Day):
- Central Market (prepare your bartering skills here)
- Berjaya Times Square (shopping mall $ – theme park in the mall)
- Pavillion KL (shopping mall $$$)
- Suria KLCC (shopping mall $$$)
If you have more time, or want to get outside KL altogether, the following places are worth the visit:
- Penang (4-5 hours bus rides from KL)
- Langkawi (can train, drive and ferry or fly from KL) known for its duty free shopping
- Malacca (2 hour drive from KL) known for its night markets and ancient buildings
- Sipadan Island, Mabul Island and Lankayan Island for diving
There are so many accommodation options, you are definitely spoiled for choice, especially considering the cheap prices, with Hostels, Hotels and Air BnBs with views overlooking the city going for extermely cheap prices.
Cheap: Hostel rooms including Dorms KL, Back Home KL, Ohana. I stayed for 4 nights in a private room at The Reggae Mansion for $27 AUD a night.
Middle: Hostel rooms with infinity pools include Sky Society, KL Skyline and Rooftop and iO Hotel from $30 AUD a night for dorms.
Luxury: Hotel rooms include The Face Suits, Grand Hyatt and Shanri-La Hotel from $130 AUD a night.
Very cheap: Meals between 10 MR -30 MR including street food (Jalan Alor Night Food Court).
Middle: BBQ nights and Madam Kwan’s Suria KLCC
Luxury: Dining In The Dark, Marini’s on 57 and Nobu KL
- Bangsar’s Cocktail Bars and Changkat Bukit Bintang.
- Girls drink for free at the bars at Changkat Bukit Bintang.
- There are heaps of rooftop bars overlooking the city, my personal favourite was Helipad. However, others include Mai Bar, The Face Suits and Vertigo and Horizon Grill at Banyan Tree. These are more expensive by Malaysian standards, but well worth it (Helipad drinks on a Friday night- 3 bottles of wine (minimum spend after 9pm) was $120 AUD between a group of us ($30 AUD each)