After Singapore, Kuala Lumpur (KL) became my second HUB when coming to South East Asia. From here I usually continue to Bali, Thailand, Lao, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam…This year I’m going to challenge myself with India too. But about that in a different article. Today it’s about KL.
I like this vibrant city with its modern skyline, its green rainforest vegetation between the high-rise buildings, the reflections of the neon lights on the glass facades of the skyscrapers and the smell of tropical plants in the humid air. KL is very modern but can be very traditional at the same time. With its Mosques and its British-era landmarks, the city offers a mixture of both – The Old and The New. Modern architecture, fancy shopping malls, high-rise buildings flushing with bright neon lights in perfect harmony with beautiful colonial buildings, such as Sultan Abdul Samad Building, the National Textile Museum or the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station. There are traditional Mosques, next to luxurious hotels and malls and simple street food stalls next to high-end restaurants. You find here a lot of green and quiet places next to the buzzing chaos of the street markets. It can be fancy and it can be simple. There is something for everyone.
Here is my personal KL guide:
What is worth to see when visiting Kuala Lumpur?
Petronas Twin Towers KLCC – Even if you don’t go to the viewing platform, you need a picture with the Iconic skyscrapers! It’s a MUST when visiting KL. Beautiful by day and by night !
KLCC Park & Suria KLCC -The park and the shopping mall at Petronas towers. Lovely green space. Light shows in the evening.
Menara KL – The KL landmark tower is actually nicer from the outside.The viewing platform is fully vitrified which is less than optimal for taking photos (especially at night – mirroring).
Bukit Bintang – The commercial center of KL. High end malls (The Pavillion is the most famous one).
Jalan Alor – Enjoy the coulourful houses during the day and the buzzing food market at night.
Independence Square – Dataran Merdeka: The history of KL.
Jamek Mosque – Iconic! One of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur. Built in a Moorish style. It sits at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers.
KL City Gallery – Free entrance. Exposition and a nice explanation about the city’s origins.
‘Mud’ – Lovely Musical about the creation of Kaula Lumpur. Very recommendable if you are into culture. I personally loved it!
Central Market – Stroll around the colourful food and souvenirs stalls. Take pictures, have lunch, by gifts.
China Town – Discover the buzzing Petaling Street.
Colonial Walk – Nice walk along the Klang River, around colonial buildings.
Changkat Bukit Bintang – Nightlife with bars, live music (I recommend ‘Havana’).
Central Perk – Something for the fans of ‘Friends’. A café dedicated to the sitcom.
Bukit Nanas – Rainforest park (if you like to climb – it’s on a hill).
What is worth knowing when visiting Kuala Lumpur?
KLIA Express – Get a return ticket, it’s cheaper. For sure you are going back to the airport at one point ?! 😉
Mercato – A ‘fancier’ supermarket in The Pavillion
Skywalk – Walking path between KLCC & Bukit Bintang (not only a shotcut but good in case of rain)
Light show at Suria: 8pm
Convention Center & Pavilion have free Wifi
Very safe city! Good for solo (female) travelers.
My personal tips when visiting Kuala Lumpur
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur?
Flora by Crossroads Hotel – That’s where I stayed a few times. I like it. Simple, boutique style. Friendly staff (especially Daud). Nice aea, close to The Petronas Towers, easily accessible by public transportation from the airport or the KL central train station (should you be coming from Singapore by train).
If you want something more upscale – Traders Hotel is a good option. I loved my room overlooking the Petronas Towers and the gardens! With a rooftop bar, pool & sauna.
Where to eat in Kuala Lumpur?
If you love Dim Sum you should not miss going to DinTaiFung! It’s the word cheapest Michelin Star restaurant (my recent article about the dumplings). The DinTaiFung at Suria KLCC has no pork on the menu. The dumplings have chicken instead. If you want pork chose the DinTaiFung in The Pavilion.
Food courts are in general a great option to eat. Great variety and good prices. Especially when you travel alone and you don’t want to sit down for a proper meal at a restaurant. I especially liked the HotPlate in The Pavilion (fish, seafood, meat, veggies…all nicely grilled, quickly served, very good prices).
Night food street market – Well you know what I mean! You can find anything here. Even mochis as ice cream. Yum!
Should you crave western sweets, in the shopping malls you will find fancy cupcakes, macaroons, etc.