Well, hello big city!
Kuala Lumpur is a big, cosmopolitan and modern city.
We felt its vibrant personality as soon as we got off the bus at Plaza Rakyat.
We booked the hotel for a couple of nights while we were in Melaka. We were thinking of heading to Cameron Highlands after our stop in the capital.
The room was basic – a bed and A/C – and very clean. There is a communal living room with TV next to the kitchen area with communal fridge. This is also where breakfast is served (toast, jam, tea and coffee). The shared baths are also well-kept. Wi-Fi is available. Metro stations close by are Plaza Rakyat & Pasar Senir.
We walked a lot in KL. And when we weren’t walking, we used the LRT. The subway system is cheap and convenient (click here to see a map and get a downloadable PDF version). There are LRT tickets vending machines as soon as you get to the station. You can pay by cash or card, and keep your ticket until you exit the station – you’ll have to re-introduce your ticket when you exit.
There are a lot of activities to do in Kuala Lumpur. We visited the Petronas Twin Towers from the outside only – it is possible to go up to the towers for a fee of MYR 80 per person (USD $25).The towers were just as impressive as we had imagined. Two identical, tall and elegant towers. We stood in front of them, towards the end of the afternoon, for almost an hour, watching all the tourists standing in front to catch the perfect picture. Or, maybe trying to fit the towers inside their picture – as we saw many people putting their camera on the ground to snap the pic.
We decided we had to come back at night time, to see them lit, so we came back the following evening. I think we enjoyed the sight even more, we caught the moon right in the middle of the towers.
There is a high-end mall (Kuala Lumpur City Center) inside the towers and at night, on the opposite side of KLCC, you can enjoy a free light show on the water.
From our hotel, we walked to Central Market, then to the National Mosque (which is closed to non-muslims during prayer time – a Tripadvisor member uploaded a picture with open hours here) then over to the Islamic Arts Museum, then the National Monument before ending at the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery (where there is the iconic “I love KL” sculpture.) All these activities are free to the public. We took our time to visit and our time while walking, as summer days are hot and humid.
We dedicated a day to visit the Batu Caves on our own, so we could take our time to get there, visit and get back. The visit could probably be done in a half-day, but like I said, we really took our time. The Caves are a little further out of KL, we hopped on the LRT to Sentral, then onto the KTM Komuter for MYR 1, return ticket costs MYR 2. There are a lot of stairs going up to the caves, but the sights are all worth it. Watch out for monkeys as they are very playful and rest along the stairs. So long as you are not playing with any plastic bags or snacking, they should not be bothering you.
There is no entrance fee to visit the caves. On your way out, there is the Dark Caves guided tour – cost is MYR 35 (USD $11) for a duration of about 45mins.
We stopped by Jalan Alor one night for dinner. A street filled with food stalls. Real fun atmosphere. It can get pretty crowded during dinner time.
We loved KL, it is a big city with so many things to do and so many places to eat at! Though we adore discovering new cities, we also love the peace and quietness found in nature…so, we decided to head to Borneo. We had originally decided not to go but, when in Asia…
We checked for the cheapest flights from KL to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. Thanks to skyscanner.com (my website/app of choice for finding the cheapest flights), we booked with Malindo Air for USD $44 per way per person. The next day, we left for the airport.
There are many ways to reach the KL airport:
Taxi: expect to pay 70-100MYR (USD $20-30), it will be metered or you can try to negotiate a fixed price ahead.
LRT + Komuter (commuter line): it should cost you about 35RM (USD $11) from Sentral to the airport and take about 30mins.
Shuttle Bus : from Chinatown Area, Star Shuttle costs 12RM (USD $4) per person, bus departs every half hour (link to schedule). It took us 1:30hrs to get to the LCCT terminal- the driver took a bathroom break and a ten minute break at a gas station (the purpose is unclear). Malindo Air is at KLIA (Terminal 1), which was not announced when we stopped for a half-minute there, so we ended up at LCCT (Terminal 2). Walking from one terminal to the other is not possible so from LCCT we took the airport liner (the shuttle service – for 2.50RM (under USD $1 per person), which added another half hour as we switched drivers in the middle of nowhere on the side of the road. Luckily, we left KL early (1pm) and made it to the KLIA terminal by 3pm for our 5:30pm flight.
If you are in a time constraint, we would recommend the LRT/Komuter or taxi. The shuttle bus was a good and cheaper option, but delays are to be expected.
Two to three days are enough to visit Kuala Lumpur, though I am sure we could have stayed a whole week to try all the excellent and varied cuisines.
What else did you do in Kuala Lumpur? How long did you stay? What was your fave food to taste? Share your experience and stories with us! Visiting Malaysia & Borneo soon? Click here for our Malaysia itinerary!