TRAVEL GUIDE – ACTIVITIES THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU
This is the one blog post my readers have been requesting for quite some time! So finally I have decided to put it in writing to help people who are visiting Malaysia. If you have enough time spend it all in Malaysia. But if you are the typical tourist with 3-4 days to spare there is quite a bit you can do in KL/Malaysia.
Weather in Malaysia is tropical which means it is sunny of the time. When visiting this country, pack light cotton clothes. It can rain anytime so you might need an umbrella as well. If you don’t have one ask your hotel to lend you one and don’t your forget goggles, hats, caps and lots of water (you will find umpteen number of 7-elevens in the city). Keep yourself hydrated at all times.
So what is a typical itinerary for 3 days in Kuala Lumpur. I am listing the places you can cover in the 3 days that you will be visiting here and if you want me to add any additional places please do leave a message.
PETRONAS TOWERS/ TWIN TOWERS
These are the iconic twin towers, tallest twin towers in the world. Ideally I would suggest you visit them in the evening. You can get to see them in their full glory and splendour when they are lit up late evening. You can also watch the Musical Fountain which starts at around 7:45 pm/8:00 pm in the evening. There is also a park and play area for kids which has a pool so you can start in the evening around 4:00 pm and play in the park (if you have kids) then come back to the main area for the musical fountain. After you have visited the musical fountain make sure to have dinner at Suria KLCC and maybe a little shopping after dinner.
2. BATU CAVES
Another icon that Kuala Lumpur is known for is the temple for the Hindu God Muruga. This temple is known for its limestone caves which are said to be 400 million years old and is located in Gombak, Selangor – about 20-30 minute drive from city centre. You can board the Komuter line from KL Sentral and get off at Batu Caves station right outside the temple. The statue is one of the tallest in the world, at 42.7m. There are 272 steps you need to climb reach the sanctum sanctorum. If you notice, the entrance to the cave is shaped like a “vel” (spear).
Watch out for the monkeys because they can turn fierce, trying to grab whatever you might have in hand. The climb is a bit steep so people with breathing difficulties and fear of heights should think long and hard before making the climb. Thaipusam (a festival that falls during the Tamil month of Thai – between Jan 15 and Feb 15) is surely a time to visit. The display of bhakti is immense and is something you will never be able to see anywhere else in the world. There are a couple of temples on the ground level, you can try visiting them.
You can read more here
3. KL BIRD PARK
Located inside the Taman Botani Perdana or Botanical Gardens, this one is Asia’s largest walk-in aviary. The bird park has several different kinds of birds living inside from Peacocks, owls, parrots, parakeets, and even horn-bills. Checkout their website for the feeding schedule and plan accordingly. You will have to walk a lot inside so wear good shoes and stay hydrated. You can find great food at the Hornbill restaurant inside the park if you get hungry.
4. AQUARIA KLCC
Another interesting spot for kids that has alot of marine creatures. Check their website for admission fees and timings. You could club this activity with the KLCC twin tower visit. Start with this one, end the day with the musical symphony with the glittering towers in the background!
5. MERDEKA SQUARE/DATARAN MERDEKA
This was where the Malayan flag was hoisted declaring independence (merdeka = independence in malay) on the midnight of 31st Aug 1957. You can also see the tallest flag pole where the Malaysian flag is seen dancing with the breeze and the annual independence day parade is conducted here each year. Next on your adventure you can visit the Textile Museum, Central Market in Pasar Seni, Petaling Street Pasar Seni – walk-able distance.
Merdeka Square is one of KL’s best known landmark, this space is located opposite the Abdul Samad building.
6. KL TOWER /MENARA KL
This is another huge structure in Kuala Lumpur, called KL Tower or Menara KL. It stands at a height of 421m. You can get the best view of the city and the surrounding districts from its observation deck and revolving restaurant called Atmosphere 360. At the foot of the Tower is Bukit Nanas, a surviving area of rainforest in the heart of the city which is open to explore. (Ref)
7. KL RAILWAY STATION (OLD)
The old railway station in Kuala Lumpur is indeed an interesting place to visit. Check out the station if you travel by the KTM Komuter line. You can read more here
8. LAKE GARDENS
A green lung in the heart of the city and the Lake Gardens is one of my favorite places to visit in Kuala Lumpur. Lake Garden is just a stone’s throw away from where we stay and almost a weekly affair. Read more about it here
Apart from the variety of plants/trees/flora, you can also see a Deer Park and nearby you have the Bird Park, Orchid/Hibiscus Park, National Mosque and a lot more.
9. PETALING STREET; CENTRAL MARKET
In the heart of the city, you have the “Chinatown” or Petaling Street as it is famously known. You have loads of options for food, shopping, and temples – Chinese as well as Indian, the famous Maha Mariamman temple is located here and very close to the Petaling Street is the Central Market where you can find lots of local artists selling authentic Malaysian handicrafts, wood work, and batik. You can reach this place by LRT, get off at Pasar Seni station or take whichever bus that is heading to Pasar Seni, the Street and Market is just a few minutes’ walk.
Do the Kasturi Walk on Jalan Hang Kasturi, you will like it.
10. THAEN HOU TEMPLE
One more popular destinations in KL and easily accessible from KL Sentral, just a 5-10 minute taxi ride is a temple that is dedicated to the Goddess Tian Hou or Thean Hou. You can read more about it here.
11. BUKIT BINTANG – SHOPPING AND NIGHTLIFE (BINTANG WALK)
The best place for nightlife, shopping, and food – Bukit Bintang. You must do the Bintang Walk where you will find electronics shopping hub – Low Yat Plaza, and Sungei Wang Plaza. Shopaholics will find huge satisfaction in this shopping “district” of Kuala Lumpur. One of the popular malls in this area is the up-market Pavilion mall which is on the other end of Bintang Walk. After all of your shopping and you begin looking for food you can visit Changkat, Jalan Alor and Bukit Bintang in the evenings for entertainment, food, and drinks.
12. LITTLE INDIA
Little India is also referred to as Brickfields which is a buzzing and popular spot among Indians (expats and tourists alike). For some of the tastiest Indian food, groceries, clothing, and temples you can visit this ever-lively area. There is Indian film music (mainly Tamil) booming loudly at the shops which are well-lit and seems like it is deepavali everyday! Being an Indian from Tamil Nadu, this place makes me feel at home. So for all those who are looking for amazing Indian food especially those hunting for Hotel Saravana Bhavan, come here ????
There are some more Indian restaurant chains in Masjid India; eg Sangeetha’s so head to Lebuh Ampang if you want more variety. For a list of places where you can have delicious yet inexpensive food, read this!
13. NATIONAL VISUAL ARTS GALLERY AND ISTANA BUDAYA
I havent been here myself, although I have been to the Titiwangsa Lake Garden just behind this place several times. This is a highly recommended place for people who are interested in art. You could also check out the Istana Budya, which is something like a theatre for music, opera, classical concerts etc and it’s right next door.
14. ROYAL MUSEUM (KING’S PALACE)
This was formerly the official residence of the Malaysian King and Queen. It has now been converted into a museum. Visitors can tour the official reception rooms and private apartments of the royal family. (Ref) The museum is open from 9 am to 5 pm.
15. FOOD – JALAN ALOR/ KAMPUNG BARU
If you are game enough to try different cuisines like stuffed frogs you must head to Jalan Alor. Kampung Baru is famous for its authentic local flare and has one of the largest markets that also sells food especially during Ramadan. The variety is simply too much!
16. THEME PARKS – SUNWAY LAGOON
A full day of fun for kids and adults alike. Please check their website for more information regarding tickets, timings and attractions offered.
You could visit the political capital of Malaysia. Putrajaya is a very well-planned city and touristy activities include a cruise at the lake. Read more about it here
Hop On Hop Off tours are available from KL Sentral all you just need to do is pay for the tickets and board/get off the buses when you reach the spot. The website says there are 23 stops and covers about 70 attractions on the way. Totally worth it. Some of the places covered by Hop On Hop Off include:
- Old Railway Station
- KL Tower
- Aquaria KLCC
- Chinatown/Central Market
- Botanical Gardens
- Bird Park
- Orchid/Hibiscus Garden
- Bukit Bintang/Shopping
- Dataran Merdeka
- Little India
- National Palace
- National Museum
- Titiwangsa – Museum of Visual Arts
- Kampung Baru/Chow Kit -food
Find out more on this website
A COUPLE OF PLACES OF INTEREST AWAY FROM THE CITY.
A lot of people seem to be interested in Genting Highlands, which is about 60 km from KL Sentral, an hour’s drive.
You could hire a cab or take the bus from KL Sentral. The highlands are at an altitude so if you wish to escape the heat of the city, you can go here. The cable car has been re-activated, there used to be a theme park and casino; heard they are undergoing renovation and will be opened later this year. So as of now there is not exactly a lot going on there.
I heard about Kanching Waterfall for first time from a friend. This lovely place is about 30 km from city. You could take a cab to get there and once you are there you can hike a trail that is suitable for everyone. There are 7 tiers of waterfalls and they are a sight.
WHAT TO BUY FROM HERE:
Pewter! Malaysia is known for this and you can find some great stuff at Royal Selangor stores all over the country.
WHERE TO SHOP (MALLS)
Pavilion Mall, Berjaya Times Square Mall, Suria KLCC, Midvalley Megamall are some of the more popular ones within the city.
Almost all the tourist spots can be reached by foot or if you use the Monorail/LRT/Komuter. Taxis are always available, most taxi drivers are friendly but do insist on meter fare if they ask otherwise.
I hope this was quite comprehensive list of things to explore while visitng Kuala Lumpur.
Please let me know if you have feedback or want me to cover any other place of interest.
For more information on Kuala Lumpur follow Hridya over at Coins N Maps.
Hridya is the creator and editor of Coins N Maps. In her blog post you can get to read about the various places she has been to in Asia. The main focus of Coins N Map is geared toward family-friendly and kid-friendly activities. Hridya is entering her 8th year in Malaysia and loving every bit of it. So if you have any queries about moving to Malaysia, education, work, or lifestyle – leave her a message!