Kuala Lumpur is close enough to my heart that I would call it as my second home. The fact that it’s a neighbouring country to Indonesia, and the fact that it’s just 30-minutes on sky from my hometown, it’s not an unfamiliar place for me at all. I’ve been flying back and forth since I was a kid.
Kuala Lumpur has also become my favorite base to stop and mostly catch my flights to anywhere, mainly because most of the cheapest flight that I could find was from Kuala Lumpur.
Back in 2014, I spent couple of months living in this city and pretty much I’ve been doing what I supposed to do, which was exploring every possibly interesting sides. We all agree that Malaysia is not a blurred destination, it’s generally known to everyone. Despite all these matters, it doesn’t stop my eagerness to inform you top 10 must-do’s in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia:
1. Take a walk around Merdeka Square.
Beautifully set in Kuala Lumpur downtown, Merdeka Square and its surrounding remains charming through it’s well-maintained colonial buildings. It’s the best spot to reminiscence the time where British empire ruled Malay Peninsula.
Walk around the colonial buildings; Sultan Abdul Samad Building, St. Mary’s Church, and Royal Selangor Club or you can discover 11 historical sites within 2.5 hours walk with free Dataran Merdeka Heritage Walk Tour every Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday 8.30 a.m. starting from Kuala Lumpur City Gallery.
2. Get to know more about the city.
Still around Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is an interesting place to visit. I know you might not like places with admission fee, but this place is really worthy for RM 5. Inside there’s a show with dioramas and mapping of the city with blitz of lights that will give you informative sights about Kuala Lumpur.
3. Bewildered by the breath-taking skyscrapers.
No matter how many times I stared at these magnificent twin towers, I still couldn’t believe how fascinated I was to the towers. It’s undeniably a top-notch landmark of the city and of course one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur.
Come around 7 pm.-10 p.m and you’ll be entertained by a musical fountain show with the twin towers as the background. Do not hesitate to visit Kuala Lumpur Tower where you can dine up the sky with panoramic view of the city.
4. Never-ending shopping.
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur is highly guaranteed. Whether you wanna buy some cheap unlabelled sneakers or gold chain bags from world-class designers, you can find always find what you want here.
Go straight to Bukit Bintang, the trendiest shopping district in Kuala Lumpur. Even one day is not enough to cover all the shops and malls here. If you wanna get affordable stuffs, go to Berjaya Times Square or Sungai Wang Plaza. If you’re a big spender, go to Pavillion, Suria KLCC, or Fahrenheit 88. For souvenirs, Petaling Street (China Town) and Central Market are the headliners.
I reckon it’s easier to stay around this area as well, chains of hotels spread, both budget hotels and luxury hotels. Don’t waste your time “go show” and searching for hotels. I trust traveloka as my online booking platform. It made my life a lot easier.
5. Find serenity inside the mosque.
I’m not a Muslim, but I really admire the designs and architectural style of religious places all around the world, including mosques. As majority of the population in Malaysia believes in Islam, you can easily spot mosques.
My favorite mosque is National Mosque, Jamek Mosque, and Putra Mosque. Bear in mind that visiting religious places often requires a strict dress code. It’s better to cover up your body, however the mosques in KL provide free long cloaks that will cover your whole body.
6. Broaden your horizons at the museum.
Who says that museums are stodgy or boring? To be honest I’m not a fan of history and the past, I prefer to see something futuristic. However, I enjoy myself concentrating into a sculpture, painting, something artistic, and unique at the same time.
My favorite museums in Kuala Lumpur is National Textile Museum, it has many collections of fabrics and jewelries from the past. In addition, Islamic Art Museum has outstanding showpieces including carpets, jewelries and potteries. If you love history, checking out museums is one of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur
7. Travel to Batu Caves
Batu Caves is a sacred place for Hindu believers. It has alluring scenery of the natural caverns and an enormous statue which illustrate Lord Murugan as the God of War. Make sure you’re fit enough to climb as many as 272 steps to the cave. Be careful with the monkeys that might snatch your sunglasses. Batu Caves can be easily done with a short trip (30 minutes) by KTM Komuter.
8. Say hi to tortoises in Thean Hou Temple.
Thean Hou Temple is a large six-tiered Chinese temple built by the Hainanese community living in Kuala Lumpur. During Chinese Festival, thousand of devotees gather in the temple. One thing that caught my attention was the tortoise pond, where hundreds of tortoises laid peacefully. Tortoise is a symbol of longevity and auspicious according to Chinese.
9. Eat till you drop.
It is no secret that Malaysia is a melting pot of religions, cultures, and traditions. Three dominant ethnicity – Malays, Chinese, Indians shapes many aspects in terms of how they live, how they interact, that brings diversity, as well as food.
Then it makes sense, Kuala Lumpur is the right place to do your culinary adventure. Taste the authenticity of Malay food, the spices in Indian curry, and the mouth-watering Penang Char Kuey Teow (my all time favorite!).
You can find these all in Jalan Alor, nevertheless, you can easily find it anywhere. Join another street food festive at Taman Connaught Night Market which only opened on Wednesday night. Marked as the longest night market in Kuala Lumpur, 2 kms long, it’s definitely one of my favorite market to eat lots and lots of food! Warning: This market is not suitable for dieters.
10. Dance all night long.
If you’re a party-lover like me, let me tell you, you won’t be disappointed here in KL. Heaps of bars, rooftop bars, and clubs that will keep you dancing all night long.
If you’re after cheap drinks, go to Changkat Street where you can find lines of bars offering you cheap gin and tonic. Wanna get classy? Go to Sky Bar, Luna Bar, or Heli Lounge and have a drink overlooking glittering city lights.
Ladies will have advantage every Wednesday night in most of the bars here. You can get free drinks on ladies night, don’t miss this out. Wanna pump yourself with the latest electronic music, Zouk is where you have to go. Free pass for tourists, all you need is just bring a copy of your passport and dress up!
Overall, getting around Kuala Lumpur is easy and convenient. Public transport such as bus, train, commuter are well-linked. There is also free bus called Go KL that takes you to major tourist attractions. Looking for hotels in Kuala Lumpur? Click here to find out hotel that suits you the best.
Have suggestions about exciting things to do in Kuala Lumpur? Leave on comment section below, thanks!
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