Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, will be like no other place you’ve visited before. In some parts, it will be very apparent the struggle for money, but in other parts you will see a luxurious upscale mall that can take days to walk through. In Kuala Lumpur, you will see colorful temples and caves and have the chance to visit the world’s tallest twin buildings.
I recommend spending 2-3 days in Kuala Lumpur to get the full experience.
KEEP READING THIS POST FOR MY FIRST-TIMER’S GUIDE TO KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
VISIT PETRONAS TOWERS
These massive twin buildings were once the tallest buildings in the world. Today, they are the tallest twin buildings in the world. These skyscapers are in the heart of the city and are especially beautiful to view at night.
LOCATION: Concourse Level, Petronas Twin Tower, Lower Ground, 50088, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
HOURS: 9:00am-9:00pm, Tuesdays-Sundays
COST: To view from the outside is free, other special tickets can be purchased here: https://www.petronastwintowers.com.my/tickets
GET PICTURES TAKEN WITH COLORFUL PARROTS
While exploring the Batu Caves, I ran into a man who had several different colored birds. For a cheap price, he will take pictures of you holding the bird(s) on your shoulder or even giving them a kiss. Afterward, he will give you both digital and print copies.
FEED A BATU CAVE MONKEY
These long-tailed macaques, often referred to as Batu Caves monkeys, are a frequent sight at this Malaysia temple. You have the option to buy a small bag of snacks to feed the monkeys at a cheap price. When I fed my monkey, he stole my bag of treats from my hand and ran away. Do be careful because I have heard stories of people being attacked. Although in my situation, the monkeys seemed friendly yet clever.
EXPLORE BATU CAVES
At this point you are probably wondering, “What on earth are the Batu Caves?” The Batu Caves are a Malaysian national treasure. When first entering, you will be greeted by a monumental statue of Hindu deity Lord Murugan. The inside of the caves are comprised of limestone and colorful statues and in the dark shadows you may see bats fluttering their wings. Recently, all 272 steps leading to the Temple Cave have been repainted with a myriad of colors. You can not leave Kuala Lumpur without exploring this historical site.
ATTEND SERVICE AT SRI MAHAMARIAMMAN TEMPLE
Also known as Batu Caves’ brother temple, this large and elaborate Hindu temple incorporates Spanish and Italian tiles and is situated in between two congruous temples at the edge of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown. At exactly noon the abishegam service begins. The purpose of this service is for the bathing of God. Two men sat side-by-side on the ground playing Sanskrit music, creating a mystical atmosphere in the temple, while those who attended the service had the option of pouring water in honor of the bathing of God.
LOCATION: Jalan Tun H S Lee, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
HOURS: 6AM–12PM, 4:30–9PM
VISIT MERDEKA SQUARE
When standing in Merdeka Square, you will have a wondrous view of the colonial architectures of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building with palm trees and a beautiful skyline of all the tall city buildings. It is a scenic place where the serenity of the square is juxtaposed with the mosaics of all the Malaysian presidents.
LOCATION: Jalan Raja, Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
HOURS: Open 24/7
SHOP AT KLCC
The Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is known for the being the heart of Kuala Lumpur. It may be where the Petronas Towers are located, but it is also Malaysia’s best shopping mall. The upscale and luxurious shopping mall will feature your favorite name brand stores and fine dining restaurants. If you love shopping, then you will love KLCC.
UNWIND AT KLCC PARK
After getting lost in the maze of malls at KLCC, a good place to unwind is at KLCC Park. KLCC Park is a calm environment in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city and provides greenery and water features. In this area, you will see many families and children laughing and chasing each other. It is a nice place to relax and experience the everyday life of Malaysia.
This dish consists of deliciously crisp fried chicken, coconut milk-infused rice with spicy sweetish sambal, and cool cucumber slices and peanuts on the side. This dish can be found at Cafe Old Market Square which is adjacent from Merdeka Square. The restaurant offers traditional Malaysian dishes and is also a great place to get your morning coffee.
Location: 33, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
An authentic curry laksa dish from Malaysia and Singapore is also known as 'laksa lemak' is a typical Nyonya or Peranakan curry noodle dish. The broth of curry laksa or a.k.a curry mee combines a special chilli paste and rich coconut milk. You can this dish at Madras Lane Curry Laksa.
Location: Madras Lane Curry Laksa - City Center (old) Madras Lane Off Petaling Street, Malaysia
When I visited Kuala Lumpur, I was on a budget because KL was only the first stop on my list of three countries that I visited within 10 days. I chose the Travel Hub Guesthouse because it was relevantly cheap, located near the heart of Kuala Lumpur, and it had a very laidback vibe. If you are looking for a comfortable, affordable stay and are interested in meeting other expats, then this would be the ideal choice. It definitely wasn’t a 4 star hotel, but I also didn’t leave with any complaints.
ADDRESS: First Floor, No.13, Jalan Balai Polis, Off Petaling Street, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
COST: $12 USD per night