Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, a tropical country in South-East Asia. Depending on one’s perspective, the country is either enriched with sunshine and people are blessed with sun-kissed skin, or it’s cursed with year-long summer weather and people are suffocating in the humidity. Nevertheless, the locals love living there and tourists flock to the city to get a feeling of the relaxing lifestyle. KL, as it’s more commonly known, is a melting pot of mouthwatering food, world-class shopping, outdoor adventures, culture and history. Don’t know where to start? Read on and begin planning your next trip.
What to see?
The number one attraction on everyone’s list must be the Petronas Twin Towers. Standing at an astounding 88-stories, the skyscraper is a highlight of the KL cityscape. Visit the sky bridge and the observation deck for an unforgettable view of the city. As you make your way through the skyscraper, learn about its remarkable architecture through interactive displays that trace the construction of this iconic landmark from start to finish.
For the more adventurous traveler, take the train for a day trip to Batu Caves. Climb 272 steps to reach the entrance of the limestone hill, which boasts caves dedicated to religious Hindu shrines. The Hindu festival Thaipusam is held here annually, usually in the months of January or February. Alternatively, stay closer to KL and embark on a trekking trail in the jungles of Bukit Gasing or the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) to experience Malaysia’s natural landscapes. It’s not uncommon to encounter leeches in both of these locales, so go prepared with insect repellent to prevent bites and ward off air-borne pests such as mosquitos.
Popular family-friendly activities include outings to the KL Butterfly Park, a 10-minute drive from the city center, where you can experience the magical feeling of being surrounded by butterflies, whilst relaxing in the tropical garden. They say you’re lucky if a butterfly lands on you, and your chances of experiencing such good fortune are high at the park known as the “largest butterfly garden in the world.” If you’ve got extra time on your hands, visit the KL Bird Park next door which is home to over 3,000 birds.
Where to stay?
Best for budget travellers: Bukit Bintang and Chinatown are the two areas you want to start searching for the best deals. Bukit Bintang is bustling with life and generally regarded as the heart of the city – but that also means it’s the centre of traffic. Choose carefully to ensure you can get to your desired destinations by foot or public transportation, because you don’t want to be stuck in traffic for two hours – which happens more frequently than you’d expect. On the other hand, whilst Chinatown is still centrally located, it offers cheaper options and the surroundings are rich with local restaurants.
Best for a 5-star experience: You won’t be disappointed with the choices when it comes to luxury hotels. If you are a lover of shopping, you want to stay in Mandarin Oriental which is right next to one of the most popular malls, Suria KLCC, situated at the foot of the Petronas Towers. A 10-minute drive away is Villa Samadhi, a property that offers an escape to tranquility within the city. Their private villas are perfect for couples looking for a romantic getaway. Amongst the famous hotel franchises, like Shangri-la and the Grand Hyatt, is the Ritz Carlton where President Barack Obama stayed during his visit in 2014.
Airbnb: A popular choice amongst travellers nowadays, Airbnb boasts a group of hosts spanning every corner of KL. Mont Kiara is an area rapidly developing with luxury apartments and room rates are dropping with options below USD 100. The neighbourhood is mainly populated by expats, and offers a wide selection of dining options. A particular steal is Verve Suites; its charming suites will provide access to luxury amenities such as the rooftop sky beach, complete with an infinity pool, lounge chairs, and sofas.
Where to go at night?
The city comes alive at night and like any modern city, life doesn’t stop in KL. The most lively street is Changkat in Bukit Bintang, where locals and foreigners gather at bars, pubs, and lounges. With endless choices, this neighborhood is perfect for bar hopping.
You can’t leave without taking in the stunning night view. No matter where you choose to go, the following locations will provide an unforgettable experience. Heli Lounge Bar is a helicopter landing pad transformed into a bar, where you can enjoy drinks and an unobstructed view of the Petronas Towers. At The Roof, get an elevated experience by choosing from their seven distinct outlets for a curated experience. Head to PLAY club to dance the night away or escape from the crowd to Stratosphere bar for both a 360 panoramic view and romantic fairy lights illuminating the space. If you’re willing to splurge, Troika is the place to visit where you’ll be spoiled for choice between Cantaloupe for fine dining, Strato for casual Italian food, Fuego for sharing tapas family-style and Claret for a classy wine bar.
And there you have it! Are there other top KL spots not featured here that you'd like to mention? Have you visited any of the places mentioned above? Feel free to weigh in in the comments section below.
Photos: Annie Lin, Klcc Convention Centre
Visit the original source and full text: the Beijinger Blog