Since my childhood I always wanted to visit Malaysia and that was only for seeing Petronas Towers. Although I have enjoyed my three days in Kuala Lumpur, I can easily say that Petronas is only a small part of the city and after visiting Burj Khalifa in Dubai, it was a little bit disappointment.
I had a chance to visit Malaysia for the first time on my second visit to Far East. We were planning to fly from Philippines to Singapore. I thought spending three days in Kuala Lumpur rather than spending three more days in Singapore would be a better option. I can’t lie, I really enjoyed the single moment I have spent in Kuala Lumpur. Only problem was the hotel I have arranged and the time I had to spend at the airport.
How to reach
You can easily fly to Kuala Lumpur for anywhere. Airport is really huge, unfortunately although it is well organized you still have to be 3 hours earlier to catch your flight. Airport is called as KLIA. There is also another terminal as KLIA2. If you are flying with Air Asia, you will probably use KLIA2. It is like a hub for the airline company. So, before your flight be sure to check where at which terminal your flight is. Terminals are not in walking distance, so you don’t want to face with bad surprises.
There are many options to reach Kuala Lumpur airport. You can prefer using a bus which costs you less or you can prefer using a train. A round trip bus -Aerobus- costs only 5 EUR (20 RM). If you prefer using an express train journey, it will cost 20 EUR if you either buy it online or from kiosk. Buying from counter is more expensive. However, there was a better option which would make me more comfortable and that was buying a travel pass. It costs 120 RM which means around 30 EUR at that time. This includes unlimited travel in public transportation and also a return ticket. It is still expensive than using the bus and buying a seperate travel pass, but I wanted to feel more comfortable and to be honest, I was not in the mood for spending a lot of time for buying single tickets.
The easiest option for travelling around KL is using a travel pass. It offers you unlimited rides on LRT, MRT and KL Monorail Lines. This means it is not valid on bus. You have to be familiar about what LRT, MRT and Monorail are, because you will be using them a lot.
- Line 1- KTM Seremban – The train that will take you to Batu Caves –> your travel pass is not valid here
- Line 2 & 10 – They are also KTM lines which you will not probably use –> your travel pass is not valid here
- Line 3 – LRT Ampang
- Line 4 – LRT Sri Petaling
- Line 5 – LRT Kelana Jaya
- Line 6 & 7 – KLIA lines which you may use to go airport
- Line 8 – Monorail Line
- Line 9 – MRT Sungai Buloh – Kajang –> metro line
I have used LRT, MRT and Monorail lines a lot during my visit. I can easily say buying a travel pass saved my time a lot. Otherwise I would be spending a lot of time to buy single tickets. I was supposed to be also using Line 1 only for a roundtrip to reach Batucaves, however there was maintenance on the line, so I had to use a free bus shuttle. I will be telling which lines and which stations you will be using when I am talking about what to do in KL. However, it would be really nice if you have an overview about the network map.
Where to stay
I made a mistake. It was a mistake, because I really don’t like the neighbourhood my hotel is located. My hotel was next to KL Sentral. It gives me flexibility to use KLIA lines to reach airport easily. However, I was faced with really bad attitude by hotel responsibles. The breakfast that was offered to me as breakfast was only bread and tea. The mistake I did was leaving Kuala Lumpur booking to a very close date to my arrival, so I couldn’t look for other options.
However, during my three days, I found very nice hotels in the town. There are many popular hotel chains located close to Petronas Towers. It offers you great skyscrapper views. Most of them have swimming pools on their roof floor. If you want to increase your experience in KL, staying at one of these hotels would be really good. My best option is Traders Hotel. I really believe you will enjoy it.
What to do
On my first day, I have arrived at my hotel around 5 PM after one domestic flight in Philippines and an international flight from Manila to Kuala Lumpur. I was not in the mood for going very far away from the hotel. So, I have spent rest of the day visiting NU Sentral shopping mall near KL Sentral Station. Visiting Asian countries as a person living in Europe is always interesting, so I am quite sure you will find some shops that you have never seen anywhere.
Next day early in the morning, I visited Petronas Towers. This is just to get out of tourist madness. After morning hours, I heard the place got really busy and it became impossible to take pictures. I didn’t prefer going up, because I have convinced by many sources that it is not worth visiting. Unlike in Burj Khalifa, here you have a limited time and the view is not very good. You only walk on the bridge connecting two towers in a very limited time with an unreasonable price. Taking pictures around towers, especially from the park was more in my interest. If it becomes too hot or you are into shopping, you can visit Suria KLCC shopping mall just located on ground floor of Petronas Towers.
In Muslim countries especially in Ramadan, I was well aware of how Muslim people were gathering together. However, in KL I witnessed something really interesting. There is a popular street called “Jalan Alor“. It is probably only 1-2 km narrow street and it is empty during day hours, but at night a big crowd is expecting you. Like Muslim people gathering together in Ramadan, here it happens every night by locals. The street is only full of restaurants, most of them are serving similar variety of food. I was expecting to face with low prices, but interestingly the prices were little higher, so be sure to learn the price of what you are ordering. Even if you are not into tasting street food, I still recommend you to explore this street to have a brief experience about KL evenings.
Before continuing with some other attractions to visit in KL, let me talk about my shopping mall experiences. KL is full of shopping malls. They are everywhere. Considering weather is both hot and humid, locals like to spend their time in shopping malls. I have also enjoyed it, because I had a chance to see some interesting shops which I have never seen anywhere. It was also during a time for celebrating Chineese New Year, so all malls were full of interesting activities. My favorite one is Pavillion. Pavillion, Starhill Gallery, Berjaya Times, Sungei Wang are all located in same area called Bukit Bintang. This is the area I have spent hours for exploring and shopping. By using skywalk, you can also reach Suria KLCC from Pavilion without going outside. You walk almost 20 minutes, but this means even if it rains or too hot, you have a chance to reach Bukit Bintang from Petronas Towers.
There are also few areas worth visiting in KL. First one is the area where you can buy cheap souvenirs. The place is called Central Market. Here, there are only souvenir shops and it serves as a tourist attraction. Very close to Central Market, Chinatown is located. If you are into buying some Chinese souvenirs in Malaysia, Petaling Street Market in Chinatown should be in your interest. Other two popular locations are also not far away. It will take only 10-15 minutes to reach there, but in this area there can be some pickpocketers, so be careful. The first building is Sultan Abdulsamet Building and the second one is Jamek Mosque. They have strict opening hours, so if you are into exploring interior of these buildings, going there later than 4 PM can be a problem. I have also found a tourist office located on other side of Sultan Abdulsamet Building (facing to main square). I have spent half hour when there is heavy rain outside. I really receive good information and decided to arrange a new trip to Malaysia for other locations.
My only disappointment in KL was visiting the KL Tower. I was just going to visit Hard Rock Cafe nearby, but it will be also worth it to visit KL Tower area. Unfortunately, the price was really expensive and I didn’t have the same feeling compared to other skyscrapper experiences.
On my last day, early in the morning I went to KL Sentral station to take a train to Batu Caves. There was a construction on railways, so instead of taking a train, I used the free bus service to another train station. There, we had to buy tickets and then continue our train journey directly to Batu Caves. Just in 30 minutes, it was possible for me to reach the best day trip option in KL.
I have really enjoyed visiting Batu Caves, however I can say this only right now. When I arrived there, I started to see lots of monkeys at the moment I left the train. I have also heard some bad experiences many tourists had in Batu Caves. So, I really thinked more than twice to keep walking. Anyway, I put all my technology stuff into the bag and locked them in a psycho way. The cave itself is really large. There is not much to do there, but going there, walking all these stairs near one of the biggest statues in world and of course the crazy monkeys was an interesting experience.
Airport & Transportation
- KL Airport – http://www.klia.com.my/index.php?m=airport
- Public Transportation – https://www.myrapid.com.my/
- KL Express & Travel Pass – https://www.kliaekspres.com/kl-travelpass/