Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – Truly Asia

My recent week long vacation in Malaysia visiting Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, Batu caves, Genting highlands and Langkawi island was filled with fun experience. The country offers large diversity and cultural mix. On one hand there is one of the tallest skyscrapers, Petronas twin towers, located in Kuala Lumpur city with hustle of cars running on smooth expressways along with monorail running parallely on the top with lot many shopping centers, malls, cafes and restaurants. On the other hand there is the serenity of white sand beaches and open quiet fields in Langkawi. It’s easy to spot the culture mix in Malaysia with mosques, churches, hindu temples and chinese temples spread across different locations. Also the vivid wildlife that one can spot in Malaysia is a sight for the tourists. Weather in Malaysia is hot and humid year round, interspersed with tropical rain showers. Temperature at sea level varies from 21 to 32 degrees celsius. I visited KL in the first week of Feb and it rained almost everyday in the evening for just about 2 hours. Currency of Malaysia is Ringgit – 1 USD ~ 4 MYR and 1 MYR ~ 16 INR. There are various banks and money exchange shops located across the city such as UAE Exchange, Metro money exchange etc. which offers better price than what you can get at the airport. Overall the place came across as tourists friendly and is not at all expensive.

It was a 5.5 hrs direct flight from New Delhi to Kuala Lumpur for us. Our hotel was located in KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Center) which was around 60 kms (45-55 mins) drive from the KL international airport. I booked hotel Ramada suites for our 4 nights stay in KL. It was a luxurious 4 star hotel right in the center of all the major happenings of the city, in a 5 minutes walk from Bukit Bintang. There are lot many options in KL for every kind of hotels/villas/suites etc. Some really nice options for villas in Malaysia can be found on the AllTheRooms website. Bukit Bintang is the hub of major shopping malls, cafes, lounges and restaurants. Also it is well connected by monorail to other parts of the city. Other location which may be preferred by some for accomodation is Brickfields, aka Little India, near the KL Sentral which is a bit quiet but has the option of a number of Indian (mostly south indian) restaurants. KL Sentral is the main transport junction for monorails, trains and buses connecting different parts of the country with Kuala Lumpur.

Day 1

Since I did my homework in advance to figure out the places to visit in KL city as per the distance at which they were located, we started to roam around the city taking taxi which was convenient in the heat of the bright sunny day and almost at the same price rates as in India. Uber and Grab are the major taxi service app providers which made roaming around easy. The first stop we made was at Kuala Lumpur Bird park which is “World’s Largest Free-flight Walk-in Aviary“. It is located near the lake gardens and is a must visit. I was amazed at seeing all those birds walking and flying across me so freely as I entered the park. It was a treat for my camera. Among the birds were hornbills, peacocks, bul bul, ostrich, owls, flamingos, silver pheasant, parrots, eagles etc. These birds were not at all camera shy. In fact they would pose brilliantly in front of the camera. There was an entry ticket of 67 Ringgit per person (for adults) to this park but it was totally worth it. One can spend as much as 2-4 hrs to cover the entire park.

Nearby was located the butterfly park and lake gardens which we gave a miss and moved to hop around other parts of the city. Next we visited Central Market which was a large covered shopping center besides a long shopping street filled with many street food vendors. Later we visited Merdeka square situated in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. I catched a glimpse of Petronas twin towers and KL Tower in one frame in the background of this building. It was almost evening by then when it started to rain heavily bringing down the temperature by a few degrees but wasting some of our time for sightseeing. A 95-metre flagpole, one of the tallest in the world, is located at the southern end of the square. Then there is Royal Selangor Club, St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral, Kuala Lumpur railway station, Kuala Lumpur art gallery, National Textile Museum all located in and around the Merdeka square.

Our next stop was Petronas twin towers and then KL tower. There is an entry ticket of 85 Ringgit per person to visit the skybridge and observation deck located at 41st floor of the twin towers. It is a sight to look at these towers at night with lights beaming on them. At the foot of these towers is a large shopping mall by the name Suria KLCC. Later we visited Menara KL tower which is one of the tallest communication towers in the world. There is a restaurant on the top deck known as Atmosphere 360 which offers an expensive buffet dinner for 220 MYR per person. One can also buy tickets to the top sky deck and observation deck online or on visit. Upside down house is also located right inside the KL tower premises. It would have been a better sight to visit this tower in sunlight as nothing was really visible in dark from the top when I visited there. We had our dinner at the Indian restaurant located on top in the KL tower.

The entire day taxi trips costs us less than 30 ringgit which was pretty decent for us given the number of places we visited on our first day in Kuala Lumpur. I couldn’t visit Chinatown that day but it can be included in the city tour. Back to our hotel Ramada at KLCC which was hardly 5 mins away from the KL tower.