If you love trying different foods from around the world, seeing incredible architecture or want to visit somewhere culturally enriched, Kuala Lumpur has it all
Kuala Lumpur is a huge international hub and chances are if you’re flying through SouthEast Asia you will most have a layover in Kuala Lumpur. After flying through the airport several times and hearing incredible stories about the beauty and food, we decided we needed to check out this city a little more closely and see what all the chatter was about.
We spent almost two weeks wondering around the Malaysian capitol and falling in love with the cities’ culture, their people and incredible food! We did some research before our trip and scoured sites like Lonely Planet and Travel + Leisure to get a sense of what to expect, but ultimately we just got lost in the city and discovered so many incredible memories. As a melting pot of many cultures and identities, the varied influence from Malay, Chinese, Indian, Thai and many more, is what makes Kuala Lumpur a must!
Although layovers are what initially brought us to Kuala Lumpur, it's diverse culture, mouth-watering food and central location is what will keep us coming back! Malaysia in general is easy to get around and the varied landscapes are far to interesting for us to only visit once. So do yourself a favor, make a trip to Kuala Lumpur and make sure to visit surrounding cities like Langkawi and Penang to name a few! To find great flights and hotel deals for a trip to Malaysia, you can check out Malindo Air through Traveloka.
Visit the Petronas Towers
Yes you will find this in almost every guidebook and for good reason. The towers are simply stunning and are a true architectural masterpiece. You can book a ticket and go to one of the top floors for panoramic views or do what we do and find a less touristy way of visiting. Across the way is the Traders Hotel which has SkyBar, an incredible rooftop bar and lounge with direct views of the towers!
Sample Street Food at Jalan Alor
In the Bukit Bintang area is a long glorious street full of different street food vendors and restaurants (although I use that term loosely). You can try everything from grilled meats, to skewers,, to noodles, to dorian (don’t gorget the gloves) and some other things that were delicious yet unidentifiable!
…and visit Lot 10 Food Hall
Hidden on the basement floor of this shopping center is a fabulous food hall, filled with vendors offering all sorts of different dishes at reasonable prices. Dishes range from wonton soup, to fried noodles and BBQ duck, but the best is definitely the Hokkien Mee fried noodles from Kim Lian Kee! Let the smell of charcoal and the long line of locals lead the way.
Dorian is like the forbidden fruit. It’s not allowed in hotels, cars, taxis and confined public areas…all because it supposedly smells like stinky feet. Well in Kuala Lumpur there seemed to be a food stand around every corner selling Dorian by the gram, so we had to give it a try! It’s pudding like texture wasn’t bad and the smell wasn’t that bad!
Visit Masjid Jamek Mosque
With its beautiful decorative arches and minarets as far as you can see, Masjid Jamek is one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur and stunning outside and inside. We were wearing shorts and I had a sleeveless shrit on, so we were given proper clothing at the entrance to wear during our visit.
Explore Merdeka Square
For those that are into history and historical buildings, Merdeka Square and the surrounding structures are pretty interesting. You can see the Sultan Abdul Samad building and the National Hisotry Museum around the corner. Or look the other way and you'll see the famous Royal Selangor Club Complex, built in 1884 as a meeting place for high-ranking members of the British colonial society.
Try the Best Dim Sum Around
With such a variety of cultures, you can try some of the best dishes from around the world. One of our most memorable meals was dim sum at Five Sen5es at the Westin Hotel. Don’t let the pretty presentations fool you - this is some of the most authentic dim sum we’ve tried!
Indulge in a Luxury Hotel
From the Mondrian Oriental to the Ritz Carlton, you’ll have your pick of luxury five star hotels in Kuala Lumpur. Our favorite was the Ritz Carlton, located right in the center of the city. In a place this diverse, it’s comforting to relax in a hotel where consistency is key and elegant design meets superior service...it's also a great hotel for a spa day! As you can probably tell, Chris really loved the milk bath :)
Climb Batu Caves
Just outside of KL are the Batu Caves and definitely worth the 30 minute ride out of town. The Hindu shrines and temples are built into the limestone cliffs and monkeys tend to stand guard. Be prepared to walk 272 steps in order to get to the caves!
Sample Cocktails at the Mandarin Oriental
If you know us, you know we have a thing for really well developed craft cocktails. We appreciate it when a bartender really knows their craft and spends time creating concoctions that are fantastic. So when we sat down at the bar inside the Mondrian Oriental, and was presented with a “thai-jito” we were impressed! The ambiance is posh, the views are stunning and if you leave your drink order up to the bartender, you won’t be disappointed!
For Impressive Shopping, Visit Bukit Bintang
I typically don't like to list shopping as a "thing to do" but it's a different story when you're in Kuala Lumpur. Every designer from Louis Vuitton and Hermes to Gucci and Tods, to the largest Sephora I've seen, can be found here... and the selection is truly lust worthy. If you're looking to purchase something special, save it for your trip to Kuala Lumpur!
Visit Another City in Malaysia
Flights to other areas of Malaysia like Penang and Langkawi are very cheap. For $20 USD you can be on your way to a completley different part of the country. You can book a quick flight online and be on the beaches of Langkawi or admiring the street art of Penang in no time! Traveloka is a booking engine for flights and hotels that always has special deals.
***Right now, Traveloka is currently having a great sale that gives 20% off flights and 31% off hotels and will only last through Sept 12, 2016 …Definitely work checking out!