* Prices may differ from that shown
Myself and my boyfriend stayed in Kuala Lumpur for three nights in October 2006 and had a wonderful time.
We visited Kuala Lumpur as part of a package deal. We flew to Borneo, stayed there for 2 weeks, and then flew from Borneo to Kuala Lumpur, which took us about 3 hours. A flight direct from Heathrow to Kuala Lumpur would take about 13 hours and many people choose to do stop overs in Kuala Lumpur, as it is very easy to fit into any package deal. The main reason we decided to include a stopover in Kuala Lumpur (often called KL) was because it was offered to us at a very cheap price, £8 per night per person and we thought it would break up our flight home.
We stayed at the 4 star Capitol Hotel which was right smack bang in the middle of town. We found this to be an excellent location as we could walk to the local markets, restaurants and bars. There are hundreds of hotel in Kuala Lumpur and you would definitely not be stuck for somewhere to stay while you are there. There are literally hundreds of skyscraper buildings. As we were only in KL for three days, I am unable to comment on the accommodation that much as we did not really visit any hotels aside from the one we were staying in. As mentioned before, our hotel was in a prime location, offered excellent customer service and the rooms were very clean and comfortable.
In Malaysia, their currency is the Ringgit. While we were out there, the exchange rate was £1 for RM 7.00
GETTING AROUND KL
Getting around KL was very easy indeed. We found that the main town, although large was quite compact so you did not have to walk for miles between shops and restaurants. If you are just looking around town, visiting bars and various shops then walking would be a good option, it's free and it also allows you to take in the sights around you.
If, however, you are wanting to visit the main attraction of KL, for example, The Menara Towers of the Petronas Towers, then I would advise getting a taxi. We did originally try and find the Menara Tower on foot but basically found it too confusing and ended up getting a taxi. The taxi cost of £2
for a 10-minute journey to the Towers which was very reasonable. We also visited a large bird park while we were in KL, the bird park was quite a way out of town and took us 15 minutes to get there by taxi. This still only cost us £5 which again was very cheap. A mixture of walking a taxi's is advisable for KL, you will need taxis to some of the attractions outside of town as although they are not actually that far away, they are a pain in the bum to find! Getting around KL is very simple though. One tip, always make sure that you ask what the taxi are will be before you get in the taxi otherwise you are bound to get ripped off.
Eating out in KL was amazing. There is such a wide variety of different foods to choose from that you will never be stuck for something to eat. In the main town, there were lots of restaurants to choose from, some big expensive restaurants, other smaller family run restaurants. There were also lots of pubs that served food as well as small kebab shops, Indian restaurants and Chinese restaurants. As well as all the above, there was of course, a McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut and TGI Fridays. We ate in a small pub/restaurant called The Ship Inn, which served toasty food. We have a starter and a main meal each and it came to £10 for both of us. The food was delicious and the staff were very friendly. The restaurant had a lovely atmosphere and played gentle background music. Another place we ate at was TGI Fridays. We had never eaten at one of these before and I was very impressed with the food here. For both of us to have a starter and a main as well as drinks, it cost us £16 which is half what it would cost here. TGI Fridays was about a 10-minute walk from town though and we only came across it by accident.
The markets also provide another source of food. Little stalls selling kebabs, fried chicken, freshly cooked pancakes and rice dishes to name a few. Many of the stalls sold Malaysian food so we found this a good opportunity to try some local food. A curry with rice cost one person £2 from one of these stalls so it was a lot cheaper to eat from a stall than in a restaurant. Outside the stalls, tables and chairs are available so you have somewhere to sit and eat.
Malaysian food is not one particular distinction of food but a culinary diversity originating from it's multi-ethnic population of Malay, Indian, Eurasian, Chinese and the Indigenous peoples of Borneo. The Malaysian food is spicy and colourful often including plenty of vegetables so is quite easy for vegetarians to find food. Rice tends to be a staple food in Malaysia as it is grown locally so is therefore very easy to get hold of. Noodles are also a popular choice in KL.
Malay food is easily recognisable by its extensive use of chilli and/or coconut milk and the frying method. Basically, having a Malay meal consists of a serving of rice and various types of dishes served in bowel or plates (such as fish, pork, chciken beef etc) as opposed to course-by-course meal favoured by Western and formal Chinese dining). In traditional Malay meal, you will find a few servings of meat and/or fish dishes (cooked in varying methods), along with a few servings of vegetables, and not forgetting, a serving of 'ulam', which is basically raw or steamed vegetables. For traditional Malay food, you would be best eating at roadside hawker stalls.
KL is also full of specialist coffee shops. They have plenty of Starbucks and quirky little cafes offering other hot drinks. The prices were about half what you would expect to pay over here. On average a large cup of coffee cost us around £1.50.
As well as coffee shops, KL has many bars/pubs to offer to tourists. Most of the bars have live bands playing or at least some kind of music and they are open nearly all night, one bar we went to didn't stop serving food until 4am so goodness knows what time it shuts! Alcohol is fairly cheap, about £1.50 for a cocktail and about £2 for a pint of beer. Many of the bars had special promotions such as buy one get one free so if your careful you can get a lot for your money!
To sum it up, you are literally spoilt for choice with the amount KL has to offer. I am vegetarian and often find it hard to find something to eat but never once was it a problem here. Our only regret was that we didn't get to try all the nice looking restaurants as we were only there for 3 nights.
THINGS TO DO IN KL
Kuala Lumpur is known as the focal point of Malaysia. While the city's past is still present, the past is everywhere met with reminders of KL's present and its future. The city's bustling streets, its shining, modern office towers reflect the new Malaysia but you can still visit historical buildings as well as the local night markets. It is one of the wealthiest and most appealing places in Malaysia.
There are so many places of interest in KL but with us only being there for three nights, we didn't get to see them all. I will outline the ones we did see.
The Menara Tower, with its spiral top, measures in as one of the world's tallest towers. Divided into five sections and nearly 1,400 feet tall, this structure serves many functions. The upper ground level is open to the public and offers a variety of shops and restaurants. We went to the Manara Tower early evening with the intention of being able to take some nice pictures of the city all lit up at nighttime. However, when we arrived, we were informed by the staff that visibility was pretty poor and we might not get to see much. It was our last night there and we definitely wanted to do the trip so we went for it anyway. Unfortunately we didn't get any decent photos but it was still an interesting trip. We were taken to the top floor by lift and when we arrived at the top floor, we were given a tour headset. You basically put the headset on and stand at window number one (the windows are numbered) and then headset points out places of interest across the city. You move around to different windows depending on where the headset tells you to go and you get fantastic views of the city from 1,400 ft up!
There is also a restaurant at the top of this tower but unfortunately you have to make reservations to eat here so we didn't get to experience that.
It cost us about £6 each to actually go up the tower and I would definitely recommend this trip to other people.
This is the best spot for bargain and souvenir shopping. Located in the middle of the main town, the Central Market once dealt only in produce. Now, it is the hot spot for shopping and eating or enjoying free evening concerts and presentations. Everything from T-shirts, perfume, ornaments and fine jewellery can be found here, as well as quaint little cafés and arts and crafts. Whatever you do, you must haggle with the market sellers. On our 1st night, we bought some perfume (obviously fake but smelt good anyway) for £8 for 100ml. Later on in the holiday, we were buying other 100ml bottles for £2 so really don't be afraid t haggle with the locals, they see it as a game and will try to rip you off if you are silly enough to fall for it.
THE PETRONAS TWIN TOWERS
The towers are a visual and architectural beauty! The Petronas Twin Towers looks spectacular when lit up at night. They are the world's tallest buildings. Both towers stand almost 1,500 feet tall (88 stories). Between the two towers is a 'skyline' bridge which member of the public can visit and walk across for some photo opportunities.
In order to be able to go up these towers, you have to get there early in the morning, around 7.30 and queue to get free tickets. You are only allowed 2 tickets per person though so bear this in mind. I had a lay in while my boyfriend went to queue for the tickets. So if you had a family of 4, you would need at least two people to queue for the tickets otherwise you would not be allowed all 4 tickets. Once you have the tickets, you will notice a time printed on them. Our allocated slot was 1.30 in the afternoon and you basically turn up at the time given and are allowed to go up the towers. Security was very thorough at the towers and you definitely felt safe. Before you go up the towers, you go into a small cinema where you are shown a clip on how they built the towers which was very interesting. You are then taken up by a lift to the sky bridge where you can walk across to the other tower through the bridge. We got some nice photos of the City from here. Again, I would recommend this trip to others.
THE KL BIRD PARK
I really enjoyed visiting the bird park, as I love animals. This is apparently the largest walk in aviary in the world and it was just that. The whole place has massive nets so all the birds are technically enclosed but it certainly didn't feel like it. We saw some beautiful birds here and it was great as the environment felt fairly natural, they could all fly around and had plenty of space. It cost £4 each to get into the park and took us a good 3 hours to walk around the whole park. The park is situated slightly out of town and it took us about 15 minutes to get there by taxi. I would recommend this trip to any animal lover.
KL is an amazing City with lots to see and do. Transport is cheap, food and drink is cheaper than it is here and there is so much choice available. KL is how I would imagine New York to be although I have never been to New York. The nightlife is bustling, most places open until at least 1am so you will never be short of something to do. Our only regret is that we didn't have longer to explore.
Kuala Lumpur is a fabulous city with amazing things to see and do and some of the most welcoming and happy people I have ever met. It makes for a great place to stop for a few days en route to somewhere else, but there are plenty of things that make it a must visit destination in its own right.
==Getting to and Around the City==
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is obviously the main entry point into the city and it is located around 70 kilometres from the centre. There are various ways of getting into the centre. You can take a coach which departs every half an hour for about £5 each way or you can use the train which goes to the Chinatown area for about £7 each way. The bus takes around an hour and the train about half of that and both run from 5am until around midnight. The bus goes to the main hub in the city centre, from which you can get on another bus for about £1 that goes around all of the city centre's major hotels.
After a fourteen hour flight, we were in no fit state to be working out bus or train timetables, so we decided to take a taxi which we picked up outside the arrivals hall and took us directly to our hotel in about thirty minutes and cost us around about £25. Be warned though: the taxis in Kuala Lumpur are all pretty old and air conditioning consists of opening the window and driving fast. Suspension is pretty much non-existent too, so expect a bumpy ride!
Getting around Kuala Lumpur is a strange thing. The city isn't really designed with pedestrians in mind as it is quite a sprawling city and the main attractions are spread out far and wide. That said, we did quite a lot of walking and found that, as long as you look both ways twice when you are crossing the road, it is a fairly safe way of getting around. The only problem that we encountered were the muggy temperatures that made being outside for long periods of time uncomfortable - so make sure you take plenty of water with you wherever you go.
Having said all that though, we did make good use of the Kuala Lumpur Monorail system, which we thought was fantastic. The monorail circles the city above street level and has stops near to most of the major tourist points of interest. It is only 20 pence per ticket and that will take you as far as you want along the system. The monorail carriages are all air conditioned, are relatively quiet most of the time and run every few minutes throughout the day and night. The best thing about them though are the views you get over the city as you travel around - it's great fun spotting the major buildings from the floor to ceiling windows.
==The Main Areas of the City==
Petaling Street is the main thorough fare through Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown district and no visit to the city would be complete without a trip here. It has all the hustle and bustle that is expected of a thriving area of a Far Eastern major city and is full of atmosphere and great smells. The street is lined by all manner of shops, cafes, hotels and backpackers hostels and offers something for every visitor. The area really comes alive though in the late afternoon and into the evening when the centre of the wide street plays host to a temporary market of hundreds of stalls. The stalls sell all kinds of 'replica' items including watches, designer tee shirts and bags. You are free to barter exceptionally good deals on all of the wares and it becomes something of a fun battle of wills to get a good price on a copy Breitling watch or an Armani sweater.
Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is an area of the city that every visitor will visit because it is home to the city's most famous tourist attractions including the Petronas Towers, as well as many of the major hotels.
The Golden Triangle area of Kuala Lumpur lies adjacent to the office district of the city centre and is home to the major shopping centres. There is little here for the sight seer, but it is an absolute must for shoppers everywhere.
The Colonial core is located on the Western side of Kuala Lumpur and offers an alternative to the high rise modern buildings and the hustle and bustle of the rest of the city. The area centres on Merdeka Square and is very much reminiscent of olde worlde England, with its mock Tudor style buildings and large grassy areas. It is the oldest part of the city and we very much enjoyed the completely different experience it offered us. The area is very much at a slower and quieter pace than the rest of the city and it is a lovely place to while away a very hot afternoon in Kuala Lumpur. There are plenty of areas to sit and admire the views and enjoy the relaxation, especially by the beautiful waterfalls and fountains which give you a very welcome spraying of cold water!
==Must Visit Places===
The Petronas Towers are without doubt the most famous of Kuala Lumpur's attractions and buildings and any trip to the city should include a visit to them. During your visit to the towers, you can choose to visit just the sky bridge - a glass encased walkway that connects the two towers at the 41nd floor - or you can pay extra to go up to the 86th floor, where the views across Kuala are absolutely phenomenal. Both levels are pretty high though and neither is for the feint hearted. There are only a set number of people allowed to ascend the towers each day and the only way to get tickets is to queue up in the morning of the day you want to visit. It is as you would expect a very popular attraction and so tickets go quickly. The ticket desk is located in the basement of the left tower, below the massive shopping centre, and opens at 8am each day. We began queuing at around 7.45am and were nowhere near the front of the queue. When we finally did reach the front around an hour and half later, we were given tickets for next available visit at 4.15pm. Considering that the sky bridge closes at 7pm and you need a good hour in the building, we were only just able to get tickets at all. It is a bit frustrating having to get up extra early to get in line and spending the best part of your morning in a queue, but that is the way it is unfortunately and it is worth it. There are various package prices for visiting the towers, depending on what you want to do. To visit the sky bridge alone is 10RM (Malaysian Ringits) which is about £2.50 working on the exchange rate we got of 4RM to the pound. To go to the 86th floor as well is 40RM (£10). I would strongly recommend paying the extra and going all the way, because it is so worth it. They also do packages where you get a deluxe three course meal and these start at around 200RM per person for lunch and 350 for dinner.
If it wasn't for the colossal Petronas Towers, the KL Tower would be the star of Kuala Lumpur's skyscraper show. As it is, it does play second fiddle to the world's tallest twin towers, but a trip to the city should still include a visit, not least because you get a fabulous view of the rest of the skyline and some great photos of the Petronas Towers thrown in. Known in Malay as the Menara Kuala Lumpur, the KL Tower is 421 metre high telecommunications tower in the heart of the city that offers a selection of activities alongside the views. The KL Tower actually looks down on the Petronas Towers because it is built on the top of a hill, which is quite something. Its height makes it the second tallest free standing tower in the world after Toronto's CN Tower. You can see the tower from pretty much anywhere in the city and there is a monorail station quite near to it so you can work out the general direction quite easily. Beware though, the entrance to the park that the tower sits in is not quite so easy to find and we had to ask a couple of super friendly locals for directions because the signs are surprisingly sparse and the maps don't seem to indicate the entrance.
From the outside the Sri Mahamariaman Temple is amazing to look at because it is made from gold, precious stones and Spanish and Italian tiles. This is just part of it though because the intricate details with which these items have been combined make it a masterpiece that cannot be missed. As it is tucked away between two pretty non-descript buildings, it is not easy to get a good photo of it, but that doesn't stop hundreds of tourists from gathering outside to give it a go. You can go into the temple and it is free to enter, but you must remember that it is a very sacred place of worship and you should be appropriately attired with your shoulders and knees covered. You must also take off your shoes to go in.
The Chan See Shu Yuen Temple is Chinatown's largest temple and is exactly the ornate kind of building you would expect from a Chinese Temple. Located right at the Southern most point of Petaling Street and is very easy to get to. If you are visiting Chinatown and getting there via the monorail, you will walk past the temple as it is on your right hand side as you head up towards Petaling Street. It also backs onto the Merdeka Stadium. The first thing that we noticed when we approached the temple was the ornate work involved in the iron gate outside. Beyond that you can see the fantastic roof, which is ornately carved with scenes from Chinese mythology and major events - it is expertly done and definitely worth a photograph. The temple is free to enter and is not overly big so won't take long to explore.
==Resting Your Head==
There are thousands of hotels in Kuala Lumpur, suiting all budgets and mainly located in the Golden Triangle area of the city. The Hotel Equatorial in Kuala Lumpur is a great example of how warm and proud Malaysian hospitality is. We stayed here for three nights on the first leg of our honeymoon and we thought it was a perfect base for exploring. To be honest, I think you'd struggle to find a better location for a hotel in Kuala Lumpur because most of the places you want to see and visit are right there but for easy access to everything else in the city, there is a monorail station about 500 yards from the hotel. The hotel is mainly designed for business users and so the rooms are functional rather than luxurious. That is not to say that the rooms aren't comfortable, because they are and they have all of the facilities and amenities that you would expect. Breakfast is excellent and definitely worth paying for if it isn't already included in the price of your hotel room. There is a wide choice of English, American and Malaysian dishes that include everything from bacon and eggs to the traditional fish porridge. The Hotel Equatorial isn't quite as luxurious as some of the other hotels in the area, but for the price (from as little as £70 per room per night, rack rate) it offers exceptional value and a fabulous breakfast. The location is perfect and the service is exceptional, so in my opinion, it is worth every penny.
== Dining Out ==
Again, there is no shortage of places to eat in KL, whether you want fast food (I've never seen so many KFCs in one place before!) or a proper Malaysian meal, it has it all and here are a couple we particularly enjoyed:
Perusing my guidebook for somewhere to eat in Kuala Lumpur, I was attracted to the Old China Cafe by its description 'olde worlde colonial style where an oriental Butch and Sundance wouldn't look at of place'. It is immediately clear where the Butch and Sundance reference comes from as the restaurant, from the outside, does look a little like an old style saloon, with swinging doors at the front and an interior completely covered in dark wood. It isn't the easiest place to find because the signs outside are faded and the restaurant is shoe horned in between a row of non-descript shop fronts, but you really should make the effort to find it because it is well worth it. The guide book said that the service was often sloppy, but we found it to be very good. There was obviously a slight language barrier, but the staff were all very friendly and helpful. The menu is small but well thought out and offers a selection of typically Malay dishes which feature the favourites of the original owner. Make sure you try the amazing Top Hats to start with and I'd highly recommend the beef Rendang for main. We had a couple of local beers with the meal and some water, which was filled up regularly and was free. The total cost for the meal and drinks was £16 - an absolute bargain by anybody's standards. The portion sizes were more than enough, although we still ate every last morsel quite happily.
We felt a bit like we were copping out a bit, coming all the way to the Far East and going for a burger, but sometimes the stomach craves familiarity,especially after three days of delicious but rich curry, so we went in search of the Hard Rock Cafe. The restaurant is a huge and cavernous room bursting with rock souvenirs. For such a big room, it is amazingly cosy. The tables and chairs are all dark wood and fairly closely packed (although you never feel like you are too close to your neighbour). The walls are adorned with photographs, framed rock outfits and guitars from various artists and this helps considerably to create a relaxed and trendy atmosphere. The service is impeccable although we found it to be a little over friendly at times. I think the idea of the service is to make you feel like you are dining at a cool friend's house. The menu was pretty good for a burger joint. There obviously were burgers, but also chicken wings, wraps, steaks . . . pretty much anything that goes with chips. The food was tasty and the portion sizes huge - we went for a starter and main, but would only have a main next time because it was just too much. The total bill for two courses (we just couldn't manage a dessert even though the choice was mouth watering) and a couple of cocktails and a couple of beers was about £30 which we thought was exceptionally good value considering the portion size and the cost of beer in these parts.
There are endless choices for shopping in Kuala Lumpur, but my favourite was Times Square in the Golden Triangle area of Kuala Lumpur is something else! It has fourteen floors, three of which are taken up by Malaysia's second largest indoor theme park, complete with white knuckle rides a plenty. Made up of two huge towers linked by a rather large entrance hall, the shopping centre is a giant in a city that is adorned with huge shopping areas. It is relatively new and features over a thousand shops as well as the theme park, a bowling alley, a cinemaplex and an extensive food hall. It could be described as a shoppers dream or your other half's nightmare!
Although it does take up fourteen floors, we found that some of the higher floors didn't have many shops on them, if any at all. The first floor is devoted to high street favourites, with some familiar names (such as Nike, Swarovski and Zara) as well as many Malaysian high street equivalents. There big open areas are filled with little stalls offering cheap clothing and jewellery as well as souvenirs and the like. As you go up the floors (either by lift or escalator) the shops become more specialist with lots of model shops, art shops and children's clothing shops.
Without a doubt the main attraction is the theme park which is rather large and has plenty of rides considering it is inside a shopping centre. It is about £10 to enter, which is quite steep I suppose, but then you do get unlimited rides once you are inside.
==It Sounds Pretty Good Then . . . ==
Kuala Lumpur isn't quite what I imagined in that it isn't the mega busy bustling city that I expected from the Far East, but like I said it is a fabulous city with so much variety and character that absolutely anyone can't fail to fall in love with it. Whatever you want, it is here and in abundance and I would strongly recommend a visit if you get the chance.
I have just returned from a 3 month spell of living in Kuala Lumpur, and I must say it is an amazing cosmopolitan city. I once said that Bangkok was the greatest city in the world, but it has found its match in KL.
Now the thing about KL is that is has developed so quickly in such a short amount of time, you could compare it to the New York's and London's of this planet. Everything there seems so organized.
Now, like the reviewer before me mentioned, the people are incredibly friendly. I have lived in various countries of South East Asia, and I must say that the locals of Malaysia are the friendliest. There is also a large amount of Chinese and Indian citizens too, who are just as nice!
Public Transport - Because the city is so big, it is important for the public transport system to be a success, and successful it is. You have a broad range of options when traveling from point A to B. Buses are the cheapest option, so cheap they might as well be free! Next up is the sky train, monorail or LRT train line, which are also incredibly cheap, and frequent. Unlike the tubes of London, they are all extremely clean, and have air conditioning. A typical 1 way fair will cost you just £0.20p. Not Bad!
Nightlife - Now nightlife is unbelievable in KL. You have any type of bar/nightclub you can think of. Live bands, DJ's, English Pubs, they have it all. Now the only problem is, because KL, Malaysia, is a Muslim state, alcohol is very expensive. If you thought the UK was expensive, think again. Now as an example, ordering a pint of lager from an Irish Bar in the city, will set you back around 30RM (£5.50) This can really be an expensive night.
Food- I am really fussy with the food I eat but Malaysian food is actually quite nice. All the things you can imagine eating can be found, along with cheap Indian and Chinese food too. Eating from street stalls will cost you just £1.50 a meal. If you have the need to grab a McDonald's (which are literally everywhere) you can , and it's a lot cheaper than the UK. Go in to the city center and you have Subway,Pizza Hut,KFC etc. along with a wide range of classy restaurants.
Accommodation- Again KL doesn't let you down, as prices of hotel rooms are very cheap. My hotel was located in China Town, and for a double room, en suit, a/c with colour TV, I payed just 80RM (£14) a night. The hotel was awesome. If you want something a bit cheaper, my friend stayed in a backpacker hostel, single fan room for RM30 (£5) a night , or if you have the need, there are a couple of backpacker doom beds going at RM10 (£1.75) a night .
All in all its a great city with a lot to keep you busy. It's relatively clean, and most people speak good engish.
Check out the Petronas Towers too, which has now been demoted to the world 5th tallest building (but the world tallest towers!)
Tickets are free, but get there early (maybe around 8am) as there are only a set amount of tickets that can be given out each day.
Anyway, check the city out. If your traveling from the UK or Australia, book with Air Asia, as they are running some extremely cheap deals to and from KL.
Ive been travelling to Kuala Lumpur for over 5 years now and every time i go it has changed in someway. I can never get bored of this city and everything about it is just amazing.
i really dont know where to start.
The people in malaysia are just so nice its really good to see 3-4 different cultures alll getting along.
i felt welcomed and comfortable there they really do seem to make an effort for us westerners unlike some countries ive been to.
The malaysian experience starts when you board the plane if you fly with malaysia arirline. (read my malaysia airlines review)
The Airport in sepang is just gleaming its clean you can see your face in the shiny marble floor its all very nice.
30 mins on the high speed train and your in KL. this is alot shorter than the 1 hour by taxi.
The main thing that strikes you about the city or the whole of malaysia actually is they love food. There is some kind of food place everywhere street stalls coffee shops restaurants everywhere. The selection of food is quite spectacular, I was lucky as my wife is a local here she knew exactly where to eat.
There is a choice for everyone but i challenge anyone that goes there, I dont think you will leave not trying and liking something local.
The city is fairly big and for people that like shopping you will be in heaven. there are shopping centers and plaza's all over the place and of course the huge Petronas twin towers with a least 4 floors of shopping.
Looking at these towers in real life will have your camera out in seconds. they are unbeliveable and seeing them at night is even more amazing.
They say that new york is the city that never sleeps, but this also applies here. you can easily find something to eat somewhere in the early hours and the shops do open late.
You will without a doubt go home with lots more than you came with and a few stone heavier too, simply beacuse for us its very cheap out there. breakfast lunch and dinner all massive meals cost me about £1 and i nearly brought an entire new wardrobe for £30 it really is Value for money.
During a three month trip around South East Asia, I was desperate to visit Malaysia. We travelled up from Singapore on an overnight train which was interesting. We joked that this train was like the Hogwarts express, with its wooden frames. We were a little hungover from the evening before so dropped to sleep quite quickly, not realising that they wake everyone up after an hour to go through passport control (we probably should have realised that this would happen). I found the rest of the journey ok, but my friend was disturbed a lot by the train constantly stopping and starting, people boarding and alighting. The train which was advertised as arriving in Kuala Lumpar (often referred to as KL) at 7am actually kicked us off at 5:30am!
The guide book advised us to stay in Chinatown so that's where we headed. I am not sure if because we had just come from very clean Singapore, but Chinatown appeared dirty to us. Other travellers we met agreed with this.
On the first day we did the 'hop on hop off' tour bus around the city, although it took us ages to find the bus stop as everyone kept pointing us in the wrong direction, once we got on it was a really good thing to do. The ticket lasts for 24 hours, so not only does it help get your bearings, you can also use it to see the sights
You can go up the Patronas towers to get a fantastic view of KL, this is an activity that all travellers love... it is free! However you have to queue to be given a time slot to go up, which is not always convenient.
Can go up the patronas towers for free, but a waiting list or pay to go up the sky tower, view amazing.
Guide books advice staying in Chinatown, although we found this area quite dirty.
We went out at night, but in many of the pubs there were a lot of Malaysian men sitting around the dancefloor watching which made us feel uneasy
Batu caves - worth a visit, monkeys - adrenaline made us run up the steps.
Stopped over Malaysias capital city whilst traveling around south east asia and what a great place to spend a few days to catch your breath before exploring the rest of the country, being a main airport hub KL is in easy reach to every main asian country and when using Asia Air very cheap too.
We stayed at a couple of really cheap hostels that were recommended by the Rough Guide and were pleasently suprised on how clean they were and how friendly the people were, being in the center and near the metro also helps expand the places you can go and see.
there are many activites to do whilst in the city for one there is a massive water park which was fantastic way to spend the day, there is the hindu temple in the Batu Caves, visiting the jungle in the middle of the city, there is a muslim musuem well worth a visit and of course going up to the main bridge in the petronas towers, it wasnt a very good view considering we were not allowed to go to the top but we couldnt complain as it was free!
we didnt go out much in KL so my experience of the nightlife isnt very good the couple of bars we went to near our hostel were reasonably priced especially one that had a jamaican theme going in it this seem to be a regular backpacker hangout so i think they kinda catered for people without too deep a pocket be warned if you want to go to more high end bars and the prices we were told get very pricey.
Finally my final subject is the food and my word will you be spoilt Malaysia being the melting pot of so many cultures offers a wide selction of dishes that will have you coming back for more, many street stores offer quick snacks such a bau, noodles etc if you are in a ruch our personal fave was the roti canai which is a pancake type thing served with curry sauce ingrediants can be added to the pancaked whilst its cooked to make it more filling, this was cheap and tasty and we had it everyday although i will admit not good for the waistline!
all in all a fantastic city well worth a few days of your time, this is not your typical asia and i will admit that some places are a bit westernised but you will find hidden gems in the midst of the hussle and bustle, so go explore and dont sit in your hotel!
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. It is busy commercial airline transit hub making it a fairly cheap destination to fly to from Europe though better deals are usually to be found by flying to Bangkok first then getting a very cheap AirAsia (www.airasia.com)connecting flight to Kuala Lumpur.
You can also get an international sleeper train (one via Butterworth in Malaysia, one via Hat Yai in Thailand) that will take you all the way to Bangkok and vice versa. The cost of a sleeper train with a bunk is very reasonable (roughly around 30-50$) and even the 2nd class sleeper is clean and comfortable. The journey is quite scenic and good fun. In high season you are likely to meet other travellers on board.
Kuala Lumpur has plenty of sights to see. The Petrona towers used to be the highest buildings in the world until fairly recently and are impressive. The butterfly park is also well worth an hour and the Rainforest in the city makes a welcome break from the hustle and bustle of city life.
There is a tour bus for about 10$ per day that is worth the money if you only have a day and want to see as much as possible, be warned however that at rush hour the entire city can grind to a halt with tail backs and you can spend literately an hour on the bus and go only 500 metres!
For this reason it's far better to take the cheap and efficient monorail or subway services especially at rush hours.
Malaysia has good night life with plenty of night clubs, but it will cost you a lot. Alcohol is very expensive due to the high taxes the predominantly Muslim government puts on sales. A beer can cost you 4-5$ dollars in a bar, whilst in an alcohol retailer it costs maybe 2-3$. This is extremely expensive by south-east Asian standards.
Chinatown and Little India are well worth a look with buzzing shops and great places to eat.
Budget accommodation is no problem, cheap dorms cost about 20-30 MYR (7-10 dollars). Pricier options are available all across the city. The Golden Triangle and Chinatown seem to be the cheapest though.
KL is worth a couple of days but for me it lacks the atmosphere of other Asian cities because it looks so orderly and is very 'westernised'. Also the fairly high prices are a big drawback for people on tight budgets. Though the big plus point is the lack of touts and the city is clean compared to other Asian cities.
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, situated on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia.
It is very well connected with an international airport (where you can fly to Europe, Australia, America and other parts of Asia), a large train station (where you can get an overnight train to Singapore, the jungle train (runs to the north east of the country) or north to Penang (this line actually continues on to Bangkok). There is also a large bus station too with buses going to all over the country. Transport around the city is good too with an underground train system and a monorail. I never took a bus while I was there but the network seemed pretty good.
There is loads to do in Kuala Lumpur and it is pretty "Westernised" for an Asian city. There are numerous malls, shops, restaurants (inc fast food if this is what you want!) and nice hotels. The street food (especially around Bukit Bintang) is really good and very cheap so you can get away with not spending much money if you don't want.
Sights to see include the Petronus Towers, The KL Tower, the Rainforest in the City, the Park, The Planetarium, the butterfly garden, Merdeka Square, the rollercoaster in the mall, Chinatown and lots more. I was there for 4 days and I always had stuff to do.
The city is quite dirty compared with say Singapore but it's not bad for an Asian city and is certainly cleaner than other bits of Malaysia I've been too. It's quite crowed as well, especially on public transport around peak times.
I had been to Kualam Lumpur (the capital city of beautiful Malaysia) in May 2004 for a month with my husband who was on a project in Putrajaya (the IT hub of Malaysia).
I was too jet lagged after the 13 plus hours of flight to appreciate the wonderful airport set-up but I wasn't sleeping when acres after acres of dark green palm plantation raced past below the aircraft's windows beside the jaded-blue water of the ocean just prior to touchdown and after takeoff..
We were chauffer driven to and from the airport (1hr journey) hotel's limousine so I would'nt be able to comment on the taxi-services from the airport but public transport in KL as such is brilliant with its LTRs(overhead monorails), buses and taxis .
My first impression of Kualalumpur was of looking at the magnificiently lighted up evening view of the Petronas (highest twin towers of the world today) through a downpour of warm summer rain.
It was sweltering hot in the May summer heat but that is what is expected from a country placed bang on the equatorial region so it would be useless moaning about the heat really.
We were staying at the extremely grand 5* Hotel Renaissance(hopefully I will be able to write up a review about this wonderful hotel in the days to come) right in the heart of the city-centre and a 4 minute walk from the twin towers and the KLCC(happens to be the main shopping mall too).
I have'nt spent much time writing about hotel prices etc in the KL as they are readily available on the internet but anyting 3* should be very fancy and comfortable and the price for a day at a 9* hotel deluxe suite should be same as staying in a 3* hotel in the UK.
My husbands temporary office was located on the 41st floor (topmost layer of office spaces)of the towers and hence I had a birds-eye view of the whole of Malaysia from the top of the world.
It would be apt to describe what I saw of the landscape of KL as a blend of modernity and traditional charm. Pre-war shop houses and street- stalls compete alongside skyscrapers and posh sophisticated buildings.
A small bit about KL in general :
Founded in the mid-nineteenth century, KUALA LUMPUR( translated as muddy estuary), or KL as it's popularly known, is the most recently formed Southeast Asian capital and the most economically successful city after Singapore .
Boasting of a population of nearly two million, it's usually exciting in the day and always buzzing with energy at night with various night entertainment centres being open till late.
Seeing hijab-clad (Islamic head-scarf)women at top official and professional posts does come as a surprise in a country where nearly 90% population is muslim , as it is very contradictory to the western concept of 'muslim women are oppressed' I must say, showing how advanced the country in general is.
Malaysians in general are extremely friendly and helpful people and KL is very clean and tidy , though outskirts are nearly like the outskirts of all major cities of the world..
A word of caution for anyone intending to visit KL in the near future is to cross roads with extra caution even when the lights are green for pedestrians , as two-wheelers do not strictly follow the rules...lol..nearly had my feet run over.
Transportation is by the LTRs, buses(very freaquent and not that crowded) , hired vehicles and taxis(which you can dial up from road-side taxi rank spots).
It falls under the standard time zone of :UTC/GMT +8 hours .
Could be visited throughout the year as weather remains nearly the same warm and sunny throughout the year (being in the equatorial region).
Though there is no particular dress code, it is advisable to dress modestly so as to avoid any unwanted attention. Kuala Lumpur is an advanced city and how to dress is one's personal choice but wearing non-revealing cotton and light clothes would be preferable in the heat.
Most people can understand if not speak English and all sign posts are in English as well too, which is an added bonus.
Must sees and dos:
Some of the absolute modern architectural grand masterpieces are exemplified in the National Mosque ( you will be provided with appropriate dress needed to take a tour of the mosque with its beautiful decoration and architecture) ,
National Museum (Muzium Negara), KL Sentral station, All the hotels and banking buildings in the golden triangle region of KL not least the famous Petronas Towers with its Suria KLCC and the recently opened Museum of Islamic Arts and the pusat menara(telecom tower or tower of Islamic peace.)
Absolutely in harmony with these are the older Sultan Abdul Samad building on Merdeka Square which comes alive with lights at night, high court building, the Jamek masjid and the old Masjid jamek train station.
Kl's not one of Malaysia's most entertaining cities, it doesn't have, the narrow alleys, bicycles and mahjong games of Kota or Bharu Melaka or the atmospheric waterfront of Kuching or beaches of Lankawi or even the casinos of Detling. More importantly I think it is safe and sociable. From a cultural standpoint, it certainly has enough interesting monuments, galleries, markets and museums to keep visitors busy for at least a fortnite.
Tourist attractions as such include tour of the Selangor pewter factory and showroom(where you can watch pewter being made and then fashioned into beautiful objects(almost takes better part of half a day)
the batu caves( picturesue natural stalactite-stalagmite wonder),
Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve,
Bird Park(with so many birds)
Orchid Garden(absolutely amazing, you can buy plants to bring home too)
Lake Gardens Park
all situated near one another.
If you are in putrajaya region on a Friday afternoon , you can pray the afternoon prayer standing next to the president who I was surprised was minus any special security for a person of such standing.
Shopping is KL's main attraction and the most popular mall in the area is the Suria KLCC Shopping Mall nestled between the Petronas Twin Towers having over 400 shops including a marks and spensers and a mothercare too.. This mall is one of the Klang Valley's most popular places for shopping and is also a hang-out for all walks of life; with both designer brands, or botiques and normal chains of asian shops. Top two floor has an enormous food courts with food of all asian origin.
Bukit Bintang is another place famous for its many shopping stores lining both sides of the street and can be reached by the ltr. It caters for both tourists and locals and has everything worth having in a shop and of every possible budget range.
Also known as Petaling Street; Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown is popular haunt for bargain-hunter's and stores all fake designer models of watches which are a very close remake or seconds. This area is a huge street market bounded by two dragon gates and is full of Chinese culture and food . This is a definitely a tourists shopping haven .Also has an enclosed food-court too and several asian restaurants(only place where you can eat pork).
Don't forget to buy something in pewter (a speciality in Malaysia) to bring home too.
Most of the English/western stuff can be readily bought in the supermarkets .
Well like most Asain countries breakfast starts around 8am and ends around 10am and people generally eat rice at this time(also the staple food)..so if you love nasi (rice)... malaysian breakfasts with the myriads of fish dishes, all sorts of meat and vegetables are for you, this is followed by a very snacky lunch and just tea (or some light drink for tea) and dinner at 9-10pm. Of course you get to buy almost every sort of dish throughout the day...
however again if you do not have a steely digestive system just stick to typical English food available in most 3-9 star restaurants.
There is plenty to choose from satays to various mee-hoo, bee-hoo ,Kuay Teow ,tang hoon,Yee Meen etc.( different grades and types of noodles showing a pronounced Chinese effect ), vegetables, curries, coconut milk rich fresh shrimp/lobster dishes, varied fish ,sea food all fresh , yummy meat dishes and various drinks and beverages to go with them too..
Durian and rambutan are two fruits unique to Malaysia too.
Like its variety the food comes in a variety of cost and flavours , though a £2 should buy you a 3-course lunch .
Kuala Lumpur with its mixture of modern and old, westernization and yet retaining its eastern culture to the last is one beautiful place to visit if you want to have a vacation in a place wher you would feel at home in a different cultural setting on the whole. I would like to go there again if I could, but then I love Malaysian food and the feel of bustling life on the streets.
Someone has kidly commented about jabs (recommended for most Asian country) so I have added another sentence now... I did'nt need any but I think few jabs will definitely make it worthwhile (reminds me of flu-jab).
I must apologise for having made this review a bit too long but I am hoping it will be helpful for someone planning on visiting the far east soon.
I'v been here last year in January for my Management Training, was there for 5days out which 2 days were my training & rest i was exploring KL With my friends.
Kl is the capital of malaysia, and singapore & thailand are its neigbouring countires. There are people from different places over here, like English, Chinese, Malay,Indian & so on.
The language spoken over here is Malay or English. I stayed in the Prince Hotel which is 4 star hotel & its really good one if you see the services they give you 325Ringates.(Ringates its the local currency of Malaysia 4Ringates=$1). so the price of staying at such a hotel was quite cheap. My room was at 12th floor so was having a good view of KL, also petronas Tower is quite near to it.
The KL Internationa Airport is just brilliant, once you land over here and you see the architecture of this you just say Wow. there is tube service running to take you from your check out & check in To the terminals Gate.
If you dont have any friends over there who could guide you then the best option for you is to book a tour, there are many tour provider who will take you in an out of KL showing you the places.
The KL railway staion has air -conditioned waiting halls if you travellling by the train, which is a good ride and the fastest way to reach from one end of KL to another. You will find money Exchange booths Everywhere & also tourist information booth.
The central Market is a center for the display & development of Malaysian culture, arts & crafts. You can see some activities & performance going on most of the time. Like Fortune telling, Shadow puppet Plays, glass blowing, Batik Painting, art classes, Singing performances etc.
Also to visit places are the Royal Palace, National Museum & Jamek Masjid which is the most famous Masjid over here.
The Petronus Tower or the largest twin tower todays are also worth watching. The Shopping mall next to it i dont remember the name, i think its KLCC is one of the biggest in KL and you will have a good time shopping over here as you will find all the top brands over here. You;v got food malls which have some delicious food.
Malaysia is a place where you can do some good shopping.
Chinatown is also a place to shop where you get products from China, Its good but you have to be good at bargain, coz if you good at it then you can get the same product at a very good price. Then also visit craft Cultural Complex.
I have also seen some of the rural houses on Ampang road.
these house are built to be protected from heat & Humidity. so they are built on stilits,have tiny holes in walls & high peaked roofs. Even if there is a slight breeze it helps to cool the interior.
At KL Tower at the top there is Seri Angkasa Revolving restaurant where i has a buffet Lunch. it was a nice exp to be at the top when its revolving and have your food.
Also went to the Batu caves where there are 300 steps to climb. There are large limestone outcrop & it is done by Hindu Dieties.
there are quite good Shopping malls from where you can do your shopping. Night life is good in malaysia you will enjoy overe here.
Food is also good, if you want to eat local dishes then you have to go to some street side restaurant , i;m sure you will enjoe the tasty food.
But you shold avoide going out alone at night in KL as its risky, crime is still common at night, even though the goverment over there is working hard on it. Few places which are near to Kl are more risky, so do check if you going outside KL.
I have not been for much time in KL so could not explore it more, but would definately like to go once more & visit place that i havent.
Also when to visit the Batik Factory to see how they make Batik, it was a good exp.
My 1st holiday(at 39)was KL, and been there 3 times now-cant think of anywhere else I would want to visit.
Modern and old mix perfectly, prices are excellent, transport is fab,so many different foods,and most speak english.
Shop staff tend to follow u around, but I discovered thats the norm, and they end up being very helpful-Always haggle!!-never pay the asking price.
Made lots friends, hotels are cheap, but £13 p/n is ideally the lower end of the market.
Hope this helps,
Malaysia is made up of 2 distinct land masses in South East Asia For most the country is represented by the strip of land that extends from the south of Thailand to Singapore. This is known as peninsular Malaysia. The often forgotten states of Sabah and Sarawak actually make up 60% of Malaysia's land mass and occupy the northern section of the island of Borneo. Malaysia's population is predominately Muslim which has meant that since 9/11 tourist numbers have declined dramatically. From the evidence of our travels Malaysian's are by far the friendliest people we have met in South East Asia. They are largely made up of Malays, Chinese and Indians. English is widely spoken. It seems that the form of Islam practised here is far from radical. The most illustrative example of this is the way women in Malaysian society hold complete parity with men. Many girls and women still wear the traditional head gear but it is styled like a scarf and not like the balaclava as worn in the Middle East. While resorts like Batu Farranghi in Penang continue to suffer in the downtown the tourists will eventually return. Being so close to the equator the climate in Malaysia can be stifling hot and in the hours around midday it is hard to be out in the open at all. While the heat is bearable if you are lying on a beach it can be too much to take in the big cities. The 3 main cities in the country are the historically colonial Georgetown in Penang, Melaka near the south and the capital Kuala Lumpur. With such an exotic name as Kuala Lumpur (the Malaysians call it KL) it is easy to be disappointed when you actually arrive in the city. Compared with other capitals in South East Asia, KL (like most of Malaysia) is comparatively wealthy. Its huge shopping malls are packed with kids wearing the newest designer gear and many of the restaurants are places to be seen in rather than eat in. A thriving economy means hig
h prices and for any backpacker a stay in KL can be an expensive one. ACCOMMODATION Despite all the luxurious hotels that extend to the sky there is a modest amount of accommodation that is suitable for budget travellers. The main areas where these guesthouses and hostels are located is the bustling Chinatown and the quieter Little India. We decided to look in Chinatown where the available accommodation was pretty much generic. The rooms were small, hot, spartan and the prices were generally above average. We arrived in KL late in the evening after a long bus trip from Penang so we were not as fussy as we usually are about where we stayed. We chose the Backpackers Inn on Jalan (road) Pudu primarily because the room was larger than what we had seen in other places and at 30 ringgit (9 euro) the price wasn't exorbitant. The set up is quite good in the Backpackers Inn. There is a rooftop garden which serves beer and the common room has plenty of books and magazines as well as a movie channel to keep you entertained. The clientele was made up of mostly young Europeans and the atmosphere was pretty cheery. Unfortunately our room turned out to be infested with bed bugs. These little creatures have been the bane of our travels in Malaysia. A lot of the time these little blood suckers are hard to spot but in the Backpackers Inn they were big and bloated. After a night of little sleep we left to find a new home. The Pudu Hostel is also known as the Backpackers Lodge and is decidedly midrange in price. After the previous nights experience we decided sleep was more important than a few ringgit so we chose a room for 40. The Pudu Hostel caters mainly for a domestic clientele and from what we could see a good few were long timers. Apart from an eccentric owner this is a very well run establishment. Our room was
air conditioned and spotlessly clean. Each resident is allocated a towel and toilet roll (bliss) on arrival. The common showers and toilets were cleaned several times a day and were thankfully numerous which meant no queuing. The building that houses the hostel has several floors containing a snooker and internet level. Discounts are afforded to guests to both amenities. This meant that an hour on the internet was priced at 3 ringgit. The cheapest Internet resource in town can be found on Jalan Silang, however, look for the sign offering one hour for 2.5 ringgit. The reception area in the hostel is expansive and boasts 3 televisions, 2 of which have VCD recorders. The front desk has a library of films that can be rented out for 2 ringgit although it is sometimes hard to hear the soundtrack over the other 2 televisions. Pudu has a laundry service and its staff are conscientious without ever being overly friendly. SHOPPING KL is undoubtedly a shoppers paradise, although in the main to make any worthwhile purchases you would need a deep pocket. For those, like us, with incredibly shallow pockets Chinatown is your best bet. Jalan Petaling has what seems like a 24 hour market with stalls packed side by side selling the usual montage of tourist fodder like handicraft souvenirs, fake watches, T-shirts and CD's/DVD's. As usual copyright laws are out the window when it comes to the latter. On the whole the copies are remarkably cheap selling at around 4 ringgit each. However we found the reproduction on the audio CD's to be quite poor (Vietnam is the place to get cheap but pristine copies!) although we are reliably informed that the DVD copies were near perfect. Chinatown also boasts the huge Central Market that apart from selling more of the above in an even tighter space lays on nightly shows displaying local dances and traditions. We had heard
that the liveliest market was held in little India just off Jalan TAR every Saturday night. We were a little disappointed by the fare, however, because it just turned out to be more of the same with an Indian twist. That said the food we sampled left a great impression although we are still not sure whether it was good or bad! For the serious shopper the place to head is the Golden Triangle. Here you can find exclusive department stores a plenty with prices that are comparable to back home. As a laugh we decided to see how the other half lived for a day. The only thing we actually bought was some fine branded coffee, oh how we peered statesman like over our cups as we drank. The first store we visited was the Low Yat Plaza on Jalan Sultan Ismail. This place was chock full of labels, so clean you could see your face in the floor tiles and resembled what we taught the shops would look like in Singapore. Needless to say we didn't really fit in. Thankfully BB Plaza on Jalan Bukit Bintang was a little more mainstream and was typical of an upmarket shopping centre back home. It is spread over 6 levels and you could literally spend the whole day perusing the goods of offer. Right at its centre a DJ pumped out loud nondescript techno as the shoppers carried their lithe designer bags. Yeah it was a scene from Blade Runner. The Sungei Wang Shopping centre just across the road offers much the same. You're probably saying to yourself that we were getting carried away with ourselves here but after 3 months of travelling in some of the poorest nations in the world these coliseums came as a shock. By the look and sound of Lot 10 on Jalan Bukit Bintang you could be forgiven for thinking this was a bargain basement of a shopping centre. So with baited breath and wallet at the ready we marched inside. Oh we were so wrong, this was the creme de la creme of the Golden Triangle. The plac
e was near deserted and from the look of the shops and their outlandish prices we could easily work out why. Quite how Manchester United got their only Malaysian outlet here is something that took us by surprise. The comically titled S & M shopping centre is in the middle of Chinatown on Jalan Cheng Lock and boasts much more down to earth prices. In other words they sell junk but interesting junk it must be said. ATTRACTIONS For a city of over 1.5 million people KL's attractions are a bit thin on the ground. Malaysians are very proud of their achievements so when the Commonwealth games came to KL in 1998 their 10 gold medals was met with euphoria. These games meant that the city needed to have a great national stadium and good infrastructure. To this end apart from a chaotic bus network there are several light railway systems that are taking the city into the 21st century. In saying that in our time in the city we never once made use of the system. It seems that as yet it bypasses the main attractions and just feeds the business and suburban centres. KL is best known for its silver twin towers. These towers are the tallest buildings in the world and form the economic pulse of the Golden Triangle where many of the countries biggest businesses operate out of (the Golden Triangle is just a series of streets arranged in the shape of a triangle).The general public has restricted access to the towers outside of business hours. Each day before 9 the first 800 visitors are allowed to go up to the 40 floor in the buildings. The structures are hugely impressive and shadow the city like a grand protector. The KL Tower (aka the Menara Tower) is a lot more visitor friendly. Situated in the middle of the Golden Triangle this huge concrete tower (421 metres high) is shaped like an Olympic torch. At the base is a visitor concourse where y
ou can watch a film on how the tower was built, there are souvenir shops, a viewing gallery and a beautifully laid out garden. There is a lift shaft that runs through the centre of the tower to the top. Access to the top costs 15 ringgit (it's worth it). The journey in the lift takes just under a minute whereupon you'll arrive at the public viewing level. The view on a clear day is breathtaking and with the aid of a remote audio tour you learn much about the landscape that makes up KL. On the next level a revolving restaurant provides a once in a lifetime dining experience, sadly it would take most of us a lifetime to earn the cash to eat there. The KL tower is more than a tourist attraction, however, at the top level there is a telecommunications tower which serves the whole city. KL has a large green belt to the west of the city. The area is known as the Lake Gardens and is spread over 92 hectares. The park itself is wonderfully landscaped as is an ideal location for jogging or long walks. There area boasts quite a few visitor attractions within the gardens as well. The better ones include a Butterfly Park, an Orchid Garden and the best of the lot, a Bird Park. The Bird Park in the Lake Gardens is officially the biggest covered Avery in the world. It is home to over 2,000 birds and the variety is astounding. Watch the flocks of Flamingos paddling in a pool and a mere 30 seconds later you are gazing admiringly at the giant Ostriches. It is obvious that great care is taken to maintain the health of the birds because the cages are uncommonly clean and the birds actually seem like they are enjoying themselves. Malaysia achieved independence (Merdeka) from the British in 1957. Merdeka square is a reminder of those colonial times. Right in the heart of KL, Merdeka Square hosts a cricket pitch and several Moorish buildings that are in good shape. The Square is also ho
me to the world's largest flagpole (the Malaysians tend to specialise in getting into the Guinness book of records) from where the Malaysian flag flutters proudly every day. The Malaysians are obviously proud of their square but we found it to be a little short on visitor value. In a typical KL manoeuvre there is a plaza built under the square with a food court, theatre and several shops. EATING OUT If you were to dine in KL finest restaurants then you would either be a oil baron or have been very good at picking numbers. That said if you look hard around there are plenty of places where you can eat economically. Our favourite was the food court on the 5th floor of the S & M department store in Chinatown which has 15 counters serving inexpensive meals from all parts of Asia. We generally stuck to the roast chicken and rice but we tested the Asam Laksa (fish dumplings), Yong Tau Foo (exotic veg and fish) and the Wan Tan Mee (not sure what this was) with mixed results. Prices were generally around the 1 euro mark although the self service arrangement meant that skilful juggling of food trays was essential. Another place where you'll find inexpensive food is on Jalan Hang Lekir although this place smacks of a tourist trap. Here you'll find dozens of restaurants with seating extended onto the road serving traditional Chinese cuisine. We tried a place called Biskut Fung which turned out to be quite expensive compared to food hall and the sweet and sour chicken I received was disappointing. That said it is amusing to watch the hustle and bustle of the market over a Guinness with its fortune tellers and amateur musicians plying 'Hotel California'. And boy do the Malaysians love their Guinness. Strange as it may seem Guinness is up there with Tiger as the most popular drink among Malaysians. You'll rarely find i
t on draught but the bottled version comes brewed with 8% alcohol. Much stronger than at home but just as tasty. Every restaurant in KL it seems is emblazoned with the Guinness trademark. You know KL has really listened to what the west has to offer when you see the number of McDonald's, KFC, Burger King and Pizza Hut joints that proliferate across town. We witnessed the mayhem that is Sunday mornings in McDonald's where it seems the whole of KL descends on the place to have a natter over an egg muffin. On the streets around Chinatown you'll find plenty of hawkers offering snacks of all varieties. Ramly Burgers was a particular favourite as they were always keen to knock together a Burger Daning that was just dripping in tastiness. All for 2 ringgit, who said you couldn't eat cheaply in KL? ENTERTAINMENT There is a small enough pub scene in Kuala Lumpur, much like the rest of Malaysia. The most popular places are found in the Golden Triangle area and include the Hard Rock Cafe (awful) and the Long Bar (expensive). There is a cheaper alternative near the central market called the Bulls head although we never got round to visiting it. Many of the bigger hotels have night-clubs. It seems that the most popular place to drink amongst tourists though is in the restaurants that line the streets of Chinatown. Kuala Lumpur is a hip, modern city that belies it geographical location. There is a new wealth being amassed in Malaysia and it is likely that the country will become alien to the rest of South East Asia in the not too distant future. This new found wealth has both positives and negatives for any would be visitor. On the positive side you do not have to sacrifice any of the luxuries of home (if you can afford it) because KL has everything your heart desires. On the flip side of this arrangement, exploring KL somehow
feels like you are visiting any other European city (with the heat turned up). Is it worth travelling over 6,500 miles for this, only you can decide.
On a recent trip to Australia I stopped in KL for 3 days to break the trip up a bit. The first thing that struck me was the intense heat. On arriving the airport is nice and clean but busy and you will need a taxi or bus as it is an hour to KL - don't take the first one, check them all out. An average day in KL is well into the 90's with humidity of 70% so be prepared for a hot, sweaty trip. Fortunately the Malaysians are well aware of this and you'll find all the bars, restaurants, hotels and shops have air-con. If you have to walk any distance, keep a bottle of water with you - its really easy to dehydrate in that sort of heat & humidity. KL is a nice city, but as with all major cities it has its dodgy areas and is very busy at times. The main shopping area is centred around 2 places: Chinatown and the crossroads of Jalan Bukit Bintang & Jalan Sultan Ismael (the 2 main streets, where most of the hotels are). Things to see are the Petronas Towers, where you can go up to the skybridge for free, but you have to go in the morning and queue for a ticket - worthwhile doing as the view is superb! The KL tower is worth a look too as you can see a bit further and also look at the Petronas towers from the sky. The park surrounding the Petronas towers in beautiful too. Chinatown is a must, the market sells fakes of everything you ever wanted, which are pretty good quality and you can haggle with the locals - a word of advice fix a price in your head and stick to it - you will get what you want at the price you want. Use taxis to go wherever you want, they are dirt cheap, they don't expect a tip and it saves walking in the heat. Be careful crossing the roads, they are all mad drivers and the traffic can come from all directions, especially mopeds. One tip when looking for somewhere to eat, is look at where the locals eat - its a sign of good, cheap food. There's plenty of seafood too. If you don't
like oriental food stick to the traditional Mcd's and Hard Rock Cafe. The only bad points to my visit were my stomach's reaction to the local water (ice in a drink is a no-no) and I had some cash stolen from my hotel room - partly my fault as I didn't put it in the safe, but still annoying. I'm glad I went but I'm not sure I'd go back.
I born in Kuala Lumpur and grow up in that lovingly city. That is my home. I have been staying there for more than 20 years. I see the changes that gone through in the city. From a small city becoming a huge well-known capital of Malaysia. From a no-one-knows place becoming one of the hottest tourist spots in Malaysia. It is really a lively city, no matter days or nights. There are lots of shopping malls located around and in the city center, such as famous K.L.C.C, Mega Mall, Lot 10, Sungai Wang, and so forth. There are lots of great architecture buildings standing in the city, such as Twin Towers (at the moment it is the highest building), K.L. Tower, and so on. There are wide variety of food that you may like to enjoy in Kuala Lumpur, for instances, nasi lemak, roti canai, sea food, and so on and on which is impossible for me to list them out here. Regards night life, you may find a lot of discos, karaokes, pubs and so on around. The only thing I dislike this city is the weather. It is really a summer-all-the-time-with-sometimes-heavy-rain city. As Kuala Lumpur is located in a valley (surrounded by all the mountains and hills) it is very humid indeed. However this might be the main attraction to some of the foreigners. I love Kuala Lumpur, because it is my home.
Petaling Street is a popular street among locals as well as foreign tourists. It is famous for its food, lights, fruits, clothing, especially 'Branded Watches'! This is an interesting street that you, as a foreign tourist, must see. It is very near the central coach station and also the LRT (Light Rail Transit). Try to bargain with the stall keepers if you like to buy a 'branded watch', or clothing. You can get a 'branded watch' with a relatively low price. But, don't bargain when you buy food. The price is fixed. Other than shopping, you can also see the life style there. It opens till very very late at night, and open again very early in the morning. Please try the food there, and ready to be surprised by unexpected. Have fun!
Kuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city of Malaysia.