Newest Review: ... never be stuck for something to eat. In the main town, there were lots of restaurants to choose from, some big expensive restaurants, othe... more
Super Duper Kuala Lumpur!!
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Member Name: MollyWH
Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia)
Advantages: Larger than life bustling city, lots to do and see
Disadvantages: Not for anyone who likes an early night, long flight
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.
Summary: Super Duper Kuala Lumpur!!