If you’ve never been to Kuala Lumpur, Flic and Nick from Lights, Camera, Backpack are here with their best tips on seeing this south-east Asian metropolis.
The capital city of Malaysia is a place of great diversity. With a population consisting of Malay, Chinese and Indian cultures, these differences reflect in the various areas of the city. You can get even more travel inspiration from the travelling two by checking out their IQPlanner profile page.
Kuala Lumpur was probably great once. It might be great again one day, but for now it’s just a network of building sites connected by gritty alleyways. Still, with 24 hours to spend in the capital city, we wanted to make the most of our time there.
Before you arrive, we recommend downloading a car sharing app like Uber. We usually like to walk around cities, but it’s often impossible in Kuala Lumpur. The public transport system isn’t the greatest and badly connected, so even if you get the LRT or Monorail as close to your destination, you’ll usually find a 40ft concrete wall or dual carriageway between you and your destination.
24 hours in Kuala Lumpur
Old Town White Coffee for breakfast
Many locals come to Old Town White Coffee to eat something other than chicken rice for breakfast. They serve great coffee and a selection of baked goods!
Try some traditional Kaya toast or French toast if you’re feeling continental! There are many branches around the city, so you’re never too far from one. Yes, it’s a chain, but it’s far better than other franchises!
LRT to Batu Caves
The Port Klang line that goes to Batu Caves only runs one train every 45 minutes at off-peak times. That said, it’s best to go early in the day before it gets too hot as there are 272 steps to climb to get to the top. Also, like Nick, he was cajoled into a bit of manual labour along the way! He had to carry 2 heavy buckets of rocks all the way to the top and no one explained why.
If you’re lucky to see it without scaffolding, the 140ft tall gold Murugan statue that guards the caves is impressive. So too are the 400-million-year-old caves, when they’re not covered in discarded building materials. On the plus side, a lot of monkeys hang out in the caves, which is cool, but hold on to your sunglasses!
Central Market for lunch
Jump on the LRT to Pasar Seni, and take the exit where the open sewer flows into the river and walk to Central Market. Make sure to pick up some souvenirs, and stop by the food court. You can grab some reasonably priced nasi goreng or Thai chicken.
You can also get fresh fruit juices and cheapish bottles of Skol lager. If you have time, check out the 3D illusion art museum on the second floor.
Blogger tip: If you go to the museum and then pretend to change your mind about visiting, they’ll give you a discount coupon!
Menara KL / KL Tower
The viewing platform at the Menara KL / KL Tower is 100m higher than the Petronas Towers Sky Bridge and costs less. Take the free, but usually busy, GOKL bus from Pasar Seni to KL Tower. From here, get the free shuttle bus from the bottom of the hill on Jalan Punchak to the base of the tower.
There are 2 different viewing platforms, but we say to pay for the first one because it’s half the price and almost as high as the second one. The view is pretty impressive too, despite what they tell you when you’re buying the tickets!
Amusement Square at Berjaya
To see probably the best arcade we’ve ever been to, take the Monorail from Bukit Nanas to Bukit Bintang and walk to Berjaya Times Square.
On the 6th floor you’ll find Amusement Square. We were lucky to visit on their 30th anniversary, so we paid RM50 for both of us and had unlimited plays on all arcades!
Wong Ah Wah for dinner
Walk to food street, also known as Jalan Alor, and here you’ll find Wong Ah Wah. A sprawling restaurant with tables and chairs all over the ‘road’, it’s famous for its BBQ chicken wings.
We ate the satay and the sambal prawns, and highly recommend them!
Grab a drink at the Heli Lounge Bar
To get to the Heli Lounge Bar, you can either walk from Wong Ah Wah in around 15 minutes, or take a taxi. Unfortunately, we didn’t get in, as we weren’t dressed appropriately!
That said, if you’d like to go, don’t wear cut-offs and flip-flops, and look at the website to see the dress code.
Heli pad by day, bar by night, the Heli Lounge Bar is on the roof of Menara KH and has no fence or safety rails to stop you from falling to your death. With that in mind, it’s probably best not to drink too much here!
Petronas Towers by night
You can’t visit Kuala Lumpur without seeing the iconic Petronas Towers, and by night. Take the LRT to the KLCC stop. Here, you can exit the station right at the foot of the Petronas Towers, then walk around the KLCC Park to get a great view of the building lit up.
In our option, the twin towers look much more impressive from the outside than inside. That, plus it’s free to look at them from the park!
All photos, apart from Central Market and cover photos, courtesy of Lights, Camera, Backpack.