Top 10 things to do in Kuala Lumpur that every traveller should experience

kuala lumpur

Embrace in the beauty of Kuala Lumpur and experience “Malaysia, Truly Asia.”

Only 33 minutes from the airport to KL Sentral, Kuala Lumpur is a very easy city to get around. The monorail, subway and Grab are cheap transport options making KL a great stopover city to experience natural beauty, exciting activities, food, five star hotels and a culture unlike anywhere else in South East Asia.

This list of the top 10 things to do in Kuala Lumpur includes some of the city’s famous attractions and showcases the multicultural community that travellers are known to love.

1. Climb up 272 steps at Batu Caves

Batu Caves

A short 30 mins drive out of KL is the Batu Caves with multiple Hindu shrines surrounding it. The main cave – Cathedral Cave have several Hindu Caves under the 100m high ceiling. The 272 step climb is a perfect workout after sitting on the train. Be prepared if you are wearing shorts or a short skirt, they will ask you to hire a sarong at the entrance of the main cave and also be careful of the monkeys climbing all over the area as they are hungry and will steal any food that you have on you! I had my own encounter with one as he was eyeing my coconut then started approaching so I dropped it and ran. There is a dark cave tour starting at 10am so you want to beat the crowds, try to come early.

2. Pray at the Thean Hou Temple

Thean Hou Temple

Thean Hou Temple is a beautiful Chinese temple decorated with eye catching red lanterns, gold trimmings and oriental patterns. The prayer room features a grandiose alter dedicated to the Goddess of Mercy. Along the outside of the temple is a zodiac park with turtle pond and the temple balcony looks out to the Kuala Lumpur skyline.

3. Keep calm and curry on to Little India

brickfields

Head back to KL Sentral and make your way to Little India where all your Indian food needs are covered. Once you see the colourful arches lining the street, you know you’re in Little India. Most restaurants serve up the traditional roti canai cooked in a clay pot oven and various curries along with many vegetarian dishes.

4. Take a stroll amongst the canopy of KL Eco Park

KL Eco Park

KL Forest Eco Park is at the base of the Kuala Lumpur Tower. The park has different tracks but one being the most popular is the Canopy Walkway that takes you above the treetops. This is one of the oldest and last remaining pieces of rainforest in the city which adds to its beauty.

5. Look out of the World’s Tallest Twin Tower

Petronas Towers Petronas Towers

Your Kuala Lumpur visit would not be complete without visiting the Petronas Towers. Built by two companies to make sure it was finished in efficient time, it has a connecting bridge on level 41 where you can view the city from above but if you aren’t afraid of heights then the 360 panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur from level 86 is the best way to see the city. It’s best to book your ticket in advance so you get the time slot you want as it can sell out quickly each day. At the base of the tower is the KLCC Park featuring a large children’s playground, wadding pool and several tracks. My favourite part is the water fountain that plays a nightly show incorporating music, lights and a water fountain.

6. Look up to the Malaysian flag flying 100m high

Merdeka Square

Check out the Merdeka Square, or also known as the Independence Square. This square was where independence was announced in 1957 when they hoisted the Malaysian flag on the 100m high flagpole. Opposite the square is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building with shiny copper domes and 40m high clock.

7. Eat your way through Petaling Street

Just a short walk away is Chinatown or rather called Petaling Street. Filled with stall after stall of food carts and markets of souvenirs, this is an atmospheric street. I love going to markets, not just to see what unique goods they are selling but to haggle with the shopkeepers as well. The fun doesn’t stop at sunset though, after dark locals would frequent the hidden bars. These hidden bars have their own unique theme and disguised very cleverly with misleading exteriors. Such as PS150 that looked like an old Chinese toy shop outside but as you enter you are transported to an intimate bar serving up an array of spirits and liqueurs.

8. Shop til you drop at Bukit Bintang 

Pavillion KL

Amongst the many things I love about Asia is the night life. However I’m not talking about bars and clubbing. I’m talking about shopping til late in grand shopping centres like The Pavillion or Times Square. Whatever brand you’re looking for, they most likely will have it but they may even have brands you haven’t heard of. If you get hungry from all the shopping, the street food in Jalan Alor is open until late and is bustling even at midnight serving up delicious Malaysian street food such as satay skewers or ABC.

9. Take a long walk through Perdana Botanical Gardens

botanical gardens

Locals and visitors can view the beautifully manicured area of Perdana Botanical Gardens which is filled with a collection of different gardens and parks such as KL Bird Park, KL Butterfly Park and Hibiscus Garden. As you walk around you will notice more and more little treasures like the Bamboo House and wedding photoshoots. It’s a great place to have a quiet, peaceful stroll. Nearby is the National Monument that commemorates those who fought in WWII to give Malaysia its independence.

10. Enter like a Sultan at Istana Negara

Istana Negara

The public is welcome to visit the Istana Negara (National Palace) but just at the gate. The palace is home for one of the nine sultans of Malaysia who live in the grand palace one at a time in rotation. The palace spreads out over 28 acres of beautiful gardens, swimming pool, six-hole golf course, lake, an indoor badminton court and tennis courts. It is a crib I would love to check out one day.

Never Ending Traveller, Sandy Faust was invited and travelled as a guest of Air Asia to attend the announcement of the World’s Best Low-Cost Airline at their headquarters in Kuala Lumpur. To book flights, visit www.airasia.com

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