5 Things to do in Kuala Lumpur
Kirsty is a British family travel blogger currently living in sunny Malaysia. She has travelled to over 100 countries including 20 with her young children. She blogs about family travel with a dash of feminism at World for a Girl. Her goal is to inspire girls to be fearless global adventurers.
5. Visit a mosque, a church, a Hindu temple and a Chinese temple all in less than 60 minutes
Kuala Lumpur is a melting pot of different religions and cultures. If you’re interested in religion, architecture or both, give yourself a challenge to visit four religious sights in an hour. Honestly, in central KL you cannot fail. For example, a 2km stroll starting at St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral will take you south to the onion-domed mosque, Masjid Jamek. A few minutes later you’ll come across Sin Sze Si Ya Chinese Temple. Keep walking south and you’ll spot bright red Guandi Chinese Temple which is almost opposite Sri Mahamariamman, an ornate Hindu Shrine.
4-Eat at a pasar malam
Pasar Malams are night markets. Every day of the week in a different part of the city traders set up food stalls in the late afternoon. The most famous market is Jalan Alor which is on every night. Plastic stools and tables clutter the pedestrianised street whilst tacky souvenir stands, jet-lagged tourists and street sellers jostle for space. Go to Jalan Alor for the experience but visit one of the ‘more authentic’ pasar malams for the food. Try Glutton Street in Pudu or Masjid India on Saturday nights
Kuala Lumpur is famous for the diversity of its cuisine. The three main cultures that make up the city’s population: Malay, Chinese and Indian each have their own unique dishes. Centuries of living side-by-side as also created a plethora of ‘fusion’ dishes. Visiting a pasar malam is an excellent (and cheap) way to try new dishes.
3-Explore the Rainforest in the city
Right in the heart of the city centre, you can find canopy walkways at KL Forest Eco Park (Bukit Nanas). This tiny square of wilderness right in the shadow of the Menara Tower is about as tranquil a place as you can find in KLCC. Interconnecting wooden bridges will guide you through the lush tropical rainforest. You may even spot some monkeys hanging around the entrance looking for unsuspecting tourists with snacks!
If you’re after more monkey action, then jump in a Grab car or taxi to TTDI Park. This regular suburban park is far off the tourist trail but a favourite with locals and expats. The park is home to hundreds of monkeys and even huge monitor lizards that swim across the lake. There are long walking and cycling trails through the jungle and all within 15 minutes drive of the city.
2-Visit a rooftop bar
Central KLCC is an island of skyscrapers, tower blocks and shopping malls. The best way to enjoy the cityscape is up high - with a cocktail in your hand!
There are lots of roof top bars to choose from. Join the tourists at the famous Helipad bar for close up views of the Petronas Towers, sit across from the green oasis of KLCC park high at one of the bars or restaurants Traders Hotel or take a taxi over to Stratosphere @The Roof for distant views of the city against the rolling green hills.
1-Visit Batu Caves
At Batu caves, 272 brightly coloured steps lead up to the sacred Hindu shrine guarded by a mammoth golden statue of Lord Murugan. Whilst Batu Caves isn’t the top tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur, it does ignite emotions. Tourists either love it or hate it. An expat living in KL, I don’t enjoy visiting there: aggressive monkeys, crowds and litter. But I do like what it symbolizes and I think that that’s important for tourists to see.
As KL rapidly expands, monkeys have been pushed from their natural houses and now beg, thieve and eat rubbish. The stairs are steep and crowded. The view from the top of the steps is of a scrawling city that goes on forever. The pollution and the haze often spoiling the view. But against this you have mammoth golden statues shining in the sun, colourful steps and beautiful natural caves. You have hundreds of devoted and faithful locals making heart-felt pilgrimages to the shrines within. Batu Caves is a place to see the best and worst of Kuala Lumpur.