Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, was the last stop of our trip (followed by Phuket, Thailand). Coming from a 4-day hiatus of relaxing beach time in Thailand, we were eagerly ready to switch gears and adjust to life in a big city again. On our hour-long Uber ride from the airport to our hotel, we were greeted by large congested highways, gridlock traffic, and a modern skyline that is dominated by the world renowned Petronas Towers. All of which served to quickly remind us that we were a long ways away from island life, or so it seemed. There was a wave of excitement to be back in the hustle and bustle of another Asian metropolitan city where our next great meal was just a short walk away from any given location and we were no longer bounded by overpriced cab rides or inescapable tourist traps.
Coming to Kuala Lumpur, we both had relatively low expectations. A few people had cautioned us that two days was way more than enough time here since there’s not a whole lot to do. In hindsight, I think it’s fair to say that we barely scratched the surface in two days. At first glance, Kuala Lumpur may not capture your attention, but if you give it a chance, it will draw you in. A and I were pleasantly surprised by how much we loved the city’s quirky neighborhoods and vibrant food scene. We spent our first day exploring the city and our second day trekking out to see the Batu Caves. Our limited time in the city did not permit for shopping at the Central Market, strolling through KLCC Park, wandering through Chinatown and Little India, or visiting the Aquaria KLCC. I certainly wish we had a little more time here but there’s no doubt that we will be back.
Day One |
After checking into our hotel we headed to Lot 10 Hutong Food Court which is right in the centre of Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur’s shopping and entertainment district.
Unknowingly, we stumbled onto Jalan Alor, a street that transforms into a collection of roadside restaurants that comes alive from 5pm until late into the evening. The epitome of Asian street food, the options are endless and the prices are unbeatable.
The restaurants were just starting to set up for the evening. We weren’t quite hungry enough to start indulging so we decided to kick things off with an afternoon beer. We continued exploring the Bukit Bintang area and stumbled upon the heart of the entertainment district. We made a stop for A to do some whiskey tasting. All boozed up, now back to Jalan Alor for dinner! I went to seafood heaven and ate a plate of mussels and clams to myself (A is not the biggest fan of seafood). On our walk back to the hotel, we stopped at the famous Petronas Towers. Pictures don’t really do the towers justice but they really are something else when you see them in person. It costs about $40USD to go up to the Sky Bridge of the towers. If you ask me, I’d say skip it and opt for a cocktail and unbeatable view from the well positioned Sky Bar at The Traders Hotel. Alternatively, head to Marini’s on 57, a bar, cigar lounge and fine dining Italian restaurant which is located inside Tower 3 of the Petronas Tower.
Day Two |
Our hotel was in a great location. It was walking distance from Bukit Bintang and the Petronas Towers. The next morning, we headed back to Lot 10 Hutong Food Court to fuel up before heading out to the Batu Caves – our Day 2 excursion.
The public transportation system in Kuala Lumpur was very efficient and gets you just about anywhere you need to go. Although it’s not quite as easy to navigate as Singapore’s MRT system, it does the job. It took us about 30 minutes to get from the centre of KL to the Batu Caves. We were caught in some heavy rainfall on the way back from the caves so we were seeking refuge in a mall and stopped for some coffee.
Had dinner at the tried and true Jalan Alor again on our last night.