A spontaneous decision to book a 48 hour stopover in Kuala Lumpur on our way to Bali turned out to be the best decision ever! Straight away it’s become one of my favourite cities, and since we only had two days we wanted to make the most of it. We crammed in A LOT. Here are some of the best things to do in Kuala Lumpur:
Visit Chinatown & Brickfields
Before I visited Kuala Lumpur I kept hearing the phrase that it’s “a melting pot of cultures”, and this becomes apparent as soon as you start to explore the city. There’s a mix of Malaysian, Indian and Chinese people living in KL, each bringing their distinct cultures, which makes for a really interesting mix and some amazing food! Brickfields (KL’s ‘Little India’) and Chinatown are the best places to go to experience two totally different cultures only walking distance apart.
Explore the Batu Caves
It’s worth going to Kuala Lumpur just to see this. The biggest Hindu worship site outside of India set high up in the stunning caves of a towering limestone hill. The hundreds of steps you have to climb to reach the main cave are patrolled by dozens of very cute but pushy monkeys who aren’t shy about trying to steal whatever you may be holding, so make sure you do up your bag!
It’s super easy to get here from the city as it has its own subway stop. This is a sacred site, so be sure to dress respectfully with legs and shoulders covered.
Yeah, that is sweat… Kuala Lumpur is INSANELY hot 😂
Wander round the Lake Gardens
A huge and very beautiful public park which features a bird garden, butterfly garden and deer park, however after strolling around the lakes for a bit we had to give in to the KL heat. This city is THE HOTTEST place I have EVER been. The humidity is off the chain!! Anyway, the Lake Gardens are really pretty but bring sunscreen and lots of water!
We also encountered this huge lizard-looking-thing. It was like a snake with hands. Anyone know what it is?!
Get your drink on at Changkat Bukit Bintang
This buzzing, vibrant street packed with bars and nightclubs is the best spot for nightlife in Kuala Lumpur. It’s one of the craziest drinking streets I’ve seen in Asia but alcohol here is super expensive. Because Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim country there’s a big tax on alcohol; they don’t brew much of their own so it’s mostly all imported and expensive. This area is really cool though and there are some good deals and happy hours to be found if you look around. Wine turned out to be much cheaper than beer for once!
The good news though is that aside from alcohol KL is pretty cheap. I had the impression of it being an expensive city before I visited but it really isn’t.
Treat yo’ self at Sky Bar
While I couldn’t justify spending £7 on a small beer in any old bar, splashing out on (a couple of) expensive drinks up here felt more like an experience, so we excused it. It’s a really luxurious bar/club/lounge with a swimming pool, on one of the top floors of the fancy Traders Hotel. Definitely the most VIP I’ve felt in a while! Drinks aren’t actually any more expensive than in the other bars, and you get an incredible view of the Kuala Lumpur skyline, with the iconic Petronas Towers lit up directly in front.
Swim with the fishes
Visit Kuala Lumpur’s aquarium! There are hundreds of weird and wonderful creatures here. A long conveyor belt takes you slowly through tunnels underneath the huge tanks whilst sharks and giant sting rays swim around your head.
Stuff your face
Malaysian food, Indian food, Chinese food. Just eat everything! There’s so much amazing food in Kuala Lumpur. Cheese rotis are my favourite – you can get them with all sorts of fillings and sweet ones too. The Indian influence means it’s not hard to find a great curry, and there’s lots of vegetarian places because of the city’s huge Hindu population. It is the norm here for food to be served on a banana leaf and eaten with your hands. So roll up your sleeves and prepare to get dirty!
We had a busy couple of days in Kuala Lumpur (I’m exhausted just writing this) but we managed to check everything that we wanted to see off our list! I absolutely loved KL and I would go back in a heartbeat.