AsiaInterviewsJournal

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide

A modern and amazing Malaysian city is a lot more than just sightseeing. It has pristine beaches, vibrant nightlife, delicious cuisines and outstanding shopping. It is one of the blessed cities which are rich in natural and manmade wonders. Exploring Kuala Lumpur is a magnificent opportunity to enjoy luxuries in an economical budget.

 

Why should anyone visit the city?

 

There are many reasons for visiting Kuala Lumpur. The thing for which it is famous around the world is shopping. You can visit some of the most fashionable places of the world embellished with designers and luxury brands. The city has a number of places with amazing discount sales and deals. You can find some of the best collections of bags, clothing, accessories and cosmetics. The other awesome feature of the city are the parks and the refreshing atmosphere.

 

Is the city safe?  What areas are not safe?

 

Kuala Lumpur is generally safe for tourists. It is a very welcoming city with a number of activities. The normal precautions of travel are applied like scams and taking care of belongings. However, some of the money stealing cases appeared from the unauthorized shops, restaurants and ATM machines in isolated areas. It is better to always use the ATMs of the banks to stay safe.

 

What’s the weather like?

 

March to September is the summer season. March is the hottest and most humid month. April is slightly lower than that but only a little bit. However, the indoor places like shopping, aquariums and spa never make you feel like it is that hot. October and November face the unexpected rainfalls because it is the monsoon season. The best months for the KL vacation is from May to July and December to February. January to February are cold in the day time whereas they are extremely chilly in the night. Daytime is good to explore in these months.

 

Is the US Dollar widely accepted?

 

The currency which is officially used in KL is the Malaysian ringgit whereas some other currencies are also accepted due to the tourism like US Dollar, British pound and Australian dollar. There are many money exchange in markets to convert the currency easily.

 

What are the best areas or districts to stay in the city?

 

The Bukit Bintang

 

The best place to stay for entertainment, dining and shopping is Bukit Bintang. It is the most popular area of the city for nightlife and other activities. Many international and continental restaurants, best shopping areas and cinemas are located in this area.

 

Kuala Lumpur City Center

 

The famous twin towers of the world, Petronas towers are located in this area. You can see the skyline and the unforgettably pretty illuminated towers in the night. The other best part of this area is that it is in the middle from where everything is accessible. You can go to a beautiful walk among the light show and water fountains in the evening and enjoy the green landscape in the afternoon.

 

KL Sentral area and Lake gardens

 

It is the most convenient area for the explorers because this is the transportation hub. You can get to the any part of Kuala Lumpur, other cities of Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore from here. There is every kind of transportation available. This area has some of the finest hotels, restaurants, cafes and shopping areas.

 

China town and Merdeka Square

 

This area is the best for the backpackers and budget travelers. China town is the area where the Chinese immigrants settled and maintained their culture. You will find many handmade souvenir shops, temples, food vendors and a lot more in this area. Some of the delicious Chinese eateries are also in this part. Merdeka square is the British area where they lived for several years. You will see many colonial styled buildings.

 

What’re your top 3 hotels and why?

 

Ritz Carlton Hotel

 

You will feel like a royal while entering the lobby. This is another name of excellence, luxury and beauty. You will get your private butler who will provide the complementary drinks and maintain your bedroom every evening. It is a great luxury of the finest hotel of Malaysia and the charges are very economical.

 

The FACE suites

 

This is not a hotel option but these are apartments to rent out for staying. They are large, well-furnished and very comfortable. There is a roof top swimming pool and the view is truly amazing. These are very popular among the visitors. FACE suites are located near the Petronas tower.

 

Reggae Mansion

 

The old colonial building is beautifully crafted into the hostel with a roof top bar that remains open entire night. This is the best place to stay for a social vibe and living in a party.

 

How does one get around the city?  Taxi, Uber, similar apps, ATVs? Include links to public services

 

Kuala Lumpur is the major city of Malaysia. It is one of the most important tourist and business hubs due to that it has a variety of transportation to get around. Many areas and shopping places are close to each other so it is easy to explore them by walk. The best idea is to get on to the Hop-on hop-off bus to get an idea about the places. It saves you from a lot of hassle and you can plan your itinerary after having a quick trip of the city.

Taxi is frequently available 24 hours and it is economical transport whereas negotiating is necessary before getting in the car. RapidKL is the major bus operating company of Malaysia. It has 177 routes in the Kuala Lumpur. The bus travel is not very pleasant like the developed countries. Most of the buses do not have the maps, time, signs or AC. Mono rail is also an option to travel that connects three areas Ampang Sentul Timur, Kelana Jaya Terminal Putra and Petaling Sentul Timur. The Mono rail and buses are very crowded and it is not at all suitable for sightseeing. The highlands of Kuala Lumpur have cable cars. Uber is not available in Kuala Lumpur so you have to rely on the taxi.

 

Can you highlight the MUST see sight?  Minimum of 5, feel free to share as many as you would like.

 

National Mosque of Malaysia

 

It is also known as the Masjid Negara mosque that has the beautiful prayer hall with 48 domes. The designing of the ceiling is done with the geometric and abstract shapes of iron. The 18 pointed star of the main dome represents the 5 pillars of Islam and Malaysian states. It is necessary to be properly dressed to visit the mosque and females should cover their head with a scarf. The entrance is free for everyone.

 

Islamic Art museum Malaysia

 

The museum is one of the most popular attractions of Kuala Lumpur. It is on a 5 minutes’ walk from the Negara mosque. It has a huge collection containing artifacts, coins, seals, decorative things and manuscripts. The building design, architecture and dome are also worth observing. Different art, reading and story workshops are organized for kids in the other rooms of the museum.

 

Sultan Abdul Samad building

 

It is located in the Merdeka square. The building was constructed for the government purposes. It is a beautiful place to visit. Mostly people see the exterior of the building whereas it can be visited from inside. There are no entrance charges.

 

Kuala Lumpur TV tower

 

The local name of it is menara that means “tower”. It is a 100 meters high viewing deck to see the city center during day and night. It is made of glass so you can take some panoramic shots of the city.

 

Merdeka square

 

It is the main area where the independence was declared so you will see some tallest flag poles. You will find Malay architectural gems in this area like Sultan Abdul Samad building, national museum and cathedral constructed in British times. You can have a guided group tour or private tour of this area to learn more about the attractions.

 

Visit the Thean Hou Temple

 

It is an amazing decorative structure with a mix of old and modern influences. This temple was constructed to worship the goddess of mercy. There are beautiful gardens around the temples among with there is a Chinese medicinal herb garden. It also contains a tortoise pond and a Boddhi tree.

 

What’s the best place to take a photo?

 

Aquaria KLCC

 

It is among the largest aquariums of the Southeast Asia. There are sting rays, sea horses, tiger sharks and many more species. It is a very unique and beautiful place to take some perfect photos of the trip. It opens from 10am till 8pm. You can take a 360o photo of the marine species swimming around.

 

What is the one thing you MUST eat in the city?

 

Kuala Lumpur has a huge variety of delicious cuisines where as one of the best is Nasi Lemak. It is a traditional dish that is made with rice cooked in coconut milk. It is served with eggs, fish, sauce or curry. You should try some of the fish marinated in the local spices and herbs. They are grilled on charcoal after wrapping in the banana leaf.

 

What about food markets?

 

Petaling Street

 

This is a lively, vibrant and amazing street market in China town. The entire street has the massive green cover over the market that saves it from the scorching heat and rain. There is a wide range of foods, accessories, and souvenir stalls.

 

Kasturi walk

 

You will find some amazing replicas of branded products along with a variety of local fruits, vegetable, snacks and cuisines. Everything is very reasonable priced and you can get more benefit if you have the talent of bargaining. Many cultural events, festivals and performances are arranged at the Kasturi walk.

 

Chow Kit market

It is the largest market of Kuala Lumpur selling wet foods. It is a very lively, cultural place to explore. You can fresh fruits, vegetables and meats. You will see the fish swimming in the pale and they are butchered live.

 

Where should one go at night?  Any bar/nightlife areas or districts you recommend?

 

Kuala Lumpur has a stunning and vibrant nightlife scene. The streets of different areas have their own specialties.

  • Changkat Bukit Bintang is a strip of pleasant bars, clubs and restaurant for locals and western expats.
  • Jalan Bukit Bintang is a vibrant and long street filled with a lot of colorful places. There are many restaurants, hotels, shisha cafes and massage parlors. You will find many women calling to the massage parlor.
  • Jalan P Ramlee is near Petronas Twin Towers with an amazing variety of nightlife places.
  • Bangsar street has vibrant and welcoming bars, clubs, shops and restaurants. You can have a meal, shopping and drink at this place.

 

Can you recommend the best shopping areas?  Best shopping mall?

 

Suria KLCC and Pavilion mall KLCC are the best shopping malls of Kuala Lumpur. They are located in the fanciest and most chick area, Bukit Bintang. There are many brand stores and designer franchises in this area. You will find majority of the haute couture outlets in the Pavilion mall. There is a crystal fountain at the entrance inspired by the Trevi fountain of Rome. You can even toss a coin in there that is used for the charity.

 

Do you recommend any tours outside the city?  Islands? Boat Tours?

 

Visit Batu Caves

 

Batu caves are a very interesting attraction to explore. They are situated in the limestone hills and have cave temples. It is located only 20 minutes away by car from Kuala Lumpur. You will find more than a hundred years old statues and idols in the caves.

 

Ipoh

You will be able to see many attractions at a same place like Kellie’s castle, limestone caves, temple and many more.

 

Pulau Ketam

 

It is a fishing village known as the Crab island. You can take a ferry from the Port Klang to see the muddy grounds filled with small crabs. There are colorful buildings and murals. This area is best to explore on bicycle.

 

Are Casinos allowed?  Blackjack tables?  If so, what’s the best Casino in town?

 

Casino is not legal in the country and gambling is not allowed. However, only the states of Pahang and Selangor in the suburbs of KL has casino in a luxury resort located in a huge complex.

 

Any last advice for people visiting the city?

 

  • Pay cash to the taxi and cabs otherwise you might get scammed.
  • The temperature is normally hot and muggy so keep a folding water bottle, sunblock and reasonable clothing.
  • Street shopping requires a lot of bargaining. Rain is sometimes unexpected in Kuala Lumpur.