Kuala Lumpur and Surroundings
Malaysia is a melting pot of races and religions where Malaysians, Indians, Chinese and many other ethnic groups live together.
Geographically, Malaysia is almost as diverse as its culture. There are 11 states and 2 federal territories (Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya) that form the Malaysian Peninsula.
One of Malaysia’s main attractions is the contrast of extremes there are in its capital, Kuala Lumpur. Towering skyscrapers blend with wooden houses built on stilts, while five-star hotels are just meters from old reefs.
Malaysia’s “icing on the cake” is the chance to encounter wild animals in their natural habitat. The most common contacts are with colorful insects or birds, but the visitor may also be lucky to find a tapir, a silver monkey or an orangutan. The oceans are equally abundant: schools of tropical fish, corals, turtles, sharks and dolphins. Even if you don’t venture outside urban centers, there are excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing in places like KL Bird Park or Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Center.
Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) is the local currency and in the capital Kuala Lumpur credit cards are accepted. An option to have cash is to take dollars (American or for example Australian, if that is your case) and exchange in exchange offices for the local currency. Another alternative is to make withdrawals at ATMs, directly in the local currency.
The country official languages are: Malay and English, but as there are people from different backgrounds in the city, several other languages are also spoken.
The hot capital of Malaysia is a feast for all the senses. In this city the visitor will find historical monuments, skyscrapers, parks, busy shopping centers, street markets and lively nightclubs. The parts that complement this vibrant mix are mosques, Malaysian temples and Chinese temples. The reverence for ancient cultures is balanced with an impulse to connect with the modern world.
KL, where tourism is growing, is the hub of the low cost airline (low cost) AirAsia and draws attention by housing people from different cultures and living in harmony. The most widespread and followed religion in this country is Islam (the visitor will find many local women with headscarves and burkas), with 60% of the population, and then in order, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and others.
Kuala Lumpur is also the shopping capital. Malaysian consumer culture reaches its peak in this capital, where tourists can spend the whole day browsing luxurious malls such as Pavilion KL, Suria KLCC or looking for fashion items and bargains in the Mid Valley Megamall. Bangsar and Publika are the places to choose local brands and find the work of independent designers. Alternatively, the visitor can also visit the Central Market to buy souvenirs and handicrafts made by the locals.
When is the best time to visit Malaysia?
The climate in Malaysia is hot and humid throughout the year, interspersed with tropical rains. The rainy season on the east coast is between November and February, while the west coast experiences a sunny and dry climate. On the other hand, the wettest months on the west coast are from April to October, which are the driest months on the east coast.
Kuala Lumpur is equally hot and humid all year round. Temperatures vary between 22ºC and 32ºC and with a tropical climate, rains occur almost daily. During the months of April and October the rains are more intense.
( Source )
Check out some maps of Kuala Lumpur here .
Arrival in Kuala Lumpur:
Our first moment in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, was arriving in the early hours of Friday to Saturday. We left Sydney airport, where we live, at 9 pm and left for KL on a journey of just over 8 hours. We arrived at the international airport, known as KLIA, at 3:30 am.
The tip in this situation (if you arrive in the city at dawn or very late at night) is: take a GRAB to go to your hotel / hostel in the city. The airport is 54 km from the center (approximately 45 – 1 hour by car) and the available means of transport are taxis, GRAB (private driver application similar to UBER) or the KLIA Ekspres train . Remembering that the train that leaves the airport goes to the KL Sentral station and from there you change to another line if your accommodation is not in this perimeter.
Travel time with KLIA Ekspre is 28 minutes (KLIA – KL Sentral) and 33 minutes (KLIA2 – KL Sentral). For more information on this type of transport visit the company’s website .
If your option is GRAB , I suggest downloading before arriving at the airport (or even there, as the airport offers free wifi) and make your registration (name, credit card, etc.). Arriving at the airport, just use and call GRAB (same system as UBER). The cost of travel between KLIA and the center of Kuala Lumpur has a fixed value and is 65 MYR + the tolls (which are three on the route), and the total will be approximately 75 MYR.
# 1 day: Bukit Bintang and Pavilion, Petronas Twin Towers, Chinatown Region and Masjid Jameek Mosque and Heli Lounge Bar
The route of the first day of activities in Kuala Lumpur was very diverse and with a lot of walking through the main tourist points of the city.
After a morning of rest, since we took an early morning flight and arrived at 5 am at the hotel, we had lunch at the same hotel we were staying in and after waiting for the summer rain to pass, we left towards the Pavilion region .
We walk through the streets of Butik Bintang, using Google Maps offline and arrive at Jalan Butik Bibtan g, the shopping street. We walked a bit in this part of the city and after we were satisfied we went, walking again, to the Petronas Twin Towers area .
We passed the Aquaria KLCC , the KL Convention Center (which are in the same complex) and continued until the entrance to the most famous towers in the capital of Malaysia.
As our visit was made on a weekend (Saturday), the place was very crowded. In addition, we were unable to buy the ticket to climb the tower on the spot. We didn’t buy in advance and visited on a weekend, it made it difficult to buy on time.
So, after we hit the “guy at the door”, we decided to buy the entrance ticket for 2 days later, on a Tuesday. The tip is: if you don’t have many days in the city, buy in advance on the website .
After purchasing tickets, we proceed to the GO KL bus stop (a free shuttle that the city provides – see more details about the lines and the service here ). The point is right in front of the towers, and easy to find.
We continue to the Chinatown region and the Masjid Jameek Mosque . As usual for those visiting the various Chinatowns in the world, this was no different. Many shops, street stalls, trinkets, lots of people and a little confusion. From this place we continue on foot to the Mosque.
When we got there (and we already knew we couldn’t get in due to our clothes – I was wearing shorts and a short T-shirt and the husband was wearing shorts and a T-shirt – there are tags to enter temples and mosques around the world), we just took a few pictures on the side from outside and soon we headed for our return to the Butik Bitang region.
Our return was made by GO KL (free bus) and we got off next to our hotel. We walked to the building that is the Heli Longe Bar .
Located on the 34th floor below the roof (which is a helipad), the bar has an aeronautical theme. It has a DJ console that was built from the components of a Boeing 747 turbine and a sofa that was remodeled from a Boeing 737 cabin seat. If that is not enough, the visitor may even see airplane propellers. connected to the wall, as well as a Beaver model hanging from the ceiling. Even the waiters who serve customers are dressed in pilots’ uniforms. Check out more details of the place here or on the bar’s Facebook page .
We stayed in this bar to watch the sunset and to enjoy the view that is sensational. The bar has two floors, the lower floor is the lounge with tables, the kitchen and the main bar, and on the helipad there is another room (second floor), where visitors sit at tables and rooms to enjoy the 360 degree view of the city. Kuala Lumpur city.
After almost 3 hours of enjoying the Heli Lounge Bar, we went to the street of the bars, which was right next to our hotel (exactly 2 minutes walking), Changkat Bukit Bintang . There we still enjoy a beer, walk a little and then close the day with our return to the hotel.
Our first day itinerary was:
- Butik Bintang Region
- Visit to the Pavilion and the shopping street (Jalan Butik Bibtang)
- KL Convention Center and Aquaria KLCC
- We walked to the Petronas Twin Towers
- Free Bus (GO KL) to Chinatown
- We walk to the Masjid Jameek Mosque
- Free bus (GO KL) to Heli Lounge Bar
- Street of bars in Butik Bintang (Changkat Bukit Bintang)
Hotel review: Verdant Hill Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Excellent hotel with complete infrastructure (swimming pool, outbuildings, etc.) and great continental breakfast. The location is one of the strong points, it is right next to the main street of bars (Changkat Bukit Bintang) and in the middle of Butik Bintang, the trendy district of KL.
MYR 1,180, equivalent to $ 420 (Australian dollars) for a 1 bedroom apartment (double bed), and private bathroom (with breakfast).
# 2 Day: Tour to Elephant Sanctuary and Havana Bar
For our second day, we booked a tour, with a company indicated by the hotel reception, to the Elephant Sanctuary in the Lanchang region .
We left at 9:30 am and took the bus (from the same tour company) to the meeting point where the tours leave. At approximately 10 am we were heading towards Lanchang, where the Elephant Sanctuary is located.
On this day, as there were no more tourists interested in the tour, we did a private tour and we didn’t pay anything more for it. A private driver took us in his car for the purchased tour.
The tour cost approximately 150 AUD (2 people) and left KL towards Lanchang on a good and well-paved road (this surprised us a lot in Malaysia – the roads). We expected a much lower quality and the surprise was good!
The car journey took approximately 2 hours to the first point (Deerland). This point of interest was offered to us as an extra the moment we were going to the Sanctuary. As the place was next to our destination, we chose to visit it.
Deerland is a very simple place without many attractions. It is a small zoo where they shelter the deer (hence the name deerland, land of the deer) and some random animals (snakes, reptiles in general, some types of birds, among others). If you don’t have time, I don’t suggest stopping at the site. It is super simple and without great attractions.
After Deerland, we went to our lunch at a roadside restaurant with very simple and local food. This lunch was included in the tour.
At 12:45 pm it was already heading towards the Sanctuary. We arrived, our guide made the necessary processes to enter the place and at 13h we started our tour in the sanctuary.
The first activity was a 30-minute video about the project and the story of some rescued elephants. Then we proceed to the place where they shelter the elephants.
We found 4 elephants in a reserved place, where people give food (cane or bananas that are sold on the spot) and then we were taken to see the bathing presentation of the adult elephants.
Then we proceed to an arena where they do another show with the elephants and present the animals to the public.
After all these activities, visitors are invited to bathe the smaller elephants in the local stream.
We went to the environment and joined the others. The experience with the elephants in the water is incredible! We recommend it as an activity for everyone who visits this sanctuary.
After more than 3 hours inside the site, we got back to our car and made our way back to Kuala Lumpur.
We arrived at the hotel around 5:30 pm. We took the time to bathe and recover from the trip, and after that we went out again for dinner and to enjoy the night at the street of bars, Changkat Bukit Bintang .
We found Bar Havana (I recommend it for the good and cheap drink and the delicious and well served food). We stayed in it for almost 3 hours and then ended our day’s activities.
Our second day itinerary was:
- Road to Lanchang
- Lanchang Elephant Sanctuary
- Road to Kuala Lumpur
- Street of bars in Butik Bintang (Changkat Bukit Bintang)
# 3 Day: Batu Caves, National Mosque – Masjid Negara Region (KL Butterfly Park and KL Bird Park) and KL City Gallery, Merdeka Square Park and Luna Bar
On this third day we booked a visit to one of the most famous places in KL, the Batu Caves , and a walk through some other very popular points of the city.
We left the hotel at around 10 am, and went from GRAB to Batu Caves. The place has easy access by public transport (you need to take a train or bus to the KL Sentral station and from there to the Batu Caves station), but we opted for the GRAB due to the time (time of heavy traffic and movement on public transport) city) and because the weather was rainy.
We paid 19 MYR for transportation from the Butik Bintag region to the Batu Caves. When we got there the weather was still not helping much, it rained a little. However, soon after it stopped and we decided to go up the temple steps. There are 272 steps that lead to the cellars.
We visited the place and its facilities and after about an hour and a half, we went to the train station.
From Batu Caves station, we head to Kuala Lumpur station (the station before KL Sentral, the main station in the city). In this place we find the region of the Perdana Botanical Garden and the National Mosque (National Mosque). The train between these stations cost 5.20 MYR for two people.
We arrived at the station, located on Google Maps, and walked to the National Mosque. We took some pictures and followed inside the Perdana Botanical Garden. We passed KL Bird Park and KL Butterfly Park , but we did not enter.
We continue our walk to the KL City Gallery , home to the famous Kuala Lumpur sign and all tourists love taking pictures.
We visited the place from the inside (there the visitor finds an information center, a gallery, an exhibition and a restaurant), and we continue the walk to the famous square next to the Gallery, Merdeka Square Park . A few more photos and we were already satisfied.
We left for our return to the Butik Bintang region, where we would have lunch. We went to a nearby bus stop where the GO KL (free bus) passed and headed for our well-deserved lunch.
We decided on a Japanese restaurant inside one of the galleries in the Pavilion shopping area. We rest, eat and from there we walk to the hotel.
We took advantage of the late afternoon to compose ourselves and at night we went to visit another very famous rooftop bar in the city, Luna Bar .
This bar was right next to our hotel, almost 5 minutes walking, and we went to it to meet and enjoy a mojito!
As it was a Monday, the place was totally empty. We stayed there for about 1 hour, we took advantage of the view for some photos and then we went back to the hotel to then end our day of activities.
Our third day itinerary was:
- Batu Caves
- National Mosque – Masjid Negara
- KL Butterfly Park and KL Bird Park
- KL City Gallery
- Merdeka Square Park
- Pavilion Region (for lunch)
- Luna Bar
# 4 Day: Petronas Twin Towers (Observatory), Menara Tower and KL Forest Eco Park
And the last day had arrived in the capital of Malaysia! On this day our schedule was well focused on the two main towers and their observatories and our return to Sydney (our return flight was also at dawn, so the schedule was lighter and with a determined time to finish).
As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, we were unable to climb up to the Petronas Twin Towers observatory on the first day, and then we bought the ticket for the last.
We purchased the ticket at the towers window and bought it for the 9:30 am time. At 9:15 am we were already at the door of the site to access the towers (we walked from the hotel to the towers, approximately 20/25 minutes between Bukit Bintang and the Petronas Twin Towers).
The price to visit the Petronas Towers is 80 MYR per person and entitles visitors to the walkway that divides the two towers and 2 different floors.
The guided tour with a determined time in each sector, lasts approximately 1 hour.
After touring the premises of the most famous towers in Kuala Lumpur, we went on for a few more pictures in front of them (those classic touristy ones), and finally we walked back to the area of our hotel. We were staying in front of another very famous and important tower in the city, the KL Tower (Menara Tower) .
Arriving at the site, we bought the entrance tickets (cost 99 MYR per person to access the two floors, including photos on the two glass decks – sky box) and headed for the top of the city again.
The Menara Tower or KL Tower, this is one of the largest towers in the world and one of the great attractions of KL. The 421 meter tower opened in 1996 is considered the seventh largest tower in the world and the largest in Southeast Asia.
In this tower it takes us a little more than 1 hour, because for the pictures on the glass decks you need to get a password and wait to be called.
After being properly photographed on the decks and many pictures of the landscape, we returned to the base and went to visit our last destination on this trip, the KL Forest Eco Park .
This last location is on the premises of the Menara Tower and consists of a park with hanging bridges where the visitor walks through and takes advantage of a light walk.
We made the whole route inside the park and after a lot of walking in strong heat, we decided to end the activities.
We continued on foot to the Pavilion where we decided to have lunch. We chose an international restaurant inside the mall, we took advantage of the air conditioning, we relaxed and after an intense day, we returned to the hotel.
Our schedule of tours and activities was finished.
At the end of the afternoon we take the opportunity to rest and have dinner at the hotel. At night we asked for a GRAB and went to the airport to start our trip back.
Our third day itinerary was:
- Petronas Twin Towers Observatory
- KL Tower (Menara Tower)
- KL Forest Eco Park
Check below some options of Day Tours from Kuala Lumpur for the visitor to make the most of this city and its surroundings (see more information here source ) * :
- Malacca Historical City (9am – 5pm)
- Penang Island (6am – 10pm)
- Putrajaya Tour (9am – 2pm or 6pm – 10pm)
- Langkawi Island (7am – 10pm)
- Batu Caves Country Tour (9am – 1pm)
- Kuala Lumppur City Tour (9am – 1pm)
- Taman Negara National Park (5:30 am – 9:30 pm)
- Elephant Sanctuary (9am – 5am)
- Camerom Highlands (7am – 8pm)
- Fireflies & Monkey Feeding (16h – 22h)
- Orang Utan Island (7am – 7:30 pm)
- Pangkor Island (7am – 10pm)
- Port Dickson (9am – 5pm)
- Genting Highland (9am – 5:30 pm)
- Sunway Lagoon (10am – 6pm)
- A’Famosa Malacca (9am – 7pm)
- Swimming Waterfalls (9am – 1pm)
- I-City (4 pm – 9:30 pm)
- Sky Mirror (6am – 9:30 pm)
- Paragliding (9am – 5pm)
- Fly Board (9am – 5pm)
- Sky Trex (9am – 5pm)
- Rafting & Caving (7am – 6pm)
- Heli Tour (9am – 3pm)
- Hot Air Balloon (6am – 12pm)
* We do not use this agency but as the packages are similar I put the items to illustrate your options.
- Site do National Elephant Conservation Centre
- Dicas de Rooftop Bars em Kuala Lumpur
- Dicas de Rooftop Bars em Kuala Lumpur
- Site Oficial do Turismo da Malásia
- KL Hop-On Hop-Off Kualla Lumpur
- KL Tower Site Oficial
- Petronas Twin Towers Site Oficial
- Mike Bikes Kuala Lumpur
- Tours em Kuala Lumpur
- Site do Turismo na Malásia
- Tours na Malásia
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