We loved Kuala Lumpur and would highly suggest it for a quick stopover or transit point. We found that two days was enough to see everything. A little longer and you might be running out of things to do. As it was our first stop on our trip, we found it particularly exciting to explore and experience. It was the perfect place to ease us into the traveling lifestyle and get used to the hustle and bustle of Asia.
Where we stayed
We arrived in KL at four in the morning after a cramped eight hour flight from Australia. By the time we had taken the Aerobus from the Low Cost Carrier Terminal to KL central station, we were tired, dirty and a bit lost. We made our way to the Explorer’s guesthouse which is located in Pasar Seni (one stop from Sentral). As soon as we stepped into the guesthouse, it was like an oasis of calm and air conditioning. Although we weren’t able to check into the room until 2:00am, we were offered free tea, toast and coffee, a room to store our bags, a shower and the password for the free wi-fi. The two ladies and the man (who had some luscious locks which he spent hours blow drying everyday in the lobby) were very friendly, accommodating and helpful. We were even given permission to lie down on the comfy couches in the common room. I promptly fell asleep. There was a trickling fountain in the corner, National Geographic on the TV and the hostel was a 3 minute walk from Jalan Petaling street where the famous night markets are held. The room itself was little but had its own air-conditioning unit and the bed was comfy. We paid around AUD$32 for a private room.
Doesn’t look like much but it was super tasty
What we ate
What didn’t we eat.. The first day we feasted on delicious Roti Canai and syrupy sweet tea for breakfast from Hameed in Suria KLCC. We were drawn into the place by the long line and by the time we got to see the menu it was time to order and we had no idea what anything was. A few points and nods saw us eating a tasty Malaysian breakfast. Dinner on the first night was eaten by the side of the road in the Jalan Petaling markets; A mixture of fried and boiled “things on sticks”. The satay chicken sticks were my favourite. Dinner came to around 20MR with two drinks. The next day we ate steaming pork buns, mysterious deep fried things, a clay pot full of chicken and rice and..KFC. Now before you burn us at the stake, we were drawn in by the advertising of something called the “famous bowl”. We were curious! The famous bowl consisted of a tasty mixture of rice, chicken, corn and gravy. All for only 5MR or AUD $1.72. We also ate what will now be known as the “Best Doughnuts Ever” . We are not ashamed to admit we ate 7 of them over two days for only 2.50MR each! These delicious rings of heaven come from a place call the Big Apple Doughnuts and coffee. They can be found on the ground floor of Suria KLCC.
A fish spa for some, a horrific experience for others
What we did
The first day we walked around looking and smelling like zombies but we still managed to go to the Petronas towers twice. The first time to get vaccination at the twin towers medical centre and the second to see the towers at night. They are really stunning at night! We also went to the Jalan Petaling markets twice. If you’re in the market for some cheap, fake crap then this is the place for you! Cheap crap aside, its definitely worth a visit as it has a great atmosphere and great food. The markets are about a two minute walk from Pasar Seni train station. The Central markets are also close by and are quite touristy. The central market building is nice and air-conditioning and worth it for the Fish Spa. For 10MR you can get little fish to eat the dead skin off your feet. You’re guaranteed to get a squeal out of even the most hardened person.
Ain’t no party like a Thaipusam party
We also happened to be in KL for the Thaipusam festival and so we headed out to the Batu Caves to join in the festivities. The Batu Caves are a 12KM trip out of KL and can be easily reached by train. When we arrived at the caves we were both overwhelmed by the huge crowds. Thousands and thousands of people were pushing up the steep steps towards the caves. Some where laden with huge shrines as they struggled with each step. Others had shaved heads and were carrying heavy silver and gold pots atop their heads. I instantly knew that the crush towards the caves wasn’t something i would be comfortable doing and so we vowed to come back and climb up towards the caves on a day that wasn’t the busiest of the year. When I saw another traveller faint, I knew I had made the right decision. One downfall was that we got some weird looks from people at the festival and didn’t feel particularly welcome.
Thanks to a handy dandy app called TrailWallet I was able to track our spending. We expected Kl to be a bit more pricier than some of the other places we are going so we budgeted accordingly with AUD$60. We spent AUD$126.01 (MYR 368) for the time we were there. So we went a teensy bit over and to be fair we ate A LOT of food. This was not including the vaccinations we got in KL or the train for Hat Yai.
A very begrudging man took this photo
Overall, we liked KL a lot and it is the perfect city to warm up to Asia. The transportation system is great, the food tasty and we loved our hostel. We both agreed that 2 days is plenty enough time to see KL and so therefore it makes a great stopover place. I think with more than two or three days you would be struggling to find things to do. Having left Kl now, we have turned to each other a couple of times and said “How good was Kuala Lumpur”.
We paid for everything out of our own bank account so all our opinions are our own! Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? What did you think? Did we miss out on anything? Leave us a comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org.