Kuala Lumpur (KL) was the very first city in Asia I travelled to. I spent 5 nights at the Ritz Carlton which was situated in the Bukit Bintang area. If you’re looking for an Asian version of New York, then Kuala Lumpur is the one. The city showcases a beautiful skyline with iconic structures and is enriched with a vibrant cultural community.
The best time to visit KL is when the humidity is quite low which is between May to July and December to February. During the months of March and April, there is ample amount of rain so avoid visiting around this period. All in all, the climate is quite humid so be prepared for rain at any time of the year.
- Flight: British Airways BA33 flight from London to Kuala Lumpur
- Flight time: 12hr 50 mins
- Local currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) – approx. £1 = 5 MYR
- Language: Malay
- Transport: Bus, Metro, Local taxi & Grab taxi app (Southeast Asia version of Uber)
- Visa Requirement: Visa-free entry to Malaysia for 90 days for all European, British & American passport holders. Click here for further visa requirements information.
1. PETRONAS TOWER
The Petronas towers still remains the tallest twin towers in the world. The 88- storey building is joined at the 41st and 42nd floors by a 58m-long double decker sky bridge. It is primarily the home for the corporate headquarters of the Petronas company.
Tickets are limited and sold on a first come, first served basis. Click here to purchase tickets to visit the skybridge and observation deck.
You can also visit the wet deck at the W hotel to capture a shot of the towers from a different angle.
2. BATU CAVES
Batu Caves is one of the top tourist attractions in Malaysia. The caves are a limestone hill consisting of three main caves, temples and Hindu shrines. The temple /cathedral cave is the largest and most popular cave and can be accessed at the top of the stairs, climbing a flight of 272 steps. It serves as a Hindu Temple devoted to Lord Muragan, which is the 42m high gold statue standing outside.
The annual Hindu festival of Thaipusam is held at the Batu Caves around January / February each year and attracts thousands of believers and visitors. Except you are fond of huge crowds or would like to take part in the festival, I would advise you to avoid visiting during this time.
Watch out for the cheeky macaque monkeys and be prepared to be entertained or harassed by them. Hold your belongings tight and keep any food and drink out of sight. If they do grab anything, do not engage in a tug-of-war as they may bite your hand before they let go.
Admission to the Batu Caves is free (although some sections do charge a small entrance fee of approx. £5). It’s open daily from 7am – 7pm. Avoid wearing shorts/skirts as you would be required to rent a scarf to go inside.
3. MENARA KL TOWER
The Menara KL tower is another iconic landmark to visit in Malaysia. It is a communications tower and boasts a revolving restaurant (Atmosphere 360), an observation deck at 276m high and open deck with a skybox at 300m high.
Access to the open deck and skybox is dependant on the weather. If there is a sign of heavy rain, thunder or lightening, then the open/sky deck is shut down due to health and safety requirements. In order to take a picture inside the skybox, you will need to get another ticket (don’t worry, it’s free) when you get to the Skydeck lobby. You only get 1minute and 40 seconds to capture your best shot so try and get there early to evade the long queues.
4. BUKIT BINTANG
Bukit Bintang is the shopping and entertainment district and is well-known for its upscale malls and luxe fashion boutiques. The Pavilion mall houses luxury retailers such as Cartier, Gucci, Balenciaga, Fendi and many more.
From shopping malls to restaurants, 5* hotels, rooftop bars, hawker stalls, live music scenes and nightclubs, Bukit Bintang has it all.
5. PERDANA BOTANICAL GARDENS
The Perdana Botanical Gardens is the green lung to Kuala Lumpur city. Spread over 220 acres of land and established in 1888, the garden provides a feel of a calm, peaceful environment and a place of refuge from the noisy city chaos.
6. PETALING STREET (CHINA TOWN)
Petaling Street is the China town of Kuala Lumpur and is the place to shop if you are after a bargain, imitation goods (e.g. Louis Vuitton and Chanel bags, Rolex watches etc.) or an array of local cuisine.
Items are normally priced higher and can be brought lower. Make sure you practice your bargaining skills and always negotiate a lower price. Also, stop by the Lost in Chinatown museum to check out the cultural maze and experience the rich culture of Chinatown worldwide.
7. DINE AT THE FOUR SEASONS HOTEL
My favourite South-Asian dish was the Mee Mamak (or Mie Goreng) dish. This is stir fried yellow noodles which chicken, prawns and vegetables. Absolutely loved this dish and would definitely recommend it if you dine at the lounge restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel. Although the Pina Colada cocktail wasn’t the best, I still finished every bit of it.
8. NIGHT OUT AT THE W HOTEL CLUB
There’s a number of nightclubs in Kuala Lumpur. I’d say the Malays have a pretty decent nightlife. I only went out on one night during my stay. Visited the W club on a Sunday night and there was a fair amount of people.
Other clubs you may want to check out:
- Club Kyō at Mandarin Oriental KL
- Zouk KL
- Play Club at The Roof KL