I do love Kuala Lumpur or KL, how the locals call it. It is and dynamic, vibrant city with modern parts and old traditional parts. It has a perfect infrastructure and a perfect cultural live. People from all over the world and from many different cultures and religions are living together in this city. This makes Kuala Lumpur to one of the most diverse places I have been to so far.
Long story short: Kuala Lumpur is a cosmopolitan capital and a melting pot of diversity.
How to get to Kuala Lumpur
If you plan to travel Malaysia, which you definitely should do, most probably Kuala Lumpur will be your starting point. There are flights from everywhere to the international airport if Kuala Lumpur.
If you come from Singapor to Kuala Lumpur, there are busses, trains and as well flights. Flights you can get already for around 30$. If you book in advance and are flexible you can also get deals for 20$.
To get from the airport to the city you can take the Klia-Express. This is a high speed train which brings you directly into the center of Malaysia’s capital. Unfortunate it is quite expensive with 14$.
You can also use a Taxi to get into the city. Therefor you need to go to the taxi counter at the exit of the airport. At the counter you tell them where you want to go to, then you get a ticket, which you also pay directly at the counter. With this ticket you go to the taxis. The taxi drive to the center will charge around 22$. At the counter you should tell them to give you a budget taxi. Otherwise they may book you on a premium taxi, which is just a better car with nicer interior and charge you double the price.
Bus from Singapor to Kuala Lumpur will be between 20$ and 30$ and will take around 6hrs in total. The busses will stop at the border for the passengers to sort out their immigration. Have the documents ready in advance. As you can see the busses are not cheaper than the flights, but take much longer. For me the bus is just an option when the flights are booked out.
Train to be honest would not be an option for me. It takes between 7hrs and 10hrs and is pretty complicated as there is no direct connection anymore since 2011. You have to change twice. The prices so are very cheap. You can travel depending on the ticket class starting from 8$ to 16$. So if you are really broke train may be the option for an empty pocket.
Coming from Thailand
Coming from Thailand I would recommend you to take some stops in Malaysia before hitting to KL. Langkawi would be a good start. You can read about that in my other post here.
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur
In Kuala Lumpur there are plenty of options to stay same as numerous areas. I always stayed close or around Bukit Bintang . Bukit Bintang is the heard of Kuala Lumpur both in the day and the night. It is close the sightseeing hotspots, has many restaurants and bars, shopping miles and is connected to all the infrastructure options.
If not Bukit Bintang but as well in the center of KL you can a stay around to the Petronas Tower. This is a must-seen-spot anway in KL and also the perfect start for getting around in the city.
Close to the Pentronas Tower I can recommend you the Summer Suite KLCC@dorms hostel. They have a great location, great pool and gym. The rooms are clean and the whole hostel is very modern. A bunk bed in the dorm charges 8$.
Getting around in Kuala Lumpur
The metro, called MRT, in Kuala Lumpur covers nowadays the whole city with a very good net. The MRT is cheap and gets you anywhere. I either use MRT of walk in KL.
To use the MRT you need to buy a single-journey token from ticket vending machines located at all MRT stations. Before entering the plattform you have to pass a barrier where you throw in the token. You can also buy a multple drive card. This card is charged with an amount of money and each time you pass the barrier you just hold it against a marked field.
Uber is very common in KL, I used the service mostly in the night to get to the bars/clubs or back home.
Taxis are cheap and easy to get, but the traffic is crazy, so taxis are not the fastest way to get around.
Busses are driving through the whole city, they just charge a few cents but as the traffic is overloaded, it is also a very slow way to get from one point to another, but the cheapest.
Exploring Kuala Lumpur
There are numerous things to do in KL and if you really want to catch up all of them you can easily spent a week in the city without getting bored. I will get into details now about spots I have covered during my stays and list a few more.
Everytime when I see the Petronas Towers by night the song from the Beatles “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” is coming up in my head. They just look awesome, brightly illuminated, making the skyline of KL elegant.
If you want to go up the Towers to enjoy a very good view over KL you should do this early. There is a limited number of public person allowed to go up per day and the tickets get processed by first come, first serve manner. Normally these places are sold out latest until lunch time. Unfortunate it is no possible to go up by night. You can also book the tickets for a specific time slot in advance online.
Operating hours: 9am to 9pm (processing of tickets starts at 8:30am)
Ticket price: 22$
Menara Tower Kuala Lumpur
Menara Tower Kuala Lumpur is the highest television tower of Malaysia and the 7th highest of the world with 471m. Same as the Petronas Towers you can go up the Menara as well and enjoy a view over the city. The Observation Deck is @276m and Sky Deck is @421m. The view is really awesome.
For both decks you have to buy separate tickets:
Operating hours: 09:00am to 10:00pm
Observation Deck: 14$
Sky Deck: 27$
I would say it is enough to either do the Menare Tower or the Petronas Towers. I for myself liked the Menare Tower experience more.
The Batu Caves should definitely not be missed! They are huge limestone caves with hindu temples in it. They are also a home for a lot of monkeys, so better hold your belongings close to you. To get up to the caves, the main cave it 15m high, you have to climb 270 steps. Before the steps up to the caves, there is the real center of attraction: The 42m high golden statue of god Murugan.
The Batu caves are 15km north of the city center. When I visited them the first time there were just taxis going but now the metro line #1 is also driving to the caves. The ride will charge you 0.50$ and will take app. 30min. The Batu caves are for free which makes it also perfect for backpackers.
Sri Maha Mariamman Temple
One of the most popular temples in KL is the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple. It is the oldest Hindu temple in Malaysia and very colorful.
The temple is the starting point for the Thaipusam procession to the Batu Caves. For this procession thousands of creditors are gathering and carrying milk as a sacrificial offering for Lord Muruga. Then they start the 15km walk to the Batu caves.
The temple is in the center of China Town and can be reached by the metro to station Pasa Seni. From there is it just a few minutes walk to the temple.
China Town in KL is like in any other city a lively area with the typical markets, street food an restaurants. If you want to shop cheap clothes, shoes, electronics and so on, this is the place to be.
Jalan Alor Food Street
This street is my favorite spot for dinner. Here are hundreds of street food kitchens lined up. Here you can get a wide range of different street food from different cultures of Asia. It is very cheap, you can easily fill up your stomach and pay below 5$.
KLCC Park is a nice place in the middle of the city behind the Petronas Towers. During the day it is nice to walk through it or just to chill and enjoy a little bit calmness in the hectic city. There is a little lake with fountains in it. These fountains can shoot the water up to 42m.
Beginning at 7pm there is a musical fountain performance and the water shot by the fountains turns in different colors dancing to the music. I love it to sit there after an eventful day and to chill while the water play by music.
There is also more:
KL never sleeps so you can expect an amazing bar and club scene. As the offer is big I just point out the areas and places where I used to drink and dance the night away.
For nightlife you should enter the golden triangle which it basically the sprawling area bounded north by Jalan Ampang and west by China Town. Bukit Bintang is part of this triangle, same as the Petronas.
In Bukit Bintang there are several streets with bars and clubs next to each other. Most of them offer drinking specials for Ladies and/or certain happy hours. One of my favorites was the Havana Bar, which is a mix out of a bar and a nightclub and offers reasonable prices. Down the road are several other bars and clubs like Zion Club, The Green Man pub for irish pub lovers, the Rabbit hole and much more.
Kuala Lumpur has a vibrant nightlife scene with amazing clubs. One of the bests, playing very good and also internationally known DJ´s, is the Zouk KL Club. The prices are very high for Malaysia (comparable with Europa, but the vibe and the atmosphere are awesome. It has 6 different floors and a huge lounge area. For me this was the best club to dance the away the night.
Another club I really had amazing nights in was the Butter Factory. The interior it the epitome of warehouse cool. It has two floors and is one of the city’s best known clubs. Prices are like in Zouk quite high.
If you need any more information or details on the given information feel free to contact me. I love helping people to trave.
Get lost, but don’t get hurt!