If you’re a frequent traveller, particularly through Asia there is a high chance you’ve passed through Kuala Lumpur, the hub of international transit within this area (praise AirAsia). There is also a chance, like most people travelling long haul that you want the shortest amount of time possible between stopovers. I always find it strange when people don’t take the opportunity, time permitting, to break the journey up and have a few days exploring somewhere new.
Kuala Lumpur is well worth the stop. I had zero expectations arriving into the city and I was thrilled to find the beautiful mix of old and new, traditional and modern, rich and poor that all inhibit this city perfectly and equally.
The accommodation is both wonderful and affordable, whether you are in hostels or hotels they will no doubt be clean, fully equipped and have great service.
The must see are the Petronas Towers, an architectural feat, stunningly impressive up close, and even more spectacular from up top, which is well worth the time and entrance fee.
The city is known for shopping, from high end designers to modern mega malls with both your high street staples to everything Asian you could ever want, you will get lost shopping here (and probably need to buy some extra baggage for your next flight).
A 1 hour train trip out of the city will get you to Batu Caves, beautiful limestone caves fronted by a huge Hindu God sculpture and 272 steps to climb. If you’re here around January or February you might be lucky enough to catch the annual Hindu Festival Thaipusam, or if you’re a climber you can get in a bit of practice year round. Beware of the monkeys on they way up, they are notoriously cheeky and not the slightest bit shy.
Malaysia has a diverse mixture of cultures, with Indian, Chinese and Malays all co-existing here beautifully (take note world) and the food here is not only diverse but some of the best you’ll find the world over. You can fine dine but where it’s really at is the street. During the day find where the Malaysians are eating, go there. For about $3 AUD you will get and all you can eat buffet of pure bliss, being vegetarian is easy with the amount of vegetable and tofu dishes, self control is not. At night head to Jalan Alor food street for all of the food porn you could hope for, find a restaurant to your liking, grab a charming plastic table and chairs, a few beers and you are set. The other great thing is you don’t get harassed too much in Malaysia so you can enjoy your meal in peace.
If you need your western fix there are plenty of cafes doing a hella good flat white and poached eggs. I recommend LOKL, which was my coffee saving grace.
Fill another day with a trip up Kuala Lumpur tower for city views, visit the stunning national mosque, art galleries and museums or stroll the Taman Tasik garden.
Three days, sleep recovery and another place checked off the list. Why wouldn’t you stop here!