Kuala Lumpur, capital city of Malaysia, a.k.a “KL”(by locals) was part of my East Asia trip I made 1.5 years ago. I spent a total of three full days in KL before I headed to Bali and Singapore. Kuala Lumpur is actually known as a major business and shopping city, and you can imagine that three days in a shopping Walhalla wasn’t enough! At least not for me! I really enjoyed my time in KL and experienced it as a cool, fun, vibrant city with a great diversity of people and culture.
Whether you’re visiting Kuala Lumpur for business or leisure purposes, short trip or long stay, I don’t think you would get bored, because this city has a lot to offer: Anything from eating, shopping, art, cultural sights, attractions and events.
So here’s a list of things to do, based on how I spent my short days in Kuala Lumpur.
Visit the Petronas Twin Towers
You can’t go to Kuala Lumpur and not see the Petronas Twin Towers, because it’s hard not to miss these huge skyscrapers situated in the city centre. The Petronas Twin Towers are KL’s iconic landmark and Malaysia’s tallest building. The 452 metres tall twin structure used to be the world’s tallest building, until Tapei’s 101 tower claimed the title in 2004, followed by Dubai’s Burj Khalifa in 2010 (who now has the title).
The towers are actually the headquarters of the Petronas company and are housed by other international corporations. There’s also a shopping mall situated on the ground floor of the twin towers called Suria KLCC (one of my favorite malls is KL).
Eat fresh and affordable sushi in one of the best places in town
I love sushi, but I’m also very careful in my choice of restaurant. Sushi Zanmai was highly recommended by one of the staff members(who happened to be Dutch also) of the Double Tree Hilton hotel where I stayed. This popular Japanese restaurant is very popular amongst locals so I definitely had to try it. I have to say it surpassed my expectations. The ingredients were fresh and the sushi was very tasty. Pricey? No way! It was actually very affordable!! I ate there for lunch(twice!) and dinner and the place was always packed!
Shop, Shop and Shop all around KL!
If you love shopping then you can definitely find your way around town. There are so many shopping malls in KL, that those 3 full days I spent there weren’t enough to see all of them(obviously). The shopping malls and shopping streets that I did get a chance to see where the most popular ones like: Pavillion Kuala Lumpur Shopping Mall, Suria KLCC, NU Sentral, The Gardens Mall, Berjaya Times Square, Ampang Park Shopping Centre and Little India(colorful shopping street).
Attend Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week
So I happened to witness the opening of Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week at the Pavillion Shopping Mall, which was open to the public and quite interesting and fun to see. I’ve been to Fashion Weeks in the past before, but it’s always nice to see how it’s done elsewhere. Obviously a lot of “important” members of KL’s fashion scene were present. Even though I didn’t know anyone of them, but it was still interesting.
There was even some “famous” Malay rap group… I guess events like this happen a lot in this vibrant, fashionable city!
Drink the best coconut water in Little India
Every now and then I love to eat coconut as a snack, but fresh coconut water I can drink every day! It was in Little India where I met these lovely Malaysian vendors selling fresh coconut water.
Without a doubt I have to say that this was the best coconut water I ever had!
Looking back at these photos alone make my mouth water!
Walk up the 272 steps at the Batu Caves, but watch out for those wild and scary monkeys!
Batu Caves is a hill with lots of caves and a scared place for Hindus living in Malaysia. The Batu Caves have now become a popular tourist attraction as well, especially the huge golden statue of a Hindu God that awaits you at the entrance.
Before you even enter the caves and witness some more Hindu temples and shrines, you’ll have to climb 272 stairs first! And once you’re halfway there you’ll be surrounded by these lose and wild monkeys who do anything to rob you from your food or drinks.
Tip and my lesson learned: If you don’t have to carry a bag, don’t bring it along and definitely make sure you don’t carry any food or drinks with you!
Aside from those monkeys the Batu Caves are a wonderful sight to explore and a must-see when in KL.
The Batu Caves are actually not in the centre, but situated north of KL(in a town called Selangor) which takes about 30-40 minutes by metro(from the city centre) to get there.
Get a cool Indian-style henna tattoo
At the Batu Caves I got myself a beautiful Indian-style henna tattoo, done by this lovely Indian lady. I was a bit hesitant at first, because I had done these “touristy” tattoos before, but I was never satisfied with the result. Somehow the lady convinced me, and from her work I could tell that she was a professional and had created some beautiful designs.
I was very happy with the result. Even though it lasted about 4 days, it was one of the coolest black henna tattoos I had done.
Eat Malaysia’s national dish “Nasi Lemak”
Nasi Lemak was recommended by a local who told me I could not leave Malaysia without having tried their national rice dish. Nasi Lemak is a coconut fragrant rice dish made from coconut cream and pandan leaves with spicy sambal and comes with either deep-fried chicken or fish on the side. Malaysian people eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
So I got some myself some Nasi Lemak with chicken at a quite popular restaurant at the Pavillion Mall, named Madam Kwan’s. I grew up eating spicy food, but this was spicy all the way! It sure was some good and tasty food!!
- Get out for some drinks on a helicopter landing pad at “Heli Lounge Bar”
Not a lot of people(not even the locals) know about the Heli Lounge Bar, which is actually a lounge bar consisting of two parts: the indoor bar on the 34th floor and the outdoor lounge, which is an actual helicopter landing pad. It was quite scary to be honest, since there wasn’t a fence or anything, just security guards watching over guests to prevent them from passing the yellow painted mark.
Aside from the mediocre security, it’s a cool way to view KL from the top with some cocktails to relax(after a long day of shopping and exploring the city). Plus there’s no dress code; You can walk into the lounge with sneakers, jeans, t-shirt, sandals or whatever. I went to the lounge wearing the same outfit I had on all day.
The Heli Lounge Bar is located inside the Menara KH building(Jalan Sultan Ismail) on the 34th floor. There’s no website or anything about this place as this goes through worth of mouth and some bloggers writing about it(like myself). It’s a cool spot and concept lounge bar, but I hope they will sharpen the security and place a serious fence.
Get on a “Ladies Only” metro (For Ladies Only)
Okay, so this last fun thing to do in KL applies to ladies only! Sorry men (in case you’re reading my blog). Malaysia is an Islamic country and while we in the western world might find it normal for men and women to share public transportation, it’s considered to be normal in a lot of countries in the East to have separate sections for both sexes. I find this a wonderful thing! In the past I’ve experienced women-only taxis in Tehran, women-only metro cars in Dubai, and I’ve even experienced a separate line for women at the McDonalds in Jeddah(which I think goes a bit far…but then again it’s the KSA). Nevertheless, I found it wonderful to get on a ladies-only metro car in Kuala Lumpur. It was peacefully quiet, clean and just great without men! It would be nice if one day ladies-only metro cars would be introduced here in Europe as well…
And that’s it! Those were 10 fun things I did in KL in just 3 days. I seriously need to go back and stay much longer!
Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? If so, how did you spend your time there? xo, Jey.