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What to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

July 3, 2018

After enjoying our time in Malacca, we jumped in a coach to head up to Kuala Lumpur. I honestly had no idea what to expect – I have done a few big Asian cities and I was excited to see what to do in Kuala Lumpur. And it ended up being one of my favourite places on the trip!

How to get to Kuala Lumpur

Of course the easiest way is to fly! And KL is a big hub for many transiting through Asia onto further destinations. If you do come in from Singapore or other places in Malaysia then the coaches are a great option. They are super cheap and super comfortable – more so than coaches in the UK! Going from Kuala Lumpur to Penang is even easier, whether it’s by plane or bus since they are only 355 kilometres (222 miles) a part.

That said, they don’t tend to have bathrooms which stress me out but they often do have some stops. We got the coach from Malacca to KL and it was only a couple of hours so they powered all the way through!

What to do in Kuala Lumpur

There is SO much to do in KL, it’s worth doing lots of reading to figure out what you want to tick off whilst you’re there! Here are my highlights for what to do in Kuala Lumpur.

Have drinks on the helipad

Sometimes it’s so nice to be somewhere which doesn’t have such strict health and safety rules… how else could you sit on top of a helipad drinking?! And there literally were no barriers on it either! Definitely head to the Heli bar on one of your evenings – the views are aaaaamazing and it’s the best place to get a great view of all the KL skyscrapers.

You can’t book so I definitely recommend getting there early – the heli pad opens at 6 but you can sit in the bar below until it is open if you’re there early. Definitely a big highlight of KL!

Wander through the roof top jungle

On our first day we headed to the gardens next to the KL Sky Tower and wandered through the jungle. They have set up a load of swinging bridges high up to wander through. It only takes about 20 minutes to stroll through but it’s lovely to see some traditional Malaysian plants and lots of beautiful orchids too!

Go to one of the museums / bird parks

KL is full of museums and they are always a nice option if you want to get away from the humidity! We decided to go to the bird park as my parents are big bird fans. The idea is that it’s all an open aviary so the birds just wander as much as they want throughout the park. I’m always a little wary with these but most of the birds looked healthy and they had a big space to wander about.

The orchid garden is also nearby – definitely check whether it’s in season – it was a little bare when we were there but my sister had been a few months before and said it was full in bloom!

Do a food tour / eat lots of street food

We did a Malaysia food tour whilst in KL which was so great! It took us out of the centre of KL which was so nice to see a different and more local aspect to it. I find with street food, I’m always a bit wary as I tend to have a sensitive stomach so doing it with a guide was perfect!

We visited three different areas – a street side vendor where we tried traditional Malay, a local market which served an array of different cuisines and an Indian roti vendor in a car park. They are places I would never think of visiting but were just some of the best and freshest food we had.

If you don’t get chance to do a tour then definitely try some street food in KL itself. We ate on Jalan Alor one night which was just as diverse and delicious!

Visit Batu Caves

A site which is often recommended is Batu Caves so we headed out there on our last day in KL and I really enjoyed it! The caves are about 45 minutes from the centre of KL, we jumped on a bus and then a train and were there in no time. You walk up a heeeap of steps which is full of monkeys trying to steal your food to get to the caves themselves.

The caves are very impressive. The main one is free but you can pay to take a tour of the dark cave next door. I definitely recommend doing a tour of the other cave as it was so interesting to hear all about how the caves are managed and how they have fauna which is totally unique to those sets of caves. Budget about a half day to do both – totally worth it!

Swim among the sky scrapers

One of my highlights from KL was most definitely, going for a swim! We stayed at the Mandarin Oriental right next to the Petronas Towers and the pool area was just a dream. It was surrounded by sky scrapers and provided such a gorgeous view. Plus they delivered cocktails right to your deck chair which was just perfect.

So there we have it, what to do in Kuala Lumpur. It’s definitely somewhere I’d head back to and a city I really recommend visiting if you find yourself in Asia!

Have you been to KL? What was your fave thing to do?

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