5 Things You MUST DO in Kuala Lumpur
1. Shop and chill at KLCC
KLCC emobdies the “new KL” era and it simply stands for Kuala Lumpur city centre. It is under the Malaysian government’s 30 year masterplan to transform the city centre into a bustling hub of activity. So far its been going fantastically well and their upcoming developments sound super exciting. The main shopping centre here is Suria KLCC and its like Vivocity huge.
And right next to KLCC you have a vibrant public park. You see so many Malaysians just chilling and having a good time relaxing here. KLCC Park has fountain shows, jogging paths, children playgrounds with huge public pools and beautiful mosques. This park in the city vibe is something I wish Singapore had.
You see people happy here enjoying their lives with their families, children running around and it makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.
And at the centre of all this you have the Petronas Twin Towers. These skyscrapers tower majestically over the city and its a lovely symbolic representation of Malaysia’s economic growth and development.
2. Catch the sunset at Petronas Towers
What was once the world’s tallest building from 1998 to 2004 still makes Malaysians everywhere beam with pride. The Petronas Towers is essentially an office building but has viewing areas for the public with tickets.
There are two viewing areas, first the skybirige on level 41 and 42 that connects the two towers. The real highlight is at level 86 though. Tickets are sold with different options so make sure you include this one, I believe it goes for $80 RM (SGD $35).
Once you’re on level 86, it doesn’t hit you how high up you’re at until you see you’re in the clouds and notice all the buildings looking like lego blocks below.The best time to go is during the 6 pm time slot so make sure to book ahead. You really want to catch the sun setting with the skyscrapers towering way above the other buildings. Kinda like this!
3. Shop at Bukit Bintang
While Singapore has Orchard Road, Kuala Lumpur has Bukit Bintang. There are heaps of shopping centres you can find in this area. The upmarket ones are Pavilion KL, Berjaya Times Square and Starhill Gallery. By the way Star Hill is the literal translation of Bukit Bintang.
The middle range to mainstream ones are Fahrenheit 88 and Lot 10.
Low Yat Plaza house tech shops and is the Sim Lim Square of KL. Sungei Wang attracts a younger crowd and it reminds me of Far East Plazza.
And between all these buildings are makeshift street stalls peddling all sorts of souvenirs, branded goods and perfumes of questionable authenticity.
4. Experience the Nightlife at Changkat Bukit Bintang
A short walk away from Bukit Bintang is Changkat Bukit Bintang. This place reminds me a lot of Holland Village in Singapore with upmarket bistros and trendy bars. But I dare say its a better version of it, because its so much more conveniently located.
It’s the hippest stretch of nightlife in KL and if western dining is not your thing, just a short walk away is one of the best local eating hot spots in the city.
5. Eat local favourites at Jalan Alor
This is really just a long single street filled overflowing with good local food. Its like a better version of Khaosan Road in Bangkok, Thailand. Here, we had the most delicious meatiest stingray we’ve even eaten. It was super thick, fresh, lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection.
The common advice here not to get ripped of is to walk to the stalls at the end. Whenever we travel, to identify the good restaurants we look for those that have a higher local than tourist customer ratio. And it worked out pretty well this time!
Never lose your way in Kuala Lumpur
Now here’s the amazing thing about Kuala Lumpur. All these 5 places I’ve listed above are located within walking distance from each other! Especially the last 3. Yes, these districts are like one big family. For e.g if you’re at Bukit Bintang, don’t get a cab down to Jalan Alor. Its so near you could just walk over to Changkat before making your way to Jalan Alor.
The traffic is quite congested in this area so you will probably get there much faster too by walking. A taxi driver wanted to charge us 20 RM. We walked for just 5 minutes and we were there. Imagine that! Oh and KLCC is about a 20 minute walk from Bukit Bintang.
Things to do outside of Kuala Lumpur City
You can check out central market and its nearby Chinatown and Little India but we kinda have this in Singapore too so we gave it a skip. A must see attraction we really wanted to check out was the Batu Caves.
A beautiful series of limestone caves and temples just about 20 minutes from the city. Sadly we did not have the time. Maybe next time!
Choosing a hotel in Kuala Lumpur
We’ve stayed at two hotels both in this area, Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur and Traders Hotel.
Trader’s Hotel Kuala Lumpur
Traders hotel is one of only two hotels in the KLCC area. The other is Mandarin Oriental. We loved how Traders Hotel had a buggy that takes you right to KLCC every 10 minutes. The best thing about Traders Hotel has to be the view it offers. You can take in unobstructed panoramic view of the KLCC area and Petronas Towers right from your room!
This extends to their club lounge and skybar as well where their swimming pool is located on the highest floors. The rooms are encased in full length glass windows for maximum visual gratification. Their Skybar here easily offers the best night view in Kuala Lumpur. Traders Hotel is the best hotel to book during NYE or any events with fireworks. Just make sure you book very early. Here’s a shot from instagram user kfuic.
We’ll be talking more about Gobo Chit Chat and Gobo Lounge & Grill in our full review of Traders hotel later this year. Don’t you love how creative their menu is? Wait till you see the T-Shirts their staff wear!
Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur
We originally stayed at Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur at the end of last year during NYE because traders hotel was already fully booked. Its located nearer to the Bukit Bintang area and a bit further from KLCC.
The views here aren’t as good as Traders but what we loved about Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur was how big they were on features and amenities. Its no wonder Singapore president Tony Tan chooses Shangri-La as his hotel of choice when hes in Kuala Lumpur.
Their club lounge features a very generous spread of dishes and alcoholic beverages throughout the day. Its beautifully fitted with classy internet stations and meeting areas. Their signature Chi Spa and gymnasium is a lot bigger than most 5 star hotels. Its equipped with a sauna, steam room and lovely Jacuzzi you can soak in after your massage.
Lastly, if you’re looking for more ideas on what to do in KL be sure to check out the Kuala Lumpur Eat Play Shop Guide!
Video Highlights of our trip
Now check out our last article on Kota Kinabalu! Here’s Chloe doing a selfie with her Traders Hotel room card!
More from our One Week with Shangri-La Malaysia series:
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