I heard someone say the other day that Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is often left out of the conversation when travelers discuss hot spots in SE Asia. Well, I absolutely loved Kuala Lumpur and found it to be a vibrant city filled with both daytime and nighttime activities. Although I was only there for about 3 days, I saw a lot and soaked up food, culture, and architecture! In case you are new to my blog, I've been discussing my 6 week solo adventure across Europe and Asia, and used Air Asia to affordably hop from Thailand to Malaysia. Keep reading to find out my top 6 activities for Kuala Lumpur and why this city should be added to your SE Asia itinerary.
1. Batu Caves
Batu Caves is probably Kuala Lumpur's most famous tourist attraction. It's a limestone hill housing 3 major caves, as well as a few smaller ones. Inside, you will find shrines of Hindu statues and idols, as its a place of religious significance. There's also a huge golden statue of Lord Murugan, an Indian deity, that you've more than likely seen photographed numerous times. Many tourists flock to this site, but believers of the Hindu faith still visit to bring offerings. Keep in mind there are 272 steps to take you up the mountain into the caves, so wear something comfortable and be prepared to sweat a little. Also, watch out for the monkeys; they are cute but known to snatch items when you're not looking.
2. Petronas Towers
Besides Batu Caves, the Petronas Twin Towers are probably the second most photographed tourist attraction in Kuala Lumpur. These twin skyscrapers are an architectural dream and currently the world's tallest twin structures. I especially loved visiting them at night when they are all lit up. The towers themselves house office buildings, including those of the Petronas Oil company; however, there is a nice shopping mall at the base that is fun to pop into for some food and air condition.
3. National Mosque of Malaysia
I absolutely love visiting religious buildings, and the National Mosque of Malaysia is stunning! The intricate details of the mosque are a marvel to look at, and you feel a sense of peace as you walk through it. It is an Islamic place of worship, so you will be required to cover your head. There is a place where you can rent abayas and head wraps to ensure that you are dressed appropriately.
4. Butterfly Park
Kuala Lumpur hosts the largest butterfly park in Malaysia, which is home to over 5,000 butterflies, plants, ferns, koi fish, turtles, and insects. This was my first time seeing a butterfly up close and actually being able to appreciate the details of their wings. I also enjoyed simply walking through the garden as it's peaceful and beautiful, filled with lush greenery, ponds, and waterfalls.
5. Jalan Alor Night Market
One of my favorite aspects about SE Asia is all the amazing street food at night markets. Jalan Alor in Kuala Lumpur definitely does not disappoint! I was lucky enough to actually have my hostel right around the corner from the night market, but I would still make the journey if I was staying somewhere further. There's ton of stalls to choose from, including fresh seafood, and it's great to sit down outside, people watch, and take in the vibes of the city at night.
A perk I enjoyed staying in a hostel is that I was able to enjoy a bar crawl with my fellow hostel mates even though I was traveling alone. The last and best stop was SkyBar at the Traders Hotel. As the name suggests, this rooftop bar offers breathtaking city views, including an up close look at the Petronas Towers. It's also incredibly fancy and more of an upscale lounge than a bar with a huge pool in the middle of the floor. The music was great when I visited as they were spinning R&B, but be sure to check for the night you plan to go. Even for the views and chill vibe, it's worth a visit.
Kuala Lumpur has so much to offer a curious traveler from sightseeing, history, architecture, food, culture, and nightlife. I would definitely visit again and highly recommend stopping by as you make your way through SE Asia.
xoxo, Global Midwife