Places to Visit for a Day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
January 1, 1970
by Shelby Weisenfeld
Traveling to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is no easy task. No matter how long you stay, I’m sure you’ll want to do everything you can in order to get the most out of this incredible experience. I know how you feel, I was the same way. I recently returned from my short trip to Kuala Lumpur about a month ago. As I was editing footage I took of the trip for my vlog, I began to reminisce about all of the things I was able to do, as well as all of the things I hadn’t yet discovered. I was only fortunate enough to travel to Malaysia for 3 days. I know, I know — such a short stay! With all that being said, I wanted to compile a list of activities that I put together for a 24-hour tour of the city. If you’re like me and don’t have as much time to explore, or you simply want to explore as much as possible, then stay tuned!
I traveled to Malaysia, from Beijing, China. Originally I am from New York, but for the last 10 months I have been living and working in Beijing. Often I have the pleasure of traveling to new, exotic places – places I hadn’t before imagined I would be able to go. I’m overcome with immense excitement, as suddenly reality hits me. Since I work in Beijing, I don’t have the liberty of taking several days off of work. Thus I’m left with the task of attempting to see everything I possibly can in a short period of time.
Food You Must Try
You’re here! You’re finally here! What a wonderful feeling. You’ll probably wake up with a sense of “readiness,” ready to conquer the world (or the city), but where to start?
Mie Goreng, Nasi Goreng, & Teh Ais
I imagine in the morning time you would be hungry but aren’t sure what to eat because of the many options. Well, two popular foods for morning time are called Mie Goreng and Nasi Goreng. Mie Goreng is fried noodles with egg, whereas Nasi Goreng is fried rice with egg. Whichever option you choose, I’m positive that your stomach will thank me later. Now, what to drink, you might ask? Well, you MUST try the Teh Ais. It literally translates as “Iced tea,” and is just that. It’s milk tea (usually black tea) chilled with ice cubes. You can find many of the locals drinking this during this season because it is very hot, humid, and rainy in Malaysia. Still, if iced tea isn’t your style, try the Teh Tarik which is the same milk tea, but served hot.
Petronas Twin Towers
After your nice glass of teh aris, I would recommend going to see the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. It is one of the tallest towers in the world, and if you have seen pictures of KL, they’re probably in them. Although a huge tourist attraction, it is a site to see standing at 452 meters high and connected by a sky bridge that is 58 meters long.
Shopping in Kuala Lumpur
Now that it’s afternoon, I would recommend you travel to two places. Let’s start at the Central Market.
When I visited KL, it was one of my favorite places to see. As soon as you arrive, you are hit with the overwhelmingly delicious scent of food. The whole market is filled with vibrant colors as you see merchants selling bits, bobs, and trinkets. The market has portions outside and inside, so pick your pleasure and prepare to spend and bargain. I was able to find a multitude of attractions here. I received a “luxurious” pedicure at a fish spa by the Garrufa rufa fish. Here the little fish nibble away at the dead skin leaving you with silky, smooth feet. If you haven’t heard of this before, I would recommend doing some further research on the subject. As well, if you are ticklish on your feet…this might not be for you.
I then went to another vendor where I bought incense and had henna done on one of my hands.
I ate some local dishes and snacks from a food cart and bought a smoothie from another.
Before I knew it, I had spent hours here. So please, don’t forget to stop at the Central Market and explore all of its corners.
Petaling Street, “Chinatown”
Almost a 5-10 minute walk from the Central Market is Petaling Street or “Chinatown” as it is also called. This market definitely has its own character that is different than that of the Central Market. As soon as you enter the big, traditional Chinese-looking archway, you hear vendors shouting sayings attempting to attract tourists.
If you want to find anything at a discounted price, then this is the place to go. It may be a bit overwhelming, but it’s a sort of “right of passage” in Kuala Lumpur.
If you aren’t looking to shop, you can skip all of this and find a nice authentic Chinese restaurant.
Wanting to skip the markets altogether, then retreat to the Batu Caves. Feast your eyes on the large, gold Lord Murugan statue that resides there. The Batu Caves is basically a limestone hill with a series of caves and cave temples. This statue is the tallest Hindu statue in Malaysia and the second tallest Hindu statue in the world. You can easily get here by train, bus or taxi. I would recommend a taxi for the easiest method of transport. A lifesaving app would be Grab. As regular taxies are expensive in Southeast Asia, download the app before your trip because it requires a mobile number to get started.
Nightlife in Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Alor, “Food Street”
After all that exploring, you’re probably famished again. This is where you MUST go straight to Jalan Alor, known as Kuala Lumpur’s “Food Street”. Although this area is a little more expensive than local restaurants, I would recommend coming here at least once or twice for the atmosphere. Here you can experience a fusion of different countries food. Whatever you’re craving for, one of the restaurants has it.
Bukit Bintang Bars
After you’re all stuffed from eating, it’s time to party! If you’re looking for a night out on the town, Bukit Bintang Bars are the only area to be in. Here you’ll be able to relax, take a load off, and meet locals or foreigners for a drink. Here I had the pleasure of meeting some folks who I imagine I’ll be friends with for a lifetime.
Here you have it, everyone. A list of new adventures, things to do, and places to see in Kuala Lumpur for a whole day tour. These are just some of the places I had the opportunity to visit during my stay and I wanted to share with all of you. I hope you enjoy the city to the fullest because this will be the trip of a lifetime. As always, happy travels!