Last week, Louie and I traveled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for five days, four nights. We have booked for this trip one year ahead, when we availed of Cebu Pacific Air’s Piso Air Fare Promo. For our daily itinerary and hotel accommodation, I have trusted Transpipol Travel and Tours to seek the most convenient and decent options available for our tour (dated July 5-9, 2014). Truly, this travel agency had delivered its promise; in the same vein, E World Choice Travel and Tours KL, its counterpart company in Malaysia, had taken good care of us.
Our Kuala Lumpur itinerary was arranged months before our departure, but it was only about a week prior our travel when I started to really examine every stop, see pictures online and read the background stories behind to get a quick glimpse. #SoBusyAtWork
After packing my carry-on bag with the help of my mom, I waited for the day with the same excitement of a six-year-old waiting for Christmas. 🙂 In this post, let me share with you about the places we have visited in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
12 Tourist Spots We Have Visited in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Day 1 was nothing so special. We arrived at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KLIA2) at 6:30PM and met our tour guide from E World Choice Travel and Tours KL named Lukman. We introduced ourselves, shook hands and rode the private bus as he transferred us to the hotel. Travel time to Hotel Pudu Plaza was about an hour. (Read my review of the hotel here.) Let’s fast forward to Day 2: tour in Genting Highlands and Berjaya Times Square.
Early at 9AM, Lukman drove us to Genting Highlands together with two Filipino tourists who stayed at a hotel nearby. In the car, I broke the ice and asked for their names, using the Filipino language to converse. They were surprised as they thought we’re Chinese who spoke only in Chinese. That was a funny moment there. Admittedly, I may have a tad weird accent when speaking in Filipino, but arguably, I’m still fluent at it than most native Chinese living in the Philippines. 😛
1. Genting Highlands
It was unfortunate that we did not get to try riding the Genting Skyway Cable Car because it was ongoing maintenance. The indoor theme park in Genting Highlands was also closed and only two rides were open for adults. To make up for the unexpected halted adventures, we went inside Snow World where we experienced -6 degrees freezing cold. 😀
I’ve never witnessed real snow and have never been to anywhere that cold. So for the rate of RM 30 per person, Snow World was relatively a good attraction to visit. Coats, gloves and shoes were lent to us. We put our things including cameras into the lockers. No picture-taking was allowed. Only Snow World photographers took our photos and we bought the CD with all 21 pictures afterwards at RM 150.
Until 2:30PM, we enjoyed strolling around Genting Highlands (Resorts World, Bowling Center, restaurants and stores), going up and down the escalators, exploring the different hotels: First World, Awana Hotel, Genting Grand Hotel and Maxims. The outdoor theme park was also under construction and is expected to be done in three years.
2. Berjaya Times Square
At 5PM, the tour guide brought us to Berjaya Times Square per our request. This shopping complex has eight levels with a diverse range of stores from middle-priced to economic/bargain-priced items. We were amazed that a theme park was built inside with an operational roller coaster! 😯
Berjaya Times Square is a rather cheap mall to shop—the higher you go, the more inexpensive things you will find. We walked end to end from the first to the seventh floor in two hours. Our tiredness had definitely kicked in. Before heading back to the hotel, we moved to the mall across called Low Yat Plaza (KL’s version of Sim Lim Square in Singapore). Mobile phones, tablets, cameras, laptops, computers, and accessories—name it and they have it! This place will be a paradise if you’re into tech gadgets.
Our third day in Malaysia consisted of the arranged half-day city tour and the long drive to i-City in Shah Alam, Selangor, as follows:
3. Istana Negara (King’s Palace)
At 9AM, we were off to another busy day. Lukman took us first to the Istana Negara (the new palace of Malaysia’s king). This is the official residence of the Supreme Head or Paramount Ruler of Malaysia.
We could not vividly see the palace from the closed gates because it’s way far, but the surroundings were fine. We took pictures beside the steady standing security guards and “knights” on horses. Guards change post when the clock strikes 12. Amazing!
4. Tugu Negara (National Monument)
According to Lukman, Malaysia was conquered by the British colony and communists. Fallen heroes/soldiers who died defending the country’s freedom during the second World War were honored by the national monument. The giant bronze statue was sculpted and designed by the same person who did the Iwo Jima Memorial in Washington DC.
5. Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
We passed by some other tourists spots such as the National Mosque, Islamic Art Museum, Police Museum and KL Railway Station en route to our next destination: the KL City Gallery. This is an information center for tourists with a gallery of artistic works, a cafe and a room showcasing the entire Kuala Lumpur in miniature form. Armed briefly with the city’s history, we were more ready to move to the next attraction.
6. Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom (Chocolate Gallery)
Chocolate lovers must stop by at Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom. Also known as the Chocolate Gallery, this place offers several flavors of chocolate. To name a few, there’s durian, chili, curry, almond, raisin, coffee, tiramisu, green tea, coconut and ginger (in assorted nature: dark, milk and white). Staffs accommodated us by giving us free samples of each one. We bought almost every sort except for the chili, curry and ginger.
7. Batik Canting and Coloring
Very near the Chocolate Gallery, the Batik Canting and Coloring must be in for your liking if you appreciate Malaysia’s national costume. Full of colorful flowers, these clothing are made manually by local artisans. We watched the demonstration and were awed.
8. Petronas Twin Towers/Suria KLCC Mall
A trip to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia without at least one “obligatory” shot with the Petronas Twin Towers on the background is just sad. Momentarily, before driving to Suria KLCC Mall which is situated underneath the twin towers, Lukman took a picture of Louie and me. Yup, the Petronas Twin Towers are indeed a sight to see!
Moving on, despite that almost everything in the Suria KLCC are at a premium price, I felt happy in it. Window shopping is really a relaxing way to spend time without having to fork out big bucks. 😉 We also went to Avenue K Shopping Mall which doesn’t compare to the sophistication of Suria KLCC but is worth the trip as well as it’s filled with Japanese stuffs and oh, a huge H&M store. 🙂
At 5PM, Lukman picked us up and sent us outside KL to i-City, currently Malaysia’ coolest hot spot (no.1 technology city). We entered i-City’s Trick Art Museum (RM 15 entrance fee pax) and the City of Lights, where trees and plants were decorated with LED lights. At night, it was like stepping into a wonderland. 😀 We would have also visited The Red Carpet (wax museum with popular celebrities and figures) and the Horror House if we just had more time.
9. Menara Tower (KL Tower)
Our fourth day was a free day. This meant that Lukman would not be around to guide us tour the city. We managed to get help from TripAdvisor reviews and listings for recommendations. First thing in the morning, we walked to Imbi Station and rode the monorail to Bukit Nanas Station. It was disappointing that the monorail took a very long time to arrive. Louie noticed that the gap is every 15 minutes.
People in KL were friendly in giving out directions, so we did not find it hard to locate the Menara Tower, the world’s seventh tallest communication tower. Also thanks to the height of the tower, it was easily visible even when we were still far away.
10. Lake Gardens
We have researched online and sought suggestions from our hotel receptionist on how to go to Lake Gardens. All were saying that there’s no accessible train or bus straight to Lake Gardens, so getting a metered taxi or hopping on the HOHO (Hop-On-Hop-Off) bus would be most ideal. From KL Tower thus, we took a blue taxicab to go to Lake Gardens.
We enjoyed the orchids, hibiscus, herb and lake gardens. There wasn’t much to do rather than take pictures of flowers, greenery and nice views. It’s a tropical paradise to a busy city. Entrance fee was for free during weekdays and RM 1 for weekends and holidays.
If you’re planning to go there and tour the entire park, good luck. It’s better to save your feet. Unless you’re keen to walk long distances for more than four hours, it’s next to impossible finishing the trail here.
11. Bird Park
Opposite Lake Gardens is the Bird Park, “the world’s largest free-flight, walk-in aviary,” which I thought was not more wonderful than Magaul Bird Park in Subic, Philippines and the Malagos Bird Park we visited in Davao City, Philippines. We paid RM 48 pax and the price was just not worth the visit. We didn’t see a lot of bird species. I remembered eagles, love birds, owls, parrots, chickens, toucans, peacocks, ostriches and flamingos. There was no interaction, no tour guide explaining about the birds and the whole place was ordinary. It didn’t live up to my expectation. Sigh. 🙁
12. Chinatown (Petaling Street)
We took our final cab ride to Chinatown (Petaling Street), where fake goods are aplenty. This is where you haggle to the best of your ability. Cheap counterfeit designer bags, wallets, sunglasses, belts, watches, DVDs and perfumes were all over the place. Lined with shops, Chinatown in KL is very colorful and noisy. We didn’t bother to further explore Chinatown except for the Petaling Street because most were just selling the same type of items anyway. Plus, it’s too crowded and I heard that it’s like a heaven for pick pockets.
This was not my first time to visit Malaysia as I’ve been to Melaka and Johor Bahu three years ago. In our recent trip, our impression on Kuala Lumpur is that it’s a fast advancing city that’s safe and friendly as a tourist destination. There are many establishments, roads and trail railways on the work so we can expect to see an improved KL three to four years from now.
Engaging with the locals in Malaysia was easy because most of them know how to speak English and Chinese (Cantonese and Mandarin). Don’t be shy about asking them for advice. They all know the area and can often point you toward activities and places not found in guidebooks. Just be specific about what you want to see in KL and the level of activity you’re up for. You’re guaranteed more options than you’ll even have time for, but each one will make it well worth the trip. 😉
I’ll post about the review of restaurants we’ve tried soon.