My last visit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was way back in 2014. Louie and I traveled with a tour guide back then and explored the most popular attractions as first-time tourists in the city. This time around, I went on a three-day trip with my family on the week before Christmas. It was a short but sweet vacation away from Manila! My sister and I made sure to include interesting and also picture-perfect and “Instagrammable” places in our itinerary. 🙂
3 Days in Kuala Lumpur: Our Family Travel Itinerary
With so much to see and do, a visit to the Kuala Lumpur can be overwhelming without guidance. If you have only a few days, you may want to schedule a hop-on-hop-off bus tour. Otherwise, you can create your own itinerary. Here’s my newest list of 9 recommended places for a 3-day tour in KL to help you get started. Check this link for my Instagram stories.
Side Note: I used my new pancake lens (Fujifilm 27mm f/2.8) to shoot all these travel photos. It’s indeed an excellent lens with its primary motivation factor being light and compact. The lens is not too wide and not too tight. Having this minimalist travel photography gear is a great decision since there’s no hassle carrying it around my neck for hours. I’m happy that this small lens takes sharp photos and it’s fast enough to capture intimate moments. 🙂
1. Petronas Twin Towers
We didn’t get to travel much on our first day since we landed in KL at noon. We had late lunch at the airport, checked in at the hotel at 3pm, then headed straight to CLM (Chris Leong Method) for a chiropractic session. At night, we thought we couldn’t skip the Petronas Twin Towers.
Kuala Lumpur’s iconic structure, Petronas Twin Towers, sparks its magic as it attracts plenty of tourists from different parts of the world. They’re the tallest twin structures in the world. With 88 floors, these feature Skybridge, the double-decker connecting structure between the towers, along with the headquarters for Petronas Company and other offices.
2. Batu Caves
We were out of the hotel at 10am, had breakfast at the nearest KFC in Bukit Bintang, and rode a Grab to Batu Caves. From Bukit Bintang, it took us 30-40 minutes to this national treasure.
Batu Caves is one of Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attractions. The massive staircase that lead to the limestone caves and historic temples used to be wooden and only monochromatic in color. My mom and sister witnessed the construction in 2018 and wondered how it would look after the makeover.
Now, as you can see, the staircases comprise of bright bands of colors and made of concrete, which make even more tourists want to go. Painting the steps into rainbow color though made it at risk of being delisted as a national heritage site. We weren’t able to climb the 272 steps up to the caves (so steep!). Nonetheless, we appreciated the spectacular view from the bottom.
The giant gold statue of Lord Murugan is the tallest statue of a Hindu deity in Malaysia and the third tallest statue of a Hindu deity in the world. Monkeys frolic around freely, and tourists can feed them with bananas.
3. Thean Hou Temple
Honoring the goddess of the sea., Thean Hou Temple is the oldest six-tiered Buddhist temple and one of the largest temples in Southeast Asia. People come here not only to pray to the Goddess of Mercy and celebrate Chinese festivals including Wesak Day and Mooncake Festival but also to attend weddings, shoot prenuptial photos, and trip up the hill to see panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur.
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Awed at this vividly decorated and highly impressive architecture! 😍 Thean Hou Temple has no 🏮🏮🏮 this time of the year but the area still looks great for sight-seeing. #theanhoutemple #theanhou #malaysia #kualalumpur #traveldiary #travelgram #travel #traveling #klcity #temple #colorful
This temple has contemporary and traditional architectural designs of Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. The colors of the pagoda look incredible. Best time to visit is during Chinese festival season or Chinese New Year as the whole space is lit with Chinese red lanterns and sparkling lights.
People who have been to India say that walking up and down the main street at Brickfields really feels like the real India. This place has all the authentic senses of India: the smells, the spices, the clothing and the people. After lunch, we went shopping for prayer beads for my dad.
There’s lots of Indian goods on the bustling streets. Mostly we found colorful flower garlands, Indian delicacies and desserts, religious idols, women accessories and traditional Indian dresses, textile, and home decorations. Local drugstores, bookstores, convenient stores, and restaurants make Brickfields worth hours of exploration.
It went raining at 5pm so we were a bit stuck without an umbrella. Finding a Grab to the hotel was twice as hard since traffic was heavy and two drivers had cancelled our request. Finally, after almost half an hour of waiting, we got a ride back and rested for a while in our room.
5. Jalan Alor
At 8pm, we walked to Jalan Alor for dinner. It’s two blocks away from our hotel. This place hosts hawker stalls and restaurants offering mostly a diverse range of Malaysian delicacies. The surroundings remained bright, loud, and busy. Jalan Alor Night Market is not as huge as Taiwan night markets, but it’s still a great place to get tasty Malaysian culinary delights. Make sure to try some barbecued meat, seafood, and veggies, fried durian, and coconuts!
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A feast of some late-night bbq at Fat Brother Barbecue: 🍢 We had grilled enoki mushrooms, oyster mushrooms, and barbecued scallops. Tastes were far from bland and boring, especially with the accompanying satay sauce. 💯♥️ Jalan Alor has a party-like atmosphere. Best of all ~ it's literally a short walk away from our hotel. 🎆 The place stayed loud and vibrant throughout the night with vendors furiously fanning grills of chicken, beef, seafood and vegetable skewers. We walked back smelling like charcoal smoke but were happy and satisfied. 😁 #foodie #foodporn #food #foodgasm #spotmyfood #yummy #delicious #foodpic #foodfinds #thektg #foodlover #foodblogger #photooftheday #photography #foodspotting #pinoyfoodie #foodgrammerph #jalanalor #kualalumpur #streetfood #malaysia
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Jalan Alor 🖤 is a foodie haven! We got 8 out of these delicious dimsum: spinach dumpling, golden dumpling, salted egg dumpling, mushroom dumpling, charcoal dumpling, century egg dumpling, sakura crabstick, and fishball. YUM! 😋 #foodie #foodporn #food #foodgasm #spotmyfood #yummy #hungry #delicious #foodpic #foodfinds #thektg #foodlover #foodblogger #photooftheday #photography #foodspotting #pinoyfoodie #foodgrammerph #huaweip20pro #p20pro
6. Putra Mosque
Love pink? One of the most iconic sights in Putrajaya, Putra Mosque is famous because it has a pink dome made of rose-tinted granite. Putra Mosque’s architecture artistically blends traditional Malaysian, Persian and Arab-Islamic designs, local craftsmanship, and the use of indigenous materials. We went inside the prayer hall and were amazed with its elegance. Apart from prayer rituals, this pink mosque is also used as a venue to hold conferences, seminars, symposiums, and other special functions.
Visitors are required to remove their shoes to maintain the cleanliness of the grounds. At the entrance, ladies are asked to wear a robe (for free) to cover the head and legs.
7. Astaka Morocco
Astaka Morocco in Putrajaya is only a short drive from Putra Mosque. This Moroccan Pavilion features the grand architecture with intricate works of the blue and orange hued mosaics that are best admired up-close.
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It feels like we've been transported to Morocco at Astaka Morocco. ✨🌻 This pavilion was built as a cultural exchange between Malaysia and Morocco. It's Putrajaya's hidden gem, a great discovery for those who appreciate good architectures and cultural designs. #astakamorocco #malaysia #kualalumpur #kualalumpurcity #family #putrajaya #design #familytime #vacation #travel #traveldiary #travelgram #astaka
This beautiful gem is a unique travel spot in KL surrounded by landscaped gardens and alongside a lake. The ambiance is serene and quiet, so you can meditate or divert your stress, if you will. Otherwise, there’s nothing to do here though except take photos through the corridors, the entrance, the halls, the courtyard, beside the fountain, and by the pool. Every corner is a must-see!
8. Central Market Kuala Lumpur
After hours spent under the sun, we stayed in an indoor marketplace for souvenir shopping. Central Market in KL has several boutique stores and stalls selling handicraft items, batik clothing, scarves, jewelry, snacks, and local pieces.
Central Market is another great Malaysian cultural landmark where you can get an insight into the cultural differences of the various races in Malaysia. It’s divided into different zones that are distinct by race. It houses lots of restaurants and a food court where we had our dinner. We also had the chance to try coffee at OldTown White Coffee, the leading brand name for white coffee in Malaysia. 🙂
9. Merdeka Square
By the time we got out, it was already dark. From Central Market, we walked to Merdeka Square to see the vibrant lights at night. There are many fascinating buildings around the square, and it’s a good location for photographs. We saw the highest flagpole in KL (328 feet) right in front of Sultan Abdul-Samad. It was once the tallest flagpole in the world until 1980 when North Korea built a taller one.
What to do and where to go in Kuala Lumpur in 2020? The next time you’re looking for places to visit, note that KL is much more than the KL Tower or the Petronas Twin Towers. Kuala Lumpur is a destination that combines different styles of landscapes with Malay, Indian, and Chinese culture blended together and reflected in its history and landmarks. Enjoy Kuala Lumpur! 🙂