Kuala Lumpur is an international hub, a place most people spend either a few hours or at most a day between flights however as we’re both lovers of city breaks we decided to stop for a bit longer and spend 4 days in the Malaysian capital.
I had no idea what to expect of Kuala Lumpur but it certainly wasn’t the developed metropolis that we found ourselves in. There is so much to see and do in the city, we unfortunately didn’t have time to do it all even in 4 days. Saying that, two mornings were spent slightly hungover after spending Halloween in the city and then getting carried away in a bar where girls received free drinks all night… (the night actually ended with George being the one throwing up instead of me!)
The days we did have there were spent exploring and getting lost in gigantic malls. Here’s some of the highlights of what we got up to!
I’ve mentioned in previous posts that I spent a lot of my free time whilst in the UK researching places to visit during our trips to various countries and the Batu Caves was one of the things I was most looking forward to whilst in Kuala Lumpur. Unfortunately, the repeated Instagram shots are the same for a reason… the place is practically a building site.
I have to be honest, I was very disappointed. There is a lot of construction happening both outside and inside the caves ranging from building new shops for tourists to building temples within the main cavern. As a geographer who’s passion for the subject came from my interest in the formation of the natural world, I was sad to see that such an incredible attraction, the cave itself, was being exploited to make money from tourists. I get it, Malaysia is still a developing country and tourism plays a huge part in their economy but there was just something so sad about the garishly painted rock face and scaffolded half built temple.
On a positive note, the Batu Caves are free to visit and you the well connected public transport means it can be easily accessed from pretty much anywhere in the city. Plus, with the right photographer (thank you George!), you can get some pretty impressive insta shots. Something it seemed most people were there for, us included, let’s not pretend!
KL Tower and The Upside Down House
Our second day in KL was spent getting very lost within giant malls and the streets as we attempted to find the KL Tower. Turns out it’s very easy and I’m just not very good at map reading (I see the irony here being a Geography student and all that…). We eventually arrived at the KL, dripping with sweat as the humidity levels that day were horrific and decided against paying the £21 to reach the observation deck. The sky was bleak and there was a warning that the tower may close due to rain so instead we opted for The Upside Down House located in the car park. Here ensued many hilarious moments of us both attempting to get the best picture we could for the much more traveler friendly fee of around £3.
The Petronas Towers
There’s not much to say about The Petronas Towers other than wow. The things are huge! Also referred to as The Twin Towers, a ode to those that once stood in New York, the two towers connect around half way up by bridge and stand at a whopping 451.9m high! For comparison the Beetham Tower in Manchester is 169m and Big Ben is a measly 96m! So yeah, pretty impressive!
We didn’t bother paying to walk along the sky bridge, a quote by the infamous Karl Pilkington reminded us that it’s much better to be looking at the thing of beauty rather than looking out from it – “I’d rather live in a cave with a view of a palace than live in a palace with a view of a cave”. Wise words.
To be honest, if we hadn’t been staying in an Air BnB with a rooftop top with views of the KL skyline we probably would have gone up both the Petronas Towers and the KL tower but both are quite costly so I would definitely recommend Maxhomes at the Regalia if you have a few nights! The view is insane.
During our short stay we also ventured to the Petaling Street, a Chinese street market selling knock off goods and great food and the Times Square Mall (another ode to America), where at Level 5 you can find an indoor theme park and even more knock off goods. The place is huge!
Kuala Lumpur was perhaps my favourite city I have ever visited. The fashion, the functionality and that skyline, I honestly feel like I could live there. Wherever this trip takes us from here, I’ll be sure of one thing, that those short 4 days are not the last I see of Kuala Lumpur!