After a month in Cambodia we decided to pass by Malaysia. It was on the way to Taiwan so we thought “why not ?“.
And we are so glad we did. I must say that I was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. At the time I just didn’t think of Kuala Lumpur as a winter destination. I would definitely come back to tour this country better and for longer.
Malaysia is a hot and humid country located in South East Asia. It offers many attractions and things to do making it one of the perfect winter destinations. Thought it was not as cheap as Vietnam or Cambodia it was still affordable.
We stayed in Kuala Lumpur, for now a capital of Malaysia. We had spent there 8 days during which we dived in both local and tourist culture. Mr.K and I did not do all of the stuff recommended by Lonely Planet or Tripadvisor.
As always, we do like to take it easy and discover one thing at a time.
The city is huge so we took a hop on/ off bus tour. The ticket was for 24 hours. On board our Malaysian carry-all huge “caterpillar” we had both a guide and a recording that explained about places, city, and its people. Kuala Lumpur is a huge city. 24 hours to cover the whole city by bus was the most convenient and headache free way.
Thanks to the bus tour we could visit the Botanical Gardens and National museum which are quite far from the city center. Otherwise these locations are considerably far from where we stayed.
TIP : Do bring a mosquito repellent with you to the park and something warm to the museum. Air conditioning is so good that you will freeze 15 minutes into the 1st gallery.
We went into their malls. Here is where globalization is both good and bad. You can find anything, and then even more by stepping just outside on the street. However, if you are looking to buy some local stuff for pennies then I recommend going to their Time Square Plaza located on Imbi metro station.
The 4th floor is your friend. At first it was overwhelming but then I got used to it. Once your eye is trained and your brain is adjusted only time and cash supply will stand on your way.
Batu Caves were an excellent trip. One does have to see it to believe it. We especially liked the price of getting there and back (4$ for 3 people total). I know, right! The caves are free to enter.
We did however pay for the tour of a dark cave. It was worth every penny (11$/person). Do take it, if you can, with the guide named Zizzar (I hope that is how you spell his name). He was excellent.
TIP : Dress accordingly, it is a holly place so covered knees and shoulders are a must.
Kuala Lumpur is an amazing destination for your taste buds. There is a lot to choose from! We ate as much as we could. Everything was so good and cheap that we found ourselves not capable of finishing what we bought. Malaysian food is very tasty and there is so much variety it is incredible.
Putrajaya city tour was very insightful. This is a planned city in Malaysia where all the government agencies were transferred due to traffic and increasing population of Kuala Lumpur. When we came there it was like a ghost town.
It was the first time in my life when I did not feel comfortable not seeing another person for 40 minutes of walking.
Tower visit. It gets so hot that planning and getting just to one destination point is a challenge. It took us the half a day to get there and back. And we didn’t even climb it! lol…more stuff to do next time.
This is my coulda-woulda-shoulda moment. If your budget permits, rent a hotel with a rooftop pool or a pool in general. It will pay off in no time since all you crave as soon as you get there is some beach time.
Please do not book Hotel Sentral Pudu. The room was so dirty that I had to borrow a vacuum cleaner in order to clean it myself. I got it on video as well. A cleaning person actually said out loud that if you don’t see the dirt it means it is clean. Say what?
It was a hotel nightmare: dirty, dingy, with mold in the bathroom, a hole in the wall for a drainage and ants everywhere despite living on the 8th floor.
At some point a security guard knocked on our door at 1 a.m. to make sure we were not the ones creating a noise. (we were asleep). It was weird and very unpleasant so beware.
Overall experience in Kuala Lumpur city was very fulfilling. It is a city with mixed cultures, beliefs, fashions, and contrasts. With 6,608,000 inhabitants it is a technological savvy city with clean streets and safe surroundings. Though I would not call this city very friendly, here everyone seems to get along with everyone.
If you have been there and done that, meaning Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and other hot regular winter destinations, Kuala Lumpur should be on your ‘next’ list.
Have you been to Malaysia or want to go there for the fist time? Got any tips? Let me know in the comments down below!
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