11 things to do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

After spending almost three months in Kuala Lumpur this year, I decided to put a list together of my favourite memories and experiences from a city better well-known for its shopping and as an international layover hub. From unique rooftop bars to adorable panda bears, there’s more to KL than shopping malls and airport terminals:

1. Explore the temples around Chinatown

guandi-temple-chinatown-kuala-lumpur

One of my favourite memories in Kuala Lumpur was wandering through the temples in Chinatown. Stumbling upon the mystical Guandi Temple became one of my KL highlights. Its vibrant exterior is decorated with large gold Chinese characters, ornamental dragons coiled around pillars, and red lanterns hanging from the awning. The interior was even more magnificent with colourful carved pillars and shrines, worshippers praying, and incense filling the air with its smoky scent.

Address: Guandi Temple, Jalan Tun H S Lee, Chinatown
Price: Free entry

2. Sip sunset cocktails on a helipad

helibar-kuala-lumpur

A helipad by day and rooftop bar by night, the Helibar is by far is one of the best multipurpose spaces in the city. With no rails or barriers whatsoever between the floor space and the edge of the 36th-floor rooftop, the city views are completely unblocked – and a little dangerous.

Address: Bukit Bintang 34th Floor, Menara KH, Jalan Sultan Ismail
Price: RM 20 (approx) per cocktail

3. Check out the urban street art

street-art-kuala-lumpur-2

Another thing I loved about Kuala Lumpur was walking the streets or watching out the train window and spotting walls covered in beautiful or quirky murals. There is an abundance of street art in KL, bringing vibrancy and character to the city and brightening up what would otherwise be drab surfaces or dingy alleyways.

4. Visit the pandas at the Negara Zoo

kuala-lumpur-zoo-nuan-nuan-liang-liang-2

Parent pandas, Xing Xing and Liang Liang, were loaned to Malaysia by China in May 2014, as a gift to signify the 40-year diplomatic relationship between the two countries. But in 2015 the two pandas produced a gift of their own – baby Nuan Nuan. The panda cub is the most adorable baby bear I’ve ever seen. (Basically a clumsy, fluffy ball of teddy-bear-like cuddliness.) It was a treat to see this little one crawling, falling and nuzzling her way around – what I believe is – a well-constructed conservation enclosure with her mama bear!

Address: Zoo Negara, Jalan Ulu Kelang, Ampang, Selangor,
Price: RM 85 for adult admission

5. See the city from the Kuala Lumpur Towerllcc-view-kuala-lumpur-tower

Currently the 7th tallest tower on the planet, the KL Tower delivers some of the best views of KLCC and the Klang Valley. The tower offers two viewing decks: the enclosed Observation Deck with floor to ceiling glass at 276 metres and the open Sky Deck at 300 metres. While you’re there spot the iconic Petronas Towers, Merdeka Square, and the Genting Highlands.

Address: KL Tower, Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur
Price: RM 52 Observation Deck, RM 105 Sky Deck

6. Sit in a glass box overlooking the city

kl-tower-kuala-lumpur-skybox

At 300 metres up, extending from the KL Tower’s Sky Deck out over open air is the Sky Box. The Sky Box is a transparent viewing platform with its walls and floor made entirely from glass. The Sky Box offers those brave enough to walk into it an aerial view of the city below and unblocked views across Kuala Lumpur.

Address: KL Tower, Jalan P Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur
Price: RM 105 for adult admission

7. Spend a few hours in Purradise

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Toby (pictured above) welcomes all kitty lovers to the Purradise Cat Cafe (with a menu in paw). As a cat-lover, and having been away from my own kitties for months, this place was a real creature comfort. My absolute favourite thing about this cat cafe – aside from cuddling with new fluffy friends – is that all the cats are rescues and have been given a loving home (and medical treatment) at Purradise.

Address: Purradise Cat Cafe, 24A Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 2, Taman Tun Dr Ismail
Price: RM15 per person for the first hour (including one drink)

8. Try durian cake… if you dare

durian-cake-arch-cafe-kuala-lumpur

Locals in Southeast Asia know the durian as the ‘King of Fruits’, and many are obsessed by it. BUT it is notoriously known to many tourists for its foul odour and taste. In Kuala Lumpur, you’ll find everyday foods, such as ice cream and cake, with durian flavouring. If you’re curious or want to ease your way into trying the real thing, Arch Cafe in Chinatown recreates the scary fruit in the form of cake. Good luck to you, if you dare!

Address: Arch Cafe, Ground Floor, Pacific Express Hotel, Jalan Hang Kasturi, Chinatown

9. Visit the large Golden Statue at the Batu Caves

batu-cave-golden-statue-kuala-lumpur

The Batu Caves were never high on my list of places to see in KL, but I really loved seeing all the beautiful shrines outside of the caves. Besides the swarming tourists, it’s a photogenic place with the limestone hill backdrop, colourfully carved shrines, and the golden Statue of Murugan, which is possibly one of the most recognised landmarks in Kuala Lumpur. You’ll even get your year’s worth of cardio by climbing the 272 stairs up to the cave’s entrance and dodging the hungry monkeys.

Address: Batu Caves, Selangor
Price: Free entry

10. Indulge in a High Tea

ritz-carlton-high-tea-kuala-lumpur-2

I love high teas, and I was especially excited to find out that there were many hotels that host them in KL. The Ritz Carlton’s high tea takes place in their Lobby Lounge, an elegant space furnished with regal plush seating and decorated with magnificent floral arrangements, while a live quartet creates a calming ambience. The high tea menu includes three tiers of both sweet and savoury treats, and a pot of brewed tea (you’ll choose from a list of way too many choices and it comes with free refills).

Address: Ritz Carlton, 168 Jalan Imbi, Pudu
Price: RM 80 per person on weekends

11. Watch the sunset behind the KL skyline

kuala-lumpur-skyline-sunset

What more can I say? Kuala Lumpur sunsets are a spectacular way to end the day.

Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? If you have, what would be your recommendations? 


 

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8 Comments

  1. Looks amazing! I can’t wait to go to Kuala Lumpur next time. Thanks for the post.

  2. Going to Malaysia soon, and had no idea about the Purradise! Sounds so cute! Also might check out about the Panda one.
    Cheers for the heads up on the King of Fruits 😉

    1. Hope you have a fantastic trip to Malaysia! Both places you’re interested in are about 20 minutes from the city centre (KLCC) (by car and depending on traffic). And you’ll find that taxis are relatively cheap in KL too. 🙂

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