The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

Exploring Kuala Lumpur

We only had three weeks to explore Malaysia but we still hatched plans to search for wild orangutans in Borneo as well as hang out in Kuala Lumpur and visit the Perhentian Islands. As is typical with plans, however, ours went awry when we fell in love with Borneo and couldn’t bear to leave; as such we ended up with just a couple of spare days to take in the sights of Kuala Lumpur – here’s what we got up to.

The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

The Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur

After struggling with the dirty, chaotic and disorientating cities in Indonesia we were on guard when we arrived in Kuala Lumpur. It was pretty clear from the moment we picked up a map in our hostel however, that Kuala Lumpur was going to be a much easier nut to crack; the main attractions were clearly labelled and looked easily accessible judging from the train lines and the free bus route. It was quick and easy to take the train out to the Batu Caves and it only cost us £0.80 one way! Here we climbed the steps lined by mischievous macaques (somewhat warily after our terrifying experience at the Monkey Forest in Bali) and took some snaps of the huge caves.

The Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

The Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

As we explored the city we found that Kuala Lumpur was just the right mix of Asian and Western influences for us. While China Town, for instance, was more hectic and crowded with its maze of stalls and tanks of toads waiting to be slaughtered, Bukit Bintang was almost London-like with its wide clean pavements, glittering lights and sparkling malls. As we wandered the streets we gazed up at the towering Petronas Towers and marvelled at how at home we felt in the city.

Monkeys at the Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

Monkeys at the Batu Caves

We felt so at home in fact, that we hardly took any pictures of our time in Kuala Lumpur, in fact, we both commented that we hardly felt like tourists at all – it was like we were taking a few days off from really travelling. One strange side-effect from our time in Malaysia that we did notice, however, was that we seemed to become more western while we were there. We ended up spending an awful lot of time in malls and even went to the multiplex cinema a couple of times, which are things we almost never did in London. I’m ashamed to say that we even gorged on junk food a few times. By the time we left Kuala Lumpur we were well and truly ready for our next adventure in the wilds of the Philippines.

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  • Patti
    Posted at 20:36h, 07 September Reply

    Sometimes you just gotta take a break and scarf down some junk food! So glad you enjoyed the experience.

    • Amy
      Posted at 04:44h, 08 September Reply

      So true Patti!

  • Shane
    Posted at 07:20h, 08 September Reply

    Junk food (I want a Mos Burger) and wandering about without seeing many sights is pretty much how we roll. I’m going to miss Thailand but looking forward to KL.

    • Amy
      Posted at 15:33h, 08 September Reply

      You’ll have a great time in KL then Shane if you take a leaf out of our book!

  • CII Tourism Fest 2013
    Posted at 09:48h, 09 September Reply

    Kuala Lumpur is such a nice place with rich culture and polite people. I have been there once and I enjoyed a great time there.

    • Amy
      Posted at 14:27h, 09 September Reply

      It sure is a great place and we hope to return there one day.

  • Steph (@ 20 Years Hence)
    Posted at 16:58h, 10 September Reply

    It took us two tries to really warm up to Kuala Lumpur: on our first visit, we were really unimpressed with the city, finding it generally pretty dusty and dirty and couldn’t find much to recommend it over any other cities in Malaysia we had been to. I think that was probably a factor of where we wound up staying that first time as it wasn’t really all that convenient and when we returned to KL after a few weeks in Borneo we really enjoyed it so much more. We stayed right near central market and gorged on so much good veggie Indian food and really found some sights that blew us away. I still wouldn’t call KL one of my favorite Asian cities, but every time we’ve been back (we’ve been there 3 times now) I like it a little bit more.

    • Amy
      Posted at 14:31h, 11 September Reply

      We liked central market too Steph, I hope we get to visit KL again too at some point. I agree that the area you stay in can completely change your perception of a whole city, we stayed in two different areas of Manila and it felt like we were in completely different cities.

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