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    Ourtasteforlife - Featured Guest Post: Top 10 Things to do in Kuala Lumpur

    Updated: Jul 18, 2019


    Thank you to ourtasteforlife for writing this guest post - see more of their incredible work here.


    If you are planning a trip to Malaysia, your journey will inevitably begin in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Some nature lovers or adventure enthusiasts might think to rush to escape the bustling metropolis; however, in this article we will share a number of exciting things to do in Kuala Lumpur that may just encourage you to change your mind.


    Upon arriving into Kuala Lumpur you will immediately be welcomed by the amalgamation of culture and ethnicity that Malaysia is ‘oh so famous’ for. A heady combination of Malay, Indian, Chinese and European influences, result in a distinct culture unlike any other in Asia. This, fused with an all consuming vivacious energy, make time spent in the city a show-stopping delight.


    Let’s not get it twisted, we are by no means city people, and in all honesty we found Kuala Lumpur to be quite suffocating at times. Nevertheless, we are pleased we took the time to explore what this diverse city has to offer. With quite a lot to cover, let’s look at the top 10 things to do in Kuala Lumpur.

    THINGS TO DO IN KUALA LUMPUR 


    From striking futuristic architecture to heritage colonial buildings and adventurous hiking trails to tranquil nature spots, Malaysia's capital is as diverse in activities as it is in culture. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Kuala Lumpur.



    1.  BATU CAVES


    If you only plan to spend a short amount of time of the city, we highly recommend making the Batu Caves a priority on your list of things to do Kuala Lumpur. The mystical caves are a whopping 400 million years old, and built among a colossal limestone cliff are truly a sight to behold.  


    As well as a popular tourist attraction, the caves are a significant religious landmark, housing numerous Hindu temples and shrines. In 2018 the entire complex was reconditioned, and the vibrant, rainbow design of the staircase has made the attraction even more enticing to visit. 


    Being the keen photographers that we are, we arrived at the caves a little ahead of the 7am opening time. Not only were we able to snap some photos of the iconic staircase ahead of the crowds, but we endured the 272 stair climb into the caves before it got too hot.


    Opening Hours: 7:00 am – 9:00 pm Daily

    Entrance Fee: Free

    Allow: 2-3 Hours



    2.  FEDERAL TERRITORY MOSQUE


    As expected from such an ethnically diverse nation, mosques and temples can be found in abundance throughout the capital city. But if we were only to recommend one, for its overall breath taking beauty, it would have to be the Federal Territory Mosque.


    It has to be said that it’s not often we are left speechless by a place of worship. Let’s face it, after traveling Asia for the good part of 2 years, you find yourself what they call ‘templed out’.  However, the Federal Mosque beholds an ethereal beauty that didn’t fail to impress. 


    As well as admiring the majestic structure, we were offered a free tour whereby our guide shared his infinite knowledge about islam tradition and the mosque itself. All things considered, this is one of the most impressive things to do in Kuala Lumpur.


    *When visiting any of the mosques throughout the city, be prepared to wear robes and a headdress of which will be provided free of charge.


    Opening Hours: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. (CLOSED Friday 12:00 pm – 2:30 pm)

    Entrance Fee: Free



    3.   CLIMB BUKIT TABUR


    One of the more adventurous things to do in Kuala Lumpur is to conquer one of the hiking trails dotted around the outskirts of the city. While there are many, they all differ in length and difficulty, therefore its important you understand your own capabilities before you head out.


    After a recommendation from a friend, we decided to attempt the West Trail of Bukit, aka Mount, Tabur. Although the hike itself wasn’t too difficult, it is the final approach to the peak which has gained this trail a precarious reputation. The path all of a sudden ceases to exist, and to continue you must use ropes and footholds to traverse the ridge of the mountain.  


    While this requires some tactical movements (and some courage), once you pass this point you are rewarded with a mesmerizing view resembling two separate worlds. On one side you have the picturesque dam and rolling green hills, while on the other is the glistening skyline of the city. 


    *Things to Note: There are two sides to Bukit Tabur - East & West. We only completed the West Trail as East is said to be longer and slightly more dangerous. You may find information online that states you require a permit to climb; however, there was no office when we arrived at the starting point. In fact, the route was actually fenced off, but the locals told us it was ok that we climb and even sent their dogs to join us on the route! It is advised not to attempt this hike after it has been raining.


    Opening Hours: Only hike during daylight hours.

    Fee: Free 

    Allow: 3-5 Hours



    4.  PETRONAS TOWERS 


    The Petronas Towers stand proudly as the landmark of the city, and at a soaring 450m high are the tallest twin towers in the world. It pays to see the towers in both day and night; yet, at night, when the buildings are illuminated is when they appear most impressive.  


    For around £15/$20 you can walk the sky bridge between the 2 towers positioned at 175m. It makes for a great view of the city, but the price is a little steep. If you are keen to get a good view of the capital, we recommend checking out the KL Tower Sky Deck for around the same price.


    *To snap some good pictures of the towers, head to the fountains at the front of the buildings. 

    It pays to have a go pro or wide angle lens for this purpose. 


    Opening Hours: Tuesday to Sunday 9:00 am – 8:30 pm. (CLOSED Friday 1:00 pm – 2:30 pm)

    Entrance Fee: $20

    Allow: 1-2 Hours



    5.  THEAN HOU TEMPLE


    If you have visited buddhist temples in the past, you will know that no holds are barred when it comes to extravagance. In like fashion, Thean Hou Temple, located Southwest of the city, is certainly no exception.  


    Among all of the beautiful temples to be discovered in Kuala Lumpur, what we loved most about Thean Hou is the serenity it provided. Such luxury can be hard to find among the hustle and bustle of the city. Furthermore, the enchanting 6 tiered masterpiece sits proudly atop a hill, sporting astounding views of the nations capital.

     

    If you are looking for cultural things to do Kuala Lumpur then Thean Hou Temple is an imperative addition to your itinerary. Although we recommend visiting early to avoid the crowds.


    Opening Hours: 8:00 am – 6:00 pm Daily

    Entrance Fee: Free

    Allow: 1-2 Hours



    6.  THE BOTANICAL GARDENS


    As previously mentioned, we aren’t really city people, and while we enjoy exploring them we often find ourselves searching for a spot of nature where we can gather our thoughts. Thankfully, the Botanical Gardens offered us just that. A perfect place to escape the city, enjoy a peaceful stroll, and absorb the tranquility that such conditions provide.


    Not only that, but the gardens are huge, sporting all kinds of fun attractions. We discovered tree houses, a butterfly farm, a deer park, along with all kinds of picturesque flower gardens and we barely covered the grounds. This spot is for the nature lovers and one of the more relaxing things to do while in Kuala Lumpur.


    Opening Hours: 07:00 am – 08:00 pm Daily

    Entrance Fee: Free

    Allow: 2-4 Hours



    7.  KL FOREST ECO PARK


    Once upon a time, not too long ago in fact, Kuala Lumpur was dominated by dense rainforest. It’s hard to believe when you consider the concrete jungle it has become; however, an interesting chat with our cab driver confirmed just how rapidly the city has developed.


    Thankfully, there has been some attempt to preserve the cities routes and while minimal, there is an area of protected rainforest remaining in the city. The KL Eco Forest Park sports a number of trails through the forest including canopy walkways amid the tree tops. This is one of the more unique things to do in Kuala Lumpur and definitely worth checking out.


    Opening Hours: Open 24 hrs - but we advise to avoid visiting when it is dark.

    Entrance Fee: Free

    Allow: 1 Hour



    8.  MERDEKA SQUARE


    Probably the most historically significant spot in the city, Merdeka Square is where Malaysia declared their independence in 1957.  There isn’t too much to do here other than admire the surrounding architecture, but it’s worth the visit.  The heritage buildings offer a stark contrast to the contemporary architecture seen throughout the rest of the capital. 


    Opening Hours: 24 Hours

    Entrance Fee: Free

    Allow: 30 Minutes



    9. RIDE AROUND THE CITY ON A NEURON SCOOTER


    You are sure to have heard of the public bicycle hire in major cities, but have you heard of public e-scooter hire?  No? 


    Well, Neuron scooters are changing the game in a select few South East Asian cities, and the most recent to jump on the band wagon is Kuala Lumpur.

       

    It may sound simple, yet riding an e-scooter around the city was undoubtedly one of our favorite things to do in the city. We felt like big kids whizzing around the cities parks, weaving in and out of the traffic (pedestrians of course, not cars). It was an absolute blast. We cannot express this enough - make this one of your priority things to do in Kuala Lumpur.


    Opening Hours: 24 Hours

    Fee: Free

    Allow: 30 Minutes



    10.  EAT ALL THE STREET FOOD 


    Malaysia is a country obsessed with food, and to be fair, they have every right to be. This cultural melting pot society has created one of the most diverse and exciting cuisines in all of Asia. Eating street food is an affordable way to experience the mosaic of flavors involved in traditional Malay cuisine.  It is also one of the most cultural things you can do in Kuala Lumpur.  


    For the best street food in the city, you cannot miss Jalan Alor Street - the foodie hub of the city.  Equally significant are the hawkers dotted around China Town, and if you are in KL on a Saturday the Jalan Masjid India market is a must!


    WHERE TO STAY IN KUALA LUMPUR


    Hostel - Sporting quirky wall art and a chic modern design throughout, it’s no wonder that Paper Plane hostel is a consistent favorite among backpackers. Along with a choice of comfortable dorms or private rooms, guests can enjoy socializing on the rooftop and the common glass room.  Hungry? The hostel is located within walking distance of Bukit Bintang, Chinatown and the Central Market.


    Budget Private - Step Inn is an affordable yet highly rated hostel in the city. Guests love the friendly and sociable atmosphere, as well as the excellent location just minutes away from China Town.  The cheap private rooms make it a great option for couples, while the working space and high-speed wifi considers it the perfect choice for digital nomads. Not to mention you get a free breakfast included in the unbeatable price!


    Luxury - The Face Suites - If budget permits, we highly recommend splurging on a one night stay in this luxury apartment block. Not only can you enjoy a night of divine comfort, but you will undoubtedly go crazy for the rooftop infinity pool sporting unrivaled views of the cityscape.