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Weekend in Kuala Lumpur

While on my business travels to Malaysia, I occasionally had a chance to get to Kuala Lumpur, or just “KL” as the locals say.  My last trip there was short, but I did get to see quite a bit.  Here are a few select photos of some attractions in Kuala Lumpur (from the days before I got my D90…).

One place you have to see is the Petronas Twin Towers, once the tallest buildings in the world (surpassed by Taipei 101).  There’s a huge mall on the bottom floors called KLCC, which I suppose is great if you want (ahem) non-fake goods.  I must admit, I’ve actually never been up it!  The Renaissance Hotel has a good view of the towers from its upper levels.  As I remember I got a free upgrade to club level…

The Petronas Twin Towers from the Renaissance Hotel

The Petronas Twin Towers from the Renaissance Hotel

For cheap wallets, handbags, clothes, etc… check out Petaling Street, another must-see attraction.  Be sure to haggle with the sellers to get the best price.  My advice is to walk away at least once or twice during any transaction.  If they call you back to give you a lower price, keep going.  If they don’t call you back, then chances are you’ve come close to their real “best price.”  Come back 10 minutes later and say you’ve changed your mind.  Of course, if you can take a local with you (as I did) you’ll get better prices than what any Caucasian tourist could achieve.

The KL Tower is a famous monument with a great view.  I believe its peak is actually above that of the Twin Towers because it starts on a hill (although the structure itself is shorter).  The rotating restaurant at the top runs about €30, rather pricey considering the average-quality buffet food.  But the view is fantastic, so I recommend trying it if the weather’s clear and you have cash to spare (I was lucky to be invited).  Just don’t get your hopes up about the food quality; I thought it was decent but have seen some really BAD reviews.

The tower is also the annual home of legal B.A.S.E. jumps as part of an organized series around Malaysia!

KL Tower at night, home of a rotating restaurant

KL Tower at night, home of a rotating restaurant

Batu Caves is a limestone formation with multiple large caves.  One holds several Hindu shrines, while others contain statues, art, and animals in a small zoo.

Statue of Murugan next to the 272 steps to Temple Cave

Statue of Murugan next to the 272 steps to Temple Cave

The interior of Temple Cave is impressive, if you can handle 272 steps to get there.  One area of Temple Cave is open to the sky.

Inside the Temple Cave: the far chamber is open to the sky

Inside the Temple Cave: the far chamber is open to the sky

There are also lots of monkeys.  This young one liked to play with visitors, and also drank soda through a straw… nice!  Just be careful not to get bitten, as the monkeys are protective of their territory.

Macaque monkey at Batu Caves

Macaque monkey at Batu Caves

There’s a lot more to see in KL.  But I’ll let you search out a few more Kuala Lumpur destinations on Wikipedia or at the Malaysian government’s tourism site.

Getting There:

  • Petronas Twin Towers .gov.my site: they are visible from almost anywhere in the city.  There is a limited quantity of passes for visiting the bridge; you have to wake up early in the morning to get one.
  • Batu Caves (Wikipedia): Admission was not expensive (though I can’t recall exactly; 5-10 euro I believe).  Here’s a Google map to Batu Caves.
  • KL Tower .gov.my site: also visible from almost anywhere in the city.  Go during the day for the best view of KL, and at night for a lit-up view and buffet food.
  • Petaling Street (Google maps): Also known as the “night market.”  Please, do be careful of pickpockets; they are everywhere.  Have some fresh fruit (lychees or the infamous, smelly durian) or Chinese food while you browse and haggle.
  • Advice to avoid pickpockets: Keep your wallet in a zipped pocket (or better yet, leave it in the hotel safe).  Hold any cash you plan to spend in a separate zipped pocket so you never have to take out your wallet.  Be watchful of any purses or backpacks (thieves slice the straps, then grab & run).  Especially true on Petaling street!  I usually keep my wallet in a front pocket in KL, or zipped in my front vest pocket, and never had a problem.
  • If you need a hotel in Kuala Lumpur, I can recommend the Renaissance, though any good hotels website could probably find a cheap deal for you.

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Posted in World Travel 7 years, 8 months ago at 12:00 pm.

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