From our hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam we took the free van ride to Noi Boi international airport to make our way to Kuala Lumpur (KL), the capital and largest city in Malaysia. KL feels and looks different than other nearby SE Asian cities. Immediately upon driving into the city and hopping aboard the monorail, it’s hard not to notice the Indian, Middle Eastern, and Chinese cultures and buildings all mixed together. On one side of the street could be a local mosque filled with KL’s large Muslim population, and on the other side of the street could be narrow alleys filled with Chinese vendors. I previously visited KL in 2012 after studying in Taipei and I remember not loving the city. The only thing that came to mind when thinking about KL was how blistering hot and humid it was. For a second, I wasn’t thrilled to be going back to that immense heat, but knew KL deserved a chance to redeem itself!
So we took the 1 hour bus ride to KL’s city centre and took the monorail to our AirBnb’s closest station. We were ecstatic for our accommodation and decided to splurge a little ($50 per night) and enjoy the city for a few days. Honestly, that $50 per night was worth just the insane view from the rooftop pool. That was pretty much the only reason we booked that place J. For me, KL has one of the greatest skylines in the world. The Islamic inspired Petronas Towers that dominate KL’s skyline are truly breathtaking. From our Airbnb’s viewpoint, we were offered one of the best panoramic views of downtown KL.
We spent the next few days walking around and exploring the different areas of Kuala Lumpur. We poked around the colorful textile and spice shops in Little India and bought some cool Indian clothing. Later, we ventured into Petaling Street, aka Chinatown. This is one of best areas to shop for trinkets and souvenirs to bring home. The street is literally packed full of tiny stalls selling anything from pirated DVD’s to scrolls of Chinese calligraphy.
Nighttime is the best time in KL. Jalan Alor street has to be one of the greatest food streets in the world. Once night falls, the street erupts into a full blown food market with stalls and restaurants selling the local cuisines. We decided to pop a squat at a Malay stall and tried some of their tasty chicken and beef kebabs with an ice cold Tiger Beer.
After stuffing ourselves at Jalan Alor night market, we took the monorail to the most popular destination, KLCC Park, home of the Petronas Towers. It’s one thing to see these towers from afar, but it’s another when standing directly underneath them. At night, this area is filled with not only tourists, but local families relaxing along the ponds and enjoying the daily fountain shows while gawking at the size of the Petronas Towers. A little embarrassed to say this, but we definitely spent some time trying to get the perfect selfie with the towers J
Kuala Lumpur definitely did not disappoint and has become a favorite city of ours. The food is fantastic and views are incredible. Can’t wait to head back someday!