16.03.2016 – 18.03.2016
Kuala Lumpur (KL) was the second “big city” we’ve visited on our trip, after Singapore. In classic big city style, it is full of attractions, shopping, food, temples plus a Chinatown and Little India. Our accommodation (Explorers Guesthouse) was only a 2 minute walk from Chinatown, the cultural heartbeat of KL and right next to a Monorail station (an absolute must for getting around and cheap too!)
Seeing Chinatown in full-flight was really nice and not to be missed. We were able to walk through the hundreds of stalls that sell everything from watches to football kits, only giving in once (Nathan bought a Germany football shirt). There are some really nice restaurants in Chinatown that sell a mix of Chinese and Malaysian cuisine.
We experienced a little bit of rain and escaped to some pretty impressive shopping centres and did some shopping with our eyes. The Pavilion is a must – even if your not a shopper. On basement level there is a pretty impressive food court with endless tasty cuisine options, we choose Japanese Teppenyaki, but there is Laksa stations, Chinese, Fried Rice, Donuts, Cake Shops, Yogurt Stands, Thai, Malaysian, Hong Kong, Indian, Singaporean, Korean, Bakeries, Sushi, Western – it is almost endless.
After spending Day 1 cruising through the city we spent the morning of Day 2 at the Batu Caves (see our Monday Moment on Batu Caves for more); a short train ride from the city. “Batu” means rock in Malay. So we went to the rock caves! The main cave it located at the top of a giant staircase, you can’t miss it and the view from the top is impressive. We had a small issue entering, as all women must have their knees covered while on the Hindu site. This is the largest Hindu site outside of India. Be careful when climbing the stairs, it tougher than you think and there are monkeys everywhere who are willing to steal any sunglasses or food they can get to. While a beautiful place, the caves have unfortunately been Malaysiafied***.
***“Malaysiafied: An attraction or place in Malaysia that has become lame through trying too hard to be a tourist destination.”
OUR FAVOURITE BITS
– Seeing the Batu Caves
– Taking the monorail around the city. Signage is vague at best so make sure you always double check where the train is going before you hop on!
– Visiting Chinatown
– Not bothering to visit either of the Little India’s. Yes, there are two; Little India and Brickfields and are both lacking a vibrant and cultural experience.
– Taking the chance to do a spot of shopping at The Pavilion, even if it’s just shopping with your eyes. The food court on the bottom level is sensational.
– When going to the Batu Caves ensure any females wear pants or skirts that go below the knee.
Kuala Lumpur is just a big city, not really for the long-term traveler. It’s a nice place with plenty to see and do. KL gets 3 stars.
See you in Penang!