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Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia. Its modern skyline is dominated by the 451m-tall Petronas Twin Towers The city is also home to British colonial-era landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.

We have visited Kuala Lumpur twice in the last few years. To be honest it is not somewhere we’d necessarily choose as a destination, but it is a convenient hub to visit other places in Malaysia and the surrounding countries. Often when flying or taking trains around South-East Asia you will end up transiting through KL.

If you find yourself coming through KL it is worthwhile spending two or three days exploring this modern and vibrant city. The public transport system is comprehensive and cheap so it is very easy to get around to the main sights of the city.

In this blog post, we have some ideas for the places to visit when in Kuala Lumpur.



These twin skyscrapers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twin towers in the world. Each tower has 88 floors and they are connected by a sky-bridge between the 41st and 42nd floors. The towers themselves rise 451.9 metres (1482.6 feet) – so are fairly tall!

From our hotel, it was only a 10-minute journey to the towers and I was not disappointed when I got there, they are truly spectacular. It not just how tall they are but it was the way the metallic construction of the towers glistened in the sun that made them truly special. They reminded me a lot of another building that I love, the Chrysler Building in New York. I have had the fortune of travelling a lot around the World and have seen many of the tallest buildings but for me, the Petronas Towers are right up there with the best


The Petrona Towers are not the only tall building in Kuala Lumpur. If you like skyscrapers and towers this is the place to come!

Kuala Lumpur Tower, colloquially referred to as KL Tower, is a 6-storey, 421-metre-tall telecommunication tower in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. It is the world’s seventh-tallest tower and Malaysia and Southeast Asia’s second-tallest tower. It costs around 60 Ringitt for a non-Malaysian to go up the observation deck.

The Merdeka 118 towers 678.9 metres above Kuala Lumpur, and is the the second-tallest building in the world, after Burj Khalifa (height: 828 metres) in Dubai. It has 118 floors, with an observation deck on floor 116, which will be the highest in South-East Asia. The opening of the observation deck is yet to be announced – check here for more information.



This is an indoor market and is a good place to go to escape the humidity. Inside there are a large number of vendors selling a wide array of goods, from upscale furniture to simple souvenirs. It was pleasurable to wander around, and the huge variety of products on sale made a pleasant change from the street markets, where you find almost every vendor selling exactly the same cheap and often nasty goods.

One of the shops inside the Market had tanks of fish that you could dangle your feet in, and have the fish eat away at the dead skin on your feet and calves. Karen has a particular horror when it comes to my feet (which to be fair are fairly disgusting) so she was delighted when I agreed to give it a go. I had seen this type of experience before, but these fish looked a whole lot bigger than one I have previously seen. As soon as I stuck my feet in the water I was attacked by dozens of these fish, who voraciously nibbled at my feet and calves. It was a weird experience and despite the fact, that my feet are caked with rough, dead skin they are sensitive and I couldn’t help but laugh from the tickling of fish biting away.


After my near-death experience with fish, we walked (on my freshly groomed feet) a half-mile or so to the lively Petaling Street market in KL’s Chinatown. This is a more traditional street market, with a lot of vendors selling largely to the tourists – hence a lot of t-shirts and souvenirs were to be had. By this time we were hungry and sat down at a street food stand and ordered a pile of noodles – delicious. So happy was I now that I had filled my stomach I bought a lucky charm from an apparent Buddhist monk who passed by. I am not sure how genuine this person was but my luck on this vacation took a downturn from this point!

Petaling Market in Kuala Lumpur's China Town
Petaling Market in Kuala Lumpur's China Town
Chinese Laterns in Petaling Market - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Chinese Laterns in Petaling Market
Tiger Beer - always a favourite on a hot sticky night - Petaling Market, Kuala Lumpur
Tiger Beer - always a favourite on a hot night



I had seen photographs of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building before coming to Kuala Lumpur and wanted to go and check it out. It is a late-19th-century building located along Jalan Raja in front of Dataran Merdeka and the Royal Selangor Club.

The building originally housed the offices of the British colonial administration and was known simply as Government Offices in its early years. In 1974, it was renamed after Sultan Abdul Samad, the reigning sultan of Selangor at the time when construction began.

The building houses both the offices of the Ministry of Communications and Multimedia and the Ministry of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia. It was the location of the Federal Court of Malaysia, the Court of Appeals and the High Court of Malaya. 


Just behind the building, the Gombak River passes by and there is another lovely building, the Masjid Jamek, one of the oldest mosques in Kuala Lumpur. We stopped to take some photos of the mosque and some of the artwork painted on the building adjoining the river.


Batu Caves is an iconic and popular tourist attraction in Selangor. The site of a Hindu temple and shrine, Batu Caves attracts thousands of worshippers and tourists, especially during the annual Hindu festival, Thaipusam.

It is a little out of the centre of Kuala Lumpur but it is easily reached by public transport or by car.

There are several Hindu Temples and caves to visit in the area but the main attraction of the Temple Cave which is free to enter. 

The entrance to the main cave often referred to as the Temple or Cathedral cave, is hard to miss as it is guarded by a 42-metre-tall gold statue of the Hindu God, Lord Murugan.

To get to the cave requires a bit of a climb, 272 steps to be precise, which can be a challenge in the steamy Malaysia climate but is well worth the effort.

In Summary

In summary …

  • Kuala Lumpur is very typical of cities in South East Asia – the centre is very modern and busy. 
  • You must check out the Petronas Towers – both day and night. They are stunning
  • The Central Market and Petaling Street Markets definitely worth a visit
  • The public transport is great and inexpensive
  • Next time we visit we’ll check out more of the city, including the museums and take a trip out to Batu Caves


Planning your visit

The airport in Kuala Lumpur is quite a distance from the centre of the City, 55km. There are two main terminals, KLIA and KLIA2, which only takes a few minutes to get from one to the other using the KLIA express and only costs $0.5.

There are few options for getting to downtown KL, suiting different budgets and time available.

Taking a bus shuttle from the airport is the cheapest and convenient way to get to central Kuala Lumpur. It should only cost about $2.5 for the ticket. The buses are equipped with air conditioning and have comfortable seats (unlike the local buses). The journey is likely to take about an hour depending on traffic.

The quickest option is to use the KLIA express. The cost is about $13.5 for adults. It only takes around 30 minutes to reach the central station, KL Sentral, downtown. This is the option we took. The train was fabulous, with great seats and made comfortable with the air conditioning.

Another option is to use a limo or taxi service to the city. This will take about the same time as the bus and cost about the same time as the KLIA express.

When it comes to getting around the city of Kuala Lumpur, there are several great options. 

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) connects many parts of KL Apart from the MRT, other rail services include the Light Rail Transit (LRT), monorail and KTM Komuter.

If you’re on a long visit, consider purchasing the Touch ‘N’ Go card or weekly passes for cheaper fares. The card can be used on all trains, as well as RapidKL buses.

Getting around by bus in the city is a generally comfortable experience these days. Most of them are fully air-conditioned and they get you to popular tourist attractions.

Taxi is probably one of the most convenient ways to travel from one place to another in KL. Always insist on using the metre – do not be duped into haggling for a price.

Malaysia actually has a few ride-hailing options, with Grab being one of the more popular options among locals. Utilising the service is as easy as downloading an app.

best time

The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur

Nestled in the geographical region of Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur, the thriving capital of Malaysia, is classified under the Köppen climate system as Tropical rainforest (Af). As the classification suggests, this vibrant city experiences high humidity, lofty temperatures, and significant rainfall throughout the year, illustrating a consistently tropical climate.

Kuala Lumpur records an average high temperature ranging from 30.6°C to 32.4°C, reflecting a minor fluctuation in temperature all year round. The least scorching period stretches from November to December while the peak temperature is observed from March to June. The relative offset of low temperature takes a minimal tumble from a high of 23.8°C to a low of 22.3°C, rarely straying too far from their comfort zone.

Moreover, Kuala Lumpur experiences humidity levels primarily within a narrow range of 73% to 82%. The city’s weather also displays a non-stop parade of clouds throughout the year, with an average monthly cloud cover ranging between 33% to 52%. Meanwhile, the average wind speed fluctuates moderately between a drop of 3.9km/h to a high of 4.8km/h. Atmospheric pressure is fairly consistent, indicated by a range from 1008.8 mb to 1010.5 mb.

The city witnesses a striking level of rainfall, varying extensively from 32mm to a considerable 109mm across different months. It is also notable that the city does not see any significant snowfall, except for a trivial amount in September.

The best time to visit Kuala Lumpur
Taking into account all climatic parameters, April to June stands out as the optimal period to schedule a visit to Kuala Lumpur. During these months, the city has the highest average temperature, coupled with substantial daylight hours averaging 12.3 hours allowing tourists ample time to explore the city and its exquisite architecture. Moreover, the sunshine hours range at about an admirable 8.5 to 8.8 hours. Even though there can be expected light showers, the city’s vibrant life does not reach a halt, maintaining a consistently warm and welcoming climate.


Where to stay?


Sits on a superb location at Jalan Pudu in Kuala Lumpur. It is conveniently situated about 0.5km from the hub of the city centre and within walking distance to Petaling Street (Chinatown), popular shopping malls, business, food and entertainment district of Bukit Bintang. Sky Express Hotel offers impeccable service and all the essential amenities to invigorate travelers. The hotel provides tours, elevator, car park, Wi-Fi in public areas, restaurant to ensure our guests the greatest comfort. The ambiance of the hotel is reflected in every guestroom. ironing facilities, inhouse movies, complimentary bottled water, air conditioning, in room safe are just some of the facilities at your disposal. Sky Express Hotel is indeed your one-stop destination for quality hotel accommodation in the city.


Located in proximity to Klcc underground station, at a 300-metre distance, Ascott Star Klcc apartment offers an infinity pool, a sauna and a terrace. The venue is 250 metres from Kinokuniya Book Stores and not far from Petronas Twin Towers. The accommodation is 5 minutes’ walk from Jalan P Ramlee. The centre of Kuala Lumpur is merely 4 km away.


The 2-star Sunshine Bedz Kuala Lumpur lies in the Bukit Bintang district, within 15 15-minute walk of Petronas Twin Towers. The hostel offers 24-hour security, housekeeping service and tour/ticket assistance as well as a nightclub and an aqua park.

Located in 5 minutes’ stroll of Bukit Bintang underground station, this Kuala Lumpur accommodation is set close to
Alor Street. It will take about 15 minutes to walk to KL Forest Eco Park. Serving different delicacies, Dining In The
Dark KL is situated 5 minutes by foot from the Kuala Lumpur hostel. KLCC Park is set only metres from Sunshine BedZ.

The hostel comprises 12 rooms. The shared bathrooms are equipped with a bidet, a separate toilet and a sink. A buffet breakfast is available daily at this Kuala Lumpur accommodation. It is provided with a microwave oven, an
electric kettle and fridges. The property is 35 km from Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport and at 2.6 km distance from
train station Old Kuala Lumpur. The Kuala Lumpur property offers karaoke and live performances to entertain its

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