15 Ways to Conquer Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

By Mark Wiens 29 Comments

Take a bite of Kuala Lumpur and experience a city where the Malay, Chinese, and Indian cultures synthesize into a diverse and fascinating habitat.  KL is a place where ultra modern technologies blend into a surrounding of natural tropical botany, where a love camaraderie for all things edible percolates through a world of different cultures, and where everyone is encouraged to become their own gastronome.  A spoon of Kuala Lumpur includes a sensation that will touch all taste buds and draw you into a Malaysia that is Truly Asia!

kuala lumpur, malaysia pictures

1. Petronas Towers

The signature landmark and most famed aspect of Kuala Lumpur are the jet setting Petronas twin towers. The twins can be spotted from afar, poking their way through the KL skyline. You can’t get to the top, but you can get to the impressive observation skybridge on the 41st floor with possession of a ticket.  Tickets are FREE, but on a first come first serve basis (1300 people per day), so arrive to get your ticket as early as possible (8 am is good).  At the base of the towers is the KLCC prestigious shopping mall.

For me information on the Petronas Towers check out the official website.

Petronas Towers

2. Browse Chow Kit Market

With a name like “Chow,” you know there’s going to be food! Chow Kit Market is the largest fresh food market in Kuala Lumpur. It showcases some of the finer fruits, freshly butchered meats, and the all important Malaysian cooking spices and curries.  Along with food, trinkets, amulets, and antiques can be found.  A stroll through the Chow Kit market will enrich you with a little local KL life.  Best hours to visit are during the day from 9 am to 5 pm.

Location: Northern end of Jalan Tunku Abdul Rahman (see map here), very close to Chow Kit Monorail station

chow kit market kuala lumpur

durain buffet kuala lumpur3. Devour the Durian Buffet

The pinnacle of all food lovers success and a pilgrimage site of weird food enthusiasts, is summed up at the Durian Buffet. The Durian Buffet is a haven where you can eat as much of the world’s stinkiest fruit in a single sitting while using little or no self control.  This is a place where you can eat to your hearts desire and no one will accuse you of wrongdoing.

Location: Durian SS2, 1,jalan ss 2/75,47300 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, Ah Wai – 012-234-5619, [email protected]

 

4. Stuff yourself with Nasi Campur

Few food groups from the entire world can come close to competing with Nasi Campur or mixed rice.  A pile of rice with a choice selection of various dishes including curried fish, coconut vegetables, soybean tempe, and other incredible tasting things.

Check out the nasi berlauk buffet near the Petronas Towers

mixed rice curry kuala lumpur malaysia

KL Tower5. Scale the Menara KL Tower

Though the steep entrance fee may discourage the frugal travelers, the observation view from the KL tower is impressive.  Situated atop Bukit Nanas hill, the tower reaches a height of 421 meters.  If you are in for a splurge of an evening, this is the best place to see KL from high above.

For more information check out the KL Tower website

6. Hike Bukit Nanas Forest

In the middle of urban congestion and skyrise concrete edifices is the tropical Bukit Nanas (Pineapple hill) Forest hill reserve.  There are a number of neatly maintained nature trails that weave through the sturdy trees and jungle flora.  This nature haven is a perfect place to escape the city, clear your mind, and relieve your thoughts.

7. Visit the Batu Caves

Just a few kilometers from the main area of KL, are the interesting Batu caves.  The Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur are a series of limestone caves and cliffs with Hindu shrines and statues inside.  If you are there towards the end of January, don’t miss the important Thaipusam Festival.

batu caves in kuala lumpur

8. Masjid Jamek Mosque

The Masjid Jamek Mosque is a beautiful architectural design with it’s Arab domes and sharp arches.  The structure caters to the tropical hot climate with open terraces and a lovely marble floor.

masjid jamek mosque

9. Thean Hou Chinese Temple

This huge Chinese Temple is one of the largest in SE Asia.  It is a beautiful sight to see with it’s dragon columns, intricate Chinese  pagodas, and view of Kuala Lumpur city skyline.

Open from 9 am – 6pm

10. Chill Out in Bukit Bintang

Kuala Lumpur’s trendy eating and boutique shopping district is almost always teeming with life.  Browse the clothing shops, find restaurants with all kinds of international food, get a massage, or enjoy a bit of street side sheesha.

See map here!

11. Sip Chai in Little India

Little India also known as Brickfields is packed full of shops selling Indian attire, incense, shrines, and fabrics.  Small eateries constantly remain crowded with lazy eaters who sip on chai from small cups and nibble on roti canai.

indian food in kuala lumpur

12. Explore Chinatown

Chinatown in Kuala Lumpur, like most other Chinatown’s around the world, is a great place to walk around, explore, and eat!  Petaling Jaya street is lined with cheap mass produced hawker goods, but if you escape the main drag you can find traditional Malaysian Chinese stores.

For more information see this link on Chinatown and check out the map

jalan alor street13. Culinary Excitement on Jalan Alor Street

 

If you are looking for an evening of intense culinary excitement filled with Chinese infused Malaysian food, check out Jalan Alor.  The street is a hit due to the countless eating options, a lot of seating, and huge picture menus to entice you.

Location: parallel to Jalan Bukit Bintang

 

fish spa massage14. Let a fish eat your feet at a Fish Spa Massage

 

Even though it might sound a little disturbing to have little fish nibble at the callus’ on your well used feet, I can vouch that after the initial girl-ly giggles, it feels incredible.  Kuala Lumpur has clinched a prestigious position as a top notch destination for Garra Rufa Fish to do their thing.  There are elaborate expensive fish spas and others that cost 10 MYR for 15 minutes on Bukit Bintang or in Central Market.

For more information on some of the best fish spas in Kuala Lumpur.

 

kl flower lake gardens15. Relax in the KL Lake Gardens

KL Lake Gardens is a neatly manicured central tropical park.  The landscape design is filled with lush green lawns, flowers, and lakes.  Inside the park are a few famed KL attractions such as the butterfly park, KL bird park, and an orchid and hibiscus flower garden.

For more information click here.

Here’s a new video of some of my tops recommendations for things to do in Kuala Lumpur, check it out below.

The incredible diversity of it’s people, the overflowing spiciness of it’s cuisine, and the technology mixed with tropical nature, makes Kuala Lumpur a city where anyone can have an enjoyable time!

Please let me know what you think of Kuala Lumpur and if you have any other ways to conquer Kuala Lumpur!

 

– Migration Mark

29 comments. I'd love to hear from you!

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  • Bhaskar Joshi

    4 years ago

    Hi Mark. I just visited Malaysia for 3 days and visited all the major landmarks that you mentioned except Langkawi. I also tried to taste as many local food as possible including Naai Lander, Teh Tarik, ikan Baker , nasi vampire, and variety of sea food. Now I’m moving to Singapore for 2 days and Thailand for 4 days. Cheers Mark.

    • Bhaskar Joshi

      4 years ago

      Due to autocorrect some words were spelled wrong. I meant Nasi Campur, Nasi Kander.

  • ALISON

    5 years ago

    Hi Mark, I’m so excited to have booked my trip to KL and then onto Langkawi, love your video’s and blogs of the city and where to travel to, this will come in very handy and love your video of you arriving in langkawi and I’ve booked the same hotel in Langkawi the Andaman, especially looking forward to the JALA resturant, and from your travel blogs for the whole 7 days, it has given me an insight of what to expect and explore. Many thanks and keep up the good work.

    • Mark Wiens

      5 years ago

      Hi Alison, great to hear from you, and glad you’ll be going to KL and Langkawi. Hope you have an amazing trip!

  • Paula

    9 years ago

    I’m a solo female traveler planning to visit SE Asia in 2013 on a budget for about six months and was curious as to which countries you recommend. I’m interested in food, beach and nature.

    • Mark Wiens

      9 years ago

      Hey Paula, it really depends on how many countries you want to visit in your 6 months. Much of SE Asia, apart from Malaysia and Singapore, is quite low priced for traveling. Here are some countries that I would recommend: Indonesia, Thailand, and Cambodia. Indonesia offers amazing beaches and scenery for a pretty decent price. Burma is another beautiful country and there is plenty of things to see there as well. The slower you travel, the more of a low budget you can keep. Also, I would encourage you to visit some places off the main tourist routes, that’s where you can really have some great experiences and do things on a budget. Hope this helps and let me know if you need any more advice.

  • Albert [email protected]@car hire kuala lumpur

    10 years ago

    Wonderful post with great information! Food at Kuala Lumpur is simply amazing! And I loved the way you have explained the details in your post. I am sure all these information is going to be very useful for people who are planning to visit these places.

  • [email protected] in kl

    10 years ago

    Excellent post with beautiful photography. I am surprised the way you have put all the information so correctly in this post. I too stay in KL glad that you enjoyed your time here. Frankly there are lots of information in this post which were unknown too me since you have covered all the intricate details.

  • [email protected] planner malaysia

    10 years ago

    I must say its a very informative website on the wonderful city Kuala Lumpur. You have put in all the important information about this city starting from Petrons tower. KL tower, to fresh food in KL, Bukit Nanas forest, Batu caves, Masjid Jamik mosque, Thean Hou Chinese temple, shopping places and what not.Great information indeed.

    • Mark Wiens

      10 years ago

      @Albert: Thanks so much for your comment! Appreciate it!

  • Sapawi

    11 years ago

    I myself live in Kuala Lumpur around Setapak area.

    This blog post has stunning photos around KL. Mark, Just wonder what model is your camera? One thing that makes me a bit weird is about the fish that ‘eat’ the people’s feet.

    Probably it’s some kind of reflexology ;-). Now I get the feel to try out this treatment by the fish.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      @Sapawi: For these pictures I just used a simple Canon SD 880 IS. It’s not a DSLR but it’s convenient and I can put it in my pocket and take pictures at all times. You have got to try the fish massage now, it will be crazy ticklish but worth it in the end!

  • Laura

    11 years ago

    Mark,
    This is great! I just booked a flight in October and have a week stopover in Malaysia and haven’t planned anything yet. Thanks for sharing.

    • Mark Wiens

      11 years ago

      Awesome, be sure to eat as much Malaysian food as possible!

  • Lilian

    11 years ago

    Great choices of attractions! I still remember my first trip to the Twin Towers….Amazing!

  • Mark Wiens

    11 years ago

    @Sha: You have to try the fish spa, I know you can do it here in Bangkok too!

    @Denise: Hope you are able to visit KL sometime in the near future. Glad you liked it!

  • Denise Michaels, “Your Excellent Adventure”

    11 years ago

    What an amazing skyline! My husband went to KL five years ago on the five week trip where he rode trains through six SE Asian countries. I want to go their next. Thanks for your blog.

  • Sha

    11 years ago

    great information! 😀
    hahaha,fish spa sounds very interesting…

  • Mark Wiens

    11 years ago

    @Earl: I would have done the same thing, the food in Little India is worth every sort of sacrifice. Let me know when you have a chance to eat the Durian Buffet!

    @David: Thanks for checking it out!

    @Anthony: Awesome, hope you have a wonderful time!

  • Anthony Feint

    11 years ago

    Nice tips – im actually in KL atm and managed to do quite a few of these.

  • David @ Malaysia Asia

    11 years ago

    Hey Mark, lovely shots of KL you have here! Glad you enjoyed your time here. I’m not much of a KL person though I visit the city 5 times a week 🙂 There is much to do here and you’ve covered most of it.

    David

  • Earl

    11 years ago

    I once booked the most insane 40-hour flight from Boston to Australia just because it gave me an overnight in KL! It’s such a great city and every time I’m there I head straight to Little India for my first meal…

    Next time I’ll have to check out that Durian Buffet. Not sure how long I’ll last but I’ll give it a shot!