10 Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur

Capri by Fraser – Changi City Singapore
May 12, 2013
Gardens by the Bay Singapore
May 16, 2013

Kuala Lumpur


Ascend the Petronas Towers

Once the tallest buildings in the world and still the tallest twin towers in the world, a visit to the Petronas Towers is a mandatory stop in getting to know modern Kuala Lumpur. These building are sleek and beautiful and you can ride an elevator to the sky bridge, which connects the two towers, or all the way up to the observation deck at 360 meters above the ground. See the structure that put Malaysia on the world map.


Eat Roti Canai

Malaysians love food and they’re passionate about eating any time of day or night regardless of meal time. You can find a diverse offering of food in Kuala Lumpur, but perhaps the best is the Malay and Indian, and sometimes Malay-Indian fusion. Roti is delicious type of Indian-influenced flatbread which is served with some curry for dipping. For  a more a more substantial meal, try roti with egg or sardines.


Get a 4-Star Hotel

Kuala Lumpur is known for its cheap four-star hotels. If you’re not used to the luxury treatment, this is your chance. You might be able to score one for under a hundred dollars a night. Search AsiaRooms.com for a list of potential hotel rooms in Kuala Lumpur.


Walk through Chinatown

Although it’s a bit touristy, a walk through Chinatown is still an essential component to any visit to Kuala Lumpur. There are some temples, a market, and of course, great food.


Eat Nasi Lamak

Nasi Lamak is Malay cuisine’s standby. Everyone makes it slightly different, although it’s generally composed of rice (with subtle coconut flavor), fried peanuts, cucumbers, friend anchovies, a boiled egg, and spicy sambal. At first it seems like an odd combo, but the more you eat it, the more comforting and filling it becomes.


Visit the Central Market

Now the old Central Market is a Cultural Bazaar, or Handicraft market with some decent shopping for visitors to Malaysia. It was previously a wet market serving locals in Kuala Lumpur with fresh seafood, meat, and vegetables. It first opened in 1888, but didn’t acquire its Art Deco facade until 1936.


Ride the Monorail

Seriously, in how many cities can you ride a monorail? It’s not only a useful way to get around Kuala Lumpur, the monorail is inexpensive and fun to ride. And you get a great view of the city as you ride!


Get a Coffee at the Coliseum Café

For a glimpse of the KL of yesteryear, drop into the Coliseum Café. Open since 1921, the café is a classic stop on the Kuala Lumpur city tour. Much of the interior décor of this place, like the woodwork and tiles, remain seemingly untouched for decades.


Drink Teh Tarik

Malaysia’s favorite beverage, teh tarik literally means pulled tea. It gets its name from the art of pouring or pulling the tea to mix it and cool its temperature. Walk into nearly any eatery and order a teh tarik hot or a teh tarik ice. It’s made with tea and sweetened condensed milk and some other secret ingredients. A definitive Malaysian experience.


Enjoy the Diversity

I published a Kuala Lumpur photo essay illustrating the diversity of the city, which I believe is one of its strengths. You can eat a variety of foods, see multiple religions being practiced, and here many different languages being spoken on the street.


Kuala Lumpur is an exciting destination that thrives on its multi-cultural makeup. The only way to experience it is to find one of the many hotels in Kuala Lumpur and see for yourself. Besides the sights, starting with the Petronas Towers, Kuala Lumpur is well known for its Chinese, Malay, and Indian cuisine.


Stephen Bugno's two decades of independent travels have taken him to more than 100 countries. His freelance articles have appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and the Hartford Courant. He lives in Alaska, USA publishing the GoMad Nomad Travel Mag and blogging at Bohemian Traveler in bween international travel and adventuring at home. Find him on Facebook, or Twitter.

Comments are closed.