It has been almost 9 years since the last time I visited Kuala Lumpur (KL), Malaysia. From Singapore we decided to cross boarder and do a 6 hour trip to Kuala Lumpur. It felt like I was riding a bus from Manila to Baguio, but in this side of the world, the 6 hour trip did not include a horrible traffic like in EDSA, Manila.
I undermined Kuala Lumpur before as a travel destination. Maybe because I was not too knowledgeable yet about the place (it was my first travel outside the country back then) and I was told that their ain’t really much to see in this side of the city. Our one day tour in the KL brought us to Central Market, Aquaria KLCC, KLCC park, Suria KLCC and the famous Petronas Tower. It was just a quick tour that made me feel like ‘Kuala Lumpur is just like Manila and I guess a day trip is already enough, their ain’t a lot to see in here.’ That thinking was a long time ago but guess what, I ate those words just recently.
Fast forward to 2017, I finally had a chance to go back to the same place I was before. It was nostalgic but then it also felt a bit different.
On my comeback, I was able to visit more than a handful of attractions. Spending more than 2 days in Kuala Lumpur made me admire the city even more. And bringing my self into the culture makes me appreciate and realise that Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is really such a nice place to explore.
So on this trip, I’d made sure to list down the places we visited and attraction that I would highly suggest for you to try as well specially if your visiting Kuala Lumpur Malaysia for the very first time. P.S. I also included some photography and travel tips on each attraction. Check out the following destination;
I wonder what it felt like living in a palace? The Supreme King of Malaysia would probably know the answer to that. Istana Negara is Malaysia’s National Palace along Jalan Istana and was the former residence of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong (Supreme King) of Malaysia. It was built in 1928 which stands on a 13-acre site. In June 2011, a new RM800 million palace near Jalan Duta, Kuala Lumpur, replaced Istana Negara. Now called the old Istana Negara it is considered a national attraction but grounds are still not open to the public. Only the Main Palace Entrance is usually the spot where tourist takes pictures.
What to wear: Wear something that would compliment the colors Yellow and green for you to stand out in the crowd (and background).
Photography Tip: The place sometimes gets to be crowded, better look for the side where people usually go to for your photo-shoots. Also I recommend for you to bring wide lenses for structural photography.
If you’re into a historical places, do visit the National Monument located at a walking distance from the famous Lake Gardens Kuala Lumpur. The National Monument is a sculpture, which was build in remembrance of the brave soldiers who died fighting for Malaysia’s independence, principally against the Japanese occupation during World War II and the Malayan Emergency. This historic sculpture has also marked its place in the book of records for being the tallest freestanding group of bronze sculptures.
Photography Tip: Look for patterns, there are a lot of shots to play around in this place. My favorite was the wall and the flooring.
Masjid Negara Mosque
Do not forget to pass by Masjid Negara or Malaysia’s National Mosque. It is the nationwide symbol of Islam, which spreads across 13 acres. As said, the National Mosque is able to accommodate up to 15,000 people and is reminiscent of the Grand Mosque in Mecca, featuring abstract shapes and geometric lattice incorporated into its roofing and ironworks. If your are a photo enthusiasts you would definitely enjoy the structural design of this place.
Photography Tip: Just across the Masjid Negara, you will find old and interesting structural buildings like TV Alhijrah, Jabatan Agama and the Malayan Railway Administration Building. Do give some time to visit.
Galeri Kuala Lumpur
This is one of the place that I didn’t realize existed in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There is just a lot to see in Merdeka Square. Dataran Merdeka is situated in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad Building. Literally means Independence Square, it was formerly known as the Selangor Club Padang or simply the “Padang” and was used as the cricket green of the Selangor Club.
The world’s tallest flagpole, a 95-metre, is also located at the southern end of the square. Near the southern end, you will find Kuala Lumpur City Gallery.
The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is the best place for you to learn about Kuala Lumpur’s Past, Present and Future. It is a very innovative place where in you will find a especial architectural modeling of the whole Kuala Lumpur called the Spectacular City Model Show. Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is part of the ARCH group’s vision in promoting the country’s heritage and culture. Andrew J. K. Lee, the Founder of ARCH, is a man who greatly inspires this innovation.
And oh, do not missed to try the famous Kaya Toast at ARCH café at the end of your visit at the Gallery.
Opening Hours: From 9am – 6.30pm daily. Free WIFI.
Photography Tip: Do not forget to take a groupie at the iconic I LOVE KL structure outside the gallery. Also take a walk towards the streets of Jalan Raja and feel the British vibe of the place.
This reminds me of the cartoon “the Jetsons”. The Kuala Lumpur Tower or KL Tower is a communications tower that has been one of the iconic structures in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. KL Tower got a height of 421 meters and is considered as the 7th tallest freestanding tower in the world. And by the way, that isn’t just a tower for up above you will find a revolving restaurant that provides diners with a panoramic view of the city.
Cocoa Botique + Saloma Theater Restaurant
Cocoa is one of the major produce of Malaysia, so expect to tastes delicious chocolates on your visit. Do not missed to pass by at Cocoa Botique in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Cocoa Boutique and Chocolate Gallery is now positioned as Malaysia’s preferred destination for chocolates and gifts for all occasions. It is a must for tourist to drop by at one of their stores specially if your planning to buy chocolates as gifts for your love ones. What I love about Cocoa Boutique and Chocolate Gallery is their innovative approach on making the store visits experiential, making every purchase memorable to tourists and even locals.
Across Cocoa Boutique in Jalan Ampang, you’ll find Saloma Theater Restaurant. Saloma Theater Restaurant is a buffet restaurant that combines culture, food and history as they showcases Malaysian flavors and cooking methods from the uniquely different flavored 14 Malaysian states.
Be mesmerize with upbeat traditional and cultural performances for 45 minutes as you indulge to a buffet of rich cultural heritage.
Travel Tip: Most of the performers knows some of the famous Telenovelas here in the Philippines like “Be Careful with My Heart”, ‘Budoy’ and ‘Pangako Sa’yo’ where Jericho Rosales came to fame in Malaysia. This could be a good conversational starters for the locals.
Considered to be one of the most popular Hindu Shrines outside India, Batu Caves is also referred as 10th Caves or Hill for Lord Muruga. Batu Caves is the the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.
Batu Caves temple complex consists of three main caves and a few smaller ones. The biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, has a very high ceiling and features ornate Hindu shrines. To reach it, visitors must climb a steep flight of 272 steps.
The place is rich with different flora and fauna. There are different species of birds, bats, and spiders but most common of them all are the monkeys called macaques, which visitors feed — sometimes involuntarily. These monkeys may also pose a biting hazard to tourists (especially to children) as they can be quite territorial.
Travel Tip: Bring water on your way up for it could be very tiring. Wear something comfy but not too revealing specially for the ladies.
The two huge skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, known as Petronas Towers or Petronas Twin Towers, were considered as the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004 and remain the tallest twit towers in the world. The Petronas Tower is considered as the landmark of Kuala Lumpur, along with KL Tower.
Seeing these huge skyscrapers outside is already breathtaking, but getting inside is even more spectacular. Up to 41st floor, you will find the Skybridge, which connects the 2 towers. Here visitors can be able to stay for 15 minutes and view the whole city.
Initially the visit here is free not until 2010, tickets started being sold by Petronas. Visitors can choose to opt for package one, which is just a visit to the Skybridge, or go for package two to go to the Skybridge and all the way to level 86. The following photos are what you can expect to see at level 86.
Photography Tip: Taking panoramic shots are best to be done inside the Skybridge as well as at the 86th floor. Bringing a wide-angle lens is also very helpful in taking a better cityscape.
There are still a lot of places to visit in Kuala Lumpur like the Little India Brickfields, Sultan Abdul Samal Building, Thean Hou Temple, Central Market and even the famous China Town. Staying for two days is somehow enough for us now, but I am sure to be back here to visit the other famous attraction. Kuala Lumpur simply amazes me that it changes my idea of the past to even something better. All thanks to AirAsia for bringing us here! Did you know that AirAsia has daily flights to KL from MANILA, CEBU and now DAVAO. This means, travelling to Kuala Lumpur would be easier and accessible.