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Destination 1: Kuala Lumpur (Apr 15-17)The Flight: We left New Delhi on 14 April via ‘Air Asia’ flight which left around midnight. The good part about this particular airliner is, it is cheap. The bad part, the flight is too crowded with no in-flight entertainment system and little seating space which makes it slightly (read highly) uncomfortable to sit for 5 hours at one single position. It was like a GoAir or Indigo (actually much worse) except for a longer duration flight. Word of caution: Book Air Asia if you are really tight on budget. Else I would recommend Malaysia Airlines or some other slightly ‘premium’ carrier. (P.S. I never knew this about Air Asia while booking).Place to stay: Tune Hotels, DowntownStay Price: Rs 1500 per night (paid in India before leaving)We arrived KL on the morning of 15 April. The good part is I belong to a worldwide community called Toastmasters, and the great part is KL itself has more than 100 Toastmasters clubs. Hence the moment we landed on the KLIA2 Airport, one of the Toastmasters who I have been in touch with for attending a meeting was already there waiting for us. It was wonderfully kind and generous of him to do so. Malaysian hospitality by a British immigrant Toastmaster!After attending the meeting, we went to our hotel. Tune Hotel is like Oyo Rooms except that the rooms are somewhat smaller than Oyo. But with all the amenities and a good brand name it’s great for a budget hotel.Things to do:I have lived in almost all major cities of India. But when I began roaming around KL, I realized none of the places I have lived compare even an inch bit to the grandeur in appearance and the openness in culture that this city represents. We were awed with the high-rise buildings, the visits across the city from the monorail, the Petronas twin towers, the beautifully decorated cars, the dresses of the women of the city, the free KL bus, the evening rain, the people playing music on the streets for money, and a lot lot more.While in KL, we went to the following places (all of these are definitely Do’s):a. Batu Cavesb. Bukit Bintang – you will be awe-inspired by the gala of the place!c. Street Food opposite Bukit Bintang – heaven for foodiesd. The Petronas Twin Towers – you will keep walking in a shopping mall without realizing when you are underneath the Petronas twinTowers! We didn’t go all the way up to the deck. Personally speaking I didn’t find it worth to spend RM 85 for the view.e. KL City Gallery – You will come across a beautiful city museum with a lights show of entire KL. For RM5, this place is totally worth it.f. I Love KL – Right next to KL city gallery. Definitely the right place to get yourself clicked!g. Chinatown – This place is famous in KL for its Sarojini Nagar type low cost street shopping.h. Little India – If you are from India, do pay a visit and enjoy some inexpensive South Indian food. You can also buy stuff which is part Indian from the Malaysian Indian kirana stores.Food:Speaking of food, for all the vegetarians in the house, Malaysia has their own special version of vegetarian dish which is available almost everywhere in the country. It’s called Roti Canai (pronounced as roti-chanai). Roti Canai is nothing but plain naan served with dal. For a tasty, stomach filling inexpensive dish, this is a safe vegetarian option for those who do not indulge in other foods.Right next to the Tune hotel where we stayed is this place called ‘Pak Punjab’ which serves authentic north-Indian food. Yes, that means paratha, chholey, dal, naan and what not. With tasty food, reasonable prices and hospitable staff, I would recommend this place if you want to taste good north Indian food (believe me you do get craving for ghar ka khana (home food) while away from home).Yet another delicious Malaysian cuisine which I want everyone to taste is the ‘Teh Tarik’ or local Malaysian tea. It has a very different taste which you will never have tasted before. Not only is it unique, it’s delicious as well. We made sure we drink ‘Teh Tarik’ every single day while we were there!Transport:KL has a beautiful train system which was rather complicated for us as newcomers. The monorail connects with the main metro lines (the city has 3 of them). But the good part is, Uber is everywhere! And so is Grab car, which is the Ola of Malaysia (rather south-east Asia). If you have Uber app, no worries. People driving their awesome personal cars will pick you up and drop you to the place of your choice. Alternatively you can also download the ‘Grab’ app for more options.For outstation travel, Malaysia has impeccable roads and an excellent bus service which operates everyday to almost all important destinations across the country. You can book the bus in advance if you are the cautious kinds else you can also go to the bus station and get the tickets at the counter.So after two days of fun, frolic and masti (enjoyment) in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, we took the bus from the KL bus station and moved to our next destination – Cameron Highlands.
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It’s a must visit place. Full of monkeys. Cave is really amazing from inside. The best part is the location. It’s a Hindu temple but visited by every tourist who come to KL. Take KTM commuter directly to BATU Caves from KL Sentral (2 RM each). You need to climb 272 steps to reach the Limestone Cave.
Suria KLCC Jalan P Ramlee Kuala Lumpur City Centre Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Visit the observatory deck of KL tower: You can have the bird’s eye view of the city from this 421 M high tower. We also had our lunch in an Indian restaurant. There are several shops selling souvenirs there. The entrance to the deck costs RM8 per person.
Kl Bird Park Jalan Cenderawasih Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
They have Bird Show twice a day & many other activities throughout. Do check the happenings around the time you visit.
Chinatown - Kuala Lumpur
After lunch (finally!) I started to explore the city proper. First stop: Chinatown, or Petaling Street. This is located next to Pasar Seni station, monorail line (Klena Jaya Line). You simply have to walk a short distance to get there. Petaling street is a cross section street filled with Bangladeshi store owners selling counterfeit goods at exorbitant prices. I was surprised that this place was still standing, though it was shadow of what it used to be. After a horrible massage that brought my impending headache to an untimely climax, I moved on to Kuala Lumpur Central Market. This place is more reasonable – their goods are original or imported and cultural in nature. I would recommend going to KL Central Market if you’re looking to shop, rather than Petaling Street.
National Monument Jalan Parlimen Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
National monument: this place is a tribute to the soldiers and people who sacrificed their lives for the freedom of the nation. It is the world's tallest bronze freestanding sculpture grouping. This place is quite peaceful and well maintained. This place offers an amazing view of the KL skyline.
Kuala Lumpur Tower Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
I took a train (you can buy the tickets from the vending machine) from KL Sentral to Bukit Bintang, where my hotel was. Side note: Bukit Bintang is one of the better places to stay in, as the other areas tend to be too touristy or not central enough to all the attractions. Although the check-in was at 3pm, my logic was to leave my luggage at the reception till check-in time so I won’t have to be burdened by it while walking around (as I absolutely had to grab breakfast lest I faint). Capitol Hotel Kuala Lumpur had rave reviews on tripadvisor, and I saw why when I walked in and gave them my Agoda voucher – they let me check in at 10am. Best-thing-ever.
Petronas Twin Tower Kuala Lumpur City Centre Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The Asian Melting Point: It's a 5-6 hour shore excursion that includes Independence Square, KL Tower with admission to Observatory Deck, a photo stop at Petronas Twin Towers, Pavilion Shopping Mall and Cocoa Boutique, the largest chocolatier in Malaysia.
National Mosque of Malaysia Jalan Perdana Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
At first, we went to the iconic land mark “I love KL”. It is located in merdeka square and there is no entry fee to visit the place. This was a photo stop and we spent about 20 minutes there. There is a gallery building near to the land mark and you can plan a visit if you have time. We then headed towards the grand mosque. Make sure you are dressed appropriately to visit the mosque. As it was a Friday, there were plenty of stalls that served food and sold books outside the mosque.
Nu Sentral Jalan Stesen Sentral 5 Brickfields Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
On our second day in KL we decided to visit Batu Caves. Please do not book any package to visit this place. Just board a KTM Komuter Line train from KL Sentral station. The last stop of this train is Batu Caves. Just get down & walk with the crowd, you'll reach your destination. Take the same train to return back to the city.
National Museum Jalan Damansara Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Today was the typical touristy City Tour. We had limited time & thought this was a quick way to explore main attractions of KL. First stop was the National Museum.
Aquaria KLCC Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
I must tell you that Malaysian government does not allow visa on arrival so you must have Malaysian visa before (cost around 4500INR). My Air Asia flight was 11.30 in night and it took Exactly 5 hours to reach KL international Airport. Malaysia is 2.5 hours ahead. I reached KL International airport , it was beautiful, less crowded and away form the main city. I see one sign board with name KELUAR that means exit in malay language. So from the airport either you can board a KL metro (50 Ringgit) or can take bus (15 Ringgit) 1 Ringitt = 16.5 Indian rupees around, As i was on budget travel so i preferred bus , on my way i see the beautiful and clean roads with less traffic in compare to india. It took around 1.30 hours to reach KLCC.
Guandi Temple Jalan Tun H S Lee Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
After that stint, it was time for coffee, tea and cakes at this very cool café called Lucy in the Sky. The Charcoal and Bamboo Mille Crepe was very delicious, and so was their strawberry tea. This is when the downpour started – best to keep umbrellas with you at all times.Day 2
Butterfly Park Tasik Perdana Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
You can see hundreds of different types of butterflies as well as a few different turtles and other animals. There was even a spot to feed Koi fish.
Central Market Kuala Lumpur Jalan Hang Kasturi Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
LRT to Pasar Seni station, roti dinner and unexpected fireworks display plus dance performance, wander through the very touristy Central Market LRT to Sentral Station, bum around in waiting area trying to explain why “fifteen minutes” doesn’t actually mean fifteen minutes and “technical issues” could mean anything at all, making friends with people who had children and/or mangoes. Board train around 23:30 Overnight on train to Singapore
Jalan Johar Bukit Damansara Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Next on the list were National Palace & Independence Square. We headed back to the Hotel. Later in the day we laze around in the infinity pool of our Hotel. Much needed respite from the KL heat.
Jalan Bukit Bintang Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
After a shower, I changed and headed out to explore the city – but not before stopping by for lunch at the Greyhound Cafe, Malaysia! This Thai fushion café serves scrumptious food (both Thai and Western) in a stunning interior. I ordered the Thai Basil Minced Chicken Rice, and for dessert, Apple Crumble. While the Thai food was slightly subdued (perhaps to adapt to the expat tastebuds), the pesto cream pasta was spot on! Oh, and do try the coconut shake here as well.
Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
You can have lunch at Tg's Nasi Kandar in Bukit Bintang after coming back before going back to the hotel for some rest. In the evening, we strolled in the Bukit Bintang area and had a delicious dinner at Opium. How to get around: We took Air Asia flights from and to Singapore. From the airport, we took a two way metro pass to reach our hotel. Since we stayed close to the centre, we took uber for getting around as it was both cheap and convenient. Where to stay: Near the city centre should be your best bet. We stayed at Holiday Inn Express and our stay was pretty comfortable! Weather in November: Similar to Singapore, it was a bit rainy but that didn't disrupt our plans. You can get a SIM card at the airport itself. Most service providers run very similar plans at similar prices. We ended up there on the same weekend as the Bersih Rally due to which certain roads were closed down so check before planning a trip! Finally, I think the best thing I enjoyed in KL was the food- so flavourful and cheap! Happy Travelling!This post was originally published on Voyage Treasures.
Lot 10 Jalan Sultan Ismail Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
The Lot 10 Hutong has the best street stalls from across KL, the Klang Valley and Singapore, ensconced by invitation in the mall basement, with the food section of the Isten supermarket conveniently next to it. You'll get everything from Woo Pin famous fish head noodles to duckling BBQ here.
Blue Boy Vegetarian Food Centre Bukit Bintang Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Blue Boy Vegetarian Food Center is an unassuming eatery with just eight items on the menu displayed on the wall. Even carnivores will not miss the meat in the Char Kway Teow (stir-fried rice cake strips), because of the textures of the rice noodles, the tofu strips and the bean sprouts. A bonus is Chung who talks animatedly about why Indians should not eat Indian in Malaysia and why everyone should try local beverages like 'Teh Tarik'. The beverage is usually for roadside stalls (ask them to hold the sugar), the iced version is just one of the draws of the Breakfast at cozy Wondermama at Bangsar. Try the morning Nasi Lemak - with rice, Ikan Bilis (french anchovies), a fried egg, sambal and fried fish or chicken, or the morning Mee Siam (noodles with egg, cucumber, fried chicken and Ikan Bilis in broth). Keep a straight face when you order super Hor Fun - Chinese noodles served with minced chicken and curry sauce and the Malaya Egg Wonderdict - Eggs Benedict with Kaya (cocojam) and crisp Ikan Bilis. We love it when restaurants have a sense of humor, even unintentionally - it makes great food even better!
Merdeka Square (Dataran Merdeka) City Centre Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
Medreka Square is the place where British flag was lowered on August 31st 1957 and the Malaysian flag was raised for the first time. It’s a very symbolic place for the nation and a great place to get an initial feel for the colonial history of Malaysia.
Friends The Restaurant
We had wanted to head over to Romdeng after drinks at the FCC, but when we called it was fully booked, so we reserved our table for the next night, and instead headed over to their sister restaurant called Friends which was just a few hundred metres inland from FCC. They didn't have room for us, but I asked when they would, and they said in about 15min. So some of us waited whilst others headed over to the 711. This place was high on my friend BeirutiBrit 's list of places she wanted to try as she had been to the Siem Reap branch. It is run as a charity to train ex-street children in the restaurant business. So an utterly worthy cause in a country previously torn apart by war and still quite poor. What kind of food can you expect at Friends? A combo of Western and Eastern inspired tapas and some special emu main courses.... so basically you can expect just about anything!
What a fantastic space! It is a hub for all forms of local transport, the MRT station leads into a mall if you want High street fashion, houses Little India just beyond the mall for the conservative soul, or anybody missing a piece if Chennai! The monorail to the airport truly makes Sentral an extremely cool place. And this is where you come when you want to take buses to get out of the city!
Berjaya Times Square Pudu Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
A good place with many shops to get your shopping done!