Stopping over in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is one of those cities that people generally love or hate.

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Personally I wasn’t the biggest fan, but I think a day or two here will still keep you busy and entertained, however I feel anything more than this is just simply far too long unless you’re a hard core shopper.

WHAT TO DO IN A DAY

Number one on my list of things to see here was the Batu Caves.

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About 40 minutes on the train each direction the fare costs 4RM return (1 USD) so the entire trip out to the caves should take around 3 hours.

I met a fellow solo backpacker from Brazil on the way there so we explored the site together.

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Watch out for the monkeys here – they are EVERYWHERE and extremely used to people so they have no trouble stealing anything loose off a backpack including bottles and plastic bags.

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I witnessed one rob a kid of his juice and then proceeded to down the entire thing in front of him!

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Next my new friend and I headed to the Islamic Arts Museum of Malaysia.

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Since we were in the country during Ramadan there was a special exhibition set up displaying how the holiday is celebrated around the world and it was so fascinating to see images of prayer at different mosques everywhere.

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The museum itself is housed in a beautiful and modern building.

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The highlights for me included the scale models of mosques – there was quite a few stunning ones from Uzbekistan too which makes me really consider adding the country to my travel list!

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Otherwise the sheer amount of Islamic artefacts ranging from Quran to clothing, jewellery, dining ware and more will keep you occupied for a few hours.

Entry fee is 14Rm (3.5USD) or 7RM (1.8USD) if you’re a student like me.

Both these activities takes up the greater part of the day but once it’s dinner time you can head to Jalan Alor, a well known street for dining but as it is popular with tourists expect prices to be of course that bit higher.

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Not too far from here though you can walk to the Heli Lounge Bar.

Located on the top floor of a building on what is a helicopter landing pad, you get some amazing views of the Petronas twin towers.

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Drinks are unsurprisingly expensive (by Malaysian standards, a beer will still cost you 9 USD) and make sure you go before 9pm because after this time they will make you buy bottle service if you want the view.

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I also checked out the Sky Bar after reading online that you could put your name down on a list to wait for a table but apparently this has changed and they will only let you have a good seat if you’re willing to spend BIG so it’s not worth the visit for backpackers.

Other popular sites include the Central Market and Sri Mahamariamman Temple, but if you don’t get to these then it’s not a big loss.

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Outside central market

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ACCOMODATION

Most backpackers and hostels stay in Chinatown which has a cool atmosphere but if you’re after a nice hotel (of which Kuala Lumpur has many and for not too much money) I’d aim to look around the Bukit Bintang area where there’s a lot more night life and shopping happening.

TRANSPORT

This city does have amazing public transport which will pretty much get you anywhere.

There’s three main types of trains (LRT, MRT & KTM) in addition to buses and the monorail.

It’s pretty inexpensive but unless you get a prepaid card you’ll receive a token like this every time and it’s electronic so you scan it to walk through the machines.

Don’t spend ages looking for a slot to deposit it in like most visitors!

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