One of the things I always try to do for my longer trips is plan at least one new destination or country I haven’t visited before. This time I decided to check out Kuala Lumpur for the weekend.
Despite being there for less than 72 hours, it felt like we really got to know the city. Here are my picks for the top places to stay, where to eat, and things to do!
Where to Stay
Given the short timeframe, we only stayed at the Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur, which is set in the heart of the city’s business and shopping district – near major landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur City Center. Despite being right in the centre of the city, the hotel is still set amidst plenty of lush greenery and has a good size outdoor pool and lounge area. The hotel itself is older, but you can still expect the same Shangri-La service and hospitality.
We stayed in a Horizon Premier Room with access to the Horizon Club, which serves complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea, evening cocktails and refreshments throughout the day. The Horizon Club is a great area to just sit and relax – almost like your own personal living room outside of your hotel room. In my opinion, it is totally worth to upgrade to a room with a club access.
All in all, the hotel was a great home base for our weekend of touring around Kuala Lumpur.
Where to Eat and Drink
There are a lot of food options to try out in Kuala Lumpur! Here are a few to wet your appetite!
Nobu is a world-renowned Japanese restaurant, and the Kuala Lumpur location is no exception. The restaurant is on the 56th floor of in the Menara Petronas, boosting dramatic 360- degree views of the KL city skyline, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. Nobu’s food is unique in the fact that it is a marriage of Asian simplicity with exotic South American flavours.
Jalan Alor is a famous food street in Kuala Lumpur, bustling with nightlife and offering a large variety of street food. Located in the heart of the city, it is basically a street lined with rows and rows of hawker stalls and restaurants. This is not just a place for the locals, but foreigners also frequently visit to taste the unique flavours of Malaysia. Make sure you bring an appetite so that you can try everything!!
Step back in time into this charming and authentic café in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown. The interior of Old China Cafe is quaint and decorated with lots of sepia photos of traditional Chinese Malays and antique furniture and fixtures. The menu is extensive and mainly serves Nyonya cuisine – a combination of Chinese and Malay cuisine. Make sure you try the beef Rendang and blue coconut rice!
PS150 is a speakeasy “hidden” behind a toy store in Chinatown. The special cocktails menu is inspired from local ingredients, which makes the bar special and unique. The interior is quirky, yet welcoming. Make sure you check it out for a nice nightcap.
Fatty Crab (Fei Lo) in Petaling Jaya
Fatty Crab is located in the Petaling Jaya area and is known for its seafood. Make sure you try the Sweet and Sour Chili Crab! The food is amazing and the prices are super affordable so expect to wait for a table.
Things To Do
The iconic Petronas twin towers are basically the symbol of Kuala Kumpur, and they dominate the skyline. They were originally declared the tallest buildings in the world in 1998 when it was first completed, and retained its world-title claim to fame until 2004 when Taipei’s 101 was built. Make sure you buy tickets in advance (especially for the bridge connecting the two towers). That said – a cheaper and less crowded option is to go to a nearby rooftop bar – Marini’s on 57. The views of the towers were amazing and you also get a great view of the city.
Tip: Go during happy hour for their discounted drink menu.
Deep inside a limestone mountain, just outside the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, is the Batu caves. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India and right outside is a huge statue of Lord Murugan, an Indian deity. Here you will be able to see the shrines within the caves, and also play with the wild monkeys running up and down the rock faced walls.
Wander down little laneways and into cute coffee houses and restaurant, or around the markets filled with fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, and out on to the lively main street of Chinatown.
This neighbourhood is colourful and filled with restaurants. You can sample different types of fragrant curries or snacks from the different street vendors, where you can try things such as curry puffs, white lentil doughnuts and banana fritters.
This is a huge shopping centre where you can satisfy all your shopping needs. The mall is broken down into 8 sections, including the Gourmet Emporium. This is where you can find a lot of food options, including some local dishes so that you can eat in air conditioning instead of on the food streets like Jalan Alor.
If you have more time, I would recommend visiting the beaches and little towns outside of the city of Kuala Lumpur. The city itself offers great food and sights, but it’s not a place where you would want to spend more than a weekend or so.