From Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
After our amazing time in Singapore, I was skeptical about whether Kuala Lumpur would match up! I will say it didn’t quite beat Singapore but we definitely enjoyed our time there – it was definitely more in our price bracket!
After navigating the complete self-check in station at Singapore airport (boarding passes, bag labels, checking bags in and document check) we were on our way!
To keep things cheap, we jumped on the Klia 2 bus to Sentral (45 mins), rather than getting the expensive train straight from the airport into the city. We then worked out the metro system at 10.30pm to Pudu! I was quite proud of us, although I am sure James would have described me more as tired and moody!
Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur?
D’Majestic by Homes Asian (apartment, £20 per night)
As we stayed in the lowest priced accommodation in Singapore, we decided to treat ourselves to a little more luxury in KL – but without completely blowing the budget of course! We booked D’Majestic on booking.com and we had an apartment to ourselves!
When we arrived at 11pm, we were instructed to get one of the keycards from the post box – we were able to do this simply (after 10 mins of trying to locate the box!) and got the lift to the 18th floor. Out of the lift and we could hear a constant alarm – turns out it was our main door and our card wouldn’t unlock it!
We kept attempting with no luck, so back down in the lift to see if the other card works. Eventually someone lets us in and tells us to keep the bolt on so the door doesn’t close – luckily this wasn’t our apartment door! What a palaver!
Anyway, when we got in, we were pleasantly surprised – really comfy bed with crisp white sheets and fluffy pillows, modern bathroom area/furniture and it was so nice to have our own kitchen!
Also, posh shampoo and shower gels included (which we definitely took advantage of, by taking it with us – we are budget travellers after all!).
I won’t say it was perfect – there were a few damp patches, scuffs and a few ants that managed to get up 18 flights but nothing we minded after some of the places we had stayed! This was luxury to us. Don’t even get me started at how excited we were finding a supermarket knowing we had a kitchen to use!
There were staff on reception, a gym available to use and good security as you needed a room card to get the lift to your floor.
The icing on the cake (and the main reason we chose this place) was the infinity pool on the roof. Overlooking KL skyline including the Petronas Towers, it was gorgeous both day and night! Of course, James demanded a photoshoot on more than one occasion!
Things to in Kuala Lumpur
Metro to Sentral (getting the hang of this public transport lark!) and then a very strange and tricky walk over numerous main roads to get to the gardens!
It was a very peaceful and serene area with a lake, herb garden, numerous trees, bridges and even a bamboo playhouse. We wandered around for about an hour enjoying the nature. It would be a nice place to take lunch!
There is a bird park and butterfly garden in the vicinity for a fee also, but we didn’t bother so can’t comment!
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
We found this place following the lure of the ‘I Love KL’ sign outside! We took some photos, found out the gallery was free so checked it out!
The downstairs section has a lot of information to read on cultures, if that interests you. The upstairs has numerous sculptures of iconic buildings in KL which you can take photos with.
There is also a small arts section which you can place yourself in the work – similar to 3D art – however this was rather busy, as you can imagine!
We enjoyed the small show/presentation with a small model of the entire city that lights up!
We didn’t spend too long here but it was worth a view for free!
The actual square itself didn’t impress me much (sung in the style of Shania Twain)! There was construction work going on, a small fountain and a flag pole! That was about it.
However, opposite to the square were the National Textile Museum and Sultan Abdul Samed Building which really were quite stunning buildings to look at!
Jamek Mosque is also just behind and quite a sight. We travelled through this metro station numerous times so got a sneak peak of it each journey!
Aquaria KLCC (£6 each, Klook)
We booked tickets to the aquarium for a bit of fun! It is located in KLCC mall (under/in the Petronas Towers). We walked through and saw numerous species of marine life and had so much fun trying to locate the hiding ones in their tank!
It wasn’t massive but it did have a very long tunnel where all the fish, sharks, rays and even a big turtle float over your head. Lots of funny photos!
Speaking of photos, the aquarium photographers catch you at every opportunity to take photos you pay for at the end. We stood and posed but stuck to our phone ones!
After the gift shop, we thought we were finished, but it actually leads through to a lab type setting where you can see the different stages of life for some fish, learn a lot more information and see numerous jellyfish – including bouncy ones which made me laugh for ages!
It was an enjoyable experience as the big kids in us came out!
The mall itself is also pretty cool with numerous shops from the mundane to designer and numerous food outlets – including a Nandos which was half the price of the UK!
There was even a LEGO shop, which made James so happy – although I could see him trying to work out how viable it would be to buy loads and send it home!
The most iconic building in KL which you seem to be able to see from anywhere you look. One side there is a fountain (and I believe a light and water show – which we missed) and a small park area.
We took a few pictures from here, but for ample photo opportunity you want the opposite side with no mall sign in the way! You can walk through the mall to get to either side – which we didn’t realise at first and went all the way around the outside!
We took so many photos both in the day and in the evening, but in my personal opinion, it is much more special at night when lit up!
We found a great photo spot, then found loads of other tourists copying us – I think during the day you will be told off by security depending where you try to stand or sit!
Be warned – numerous locals will try to sell you a wide-angle lens for your phone for a fairly hefty price – don’t bother – just go a little further back and you can get perfect shots without one!
KL Tower (£15 each, Klook)
Considering how big and iconic this building is, it was actually quite hard to find the entrance! It is at least a 15-minute walk from the closest metro station, and a fairly steep climb once you arrive!
Before we went in, we went and found the additional attractions in the area including the upside-down house and KL tower sign. There is also a mini zoo but comes with an entrance fee.
We had bought tickets for both the observation deck and Skydeck (including skybox). When we redeemed the tickets, we were advised that the sky deck was closed due to the small amount of rain that had just occurred. We were told we would not get a refund if we couldn’t go up there which was a little frustrating!
The observation deck offered beautiful, high views of the city behind glass. The deck had numerous souvenir shops and snack stops. Again, Petronas towers were front and centre! We walked around the circle and took some snaps.
Luckily, the sky deck had reopened and we enjoyed the open-air sights of the city from sunset into darkness – I prefer viewing decks at night and seeing all the buildings lit up!
Pre-warning regarding the sky boxes: when you reach the deck you are asked if you want to go in the box (there are 2) and are given tickets (raffle ticket style) with a number to be called out over the tannoy system. You will be in for a long wait! We got really bored of waiting but out of principle we stayed!
Each group gets 1 minute 40 seconds in each box for photos and there were over 60 numbers ahead of us! We waited for around 2 hours for our turn! It put a real dampener on the experience for me.
Good thing is, even though they take numerous professional shots, the photographers will take photos on your device also – which was good as if you wish to purchase them at the counter you must pay a ridiculous price for 3 professional shots, you couldn’t just buy one!
It was worth waiting around for as we got some really sweet photos, but don’t bother unless you are willing to wait! James was just happy to film the sunset, but I get inpatient.
We left this until our last day as our flight wasn’t until really late. We were going to book up a tour but found we could easily get there by train ourselves which is what we did!
We arrived to a flood of colour! The Hindi temple was brightly painted, and much fresher than any other temple we had seen on our travels.
It was beautiful but automatically felt less authentic and touristy! The huge golden statue sparkled in the sunshine next to the multicoloured steps to the cave. It really was special.
Watch out for monkeys though – I saw one steal a whole unopened bag of snacks from an unsuspecting tourist and eat them! Even we were the victims of daylight robbery when a monkey stole the antibacterial gel from James rucksack and drunk it!
Now, you have to have some stamina for the stairs – they seem to go on forever. In the heat I needed to take a few breaks and sips of water to keep going, but got there in the end.
You are also expected to cover knees and shoulders as usual and can rent garments at the bottom if you are unprepared!
In the cave are a few religious scenes depicted with small sculptures, but the main event is another colourful Hindi style temple, guarded by peacock figures. Again, pretty and freshly painted and a little mystical being in a cave! There are further steps up to another small temple but most tourists were more interested in the monkeys!
On the walk down, there is another section on the right in which for a fee (not cheap) you can go into the dark cave! Apparently, you can witness darkness and species of snake and spider – I think I’ll pass!
There is also one further part on the way back to the train station with large Hindi monuments and a small waterfall but due to the fee (only 5 ringgit – but due to our last day had no extra cash) we couldn’t enter.
Really worth a look for something interesting. It was free unless you wish to make a donation and will only take up a small amount of your day (allow travelling time from the city)!
Where to eat in Kuala Lumpur
A Toast Breakfast & Juice Bar (£1.85 a sandwich)
We were lucky to have this place opposite our apartment. It closes around 3pm, so is for breakfast and lunch. It is only small but can’t recommend this place enough!
We enjoyed brunch on our first morning. I had an open cheesy chicken sandwich – soft chicken breast strips covered in cheesy sauce and spices over lettuce and grainy bread. The thought of it is literally making my mouth water!
James enjoyed a hash brown, cheese and salad sandwich and also said it was one of the best sandwiches he had ever had. And if anyone knows him, knows how much bread/sandwiches he eats! We went back the next day!
They also sell delicious sounding juices! Yum Yum!
Sin Kiew Yee Shin Kee Beef Noodles (£1.50 a bowl)
James had heard good things about this place so was determined to find it!
It was close to central market so we had a stroll past the market too. It was really busy – a cross between a street stall and restaurant. I wasn’t hungry so left James to his bowl of noodle soup with fresh boiled beef and beef balls!
He said he really enjoyed them and would have them again. So, if it’s your thing, find this vendor!
Nandos! (1/2 price than UK)
We actually ate here twice just because it was the cheapest Nandos we’d ever had, and you just can’t go wrong. They even do delivery!
Kuala Lumpur worth a visit?
I think I was always going to be slightly biased due to how much I loved Singapore, but KL was pretty enjoyable. It was easy to get around, prices were a lot cheaper and there was still a fair amount to see! It definitely helped that we had the best view from our pool!
We would recommend a stopover for a few days, especially as flights in/out are so cheap.
Thanks Kuala Lumpur – now onto Philippines!