This guide packs a punch, it gives you a sample of the amazing city and shows you many of the facets that make Kuala Lumpur so unique. Regardless of when your stopover starts, or how long it is for, this guide has something for everyone.
So here it is – Your 24hr Stopover Guide:
Take advantage of the slightly cooler morning to explore the natural wonder of the Batu Caves. Located just 13km out of the city, you can either catch a bus or train to get there or jump in a cab (train is cheapest at around RM4.00 for a round trip). The Batu Caves are a natural limestone formation that is one of the most popular Hindu shrines.
Once there you’ll marvel at the contrast between the modern souvenir shops, the traditional Hindu artefacts and the ancient natural landmarks. Climb the 272 stairs to the main cave and absorb the breathtaking scenery. Be careful of the cheeky monkeys that run around this area, they aren’t shy by any means and can become quite aggressive if they feel threatened.
The central and main cave is quite large and offers the opportunity to find a quiet spot to yourself to just sit and take in what is around you. The Batu Caves are one of the most amazing places I have visited in the world – you can truly feel the cultural and spiritual significance of this incredible place.
Tips – Make sure you’re wearing comfortable shoes – 272 stairs can be quite a climb. Also ensure anything loose is stored in your bags, this includes jewellery and sunglasses. The monkeys are incredibly cheeky and will steal anything that isn’t secured, including the food and drinks out of your hands.
After enjoying the morning outdoors, head on in to the Central Markets for a little exploring. Let yourself get lost in the maze of market stalls selling all kinds of trinkets and ‘antiques’. There are massive food halls here to satisfy every food desire or take a stroll along Katsuri Walk – sampling traditional Malaysian food along the way.
You could always try something a little different and have a ‘fish spa’. You soak your feet in an oversized fish tank and all the little fish bite at you (gently) and ‘eat’ all the dead skin from your fee. I tried this and couldn’t handle it so ventured off to indulge a little in a food massage at one of the many parlous within the Market.
From Central Market you can head over to Petaling Street – just a few minutes walk away. The markets here kick off at around 3pm and this is where you will find a variety of stalls offering designer knock offs, perfume, clothes, handbags and luggage. Make sure you’re ready to barter as the first price offered is always ridiculously over the top.
Make sure you sample some of the delicious street food found all across the market. You can also find some delicious fresh fruit and juice bags to keep you going on through the hot days. There’s plenty of entertainment here with buskers showcasing their talents. Enjoy the atmosphere and take in all that Petaling Street has to offer.
After sunset head over to the Menara Tower for a tour and dinner in the revolving restaurant. Book your table at the restaurant first then head off on your tour. There’s some interesting facts in the main tour room showing the different heights of different towers in the world including how the Menara and Petronas stack up but that’s not what you’re really here for…
The view of KL from here is amazing. Once it starts to get dark you’ll be able to see the real beauty of the Petronas Towers which look absolutely spectacular all lit up. You can easily lose yourself in the view here, the city is simply gorgeous. The lights stretch as far as you can see, no picture you will ever see could possibly do this place justice. It makes you realise that it’s not only nature and natural landmarks that can be beautiful and breathtaking.
Once you can catch your breath again, head on over to your dinner. Enjoy being wined and dined and savour the spectacular food, all served in the revolving restaurant.
After you’ve taken in all that the Menara Tower has to offer, head over to the Pavilion shopping centre to indulge in some high end shopping. The centre is open until 10pm and offers an amazing array of shops to explore. KL is full of huge shopping centres and is the centre of Malaysia’s fashion week. Even if shopping is not your forte, the centres themselves are quite entertaining.
Once you’re finally all shopped out head down to one of the many bars that line the area for a late night cocktail. This is where you finally get to sit back, unwind and be proud of all you’ve achieved and seen in the last 24 hours. Enjoy the fantastic ‘people watching’ scene that KL provides as you sip from your martini glass and mentally prepare yourself for the next leg of your travelling adventure.
Kuala Lumpur is an incredible city that offers so much to any traveller. If you’ve ever been or are planning to head over, please let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you.
PS. Click to see more travel inspiration and ideas in my Travel Guides.