Malaysia’s capital city has a worldly feel, with a true mix of cultures that truly defines Malaysia.
As a backpacker, Kuala Lumpur is a remarkable city to visit with plenty of budget places to stay, cheap food and sightseeing, along with a super cheap and efficient public transport system. Following are certain important points for your backpacker’s guide to Kuala Lumpur.
Things to do
Kuala Lumpur has a complete range of interesting sights,activities, and attractions, from interesting historic venues to amazing shopping.
1. MERDEKA SQUARE
A perfect place to start is at Merdeka Square, the historic colonial part of the city, from where the city was governed by the British. Merdeka Square is actually the old cricket field and the cricket pitch still exists in the middle of the park.
Around the square are lots of beautiful historic old buildings, perhaps the most influencing being the Sultan Abdul Samad building. There are also some interesting galleries and museums in this area to check out.
Chinatown is a must see in Kuala Lumpur for its old buildings, excellent shopping, and cheap eats. At the center of Chinatown is the Petaling Street Market which really comes to life at night time.
Haggle for a bargain or try out for some of the delicious food down the side alleys. Another great place to shop and to avoid the heat of the day is at the Central Market, still in its original historic building.
This is the best place to buy souvenirs and handicrafts, and there is a good food court here as well. There are also some of the interesting temples in Chinatown, such as the Sin Sze Si Ya Temple, built in 1864.
The most iconic building in Kuala Lumpur and probably the most famous sight is the Petronas Towers. These architecturally beautiful towers are the biggest twin towers in the world.
It is costly to go up to the sky bridge which connects the two towers, however, it costs nothing to look at this amazing structure from below. It is a nice idea to visit the Petronas Towers both the time during the day and at night time when the towers are all lit up.
Below the towers are the Suria KLCC shopping mall, having lots of expensive brands for window shopping and to enjoy some air conditioning. Next to the shopping mall is KLCC Park, the perfect place for a wander and a picnic.
4.KL BIRD PARK AND BOTANIC GARDENS
The KL Bird Park is the largest free-flight walk-in aviary in the world, that allows you to wander through an amazing sanctuary and get up to close with the 3000 birds that call the aviary home.
If you can’t afford the entrance fee to the park, then take a walk through the nearby Botanic Gardens and visit the Hibiscus gardens and Orchid for a break from the hustle and bustle in the city.
It is located between the Chinatown and Botanic Gardens is Masjid Negara, the National Mosque of Malaysia. This is a very beautiful mosque that can hold up 15,000 worshippers, and the prayer hall is particularly most beautiful to visit.
Foreigners are allowed to visit the mosque outside of prayer times and will be provided a robe to wear.
Hop on the train and head towards the outskirts of the city for a morning visit to Batu Caves. It is a Hindu cave temple and one of the most important Hindu places of worship outside of India.
At the entrance, you will see a massive golden statue of Lord Murugan, behind which you will climb 272 stairs up into the cave temple. Lots of monkeys call this place home and you are sure to meet plenty of them as you will climb the stairs.
Where to stay
Kuala Lumpur has a whole range of available options, from hostels and budget guesthouses to five-star hotels. The best place to visit is the cheapest guesthouses in Kuala Lumpur is Chinatown in the old part of the city.
This bustling area is completely full of charming historic buildings with lots of cheap eats and budget guesthouses, which has always made it a backpacker’s favorite.
If you want to stay closer to the latest part of the city, stay in the Bukit Bintang area. Prices here aren’t quite as cheap as you would see in Chinatown, however, there are still plenty of budget guesthouses to choose from, and you can walk into the city center from this area.
Where to eat
Kuala Lumpur is an amazing food city, with an amazing mix of cuisines from the different cultures that call the city home. The best way is to eat on the cheap and try some of the best food is to eat at the many hawker stalls that line up in the city’s streets, particularly at night.
•Chinatown has a high range of hawker stalls and cheap restaurants. Head along Jalan Sultan at night time and you will be spoilt with vast options.
•Another wonderful and cheap place to eat is at the Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang. This is possibly the best food street in Kuala Lumpur with a lot of cheap hawker style restaurants lining the entire street.
It particularly comes to life at night with tables and chairs extend out onto the street itself for the real street dining experience.
•When you are in some of the more expensive areas of the city, head toward the food courts in the shopping malls, such as the one available at Suria KLCC for cheap and tasty eats.
How to get around
Many of the city’s sights and attractions are located nearby, making the city quite walkable. The historic center of Kuala Lumpur and Chinatown are a great place to travel on your own feet.
To get in other parts of the city, use Kuala Lumpur’s excellent and cheap public transport system. The city is well connected through a light rail, commuter trains, and a monorail system.
An excellent train service connects you to the airport from the KL Sentral. From here you can take the LRT to Chinatown, take the Monorail to Bukit Bintang or KLCC
There are quite a number of bars and nightclubs to choose from, but here are some of our top choices that are must visit.
Pisco Bar is an eclectic, chic and modern bar and restaurant. If you’re looking for a Spanish and Peruvian tapas fix, then head towards Pisco Bar.
•Open daily (except Mondays) from 5 pm, you can spend the night here enjoying the live music performances and DJ’s spinning tunes with your food.
•It was built over two floors, there’s certainly room to move and dance. This little treasure is located in the trendy area of the Jalan Mesui Street.
2.Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
If you enjoy a fine wine, a good quality cigar, a neat whiskey, or just a play-on-words, then you should head straight to Whisky Tango Foxtrot. Whiskey and Cigar aficionados will love the range on the menu.
This revolutionary drinkery is accessible to anyone, but to take your experience just that bit further, there’s always an option of becoming a member so that you can gain access to your own personal humidor to house your own preferred cigars until your next visit.
There are five different areas that suit your needs and wants across 50,000 square feet of space at The Roof.
Parts of The Roof open from 11:30 am till late and you have need not worry if you’re not sure about what kind of night you’re looking for when you head out the door.
You might choose to start your night drinking award-winning signature cocktails at the Signature By the Hill, but by the time 10 pm rocks around, you might be ready to party and listen to the premium dance music through the night.
But the area that will blow your mind is Stratosphere; Asia’s first grassed rooftop champagne bar. From here, you’ll see an astounding 360-degree view of the city as you sip on champagne. You’ll find that The Roof within the township of Bandar Utama.
4. Whipped Into Place
Maybe the classy, crazy, partying nightlife isn’t really your scene and maybe you just want to find somewhere to relax, chill out, but still enjoy a great night out. This is the place where Whipped Into Place comes in.
WIP is a bar and restaurant both with a coastal resort ambiance. Its high service standard, coupled with a large selection of champagnes, spirits, wines and mojito’s will make WIP as your next favorite destination in Kuala Lumpur.
It is Located in Bangsar Shopping Centre, there are both indoor and outdoor places for you to sit down and relax with one of WIP’s cocktails and signature dishes.
Reggae Bar on Jalan Tun H S Lee in Chinatown is the most popular choice of destination amongst backpackers. It is a well-known day or night bar with a relaxed and easygoing atmosphere during the day but turns into party central come nightfall.
They have both Malay and Western foods and Happy Hours usually run between 6 pm and 10 pm. Drinks start at 8 RM which is perfect to accompany your game of shisha or pool.