Brenda’s Short Travel Guide to Kuala Lumpur:
Getting to Kuala Lumpur:
We flew from Manila to Kuala Lumpur on Air Asia. The one-way tickets were $140 for all 3 of us. The flight was about 3 ½ hours long. This was the first time we flew Air Asia and it was quite smooth. The flight was a bit delayed but not by much. The seats were tight but doable. There were snacks sold but we were all asleep so didn’t buy any. The seats don’t recline so bring a neck pillow but for a cheap, short flight, it was quite good.
I did some research and there are flights from NYC to Kuala Lumpur in many major airlines. The fare I saw for roundtrip from NYC with a stopover in Hong Kong was $900 on Cathay Pacific, which we love. The flight takes about 22 hours.
From the airport to the center of town:
We took an official taxi, whom we hired from inside the airport, there are huge signs everywhere indicating where to find the taxi booths inside the airport, right after you luggage pickup, so you can’t miss it. We opted for the non-metered taxi with a set price of 100 Malaysian Ringgit, which was about $22. There’s also a choice of taking the metered taxi.
Where we stayed in Kuala Lumpur:
We chose to stay at the Dorsett Kuala Lumpur because we’ve stayed at their Mongkok hotel in Hong Kong and enjoyed staying with this hotel group. We also chose to stay there because of their very convenient location in the heart of the Golden Triangle. We were able to walk to all the destinations we wanted to visit. It was also very conveniently located very close to all the air conditioned linking bridges, which made our walks very comfortable even during the terrible haze we experienced in the first week of October, 2015.
We walked everywhere, to the Petronas Towers, to the Pavilion Malls (with all the eateries), To the KLCC, To Jalan Ahlor (giant street food market). The only time we took a taxi was to go to Chinatown and to go to the airport. We loved using all the linking bridges to keep cool during our walks.
Dishes we ate:
Jalan Alor (Big Hawker Street Food Market) in Bukit Bintang, about 10 minutes walk from Dorsett.
We really liked Jalan Alor because there was a great variety of food we could choose from. Our first night was raining so hard that once we arrived in Jalan Alor, we popped into the first place we saw. It was a halal place and had many noodle dishes. Bailey saw the sign saying, Chow Kway Teow, our favorite Malaysian noodle dish and we went in. We had that dish and kang kung belacan ( Asian spinach with spicy shrimp paste). We also had some coconut ice cream and some hand-made oreo and mint ice cream. We visited a few stalls there, including one where we had a salty egg crab, which was so good. You really can’t go wrong at any of the stalls. Look for one that is busy and pull up a chair.
Ippudo: Pavilion Mall level 4. 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang.
Had to visit Ippudo in Kuala Lumpur because it’s Bailey’s favorite ramen place back home in NYC. She was so happy with the Akamaru dish there. It tasted just like at home.
Din Tai Fung: Also at the Pavillion Mall level 6 168 Jalan Bukit Bintang.
We really wanted to go to the one in Hong Kong but ran out of time so we HAD to eat at this one. The original is actually in Taiwan. The best thing to eat here? Xia Long Bao, Small soup dumplings. I had a 10 piece crab with pork and Andrew had Bailey had 10 piece pork each. We also ordered pea sprouts, pork chop and plain noodles. Everything was excellent.
Checkers at the Dorsett Regency Kuala Lumpur.
We had the breakfast buffet at Checkers and it was definitely the way to go. I would try all the local foods before the Western offerings.
Things to do in Kuala Lumpur:
Petronas Towers – Address: Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
The iconic building in Kuala Lumpur so we had to visit. We had the hotel buy us the tickets in the morning so we didn’t have to line up. Our appointment for the visit was at 5 pm. The entrance was 84.80 Ringit ($20). The tower organizes a tour which takes about one hour. They take you to 2 levels and gives you time to learn about Kuala Lumpur and explore. There is also a great park to walk around right in front of the towers and the towers themselves house a big variety of shops and eateries.
Menara Tower – Address: 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
We decided to visit the 7th tallest telecommunications tower in the world. We’re so glad we did because on Oct. 2, the International Base Jump event was happening and we saw brave souls jumping off these buildings! I wouldn’t be able to do it but it was fun watching them. The entrance fee was RM 31 ($7). We took the taxi to the tower but took the free shuttle back to the bottom of the hill and walked to the hotel. We are very good walkers being from NYC, so we loved it.
Masjid Jamek Address: Jalan Tun Perak
It’s the oldest mosque in KL. Unfortunately, we didn’t go inside because it was closed. Their hours are 8:30 am – 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm – 4:30 pm. We did observe and take photos outside. We’ll have to go back and visit inside. Make sure to dress appropriately but they will give you cover ups in case you’re not dressed properly.
Central Market Address: Jalan Hang Kasturi, 50050 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
This market has been in operation since 1888. This is where you can find Malaysian handicrafts and art. It is housed in a very nice blue building and is very close to Chinatown. In the surrounding areas, you will also find loads of street food.
Petaling Street: is the Chinatown of KL
Lots of food hawkers in Chinatown and again, pick a busy stall to eat. We didn’t get a chance to eat here but we did walk by and many of the stalls were busy. Honestly, we were way too hot to eat!
Sri Mahammariamman Temple Address: Jalan Tun H S Lee, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
This is the oldest Hindu Temple in KL. We had to take off our shoes and we were allowed in and observe and take pictures.
*note that that the temples, mosques, Little India, Chinatown, Central Market and Merdeka Square are all within a few minutes walk of each other.