Kuala Lumpur Things to Do
The modern skyline of Kuala Lumpur is dominated with an air of contemporary modernity but for those who explore beyond the depths of the hustle and bustle, you’ll discover an entire world beyond the steel-clad skyscrapers that is rich in tradition and culture. Visitors of this frenetic city will have their travel itineraries fully pencilled-in and you’ll soon realize that Malaysia’s capital caters for a range of interests and fascinations.
Without question, one of KL’s attractions is the sheer array of shopping opportunities within the city. For visitors who long for a local shopping experience, the bright and cheery Chinatown on Petaling Street is dripping with oriental history and heritage and is immensely popular with locals and tourists alike. From knockoff name-brand products, to tasty food and Chinese herbal medicine, this spot represents the multicultural aspect of Malaysia flawlessly. There are also several companies who arrange Private City Street Eats Evening Tours of Chinatown which tend to cost around MYR 100 per person with all transport included.
Shopaholics should also head to the 6-storey Suria KLCC with its mega-sized shopping mall at the foot of the spectacular Petronas Towers that is chockablock with shops, boutiques and restaurants. The Golden Triangle (Bukit Bintang, Imbi, Sultan Ismail, Raja Chulan) is also not to be missed for those who enjoy engaging in retail therapy, entertainment and a plethora of excellent dining opportunities.
Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
For those who are craving a rush of adrenaline during their stay in the capital, be sure to head to Sunway Lagoon Theme Park for a day of heart-stopping excitement. This park promises visitors a smorgasbord of colourful and vibrant parades, shows and a range of thrilling attractions. Be sure to explore the wildlife park with its enchanting exhibits, the waterpark which is ideal for escaping the heat of the city, and the first-class amusement park with its fun rides and games. Sunway Lagoon Theme Park is an excellent day out for the whole family.
Tickets for entry into all rides, activities and attractions are MYR 170 for adults while children under 12 years of age and seniors will pay MYR 140. The park is open daily from 10am to 6pm and is located at the Sunway Resort Hotel and Spa in the busy town of Bandar Sunway, within the Petaling Jaya district.
For visitors interested in marine life or for visitors with young families, the Aquaria KLCC offers around 5000 fascinating sea life exhibits, a clear walk-through tunnel with a realistic looking shipwreck, interactive feeding shows as well as exhilarating shark-cage dives. Claimed to be the largest aquarium in the world, Aquaria KLCC is home to spectacular freshwater and seawater creatures of all sizes and colours.
The aquarium is open daily from 10am to 8pm in the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. Entrance fees for non-locals are MYR 69 for adults, MYR 59 for children and MYR 49 for seniors.
KL Forest Eco Park
While KL is not famously known for its wildlife or abundant nature opportunities, nature-loving visitors will be pleased to learn that there are a few exquisite parks with the concrete-jungle that offer tranquil escapes with Mother Nature. The KL Forest Eco Park, also known as Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve or Pineapple Hill, offers guests beautifully scenic jogging and trekking trails and a leafy canopy walkway. The walkway above the treetops is a bit hit and allows visitors a bird’s-eye view of the flourishing surrounds and lively city beyond. Why not bring along a picnic and set up in the shade of a blossoming tree?
Located at 8, Jalan Raja Chulan, Bukit Kewangan and open daily from 7am to 6pm. Plus, the best news of all, admission into one of the oldest forest reserves in Malaysia is completely free.
Another fine natural experience while in Kuala Lumpur is a visit to the Taman Wetland within the Putrajaya Wetlands. With its 25-meter lookout tower, bird-watching opportunities, hiking trails, flamingo pond as well as picnic areas, Taman Wetland is undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist attractions in Putrajaya. On-site there is also a mini-museum or Nature Interpretive Centre which explains all the flora and fauna living with the park.
The wildlife sanctuary is open to the public from 9am to 6pm and while there is a nominal fee to rent out a bicycle or binoculars for the day, entrance into the park itself is completely free of charge.
A mere 15 minutes from KL city centre, not far from the Batu Caves, lies the natural Selayang Hot Spring, which much like all natural hot springs is believed to have medicinal and curative powers of various skin and muscle ailments. While this attraction is mainly enjoyed by locals, this is exactly what makes the springs worth the visit. The locals cluster around the 3 different pools and chat away to one another while pouring the soothing water over their bodies. The atmosphere is one of friendship and joy and this environment is ideal for visitors who wish to observe the daily life and true cultural diversity of Malaysian residents.
Entry is free of charge with a small toilet fee of MYR 0.30, while a shower fee is MYR 0.5.
Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Tour
Another unique experience to engage in while in Kuala Lumpur is the romantic and beautiful Kampung Kuantan Fireflies Tour at Park Kuala Selangor. The park is around an hour outside of the city and the night tours run from 7:30pm to 10:30pm. The enchanting, little bugs fondly called kelip-kelip by the locals are draw to the mangrove trees along the banks of the Selangor River. Visitors are invited to hop aboard a small, wooden boat and get rowed down the serene river at night-time. This allows passengers to observing the masses of fireflies in close proximity against a tranquil backdrop of mangrove forests. It is also possible to do the same trip earlier in the evening to observe eagles flying above.
A trip down the river in a boat suitable for four people will cost MYR 40 and includes a drink and small snack. While it is possible to arrive without a tour guide and do the boat ride upon arrival, there are also a variety of packages that include hotel transfers, dinner as well as the firefly boat ride.
With so much to see around the city from the diverse cultures, prominent landmarks and unique blend of Moorish, Mogul and Islamic architecture, it makes sense to explore the capital on foot. Why not don a pair of comfy shoes, bring along a bottle of water and join one of the many free city walking tours that Kuala Lumpur has to offer? The tours are generally managed by KL City Hall, the details of which can be explored on their website, and are available for different areas and different city sights.
With all the shopping, city exploring, rollercoasters and natural attractions on offer in KL, visitors are sure to work up quite the appetite. Fortunately one of the Kuala Lumpur’s most popular activities is eating and cooking, and the multicultural city has your hunger pains fully covered.
In our opinion one of the best spots to source delicious local food while in KL is along Jalan Alor, a short walk away from Changkat Bukit Bintang. This street boasts countless hawker stalls and excellent seafood restaurants and with such variety on offer, this is the perfect dining spot for all budgets and pallets. The foodie scene is complete with traditional charm, friendly locals and vibrant, fluorescent lighting that sets the stage for a truly unique and special culinary experience.
Not only are the eating opportunities here in abundance but visitors can also personally learn how to cook the local cuisine at one of the many cooking classes in Kuala Lumpur. A company that comes highly recommended is the Lazat Malaysian Cooking School which offers both morning and afternoon classes Monday to Saturday. The morning class runs from 7.15am to 12.45pm and includes hotel transfers, a visit and tour of the market, a quick market breakfast followed by the cooking class and lunch. The afternoon class is from 2pm until 5.15pm and includes hotel transfers, cooking and an early dinner. The morning class costs MYR 320 per person while the afternoon class costs MYR 23. The menu changes day to day but all the various meals promise authentic Malay, Chinese, Indian and Thai influences. What could be a better parting gift to leave Kuala Lumpur with than the new-found knowledge of traditional, Malay cooking?