Last August 3-6, I flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia along with my fellow bloggers for an AirAsia fam trip. Although it's already my 3rd time in this country, I still feel very lucky and excited because for the first time it's a pure KL trip.
On my first visit to KL, it's just a stopover coming from Singapore. Last year, we also had a quick stopover overlooking the Petronas Towers on our way back to the airport coming from Ipoh. So I must say, finally! It's time to get to know the largest city of Malaysia.
Shadows of the towering twins:
Hibiscus, Malaysia's national flower:
Waiting for boarding:
First Things First
Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia's business and economic hub, so it's pretty much like Makati or Manila. Main mode of transportation is still their train system, but I also saw bus stops and Grab and Uber billboards while in the city. Since we're part of a tour, we had a private van to go around so I wasn't able to experiment much. Of course, during our last night I decided to go solo so I was able to try their train system (Rapid KL) at least once, coming from KLCC going back to the airport where our hotel is located. Madali naman siya matutunan, and most Malaysians speak English so I just asked around.
They use coin chips for single travel! Ang cute, parang game:
Train system looks complicated at first, but kinaya naman!
An almost empty KLIA Ekspres at night, a convenient way to travel from the city center to the airport for only 55 Ringgit (around Php 650). Travel time is just about an hour.
Solo ko buong cabin, it was already past 9pm:
Their currency is Ringgit (RM), but I saw shops that accept US Dollar (USD). I had my Philippine Pesos (PHP) exchanged at the airport. Another thing to note prior the trip is that their sockets have the three pins, so make sure to bring your adaptors if you're a gadget freak who needs to charge every night like me! Haha! And lastly, for your OOTD planing, the weather is mainly sunny and warm--pretty much like here in Manila.
Kuala Lumpur's main port of entry is KLIA / KLIA2, their beautiful airport which is around an hour away from the city center. I later on learned from the mall's concierge that it is pronounced as K. L. I. A. and not Klee-ya, haha!
AirAsia has daily flights to KL from Manila, Cebu and now Davao. Flight is around 4 hours, which didn't feel that long with my music and ebooks. We took the night flight, and had a beautiful view of the city lights upon arrival.
Dinner at the plane: Yey for AirAsia's vegetarian combo meal! Had the vegetarian sandwich with Pepsi for only Php 200. It comes with a free brownie!
Where to Stay?
Our group stayed in Tunes Hotels, which is just walking distance from the airport. They even have connecting bridge to the hotel, but you can also just cross the street!
Tune Hotels is a budget friendly accommodation with 5-star beds, hot showers, few toiletries and one towel per head, and a buffet breakfast. They have a pay-as-you-use system so you don't have to avail anything that you won't need. It is still far from the city center (as mentioned earlier, around about an hour by KLIA Ekspres) so ideally it targets to travelers with long layovers.
If you're looking for affordable place to stay in Kuala Lumpur, you can check out these discounted hotels in Agoda, or search for an Airbnb apartment for the whole family or barkada.
Where To Go in KL?
Here are some of the places we were able to visit with barely 1.5 days of free time in KL! We were able to conveniently go around thanks to our tour guide from KualaLumpurBudgetTour.com. But of course, as always, you can choose to DIY your trip.
Here are 10 KL tourist destinations you might want to add in your itinerary:
1) Istana Negara
A landmark in Malaysia, the Istana Negara is the official residence of Yang di-Pertuan Agong, their Supreme King. The grounds are not open to the public, so tourists just take photos in the wide area outside the gate, and with the palace guards.
2) Tugu Negara
The National Monument serves as reminder of the brave Malaysian soldiers who died fighting for their country's independence. They have the world's tallest bronze freestanding sculpture grouping, and within the area is a bird park, deer park, butterfly park, and a hibiscus and orchid garden that you might also want to visit when you go here.
3) National Mosque of Malaysia
Malaysia's modern style, 13 acres mosque. Not much photos because we just passed by the area, but this church has been around since 1965 and seen as an important symbol of the Islamic country of Malaysia.
4) Galeri Kuala Lumpur
The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is basically a museum, and is operated by ARCH, a Malaysian brand of wood veneer and laser cut collectibles. Aside from promoting these products, the museum also promotes KL's culture and heritage through dioramas and photo exhibits. There's also a light show, and a huge I Love KL structure for photo ops. Entrance is at 10 RM.
Authentic kopi and kaya toast at the gallery's cafe with Papi Rodel, who by the way was the one who took all my nice OOTD photos for the blog and the 'gram! Thank you!!!
5) Merdeka Square
A known landmark and open square in Malaysia where independence was declared in 1957. It is surrounded by heritage buildings including the Sultan Abdul Samad Building and St Mary's Anglican Cathedral, and you'll also find the world's tallest flagpole in its southern end.
I love the feel of the Merdeka Square, the British architectural design just shows evidence of its history. I feel like I'm at another place in time.
6) Kuala Lumpur Tower
KL Tower is a communications tower, the highest viewpoint in the city that is open to the public.
Went up to its conservatory during my 2015 KL quick trip. Here's a windy photo on top of the KL Tower, with the Petronas Twin Towers peaking behind me.
7) Batu Caves
A popular Hindi temple and shrine in Malaysia, Batu Caves is a limestone hill with several main and minor caves that requires 272 steep flight to reach! Right in front is the towering gold statue of Lord Murugan, a Hindu deity. The place is also known for the many monkeys going around inside and outside the temples! 🐵🐵🐵 Be careful, these monkeys snatch food or food-looking things from tourists!
Going around will take an hour or 2, depends if you're heading for the deeper caves.
8) Petronas Twin Towers
Twin skyscrapers of KL, the tallest in the world from 1998-2004. It is very beautiful both during the day and night time, and from inside to out.
We were able to go inside Petronas Towers' observatory for 85 RM. Make sure to bring your passport to purchase a ticket.
View of the city, the other Petronas tower, and the KL Tower:
There are interactive and educational sections:
They also allowed us to stay for a few minutes in the middle section of the two Petronas towers:
The restaurant is housed in the former Malaysian paliament house, a grand place for a dinner buffet set-up. Most if not all of the diners are fellow tourists. We first had the dinner buffet at our own pace, which I actually enjoyed! The selections are good enough for me, from viands down to the desserts. After a while, the place filled up, and the stage lights opened for a 45-minute cultural show. Fun to watch and very passionate performers and host!
And of course, ending with my personal itinerary:
If you're also a Korean culture fan like me, you'll find Korean stores and cafes in KL that we don't have yet here in the Philippines! Malaysia is so lucky to have a Dal.Komm Coffee (as seen in Descendants of the Sun), and an Innisfree store ( Kbeauty finds such as sheet masks, makeup, and other skincare)--both located in Suria KLCC mall inside the Petronas Towers. Prepare a little budget if you drop by their groceries and bookstores, Malaysia has caught the hallyu wave and you'll see magazines and product endorsements with Kpop and Kdrama celebs here and there!
Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur? Again, AirAsia has daily flights to KL from Manila, Cebu and now Davao. Check out their website or download the AirAsia app on your phones for the best deals and promo fares on your next trip.
Special thanks to AirAsia and Comco Southeast Asia for having me!
Check out stories from my past Malaysia trips HERE. ❤
I miss traveling again!