Kuala Lumpur Highlights

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Kuala Lumpur highlights

5 Highlights You Won’t Want To Miss In KL

Over the years I have travelled to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia too many times to count. Sometimes it’s been a stopover to, or from, other parts of the world and sometimes on vacation. In recent decades it has become a very popular holiday destination in its own right for many people. So, I’m going to give you 5 highlights that are not to be missed, whether you’re in KL for a couple of days or there for a longer stay.

1. Petronas Towers

The first highlight in Kuala Lumpur is undoubtedly the most popular attraction here. Tourists don’t want to miss out on visiting the Petronas Twin Towers which are the most recognisable feature of the city.

Skyscraper double tower with joining bridge
Top of the Petronas Twin Towers

They are super-impressive, modern, architectural structures, towering over 450 metres high. The shiny glass and steel exterior reflects the sun, creating a real wow factor.

Currently they are the tallest twin towers in the world and undoubtedly helped put Malaysia on the world map, as they were the tallest buildings on the planet at one stage.

Entrance at bottom of tower
Impressive Entrance of tower 1

Built in 1998, and owned by the Malaysian oil and gas company of the same name, the towers are joined by the double-decker Skybridge which is designed to slide in and out of the towers, and also helps stabilise the buildings in extreme wind. Quite amazing.

Tall metal towers and palm tree
Petronas Towers and Suria KLCC

Beautiful cityscape views can be seen from the bridge half way up the towers, and also from the 86th floor at the Observation Deck, with ticket purchase.

Tip: Get your tickets early if you plan to go, as they sell out fast.

2. KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Central) Suria & Park

After you finish abseiling down the towers (just kidding, please don’t), you can venture down below to relax and shop – my 2 favourite pastimes, other than blogging of course.

inside multilevel building
Suria KLCC Shopping Complex

Shopping

Suria KLCC is an up-market shopping paradise for some serious retail therapy, if you are so inclined, which I always am. You will find everything here from Louis Vuitton and Tiffany, to department stores like Marks & Spencer and local retailers. The complex has 6 levels where you can shop-til-you-drop and dine in beautiful air-conditioned bliss.

Malaysia loves big multi-level shopping complexes, I’ve noticed. Not sure why.

tower and little water fountain
KLCC Plaza

Park

While you’re at the towers don’t miss another highlight – the beautiful KLCC park and water features which grace the surrounding area of the Petronas Towers. This green mid-city sanctuary is 50 acres of free recreation and entertainment. Unsurprisingly, it attracts hoards of people escaping the daily grind in the city to enjoy a bit of time-out to admire the gorgeous views and water spectacle.

An added bonus is that you almost have an evaporative cooling effect (yay!) created by the fountains and the breeze, when there is one.

lake and fountains wth city skyscrapers
Symphony Lake

The lake here called Symphony Lake, is a man-made water wonderland with the highlight being the synchronised fountain, light and music show. This is on display every day for your viewing and listening pleasure.

We could see the colourful dancing lights from our Grand Hyatt hotel room, just a short distance from Suria.

Tip: Check the Water Show times. There are afternoon and evening displays.

There is plenty to see and do around the park, including a pool, playground, walking paths, sculptures, bridge, manicured gardens and cafes of course. Be sure to stay a while to soak it all in. I love it here.

By the way, Grand Hyatt is a fabulous 5 star hotel, relatively new, centrally located, and with beautiful suites; I loved the fog over privacy glass bathroom, and the round couch in our room. I can thoroughly recommend it.

buildings and lake
Grand Hyatt near Suria Park

3. Batu Caves

Batu Caves is undoubtedly one of the most iconic places in Kuala Lumpur, attracting lots of tourists and locals everyday. Located approximately 13km north of KL, it is a limestone hill with a series of caves which have Hindu temples and shrines in and around them. Don’t miss this highlight of Kuala Lumpur.

Upfront is the gigantic golden statue of the God Murugan, 43 metres tall, which you can probably see from the moon, I’m guessing. It cuts quite a striking figure!

big gold statue in front of mountain and stairway
Gold God Murugan

There are 270 colourfully painted steps that lead to the top.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – ‘It’s too bloody hot in this tropical heat for that!’ Right?

I agree, but it’s worth climbing the steps, because you’ll be rewarded at the top, I promise. You see, the caves are considerably cooler and there is also a decent view of the city to enjoy.

Hollowed out inside of a cave with steps
Inside the Caves

These caves have existed for 400 million years! Can you believe that? The original inhabitants were the indigenous Temuan tribe. I love a bit of history on the places I visit; it always makes me appreciate them even more.

Worship

Over the years Batu Caves has become a place of worship for many Indians during the various festivals. It has been known to draw some of the largest gatherings in the world with sometimes more than a million worshippers making the pilgrimage here. Many, many, Hindu statues and sculptures are featured here (did I say many?), including a five-legged cow, yep! Multi-coloured lights brighten the caves and alcoves. It is almost like an Indian theme park.

Kuala Lumpur highlights
Various Temples at the Caves

Others who love the caves are the Macaque monkeys that play and ‘perform’ here while harassing visitors for food. They certainly aren’t shy, so just be wary of these cheeky critters. Bats also live in the caves, but they don’t bother you.

monkey sitting on pillar wth trees
Monkeys live at Batu Caves

If you are planning to visit, you’ll be pleased to know there is no entry fee – thank you very much! Always nice to get something free.

Important Tips:

  • Be sure to check opening times;
  • please dress appropriately for a temple;
  • the restaurants here only serve vegetarian food, which I wasn’t aware of prior to going; and
  • lastly, I suggest you avoid the Thaipusam festival period in January/February, as you will probably get squashed and may not escape alive!

Another activity that has become popular here in the last 10 years is rock climbing and abseiling on the outside of the caves, if you can brave the heat, that is. I’ll pass, thanks.

Unless you know some locals, as I do, that can show you around, it’s often best to take a tour with the experts. Here are some I recommend.

4. Sunway Lagoon Theme Park

I came here when this park first opened in 1992, and there wasn’t a whole lot here other than a few water attractions – pools, slides and a manmade beach.

Now? OMG! If fun in the sun is your thing, then this is definitely the place for you. 88 acres of super fun-filled experiences to be had; from tame to thrill-seeking, from wet to dry adventure activities, from live performances to interactive wildlife.

There is everything you could imagine here to entertain you and keep you cool in the tropics.

water theme park, trees and buildings
Sunway Lagoon Adventure Theme Water Park

Sunway Lagoon has an incredible 6 theme parks, yes 6! including Nickelodeon Land, and 90 different attractions with all manor of pools, water rides, rapids, amusement rides, scream park, jungle, volcano, bungee jumping, go karts, flying fox, zoo, and the list goes on – it’s definitely a highlight for kids and families.

You will need a whole day at least, if not longer. Tickets vary in price and there’s always deals to be found. Here are some I’ve found for you.

5. Petaling Street Market

This Chinatown shopping strip is a veritable smorgasbord of clothing, bags, shoes, watches, gadgets and lots of different types of street food. This market is very popular with tourists and locals for cheap stuff, designer copy goods and haggling, of course. Many-a-time I’ve had vendors chase me down the street calling out, ‘I do cheaper for you’, not wanting to let me, and my money, get away. It’s hilarious, but I have taken home a bargain, or ten!

chinese market
Chinatown Market

Be warned though, it is always crowded and you have to walk up and down the main street and side streets, as no cars are allowed. Also, the sellers mostly prefer cash (shock!) especially if you intend to haggle. Another thing, don’t be scared if they sometimes take you behind the stall to show you other goods, it’s ok. They seem to pull stock out of everywhere. Often the good copy stuff, cos there’s different degrees of fake, is in the back. It’s a bit disturbing that I know this, isn’t it?

Those are my 5 Kuala Lumpur highlights.

Food

Oh, and let me just mention that Malaysian food is definitely a highlight itself in Kuala Lumpur and worthy of a stopover just to feast on some delicious spicy dishes. You may also enjoy a foodies tour.

Handy site: Official KL Website

While you’re in Malaysia, you might like to check out some other interesting locations, like Kota Kinabalu and Taiping for less touristy destinations to visit.

Till next time.

view of skyscrapers from window
View from our hotel – Grand Hyatt

I’d love to hear your comments about K.L. You can leave me a message below.

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21 thoughts on “Kuala Lumpur Highlights

  1. Such a great guide! I’ve never heard of the Batu Caves before, but that looks like such a cool experience. And I would love to see those monkeys in person!

  2. Petronas Twin Towers are a must-see for sure … seen them in movies and would love to see them and go up onto the bridge and observation deck myself. You certainly had a GREAT view of them from your hotel! Also the Batu caves look spectacular. Is the a better time to go to perhaps avoid the crowds?

  3. I still haven’t made it to Malaysia! KL is definitely on my list though. I see the Batu caves on instagram all the time, but I’d love to see them in person.

  4. Taking a special interest in this piece because we will be travelling to Kuala lumpur later this year and almost all of the spots you mentioned are on our list. Except Petaling Market, which we didn’t know about yet, but now we want to go there too. Thank you so much for sharing 🙂

  5. I would definitely climb those steps in the hot and muggy weather to get inside the Batu Caves. It’s so beautiful! I also didn’t know that the walkway on the Petronas Towers also helps to stabilize the buildings from extreme wind. Such an interesting tidbit 🙂

  6. Have never been a fan of towers and buildings and may that is why I’ve never thought of visiting KL before. However Batu caves look super interested and the fact that they have existed for 400 millions years makes it even more appealing. Thanks for the detailed post.

  7. It was so great to read this as it brought back some memories for me. I visited KL when I was just 15 because my Dad actually helped build the Petronas Towers. We got a 2 week trip from our home in Australia to visit him and he showed us around the city. I remember the massive shopping centres as well. We also did China Town markets at night and it was so packed! Thanks for sharing.

  8. Great guide to KL, we absolutely fell in love with the city, there is so much to do! We loved Batu and the Petronas but we didn’t visit the water park, maybe next time! We loved the area around the old train station, the markets and Independence square, really cool architecture there.

  9. My goodness! Those Batu Caves look like something out of a movie! This whole trip looks amazing, I dream of heading to Malaysia some day soon, and this post made me want to even more!

  10. Kuala Lumpur is high on my bucket list and honestly, the twin towers are largely the reason why. They are beautiful and I especially want to see them at night since I love night photography. But, I must say I love to shop, I love light shows on the water, food, and colorful painted steps so really all of your top things to do are perfect for me!

  11. The Petronas Twin Towers would also be immediately on my bucket list. Since I’ve seen them in some movies, I’m really excited about this architecture.
    And really funny, a friend from Kuala Lumpur just told me yesterday about the Sunway Lagoon Theme Park. I think that’s a must do when staying there.

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