Discovering Kuala Lumpur or Malaysia in general is fascinating to say the least.
Whether you are wandering through the city-centre and discovering different buildings, shops and hidden restaurants, or learning about the people and their different ethnicities of Malaysia, there is plenty to learn about this great country.
Let’s start with the people shall we.
Malaysia has three major ethnic groups, the Malays, who make up 70% of the population in Malaysia and are strict Muslims, with prayer time being a common thing amongst the Malays. The men will pray five times in a single day.
The other two ethnic group in Malaysia are the Chinese and the Indians, together they make up about 30% of the population and each have their own religious ways with the Chinese dominantly Christians and the Indians obviously Hindu.
They are just a few little facts I learnt during my time in Kuala Lumpur about the three ethnic groups of Malaysia from the locals and they tend to get along most of the times in their everyday lives, although election time can get a little tense as parties fight for their people’s rights. So, I’ve heard from numerous taxi drivers.
Anyway, that is a little about the people of the country. Now onto the city, which is an adventure in its own rights, because discovering Kuala Lumpur and all the events/activities going on in around the KLis an eye-opener and in the process of doing so is a lot of fun.
In this this edition of KL Diaries, days 4-6, I had the privilege of discovering Kuala Lumpur a little more and I wasn’t disappointed, especially after I was getting to know the city in the first edition of KL diaries. Let’s get into the highlights shall we.
Kuala Lumpur Diaries: Days 4-6 – Discovering Kuala Lumpur
There is something special about heritage listed buildings around the world that get’s me excited, especially in Asia where history and culture is rife throughout with a fine selection articulate buildings that are a marvel to gaze upon, full well knowing that some buildings you are looking at could be centuries old.
Merdeka Square, also known as Dataran Merdeka, is another of those historic places and contains a range of heritage buildings such as the Sultan Abdul Samad Building (now used as the office of the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture of Malaysia), The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, St Mary’s Anglican Cathedral and a whole host of buildings that will get your camera clicking.
For someone like me who does have a fascination with such beautiful buildings that are quite unique, especially when you compare the buildings to the modern world of today, because in most destinations I visit in Asia I am on the lookout for temples and palaces that have years of history.
I enjoyed my time wandering through the area for a couple of hours and taking pictures at will, even if I was sweating bullets from the unforgiving KL heat. That’s life in Southeast Asia.
Discovering Kuala Lumpur continues only a stone throw from Merdeka with the Central Markets. Another landmark building, built in 1928, is an indoor market set-up where you can wander through various stalls, browsing at will in the comfort of a closed roof with air-conditioning and purchase a range of products from traditional clothing, souvenirs, unique jewellery and enjoy a meal in a variety of restaurants.
I loved the unique two-story building set up which, that also has a range of stalls on the outside with a more modern range of products on sale, with the likes of phone accessories, hats, jewellery and modern-day clothing.
We easily spend a few hours at the market places, enjoy the vibe of a unique set market place, that has a lot of difference to other market areas you can find in Southeast Asia, put it on the list when in KL.
Outside the Petronas Twin Towers
My opinion only, but Kuala Lumpur is not what you would call a pretty city by any imagination, especially with all the skyscrapers that overshadow the city, they are everywhere. That is not to say that there are not pretty elements to the city and fitting that description perfectly is the Petronas Twin Towers, especially at night.
We ventured to the iconic twin towers just before sunset, captured a few photos in sunlight and wandered into the Suria KLCC shopping mall at the base of the towers for a little retail shopping. By then the sun was down and the magnificent lights of the Petronas were lit up under the night sky. It looked spectacular, even if there were thousands of tourists lining up on the streets to take the same photo shot as you.
I definitely recommend that you visit the Petronas Twin Towers at night, even on more than one occasion, like I did.
A Wet’n’wild Hike at Maya Falls
The hike at Maya Falls (locally known as Lata Medang) was certainly my favourite experience during my time in Kuala Lumpur.
It was a five-hour hike through a Kuala Lumpur rainforest that had it all, beautiful scenery, gorgeous waterfalls, the sounds of the forest and heavy storm that failed to dampen our spirts, because this walk was exhilarating and challenging all in one.
The hike was organised through Airbnb day tours with an experienced guide named Thomas. He picked us up from our accommodation, drove an hour out of Kula Lumpur to the township called Kuala Kabu Bharu, where we had Malaysian style breakfast in a local restaurant.
From breakfast it was time for the hike that lasted around five hours, it’s meant to go around four-hours, but the wild weather and slippery surface slowed us down. With the dogs and guide leading the way, we wandered through the beautiful terrain until reaching the waterfalls, well three in total to be exact, with each waterfall we visited getting more spectacular than the previous.
The storms came on the return journey, pounding rain that never relented and it had us all slowing down as leaches clung us which left a couple of us bleeding. It was an adventure no doubt, my boys of 12 and 10 years of age were brave and so was my wife. A local lunch was appreciated at the end of the hike.
Batu caves is often talked about in travel brochures about Malaysia as one attraction to visit. Sur, it’s a nice location and the monkeys of the caves certainly put on a show, but I found Batu Caves a tad overrated.
Not that I wasn’t satisfied with my visit, it is nice to look at, with the towering Murugan statue and the 272-steps climb to reach the cave entrance at the top. However, in my own opinion, it’s a cave with a statue, that is absolutely saturated with tourist and you’ll spend no more than two hours at the cave after it took at least 30-minutes to get to the caves.
By all means, put it on your list when visiting Kuala Lumpur, you may find it really enjoyable and it’s good to do all the tourist stuff when on holidays at any destination you visit. If anything, Batu Caves is a good place to go when you need to kill a couple of hours during your stay in KL.
A Quick Wander through the KL Forest ECO Park with KL Tower Views
Not far from where we are staying is a cosy little city forest, the KL Forest ECO Park. It’s a nice little city walk with plenty of shade and a canopy style bridge to walk across that captures city views and the nearby KL tower.
It’s free to enter and if you do have an hour to spare or you’re looking for a daily dose of exercise in in a little part of nature, give the ECO Park a visit, you’ll enjoy the walk away from the busy city-centre and you’ll capture a few good photographs for the photo album.
A Night Swim at the Face Suites Infinity Pool
I mentioned in the first edition of Kuala Lumpur Diaries about our Airbnb apartment and the Infinity pool it has on the 51st floor with breathtaking views of the Petronas and KL Towers. It makes it fitting a night swim in The Face Suites rooftop pool was a very happy time during our stay in Kuala Lumpur.
Imagine this, a family swim at night with a glowing city all around us, with photos being taken, while we are splashing around, enjoying a wrestle and having a good old laugh.
It’s those kinds of memories you travel for and you hope to keep recreating, those happy family memories. We all know eventually that the kids grow up to live their own life with their own family, and you need to make it count during their childhood, you always want the memories to stay with both parents and kids for many years.
I find it fitting to cap of the second of KL diaries with a cherished memory of time in Malaysia and I’m thrilled that the concluding days are just as memorable. Memo to readers, “it is”, see you in the third and final edition.