Kuala Lumpur – Delightful Asian Metropolis

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Petronas At Night

Petronas Twin Towers Photo: John Kellenberger

I love Kuala Lumpur. It’s one of the nicest cities I’ve been to in Asia. KL has a vibrant array of cultures and we were fortunate enough to experience quite a few while we were there.

KL’s airport is really clean and efficient. Rather than pay for a cab, we decided to take the KLLR (Kuala Lumpur Light Rail) to the downtown core. We had a lovely, air-conditioned ride to the heart of the city before jumping onto the monorail which brought us to “The Golden Triangle,” where the most famous landmarks, luxury hotels and best shopping malls can be found. We found a mid-range budget hotel, but John didn’t really like the set-up. He decided to leave me in the lobby for fifteen minutes while he went in search of an Internet cafe. John is a master of on-line travel bookings. He quickly secured us a room with Priceline and got us a great deal at the Renaissance Hotel, a five star hotel in the heart of the Golden Triangle. Our hotel was a five minute walk from the Petronas Twin Towers and Suria KLCC.

We only had four days in KL, but we made sure each day was action-packed. We immediately set out for the Suria KLCC for some food and window shopping. John was fascinated with the ultra-modern architecture and we especially loved the food courts. This shopping complex is one of the nicest ones I’ve been to in Asia.

Majestic Towers on a Gorgeous Day

Petronas Twin Towers Photo: John Kellenberger

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View from the Sky Bridge. Photo: John Kellenberger

The Petronas Towers are the tallest freestanding twin towers in the world at 451.9m. John got up early to get two free passes for us and we spent a terrific afternoon on the sky deck. Amazing by day and spectacular at night, we were simply enthralled by these towers of stainless steel and glass. It was a thrill to ride up to the 41st floor and enter the famous sky bridge, where we could see the rest of the city spread out before us.

That evening, we headed down to Jalan Peteling in Chinatown for some bargain shopping. We had a great time hunting for a pair of shoes in John’s size (size 16). Most of the sellers laughed at us when we told them his shoe size and one man even told us that he did not sell shoes for King Kong. To date, we’ve never found a pair of shoes in Asia to fit John’s feet.

The next day, we booked a tour with our hotel and were privately escorted through the city and surrounding suburbs by a highly knowledgeable Hindu tour guide. This man was a fountain of information and we determined by the end of the tour that he probably spent a lot of his free time reading encyclopedias, although he had an annoying habit of putting a “Yes? Yes!” and the end of every statistic he spouted. The tour was quite enjoyable. He pointed out the major landmarks of KL, gave us some interesting and little known facts about Malaysia and showed us our embassies before starting our tour.

Our first stop was at the Royal Selangor pewter making factory. This is where they make world-famous pewter house and tableware. We visited the factory and observed the workers as they cast, shaved, polished and hammered pewter drinking cups. John even had a try at the special hammering technique himself. Afterwards, we spent about an hour in the showroom, debating over which special piece to buy for a souvenir. We finally settled on two beautiful Chinese rice bowls depicting the four seasons of China.

Almost Perfection

John

Lord of the Rings

A Royal Selangor Special Edition Pewter Plate for the Lord of the Rings.

Our second stop was at a rubber tree plantation. Rubber is one of Malaysia’s main exports. The plantation wasn’t at all what we expected. Our guide stopped on the side of the highway and got out with a huge knife. I wasn’t sure what to think at this point until he started scraping at a tree. Natural latex flowed from the wound and this becomes natural rubber once it hardens.

Indian Festival

Giant Statue

Batu Caves, Gombak, Malaysia.

Our last stop was at Batu Caves, which are situated in the Gombak district, thirteen kilometers north of Kuala Lumpur. These famous caves are a sacred place for Hindu’s and we arrived just in time to join the Hindu Thaipusam festival. Despite the heavy rain, over 800,000 worshipers were milling around the area. No one seemed fazed by the weather in the slightest bit. We, on the other hand, made a mad dash around to have a look, but the rain proved to be too much and we decided to head back to our comfortable hotel room.

Dance Troupe

We spent our last night at a dinner theater, where we enjoyed traditional Malay food and a wonderful cultural show. We left KL the next day with many fond memories and an anxious desire to return to this captivating city in Malaysia.

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Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian expat who has been living abroad in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. My husband and I have owned our own business in Taiwan since 2012. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to several publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. Follow Carrie on on Twitter @globetrotteri or on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/carriekellenberger/.

17 thoughts on “Kuala Lumpur – Delightful Asian Metropolis

    kfchan

    (August 1, 2007 - 2:02 am)

    Wow, you guys really took some great photos of the twin tower.

    I’m truly glad you have enjoyed your time in KL. I’m born and bred here but it’s hard to believe that you may have visited more places of interest than me 🙂

    I’ve yet to visit the Sky bridge and have never seen the pewter factory even though I passed by that factory many times.

    Fyi, most locals (many among my friends, at least) do not think there are many attractions in KL except for the many different food available. We always discuss among each other as to where to bring foreigners to eat. 5 meals a day for 1 week would have cover many worthwhile places.

    All we talk about is food, food and more food.

    Next time, come for a special food tour.

    Cheers,
    Kan Chan

    Farfallina -Roam 2 Rome

    (August 1, 2007 - 3:09 am)

    Wow, as I logged on to your page, at first sight the Petronas Twin Towers looked too magical to be real…

    🙂

    I still have to catch up on your past posts… very pretty 🙂

    stevo

    (August 1, 2007 - 5:20 am)

    I saw Malaysia on the last season of the Amazing Race (you and John should enter) and wanted to visit. After reading your tale and seeing your images, I really want to go.

    globetrotteri

    (August 1, 2007 - 11:39 am)

    Kan Chan,

    We certainly got the distinct impression that people love their food in KL. The restaurants are fabulous and the range of food is simply mind-boggling. Rest assured, we ate very very well while we were in KL. Perhaps you could recommend some of your favorite restaurants? We love to eat and sample different foods. It’s one of the joys of traveling, especially if it’s at a local watering hole!

    globetrotteri

    (August 1, 2007 - 11:42 am)

    Farfallina,

    Thank you! John took these photos. I brightened the first picture of the towers at night, but the rest are as is. Actually, our first two days were a little overcast and our pictures turned out horribly. Our trip up the towers resulted in some good photos and terrifically blue skies.

    globetrotteri

    (August 1, 2007 - 11:45 am)

    Stevo,

    Funny you should mention The Amazing Race. We’ve talked quite seriously about entering. The only thing that stopped us last year was my knee. I’ve been working hard at strengthening it and we hope that this dream becomes reality.

    We’re itching to get back to Malaysia. I highly recommend including it on any travel itinerary through South East Asia.

    Muhammad Yunus

    (August 2, 2007 - 12:06 am)

    Your post on KL rocks! I simply love it – the pictures and write-up is a beauty. If it’s not much to ask, do you think I could link your KL post with an event website and official blog: CIMB Group World Universities Peace Invitational Debate?

    It’s happening in KL from the 15 – 19 December 2007.

    You can check it out at http://www.wupid.hngsc.com or log on to my latest blog post at http://muhammadyunus.wordpress.com

    Cheers!

    mebuyan

    (August 2, 2007 - 1:42 am)

    been there thrice. and i love KL generally. i’m going there this september again. the people are also friendly. it wasn’t hard for me to forge friendships there. glad you had a great time.

    and the food in malaysia is great. 🙂

    Muhammad Yunus

    (August 2, 2007 - 1:56 am)

    Hi Carrie,

    Thanks a lot. I’ll keep you in the know once the website is updated (most probably by tomorrow morning).

    Which place to go…hmmmm? That’s kinda tricky. If you’re referring to KL, I would go with the same advise as Kan Chan – food, food, food. But if it’s Malaysia as a whole, it would most definitely be Langkawi or Tioman Island – I love the sun, sea, beach and breeze, so that suggestion would be a little biased.

    If you do come back to the city, especially during the event this December, please drop me an email. I’ll get you a free pass to our socials at Top Hat and the grand finals at KLCC Convention Centre.

    Cheers!

    globetrotteri

    (August 2, 2007 - 12:26 am)

    Of course, you are more then welcome to link my KL post with the event website. I’d be honored.

    I’m happy that some of my commenters here on My Several Worlds are Malaysian. I don’t think there are nearly enough posts on your wonderful country. Why is Malaysia often overlooked by travelers? Malaysia has just as much to offer as any other South East Asian country.

    Personally, I’d go back in a heartbeat. Which places would you recommend traveling to?

    jorees

    (August 2, 2007 - 10:54 am)

    Your photos look wonderful Carrie. I have always wanted to visit Malaysia and your post gives me a taste of what KL must be like.

    Carrie and John for the Amazing Race!

    Drengler

    (August 7, 2007 - 5:28 am)

    Wow, I am going to Inti outside of KL in Sept for Uni and all of these stories of KL are really exciting, I can’t wait to go! Lovely photos!

    globetrotteri

    (August 7, 2007 - 11:59 am)

    Thanks Drengler. I’m sure you’ll have a fantastic time in KL. KL is simply terrific. I can’t wait to go back!

    shangzheng

    (August 29, 2009 - 1:23 pm)

    Nice coverage of Kuala Lumpur. I would suggest some Islands around Malaysia, Cameron Highland tea plantation and Borneo.

      Carrie

      (August 31, 2009 - 9:53 am)

      Shangzheng,

      Good idea. I haven’t had the opportunity to explore those places yet, but they’re on my list.

    Muza-chan

    (June 10, 2011 - 8:36 am)

    Great pictures 🙂

    Nancie

    (June 10, 2011 - 12:34 pm)

    Great post Carrie. I want to get back to KL to go to the Batu Caves. I’d also like to see the Towers at night.

    Thanks for posting to Travel Photo Thursday.

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