Increasingly grabbing worldwide attention resulting in a growing tourism and an expat community, Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant city that exudes both culture and modernity. Being a tropical country, it is always a good time to visit the capital city of Malaysia.
Transportation from The Airport to The City
There are two ways of getting into the city centre upon arriving at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The KLIA Express is the most ideal option as the train journey takes a mere 28 minutes and runs at a frequency of every 15 minutes. It is also the cheapest form of transportation from the airport to the city priced at RM 70 for a return ticket.
Another way to get to the city would be by an official taxi company, recommended by the airport. This journey should cost roughly RM 70-100 one way.
If you wish to travel by taxi around the city, always ensure the vehicle is from an official licensed company like Blue or Executive Cabs which operate on pre-determined fares or taxi metres.
Getting Around the City / Inter-City
A convenient location to base yourself in would be within or around the city’s golden triangle a.k.a. Bukit Bintang as most major shopping centres and attractions are located within the vicinity or at least nearby, making all destinations accessible by foot.
There is also that option of catching an LRT train to get around as well as the KTM trains for those who wish to venture out of the city to nearby towns such as Ipoh or Seremban, both amazing food places. The local government is in the midst of improving the city’s public transportation by its planned roll-out of new MRT lines mirroring Singapore’s.
Cabs are generally more comfortable than a train ride but again, be sure to order a cab from an authorised service. You can also ask the hotel concierge in helping you to get one. Taxi fares are relatively cheap and there is no need for tipping.
Places of Interest
Besides usual tourist attractions such as Merdeka (Parliament) Square, Chinatown (where you can practice bargaining), Batu Caves (where the annual Thaipusam festival is celebrated) and the Islamic Arts Museum, do not forget to visit also a typical mamak (a 24-hour hawker food-store combining Indian and Malay tastes) and order a ‘roti tisu’ or ‘maggi goreng’.
For the serious shoppers, visit the golden triangle as the street boasts multiple large-scale shopping centres that house both renowned luxury brands and high-street labels. If you happen to be in Starhill Gallery, pop in to their impressive toilets on the restaurant floor.
Foodies should definitely make a stop at Jalan Alor for a meal at any time of the day as well as the infamous Imbi Market for a typical Malaysian breakfast that celebrates multicultural flavours. The recently-opened and heavily-raved-about Majestic Hotel serves tasteful afternoon tea – be sure to book a table in or at least visit the Orchid Room. The hotel succeeds in marrying a contemporary style with colonial influence.
Those seeking nightlife, venture to the infamous Changkat district (The Establishment, Club 21 etc) and you will get a varied selection of bars and clubs. For amazing views of the city, head to THIRTY8, Marini’s on 57, Luna Bar and Sky Bar for unbeatable views of the skyline. If it is a big night out you are aiming for, head to Zouk Nightclub and explore the three rooms within the facade as they often host big-name DJs and gigs.
For something a little different, take a 10 to 15 minute cab ride out of the town centre to Bangsar and/or Hartamas and mingle with the locals (and hipsters) of Kuala Lumpur. Both are neighbouring areas that feature hip bars and concept restaurants as well as boutique stores and spas. I would personally recommend checking out Publika, a recently-opened lifestyle centre cum arts hub within the area.
Kuala Lumpur lacks strict smoking policies – restaurants (only outdoor with the exception of a mamaks), clubs and bars allow for smoking.
Be wary of pick-pockets especially motorcyclists who often operate in packs. Do not leave items unattended even when dining in a restaurant – leaving your bag on the floor or next to your seat is a no-no, rest it on your lap instead.
If you are already in Kuala Lumpur, be sure to visit nearby cities such as historic Malacca, rich Penang as well as beautiful Malaysian islands such as Pangkor, Redang and Perhentian to name a few.
With the Four Seasons as well as the W Hotel opening in KL in the near future, it is best you get your dibs in the capital city as soon as possible.
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By Katrina Too