Kuala Lumpur is the national capital of Malaysia and its most populous city. KL, as the residents refer to it, and its surrounding areas are part of the fastest growing region in Malaysia and act as the country’s economic and business centers. We first visited KL on an extended layover when flying from Sri Lanka to Chiang Mai and after spending a few days there, we had such a great time we decided to go back again over New Year’s holiday.
First time around, we spoiled ourselves a bit using some of our Hilton points at the Double Tree Hilton in Kuala Lumpur. Anything and everything you could ever want or need was in this building. There was a nice sized mall downstairs from the guest rooms that had plenty of dining options and stores to shop in. There was a wonderful view of the Petronas Towers from the hallway outside our room and another great view of the city from inside our room. We upgraded our room to club level for the free happy hour in the evening which included snacks, wine, spirits and beers. We avoided paying for dinners thanks to this. At one point, we contemplated cashing in as many points as possible to stay at here for as long as we could but in the end we thought better about it.
-Doubletree by Hilton Kuala Lumpur-
During our second trip to KL, we arrived on New Year’s Eve and stayed at the Sheraton Imperial. Again, we used some accrued Starwood Points to allow us to stay in a much nicer hotel then our daily budget would allow. The hotel had a NYE buffet and party so we decided to hang out there to avoid having to try to find a taxi home later. Our driver from the airport confirmed it was near impossible to get around on NYE in KL. We rang in the year with fellow hotel guest listening to the 3-piece girl singing group and piano player who performed a lot of popular music for entertainment.
-Sheraton Imperial Kuala Lumpur-
The Petronas Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world. They have since been surpassed but they still look amazing and are the tallest pair of twin towers in the world. At the base of the towers, an upscale shopping mall called Suria KLCC resides and is home to many high-end stores and places to grab a bite to eat. There is a skybridge that spans between the two towers on floors 41 and 42. This was once a free attraction but now tourists must buy tickets to visit the bridge and/or visit up to the 86th floor.
-A few different views of the Petronas Towers that dominate the Kuala Lumpur cityscape-
The KLCC Park is a park located near the Suria KLCC and Petronas Towers. The park provides a nice place to walk around and escape during the workday. The area has many trees and greenery that helps break up the landscape of all the office buildings surrounding it. There is a manmade lake called Lake Symphony that is home to water fountains that put on daily water shows for people to enjoy while relaxing in the park. There is a walking bridge across the lake that allows you to enjoy a very nice view of the towers. Around the park, there are walking and jogging paths for exercise. Along the paths there are rest areas to just sit down and relax and enjoy the day.
Jalan Alor – Food Street
Jalon Alor is lined with food vendors all along the street. You can enjoy anything from standard Malaysian cuisine, western food choices or the strangest foods imaginable. Each food vendor had people in the street with menus trying to coerce you to eat at their place. We walked around for a while and finally decided on a place. The place was pretty busy so it looked like a good joint to eat at. The waitress nicely recommended some dishes but she insisted we try their fried stingray. Not to disappoint her, we took her advice and ate stingray. The place was so good that we went there both times we visited KL…and ate the same thing since it was so good the first time around.
-A small view of what Jalon Alor looks like. Food vendors for as far as you can see in both directions-
-The place that was so great we decided to eat here during both visits-
– drool –
Bukit Bintang – Bar scene
After we finished eating on Jalan Alor, we headed up the road a bit to the Bukit Bintang area to check out some bars and the night life. The area was super busy with many bars to choose from. Much like Jalon Alor, there were “promoters” outside each bar telling you why their bar was the place to go. After looking at may different places, we found a bar with happy hour beers for 12 Ringgits and some live music (cheap in that area that we saw…our one hotel charged 38 Ringgits for a Budweiser). After a few rounds we called it a night and headed back to the hotel.
Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is home to over 3,000 birds and over 200 species are represented. Around 90% of the birds are local to the area and the rest are imported in from around the globe. It was pretty hot and steamy that day, as well as raining. Some of the walkways around the park were covered but I got soaked anyway.
There were many different habitats that you could walk through and view the birds doing bird things. Some habitats allowed the birds to roam around freely. This led to some nice photo ops…but it also led to Kerri getting pooped on by an unknown species of white bird. Needless to say, this ended our visit to the bird park.
-This little guy was extra photogenic-
-Suspect #1 in the bombing of Kerri’s shoulder-
Kuala Lumpur was a great city to visit. There was plenty to take in and experience that you could spend a long holiday there and still be ready to go back for more. Our visit(s) to KL all but cemented the fact that we will visit here another time in the future!