JUST a few hours by plane from Manila is the busy metropolis of Kuala Lumpur, home of the famed Petronas Twin Towers that stand out over the KL skyline, along with the KL Tower. It’s easy to get around the city and nearby areas, especially with its constantly improving train system and the advent of transport apps like Grab and Uber.
After a few visits in KL, I have come up with a list of places that you can explore when you happen to travel to this Malaysian capital. It depends on your preferences, whether it is heritage or historical, shopping, religious and cultural or nature. Here are a few suggestions:
1. KLCC and Petronas Towers
The Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) is one of the favorite destinations of tourists and locals alike. The Petronas Towers is the popular backdrop for selfies any time of the day. The Suria KLCC mall with its varied stores and brands is a shopper’s haven. A few walks away is the Aquaria KLCC, which features several marine species. The KLCC area is a mix of steel and greens with its modern architectures and relaxing gardens.
2. KL Bird Park
Within the bosom of the city is the KL Bird Park, home to over 3,000 birds from about 200 avian species. The green plants, the flowing waters, and the sounds of the birds make you feel like you are in a forest, a great refuge from the busy city life.
3. Merdeka Square
The Merdeka Square or the Dataran Merdeka has the tallest flagpole in the world. Right across the huge field of green is the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, formerly the State Secretariat, which lights up colorfully at night. Around the Merdeka Square are the Royal Selangor Club and the St. Mary’s Anglican Church. Near the square are other attractions like the Central Market, the Old Railway Station, and the National Mosque.
4. Saloma Theatre Restaurant
If you want a mix of authentic Malaysian food and culture, Saloma Theatre Restaurant offers you great dining experience and an entertaining night of local dance and music. Diners are also often invited to take part in some of the dance numbers to the delight of the guests.
5. Batu Caves
A few minutes by train from KL’s Sentral Station is the Batu Caves, a Hindu sacred spot located in limestone caves. Climb the 272 steps to get to the main cave. A giant statue of Lord Murugan, the tallest statue of Murugan in the world, towers over the base of the steps as if to stand guard among those who ascend the steps to the cave. There are other attractions and shrines within the vicinity. Beware of monkeys though, as they will stalk you once they know you carry some food or drinks with you.
Be enticed by the diverse offerings of Kuala Lumpur. Walk its bazaars and food joints. Marvel at its skyline. Just feel the spirit of Asia in this melting pot.
All photos are by this author. Claire Marie Algarme blogs at firsttimetravels.com. Follow her as @firsttimetravel on Twitter and Instagram and like her Facebook page First-time Travels blog.