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Selamat Datang! – 48 Hours In Kuala Lumpur

By Daniel Resnik on June 23, 2015 in Other

Photo: Daniel Resnik

Photo: Daniel Resnik

I recently had a two-day stopover in Kuala Lumpur and found that this was definitely not enough time to see all the major attractions in this modern, cosmopolitan city.

With limited time I bought a day pass on the ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tour. This is the perfect way to discover where all the major attractions are and familiarise yourself with your new surroundings. The tour also takes you to Kuala Lumpur’s foremost shopping centres, which for me, a shopaholic, is a serious problem!

There are 22 designated stops and over 40 attractions that can be seen on this double-decker air-conditioned bus tour. It’s equipped with facilities such as pre-recorded multilingual commentary for each of the attractions and there is also Wi-Fi on board.

I purchased a one-day pass and completed a loop of the city without disembarking. This way I was able to see all the major landmarks and take the opportunity to snap a squillion photos. In my next circumnavigation I then knew where I wanted to get off and what I wanted to see.

On my second loop I got off and wandered around Chinatown, Central Market, the National Mosque, the Bird Park and Mederka Square (where the Union Jack was lowered and the Malayan flag raised for the very first time at midnight on August 31, 1957).

Chinatown is worth seeing through the day but I’d recommend a night visit, as it’s more colourful, bustling and crowded. The night markets are a bargain hunter’s Aladdin’s cave and mixed with a plethora of food they are a must-visit destination.

With limited time I was soon hopping back on the bus so I could visit one of KL’s most famous buildings and tourist attractions: the Petronas Towers, one of the tallest buildings in the world.

The 88-storey towers made of chrome and steel rise 451.9 metres into the heavens and are visually magnificent. I did the 5.30pm tour of the towers, which was the perfect time to take photos as the light was ideal. The first stop of the tower tour is the 58th floor where there is a viewing bridge that connects the two towers. You better have plenty of battery life in your camera as you will not stop taking photos!

You are then ushered up to the 88th floor where the views from the top are sublime. From here it felt like we’d been transported all the way to Batman’s hometown of Gotham City.

For those suffering from any vertigo or height anxiety, scratch this one off the tour.

After I was finished with my exhausting day of touring, food was on top of my agenda and after seeking some local advice I headed to an area known as Jalan Alor. This is where it seemed every KL resident and tourist congregates and for good reason as there is an excess of restaurants, food stalls, markets and bars. The vibe is mad.

The next morning I organised a taxi to the Hindu temple and shrine known as the Batu Caves, which is a very popular tourist attraction. A limestone outcrop located just north of Kuala Lumpur, Batu Caves has three main caves featuring temples and Hindu shrines. Its main attraction is the large statue of the Hindu God at the entrance. There is a steep 272-step climb but once at the top the views of the city make the effort worthwhile.

There are lots of cheeky monkeys you see on your way to the top that keep you entertained.

Later that evening I went to the Traders Hotel where a top floor bar looks directly on to the twin towers – an exceptional place to hang out for a cocktail or two and a great place to take some night shots of the renowned towers.

For a quick two-day stopover I’ve come away with some memorable moments and will hopefully be back one day to continue my discovery of KL.

FACT BOX

WHERE TO STAY
Shangri-La Hotel Kuala Lumpur
www.shangri-la.com

HOW TO GET THERE
Malaysian Air
www.malaysiaairlines.com
The Travel Café Bondi
www.whitestartravel.com.au
(02) 9130 1345

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