We arrived in KL after an arduous 20 hour journey from Ao Nang at 5am yesterday morning. The journey consisted of a car, two minivans, a tuk tuk, a coach and a taxi. Costing only £20 each, though, we can’t really complain.
Our hotel, Citrus Hotel, is 2km out from the Petronas Towers and cost us £60 for three nights. Being a little further out comes with the advantage of cheaper prices as well as having a stunning view from the city, which we do from our room.
On our first day we caught up on some sleep until lunchtime and lay by the pool for a couple of hours before heading into the city. There’s an LRT station a five minute walk away so we’ve been using that to get around. Like most other late Asian cities, the subway is the easiest way to reach many of the tourist attractions, a lot more comprehensive and sanitary than public transport (although this probably isn’t true for every city) and really cheap.
We first went to see the Petronas Towers and surrounding buildings in the daytime. Although they’re famous for their illumination, the towers are stunning on their own and particularly with the grey sky reflecting against them. I felt like I could see ever single detail of them, it was an incredibly flattering light and I hope the photographs reflect what I saw. We then ventured inside the Petronas Mall, a luxury shopping centre inside one of the towers and had dinner in a Nandos which was absurdly cheap compared to home (by this point we had been travelling for over eight weeks, finding a Nandos was close to a miracle for us).
Once it got dark we seen it all again, this time in lights. Although on our travels we had seen some pretty exquisite modern buildings, these towers really are incomparable. They seem to be never ending, row upon row of white lights leading your head so far up toward the sky that you lose balance. They truly are a feat of engineering.
After spending the day in KLCC we headed to a bar we’d read about on other travel blogs, websites and heard of from other travellers. Heli Lounge is a bar/ restaurant on the top floor and rooftop of KH Tower (not to be confused with Menara KH). With an incredibly understated entrance, the bar was a challenge for us and several taxi drivers to find. The office block left open for those who knew what lay inside, but remained inconspicuous to those who didn’t. You can get food and cocktails indoors where there’s a DJ, booths and tables and a very apt sign describing the bar as ‘KL’s best kept secret’. After ordering drinks and food you can head upstairs to the roof, which during the day is a helipad, and see the city from 360 degrees. There were tens of tables set out and a live band playing, and although I was terrified of the height and lack of glass/ walls/ anything surrounding me it was an unforgettable experience. A must see, but definitely not for the faint-hearted.
On our second day we visited the Batu Caves, a Hindu shrine amongst limestone caves. The easiest way to access the site is by train from KL Sentral and costs 2.60 Ringat (less than 50p) each way. On our entire trip this is the first major religious location we haven’t had to pay for to access, but I couldn’t really believe how littered the site and surrounding area was. It’s sad that tourists disrespect such places, but I definitely would have rather paid an entry fee to know it was being kept in a good condition. Although the facade of the caves were imposing, impressive and decadent, I couldn’t help but feel the mess really took away from the site. The caves themselves were beyond impressive – enormous and filled with statues. The Giant that greets you is stunning, and the monkeys running around eating everything they can are hilarious.
In the evening we visited Central Market and then Chinatown. The first was immaculate, the second I’ve seen people complain but I didn’t see why, the tourism heavy parts of the city centre are very well kept. KL definitely has the best market I’ve seen so far on this trip in terms of fake goods, so if that’s what you’re looking for Chinatown has it all. The atmosphere in night markets is fantastic, even if you don’t intend to shop it’s great to go and wander through the stalls and people watch, or sit and eat some street food and do the same