Kuala Lumpur, the city of contrasts

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After we were amazed by Singapore, we traveled to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. We got used to the safety, the cleanliness, the rules and the civilized people from Singapore and we were a little bit concern about the safety in the new city we were about to discover. Malaysia is not the safest country in the world and we have been advised to be very careful with our belongings because there are pickpockets. We took all the necessary measures and we didn’t think about what bad things could happen to us. And in the end we discovered very nice people, nicer than in a lot of other safer countries we visited.

The flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur was about 1 hour and 30 minutes. If in Singapore we took the metro to the airport and the bus from the airport, here the airport is very far from the city and we used Uber as transport option for both ways.

We landed around 9 pm and around 10 – 10:30 pm we were at the hotel. Because of some issues we had to stay one night to a different hotel than the rest of the holiday. The first hotel name was V’La Garden Hotel. The location is good, but the room was dirty, the a/c was old and broken, the sheets were dirty, the walls were full of  dampness. We were afraid to stay comfortable in the bed so we barely sleep. Thanks God in the morning we left to our new hotel, City Comfort Hotel, Bukit Bintang, 3 stars. We stayed there 5 nights and it was just perfect. The staff was super friendly, the room so clean, bathroom amazing, breakfast awesome, location excellent, internet very good. We recommend it 100%. We paid for 5 night 630 MYR, about $155. It is close to the monorail, like 10 min walk.

Day 1 Tourist attractions Kuala Lumpur

  • The Bean Belt Coffee
  • Petronas Twin Towers
  • Suria KLCC
  • KLCC Park

So we started the day moving from one hotel to another, after we took the breakfast of course. We walked because the two hotels were close, like 10 min walk, but in that heat with the luggage with us, it wasn’t a piece of cake. We had to climb some stairs to cross an avenue with the big luggage which had more than 20 kg, but in the end we got to the hotel. The check-in was easy so we were ready to explore Kuala Lumpur.

We went straight to The Bean Belt Coffee to start our specialty coffee shops tour in Kuala Lumpur. It was sooo good! Better than all the specialty coffee shops in Singapore. It was more on our taste. The staff was very friendly and we discussed a lot with them. After we finish the coffee we headed to Petronas Twin Towers, the new city center of Kuala Lumpur. Here we were amazed by these two buildings and we took some pictures for Instagram. They are the same beautiful by day or by night, even their beauty is different. We visited the mall there, Suria KLCC and the park. Here are some fountains and in the evening it is a nice lights show.

After we eat on a hawker center nearby, we headed home pleased with what we discovered on that day.

Hawker centers are open-air complexes that house many stalls selling a wide variety of affordably priced food. They are very common in SE Asia. We found them in Singapore, as well.

Day 2 Tourist attractions Kuala Lumpur

  • VCR Coffee Shop
  • Petaling Street (Chinatown)
  • Central Market Kuala Lumpur
  • Plaza Merdeka (I Love KL sign)
  • National Textile Museum
  • Chow Kit Market
  • Jalan Alor Street Food Night Market
  • Plaza Low Yat

The second day we started with a specialty coffee at VCR. It was good, as well. After that we went to Petaling Street Market or Chinatown to see what shopping to do. We drink a coconut and we were impressed by every product from the market. The prices were affordable and we took some things. From here we went to Central Market Kuala Lumpur, a covered textile market with some restaurants in a small food court. We ate and we headed to Plaza Merdeka to take a picture with I Love KL sign. Here we were surprised about how the tourists should stay at an organized queue and one by one to go to the sign and take the pictures. The next tourist can come only after the previous one finished. Of course, you can stay about 2 minutes maximum, but it was great because like this the photos are nicer. We were lucky that it wasn’t so crowded, only two persons in front of us.

We entered for a couple of minutes in the City Gallery near the sign and in the National Textile Museum across the street. The entrance was free for both. After we finish with this area we went to Chow Kit Market and we passed through Little India, but it is not comparing to the one from Singapore. Very small with not so many shops or restaurants and of course, not that clean. Chow Kit Market is market where you can find fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and spices. We weren’t very impressed by it especially because it was really dirty, the smell was awful and the variety was not that great. But the walk till here was nice and we discovered the city by walk. We walked that day 15 km, but for us it is like any other ordinary day in a trip.

From here we took the monorail back to our area and the charm of Kuala Lumpur in the evening is amazing! Music on the streets, lights everywhere, LED TV screens and a lot of people walking. We went to eat at Jalan Alor Street Food Night Market and here the atmosphere was great. Bustle all over the street, food stalls everywhere, everyone inviting to eat at his stall, others wanted to sell you something, anything and music. During the day this street is open for car traffic, but from 6 pm, if I not mistake, is closing and it is transformed into a super nice market. After we ate we walked some more on the streets and we headed to the hotel to work a little bit. Every evening we tried to work for a couple of hours even if we didn’t have target, but we liked so much what we were doing.

Day 3 Tourist attractions Kuala Lumpur

  • Feeka Coffee Roasters
  • Batu Caves

On the third day in Kuala Lumpur we went to drink a specialty coffee at Feeka Coffee Roasters. After that we had in plan to go at Batu Caves, an amazing tourist attraction near Kuala Lumpur, about 40 minutes by train.

So, after we got the energy from the coffee, we took the metro and the train to Batu Caves. How Wikipedia is saying, Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu, which flows past the hill. It is the tenth limestone hill from Ampang. Batu Caves is also the name of a nearby village.

To reach the major cave you need to climb 272 steps which will take you around 10 minutes. One of the most iconic feature of Batu Caves has to be the 42.7 m high statue of Lord Murugan (tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world). God Karthikeya (Muruga) is the Hindu god of war who is also referred to as Karthikeya, Skanda, Kumara, Swaminatha and Subramaniya. He is the commander-in-chief of the army of Devas and is the son of God Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. Some popular folk tales form Tamil Nadu.

Be careful when you are coming here because it is not allowed you to wear shirts. The knees and shoulders have to be covered or else you will need to pay some money to get some scarf to cover it.

At the top you will spend like 10-15 minutes to see everything and to take pictures. The entrance for the major cave is free, but for the other caves you have to pay the ticket. We didn’t visit other than the big cave and we took the train back to Kuala Lumpur. We walked for couple of hours in our area and then back to the hotel room to work.

Day 4 Tourist attractions Kuala Lumpur

  • Looking for coffee shops half of the day
  • RGB Coffee at the Bean Hive
  • Kuala Lumpur streets

The fourth day was my birthday. We were very excited that we are in a nice city like this and nothing else mattered. We wanted to start the day with a good specialty coffee and our plan was to go at Merchant’s Lane near Chinatown. We figured out that on the exactly that day it was Chinese New Year. So nice, we thought. But guess what? How it is on 1st January for us, it is the same for them, which means almost all the shops, restaurants or coffee shops are closed!

We waited for 15 minutes after the normal opening hour at Merchant’s Lane to see if someone will come. We waited in vain and we figured out we have to look for another one. So, we went to VCR because we enjoyed there. We walked from the hotel to Merchant’s Lane 2 km in 30 minutes. It was still morning so the heat wasn’t that strong. From Merchant’s Lane to VCR another 1.5 km in 20 minutes. At least, we knew that we will drink coffee. But guess what? It was closed as well. Not a perfect start for my birthday, isn’t it? Especially because the sun was stronger and stronger. And we didn’t have a clue where to go next because we were risking to be close everywhere and to lose time walking there. But, because we’ve been at VCR the day before, we had the password for Wi-Fi and we started looking for other options. We found one at almost 5 km from VCR, meaning one hour walk, RGB Coffee at the Bean Hive. But it was opeeeen! So let’s go! We took the monorail for a part of the route. From where it dropped us we had to go 2.5 km, almost 35 minutes. On our small trip we passed by Petronas Twin Towers and we admire it again. It was so hot that we had to make a small stop for hydration and to rest for few minutes. From here we had 20 minutes more and for us it seemed to be an eternity because of the weather. Finally, we got there around 3 pm. All the effort worth it because the coffee was very very good and the cheesecake we ate it is the best cheesecake we’ve ever eat. We were sure we will remember this hunting for a specialty coffee shop on my birthday on that hot Malaysian day and we still laugh when we are talking about it.

We left the coffee shop and we start walking back towards our hotel area and to stroll on those streets. We went to Lot 10, a really nice shopping center to eat something. The feeling was so nice and my birthday was a real success even if it didn’t started how we expected to start.

Day 5 Tourist attractions Kuala Lumpur

  • Merchant’s Lane Cafe
  • Petaling Street Market (Chinatown)
  • Kuala Lumpur Station
  • National Mosque of Malaysia
  • Perdana Botanical Gardens
  • Jalan Alor Street Food Night Market

The fifth day we went back to Merchant’s Lane Cafe. We talked to them on Instagram just to be sure and they said it is open. Here we found nice people, friendly staff and super good specialty coffee. Because it is near Petaling Street Market we drank a coconut after and we looked again to see what else we like and we can buy.

Our next tourist attraction on the list was Perdana Botanical Gardens. Till here we walked and we passed by Kuala Lumpur Station, an amazing building with nice architecture and National Mosque of Malaysia, where we entered. There is no entrance fee and the mosque is big and awesome. The atmosphere is quite and we were feeling relaxed. We took a tour in about 15 minutes and we continued to Perdana Botanical Gardens. This is a huge park with many smaller attractions like Planetarium Negara, KL Butterfly Park (25 MYR ~ $6), Deer Park, KL Birds Park (67 MYR ~ $16.5) and some museums. We visited only the park and the botanical garden where the entrance is free. We spent about 2 hours here and we headed to Jalan Alor Street Food Night Market, one of our favorite spots in Kuala Lumpur.

Day 6 Tourist attractions Kuala Lumpur

  • Merchant’s Lane Cafe
  • Petaling Street Market (Chinatown)

The sixth day was the last day in Kuala Lumpur. We had half day to drink a last coffee here and to enjoy one more time this beautiful city of contrasts where the richness and the cleanliness of some areas are contrasting with the dirtiness and poverty of other areas. How I said before, the people are nice and we didn’t feel unsafe at all. They were smiling to us, they weren’t agresive when they were trying to sell you something or to invite you to their food stall. It was a nice experience and we enjoyed it at the same level as we enjoyed Singapore. If somebody would tell me to choose between these two cities, I wouldn’t know what to answer, although the specialty coffee from Kuala Lumpur was better than Singapore, which was a real surprise for us. But Singapore had its own strong points and yes, I still don’t know what to choose. Both of them are unique and beautiful.

After we drank our coffee to the same specialty coffee shop like the day before, we walked a little bit and we went back to the hotel to go to the airport by Uber. After some adventure with the driver and panic that we will miss the flight, we were finally boarding and ready to go back to Dubai to enjoy our second home for few more days.

It was an amazing vacation and we were looking back, probably is the best holiday in 2018, even if we visited a country every month.

Photos

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