Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur or KL as it’s commonly known is the capital and largest city in Malaysia.
It’s one of the fastest growing metropolitan regions in the whole of South East Asia.
We stayed in KL or actually just outside the city for over a month in 2016 and also visited on another occasion too.
KL is a hub, so quite often we’d find ourselves travelling through between other destinations.
There are tons of things to do in KL but here’s our top things-to-do-in-Kuala-Lumpur
Thean Hou Temple
For most people, Batu Caves is a day trip from the city but we rented an apartment for over a month just a ten-minute walk away so we got to see the caves at some quieter times.
Batu Caves is one of the most popular Tamil Shrines outside of India.
The entrance to the caves is guarded by the huge 42.7-meter high golden statue of the Tamil God, Lord Murugan
It’s a very impressive figure that took three years to construct and is the tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world.
Two temples at the base of the hill attract worshippers and tourists alike.
The main Temple cave is reached by climbing the 272 concrete steps to the cave opening.
Once we’d huffed and puffed our way up the 272 steps we were faced with the huge interior of Temple Cave.
It’s cathedral-like in its enormity.
Batu Caves Entrance
Many Hindu statues and figures line the stone walls inside the cave that are lovely and colourful.
Unfortunately, we don’t know our Hindu Gods that well so we don’t know who they represent.
In the centre of the cave, a small temple is situated which is dwarfed by the sheer size of the cave.
To be honest we were a little disappointed with the interior of the cave.
I mean, the cave itself is huge and amazing but we thought that the temple might be more elaborate.
We thought the temples outside and of course, the statue of Lord Murugan were much more impressive.
Outside the cave, you’ll find other smaller side caves and temples.
One feature of the hill is the Long Tailed Macaques that live there, but as always you have to watch your belonging as they are rather clever at snatching anything that’s available.
If you get a chance then it’s worth visiting the caves in the early morning or in the evening.
You’ll find it’s much quieter with fewer people there, and if you are there in the evening, it looks lovely all lit up.
Temple Inside The Caves
You can get the train straight from KL Sentral to Batu Caves and Batu Station is at the end of the line so you can’t miss it.
The trains are nice and modern, clean and air-conditioned and at the time we were there ( March 2016 ) cost the princely sum of £2.40 for the three of us return to KL Sentral.
There are several restaurants outside the temple complex but we never tried them so can’t really comment on the standard of food.
One of the modern trains at Batu Caves station
This is a gem and little visited cave temple very close to Batu Caves but without the crowds.
We came across this place by accident but it’s totally worth going to find it.
The interior is beautiful with marble floors and lovely carvings.
We visited a couple of times and on one occasion they were running free yoga classes that we joined in with.
The way to get to the temple is that if you exit the main Batu caves complex with the main road in front of you and the statue of Lord Murugan behind you, turn left and walk alongside the road.
You’ll pass by stalls selling flowers and offerings.
You’ll reach the highway flyover but on the left, you’ll see a small entrance to the temple.
For reference, it’s directly opposite the McDonalds restaurant on the other side of the road.
You’ll have to take your shoes off at the entrance.
Inside it felt much more real than Batu Caves, and not such a tourist destination.
When we were there a group of Indian, Malays were having an annual pilgrimage there and invited us to share their food and drink they had bought with them.
They were all so welcoming and keen to chat with us.
The beautiful interior of Ayapan Temple
Hindu God Statues inside Ayapan Temple
The Petronas Towers and Suria KLCC
One of the most striking features of the KL skyline is the Petronas Twin Towers.
They were the tallest buildings in the world between 1998 and 2004 and are still the tallest twin towers in the world.
Our first view of them was from the base of the towers themselves.
We had walked from the city centre by way of the many covered raised walkways that link major shopping malls etc.
One of these walkways enters the Suria KLCC shopping complex below the towers.
As we exited and looked up, the towers loomed large and metallic above us.
They are works of art in my opinion with their beautiful shape against the sky.
The Skybridge connects the towers on the 41st and 42nd floors and is the world highest two-story bridge.
You can go up and cross the Skybridge but we decided not to.
We visited the Suria KLCC shopping mall quite a few times with its modern stores.
It even has a Marks and Spencer Store !!
We particularly liked spending time in the huge Kinokuniya book shop that had lots of English books.
The food choices are endless with massive food courts and lots of restaurants.
We ate in Chilli’s but also loved the cheaper options at the food court.
The Petronas Twin Towers with Suria KLCC shopping mall below
The stunning Petronas Towers
Inside Suria KLCC shopping complex
Berjaya Times Square Shopping Complex
KL is chock full of shopping opportunities and Berjaya Times Square is huge.
The shopping complex and cinema spans 8 floors and even has a theme park built within it.
We watched Kung Fu Panda 3 in the cinema there and really enjoyed the experience as well as the very low cost of admission.
From high-end department stores to market stalls, you’ll be able to find almost anything you could want here.
There are food courts with tons of choice.
Did I mention the theme park, yes it even has a rollercoaster that does a loop the loop?
Unfortunately, Annabel was too short to ride at the time but she really liked the look of it.
The lovely thing about this shopping mall is that it has its own monorail stop attached to it so if it’s really hot, you don’t even have to leave the air conditioning.
Berjaya Times Square shopping complex
The amazing indoor theme park in Berjaya Times Square shopping complex
Watching Kung Fu Panda 3 in Berjaya Times Square
Buying Electrical Goods
South East Asia is a mecca for purchasing electrical goods, especially computer and photographic equipment.
One of the largest shopping complexes to buy electrical is Plaza Low Yat ( I always think it’s low fat ).
It’s not far from the Berjaya Times Square shopping mall.
There are literally hundreds of outlet stores here selling everything electrical.
Sue had broken her lens protector on her Sony camera but we managed to get one that fitted, in one of the stores.
Instead of being one store, it’s full of different outlets so you need to shop around to get the best deals but it can take ages to go around all the stores.
Lots of items are cheap but maybe a less well-known brand, but they also have the top brands too.
I could get lost in there for hours much to Sue’s dismay.
All the electricals you could ever want at Plaza Low Yat
Perdana Botanical Gardens
When all the shopping gets too much the Perdana Botanical Gardens make a pleasant break from the city.
It’s lovely to have such a huge expanse of green and tranquility so near to the bustling city.
Located very close to KL Sentral and Kuala Lumpur railway stations it’s a great place to spend a quiet afternoon.
Spread over 22 acres, it has a huge lake, deer park, bird park, butterfly park as well as the National Planetarium, Islamic Arts Museum and the Fantasy Planet children play park.
We had a lovely time just wandering the many paths through the park and beside the lake.
The deer park was beautiful with raised walkways where you could view the deer grazing below.
The landscaping is wonderful with beautiful pools and waterfalls.
Beautiful water feature in Perdana Botanical Gardens
The Deer park in Perdana Botanical Gardens
National Museum Of Malaysia
Across the highway ( there is a bridge for crossing ) from the Perdana Botanical Gardens you’ll find the National Museum.
The museum opened in 1963 and spread over three floors has exhibits on the history, crafts, economy, arts and culture of Malaysia.
There’s a life-size traditional Malacca Baba House as well as a steam train outside.
It was nice to discover and learn more about Malaysia and it’s rich history and varied cultures.
The National Museum
The Fountains At Suria KLCC
At the foot of the Petronas Twin towers and outside the Suria KLCC shopping complex you’ll find the KLCC park.
It’s a lovely area with a children’s play park ( just be careful you’re young enough to go on the equipment and don’t misbehave because there’s a uniformed lady there who loves to use her whistle to blow at you ).
There many pathways to explore and lots of people come here to exercise and run.
But it’s especially nice in the evening when there is a water and light show in the lake outside the shopping mall.
This twice-nightly show is set to music with fountains and jets of water lit up with beautiful colours.
We loved watching it and went several times.
The fountain show at KLCC Park
Wonderful colours at the water show KLCC
Right in the heart of KL we discovered the Central Market.
Built-in 1928 as a simple indoor market it was revamped in the 1980s to house handicraft outlets.
It has a wonderful art deco entrance and contains some wonderful craft stalls showcasing the best of Malaysian handicrafts and art.
You’ll also find a range of eateries inside.
Petaling market is situated within KL’s China Town district.
Hundreds of stalls and restaurants are crammed into this covered street.
Neon signs and Chinese lanterns would lead you to believe you were in the middle of Hong Kong and not Malaysia’s capital city but the Malay culture has a large Chinese influence.
Cheap hotels and hostels line the street.
Merdeka Square or Independence Square is located in front of the Sultan Abdul Samad building.
The ornate building used to house the offices of the British colonial administration but after Malaysian Independence, was used by the ministry of tourism, culture, media and communications.
The huge field outside ( Merdeka Square ) used to be a cricket ground.
In 1957 Malaysia gained their independence and the Union flag was lowered in the square with the Malay flag taking its place.
The present 100-metre flag pole marks the original spot where the Malay flag was first hoisted and Malaysia was no longer under the rule of the British Empire.
The area is huge and I guess nothing much has changed except for the tall office blocks behind the Sultan Abdul Samad building.
The Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Merdeka Square
Merdeka Square with the Malaysian National flag being us
Thean Hou Temple
One of our most favourite places to visit in KL is the Chinese Thean Hou Temple just outside the centre of the city.
Perched atop a hill and overlooking the city, the temple is serene and peaceful.
The six-tiered temple is dedicated to the Chines Sea Goddess, Mazu.
Completed in 1987 the architecture and decorations are stunning.
Rows of red Chinese lanterns are strung up everywhere and give the temple a unique feel.
The beautiful red lanterns of Thean Hou Temple
The exterior of Thean Hou Temple
The prayer hall has three altars, each dedicated to a different deity.
On the right is Guan Yin, the Goddess of Mercy, Tian Hou, the Goddess of the Sea is in the centre and on the left is Shui Wei Sheng Niang, the Goddess of the Waterfront.
The interior of Thean Hou Temple
The interior of Thean Hou Temple
The temple has such a lovely feeling about it.
The grounds are beautiful with flowers and a turtle pond with literally hundreds of turtles all clambering over one another.
We encountered the most violent thunderstorm we’ve ever witnessed while at the temple.
Trying to stay out of the torrential rain under a small pagoda while the biggest of explosive thunder went off all around us was a pretty scary experience for all three of us.
The turtle pond at Thean Hou Temple
Kuala Lumpur is such a modern, stylish, traditional, culturally rich city.
We’ve visited twice now and loved being there both times.
Our first visit was for over a month but then our second was for just five days before leaving to visit Australia for the first time, and what an adventure that would turn out to be.
At Thean Hou Chinese Temple