Travel Diaries

Go to Kuala Lumpur | city guide for a slow travel

Have you ever wanted to travel just to escape the ordinary daily grind? To go somewhere foreign but not too strange from where you came from, that the place can help you relax and still excite you at the same time? If yes then allow me to share my latest adventure we experienced at Malaysia’s Garden City of Light, Kuala Lumpur.

KL is just about 4 hours away from Manila. Perfect for a quick getaway without eating too much travel time.

Being the capital of Malaysia, you can rest assure that Kuala Lumpur is a tourist friendly city and easy to navigate around. The architectural marvels of this previous British colony can be seen in the city’s buildings which add charm to Kuala Lumpur. Add the fact that it’s also a melting pot to different religions and ethnicities, KL brings together a harmony of culture that brings the wanderlust in me to stay a bit more.

With the familiarity in climate, race similarities (Malaysians and Filipinos have Malay race) a Pinoy wanderer can easily blend in without standing out of the crowd and still pleasantly enjoy being the stranger from the town. I noticed that there are fewer Pinoys in KL as compared to it’s neighbor city, Singapore.

I’ve written down some places I enjoyed while we were busy with our slow paced getaway which I enjoyed very much because we weren’t pressured to all those “must” see and do’s of the travel guides you see on the internet.

1. KLCC Aquaria

At RM 46 per person, you can experience life under the sea and meet some fishy friends

Aquaria is located beneath the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. It was my first oceanarium so I didn’t have any expectations. In here we found different water based creatures like a few friendly otters who are so darn cute, different schools of fish, turtles and sharks which looked like they have been around for a while.

There are pocket aquariums at the entrance which will introduce you to different kinds of fish and their origins

There are shows on different time slots that you can see from the guide they give out.We weren’t interested to stay for the shows because there are a lot of kids having their field trips so they’re maingay.

One area shows that in the Amazon Forest, floods go high that they submerge tall trees. Hence there are fish that swim happily in the Amazon.

We spent about 2.5 hours in the Aquaria because of their main attraction wherein you will stand in a conveyor and it moves you around underneath a long winding aquarium tunnel then sharks, sting rays and turtles swim above you. It’s a visual delight! Now after going around the Aquaria you may go for a quick snack at the food court in the same building when you get out.

That’s Mike and the very loved Aquarian tunnel.

2. KLCC Park and Suria KLCC

KLCC Park is a public park with no fees whatsoever. If you’re enjoying a free day in your travel, you may head here for some nature therapy.

We saw KLCC Park when we went out of the Aquaria. It’s massive and can take you a while before you reach Suria KLCC which is on the other side opposite of the Aquaria. However, we weren’t following any schedule and was just leisurely spending time so we took our time and enjoyed the sceneries.

The park is well manicured but I observed that the trees are big and old, almost saying they’ve been there long before we can think of the word “park”. There are drinking fountains all around and people actually drink from it so I take it that it’s potable, I didn’t try it.

There are a lot of water ornaments that people can enjoy. I also saw a bridge wherein at a particular spot, you can take a nice photo of The Petronas Twin Towers, which overlooks the park.

Suria KLCC is the posh mall beneath the magnificent Petronas Towers. The brands that they cater are mostly upscale, in short wala ako nabili. Pero dahil umulan nun, we took shelter and waited for the Uber at one restaurant we stopped at.

3. The Petronas Twin Towers

The biggest Christmas Tree in KL is the one standing here beneath the Petronas.

The first time I saw Petronas was in 2012 and I was super amazed by the sheer magnificence of the structure.4 years later, I stood little in front of it and my eyes are still twinkling in amazement. It is beautiful. The concrete twins shines brighter at night when the lights of the towers are on. The facade of glass and steel that emanates the future of 21st Century Kuala Lumpur is soften by the Islamic Arts designs of the building, which is also commonly present in the architectural culture of the city.

You can visit inside the Petronas Towers and look at the city from the skybridge that connects the towers.

For Petronas Towers visit, you may purchase tickets here for RM 85. But you can also admire it from afar for free just like we did.

4. Little India or Brickfields

Little India or Brickfields is the part of the town where there is a high percentage of Indian residents and businesses.

Little India appeals so attractive to me. The colours, the sounds, the smell of curry, everything is so alive. We were walking down the streets of Jalan Tun Sambanthan and I heard Bollywood music and I tried to keep my body in syncing with the tune. I failed, and danced like silly while walking.I didn’t care about the locals, hahaha!

Their streets are post worthy.
Flowers for offering to the Hindu Temples which surrounds the streets

It was lunch time when we saw Little India, and we have been enjoying the Malaysian food for the days we have spent there and decided to try Indian food.

When you find yourself in Seetharam Family Curry House, order a drink first and observe how people order food then do the same. There are no instructions on how to order and the staff speaks mostly Tamil.

The problem was the restaurant that we have gone to was not that good. They weren’t accommodating us very well and it was like we’re on our own. We ended up ordering food that we didn’t like and observed that people order their kind of rice first, then choose any gulay on the side.

We went to the backstreets of this alley just because and we found…………………………….a local temple. Haha! Were you expecting like an elephant? This isn’t a Julia Roberts movie noh?

5. Chinatown

Chinatown is in Petaling Street, lots of good buys.

Chinatown here in KL is better organized and cleaner than in Manila. But the  paninda are much like the same. Some things that I saw that weren’t in Manila are the Alibaba pants and the sarong pants which are very cheap and have very good prints. I bought one myself for RM 35.

Dimsums come cheap here and malalaki sila compared Master Siomai ha?
Pam and I are trying on Sarongs just because.
Dito din kami nakabili ng mag cured meats and beef jerky. Masarap siya.

6. Dataran Merdeka

Dataran Merdeka is the old colonial KL. You can see from the structures in this area that this is from a different era. Now people come to see the charm it has from its old days.

We happened to see a food truck fest happening there so we tried in a few snacks from there. For me, so so lang.

7. Islamic Arts Museum

This is where you go when you get caught in the rain then you get out and just can’t believe the beauty of Islamic Arts. It’s so different and yet enthralling

At first level where there was an exhibit of Islam origins in old textbooks made of parchment and scrolls, I was like meh!

It was beautiful calligraphy but to be honest I didn’t get a thing.

Then we went to the second level and found this assemblage of replicas of the worldwide known Islamic temples from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Uzbekistan, India and even China and Spain. It seemed to me that the Muslims were religious conquerors and are great architects.

Replica of Mecca where they go for their annual Hajj or pilgrimage surrounding the black covered cubic structure called Kaaba
The dome of their ceiling boasts of art designs that is truly awe striking.

At the third level, there’s an exhibit of different art pieces, armaments from previous kings and dynasties, and many olden trinkets that says the previous centuries were very lavish.

Moro armor from Mindanao, I saw from the museum in KL. The details and material just wowed me.
Talisman. It looks ethereal.

There’s a lot more places to go in KL but these are the ones I truly enjoyed. Plus this post is too long, sorry!

Just a few last travel tips:

-Coming from and going back to the airport, take KLIA Ekspres or KLIA Transit. It’s convenient, it has WiFi and it’s cheaper than getting a cab.

-Uber and Grab works in KL and please keep your eyes peeled for promo codes. Nung andun kami we were going around for FREE using Grab using a certain weekday promo code.

-KL Hop On Hop Off Bus takes you everywhere in Metro KL for 24 Hrs. It has stops in major tourist attractions, kaya nakapasyal kami ng maayos.

-If you’re looking for cheap food pasalubongs, look for a grocery superstore instead. Tourist shops tend to offer OA prices.

Sorry for the long post, if you have questions let me know and I’ll try to help. Other places like Batu Caves, Titiwangsa Park, Genting Highlands etc. are not included here because I’ve visited them in a previous trip.
Thanks for reading, go and have an adventure today!

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