48 hours in Kuala Lumpur

When flying to Asia’s most popular destinations, often you have a layover in Malaysia’s capital. Here you’ll find a short guide on how to survive a day or, like in my case, two days in Kuala Lumpur. If you have only couple of days while waiting for another flight you will want to make the most of your time exploring the amazing attractions and get the taste of the rich culture Malaysia has to offer. But first, a little advice; if you’re arriving to Kuala Lumpur’s airport and you’re waiting for your next flight to your destination, be sure to have plenty of time between the flights. When arriving from Dubai to KL and before flying further to Indonesia we had 3 hours to kill. I thought this would be more than enough time to go through all the airport procedures. It always was. Boy was I mistaken. We barely caught the connecting flight. I haven’t walk so fast since I’ve suffered a stroke almost six years ago. But it was worth it, because we haven’t missed our flight. Well, the luggage drop off was already closed, but the nice lady made some calls and accepted our big backpacks. I must confess, I was a bit worried the backpacks wouldn’t make it to the right plane. “How will we make it for three weeks without our bags,” was going through my mind. But I didn’t have much time to worry, we needed to run further. If you’re ever caught in a similar situation, here’s my advice …: first, you need to know, that there are two separate airports in KL – one for arrivals and the other for departures. Yes, they are connected with free transport, but it takes some time to travel between them. Secondly, be aware that you will need to go through an immigration office when entering Malaysia, this means waiting in a long long line. If not for my disability, an officer wouldn’t let us cut the line and we would have probably missed our flight. Luckily, we just barely made it to check in and boarded the plane on time. On the way back, we didn’t have to hurry so much, because we went to the center and spend 2 days in Kuala Lumpur. A bus is the cheapest way from the airport to the center, though not the fastest. If you don’t mind a 45-minute ride, take the bus, otherwise the fastest way is the train. Once in this hectic metropolis, I suggest you use buses or trains, since the fares are not too expensive and the city public transport is fairly good. Below you can find my recommendations on what to see.

First, you cannot miss the Petronas Twin Towers. The Towers standing 452 meters tall were once the tallest buildings in the world. Both towers are joined at the 41st and 42nd floors. The Towers house the corporate headquarters of the Petronas Company. Many tourist take photos in front of the towers near the water fountain.

Though the best view of the Towers is from another iconic building in the city. Along with the Petronas Twin Towers Menara KL Tower is easily Malaysia’s most recognizable and popular landmark. The tower stands at 421 meters and was built in 1994. It offers most spectacular view of the city. Viewing deck of KL Tower is at 276 meters. Though the price to walk on KL tower’s sky deck is a bit high, believe me, it is worth it. Do not just go to the observation deck, pay extra and go up to the sky deck. The view of Kuala Lumpur is marvelous during the day, but it gets even better at night when you can observe the city sparkling lights. We went up late afternoon, saw the city in the sunlight and decided to wait up there until the dark. We spend couple of hours at the top, because we did not want to pay twice. On the sky deck you can also walk on the glass floor in the big sky box. Just do not look down if you’re afraid of heights. A glass room provides a bird eye’s view of the city below. I’m not particularly afraid of heights, though I was quite scared standing in a transparent box 300 meters above ground.

One of the best things in Asia is without doubt delicious food and the cheap prices of it. While in Kuala Lumpur I recommend going to Jalan Alor – one of the most famous roads in the city for food. It is located just behind Bukit Bintang and only a short walk away from Changkat Bukit Bintang. Due to Kuala Lumpur being an immigrant city, the variety of food available is amazing. Heaven for all the foodies.

If you have some more time to kill, take a train ride north out of the city and visit Kuala Lumpur’s most frequented tourist attraction. Batu Caves is a limestone hill comprising three major caves and a number of smaller ones. This 100-year temple features idols and statues inside the main caves and around it. Walk up the stairs and admire limestone formations that are around 400 milion years old. The temple is considered an important religious landmark by Hindus. Just a little advice; be careful, because there are a lot of monkeys running around the caves.

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