It feels weird that this time last week I had just arrived in Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines, the flight was uneventful, I actually slept for most of it, and I was ready to explore this amazing city. Kuala Lumpur, or KL as its better known to the locals, is a great introduction to Asia especially as everyone speaks English, and I really loved the contrast of the steel-clad skyscrapers with historic monuments and architecture, and the crazy traffic with the beautiful parks. This Malaysian city really has a lot to over, including the most mega-sized shopping malls I have ever seen, these guys really know how to shop!!!
I was only in the city for four days, as part of the Malaysia blogger influencer exchange programme with Malaysia Airlines, and I wasn’t going to let a 13 hour flight, or the heat, which actually takes some getting used to, get in my way of exploring. I’m not really a sit around the hotel kind of person, granted the Grand Hyatt where I stayed was very appealing, but there is so much to see in KL that I got straight to it.
I will be sharing more detailed posts on my flight, my top sights to see, a look at the fabulous hotel I stayed in, as well as my experience at Kuala Lumpur Fashion Week, which was the main reason I was in the city. But I thought I would share a snapshot of my mini adventure, my highlights as you will to give you an idea of how beautiful KL is.
First stop had to be Petronas Towers, I had such an amazing view of these twin towers from my hotel suite, but the grand scale of their beauty definitely needs to be seen up close, I was kind of fascinated by its islamic-inspired design based on an eight-sided star that echoes arabesque patterns. You have to see the towers during the day and explore the gorgeous park surrounding it, but you have to come back at night and see the skyscrapers all lit up, and enjoy the fun Las Vegas-esq light and fountain show it really is an impressive sight. Also if you want to get your shop on KLCC Suria is a huge mall and it has a great array of restaurants that have outdoor seating so you can do a bit of people watching.
One of my favourite days had to be my mini adventure to see the Batu Caves, just 13km north of the city it was super easy and cheap to get to the impressive Hindu shrine. Most tourists go here on organised tours, which aren’t expensive around £18 per person, but I decided to go on the KTM Komuter train, it goes from the main KL Sentral station right to Batu Caves and costs less than a £1 for a return.
If you are worried about travelling on the train alone, don’t be, they have dedicated female-only carriages, which I found made the journey safe and easy, plus the women I met on the train were really lovely and helpful. Actually this was one of the main things I took away from my KL trip that the people are charming and so happy to help, it really was refreshing.
I think I will share a post dedicated to the Batu Caves, I have tons of pictures and I found the place to be beautiful, and even the intense Malaysian heat wasn’t going to stop me from making it up the 272 steps to the Temple Cave. It was an experience, but so worth it, the temple is amazing, the monkeys are fascinating, and the view is breathtaking seeing the golden statue of Muruga standing guard.
Everyone told me that food was a big deal in Kuala Lumpur, they weren’t wrong, it is incredible. It is the choice that gets you the most, I found it a little overwhelming, Indian, Chinese, Thai, you name it there is probably a restaurant or street stall selling it. I’m not the most adventurous of eaters, but it was fun trying out lots of different things – I became a big fan of Malayan chicken skewers, anything with Satay gets my vote, I also loved the chicken rice, sounds simple but the spices involved makes it delicious.
But as someone with a sweet tooth it was great to find so many dessert options, from an intriguing layer cake to so many sorbet and ice-cream parlours, but my favourite had to be the dreamy Pandan Chiffon Cake, which I can’t wait to try and make myself, it was so delicious served with mango and soft ice-cream. I would love to say I didn’t eat this huge piece but I don’t want to lie to you!!!
One of the main things I took away from my short stay in Kuala Lumpur had to be the architecture, I was blown away by the mixture of old and new. I’ve always had an interest in architecture and what got me about the buildings in KL had to be how many were inspired by Islam, the geometric motifs and arches really stood out especially when seen on the modern Dayabumi Complex. Seeing buildings like this against the steel-clad skyscrapers just made the city even more beautiful to me, so if you visit this city do make sure you tour the city, whether by car, on foot or the monorail, there really is a beauty in this city away from the crazy traffic.
As well as being a bit of a concrete jungle, KL also has a lot of green spaces, from the KLCC park in the centre to the Lake Gardens, which is quite popular with tourists, as the area houses the KL Bird Park, the Orchid Garden and the Butterfly Park to name just a few. I enjoyed spending a day in this area, I had fun wandering the 20.9-acre free-flight walk-in aviary, it was so cool getting so close to all the birds, who really were happy to pose for a picture or two. I nearly bumped into this beautiful Stork.
I was also fortunate to be in KL when the Orchid and Bonsai show was on, this garden show literally took over the Lake Gardens with various different kinds of orchids and bonsai trees, it was beautiful, plus I loved that they had got local street art artists to graphic the backdrops, I really loved the contrast. The site is so huge I only saw a fraction of the gardens, and all I could think was what a great location this would have been for an outfit shoot, sadly being alone means that selfies are as good as it gets!!!
This is just a snapshot of my Kuala Lumpur adventure, I took close to 2,000 pictures in my four days, and I promise more blogs to come on this fabulous city but I don’t want to overwhelm you, so keep an eye out for them over the next month. You can also check out my adventure on Instagram by searching for the hashtag #FashionistaBarbieinKL.
Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? Would love to know what you enjoyed about the city.