MALAYSIA – Things you must see in Kuala Lumpur if you have just a day


Kuala Lumpur is a city which I could have visited many times before. I could have easily planned in a stopover during previous trips but never did that as I knew at some point I would be forced to make a stopover. This was more or less the case when I travelled with my daughter from Thailand to Indonesia. The flight times were so that we would have a night in Kuala Lumpur which I extended to two nights. We stayed at the Lanson Place Kuala Lumpur (read the review) which offers luxury apartments. We had one full day to explore the city. Join me on a tour to the most important places.

Batu Caves day trip

The Batu Caves are located in the northern part of Kuala Lumpur. They can be reached by various means of transport but I recommend using Uber (sign up here to get 10 euro credit) to get around quickly for a low price. Go in the early morning to the Batu Caves as it has two parts to explore. The Hindu temple complex and the dark cave. I did both and both are worth it.

MALAYSIA - Things you must see in Kuala Lumpur if you have just a day

Hindu cave temple

It was in the late 19th century that an Indian business man saw the cave as an important religious site. He constructed a temple which he devoted to Lord Murugan, the god of war. The Batu Cave Temple complex is now the biggest Hindu temple complex outside of India. A total of 272 steps take you to the entrance and are well worth the climb. The steps look higher as they are. There are many macaques around the Cave Temple. Just keep an eye on your belongings especially food as they might take it. In front of the caves is a huge statue of Lord Murugan, the biggest statue in the world. Throughout the complex there are small caves with statues and religious images. At the foot of the hill there are two more temples to visit. I found it a pleasant place to visit but I must say that I did expect more. It was however an impressing place to see.

MALAYSIA - Things you must see in Kuala Lumpur if you have just a day

Dark cave tour

Halfway between ground level and the Temple Cave you should visit the Dark Cave. It’s a complex of caves reaching more than 2 kilometers in length. There are several parts open for visitors of which the first part has tours every hour. Longer tours deeper in the cave complex run on request only. These caves are unique and formed over 400 million years ago. Various unique animals live here like spiders and bats. It’s dark in this part of the caves hence the name Dark Cave. Flashlights are handed out so you can see where you are walking. I loved walking through the Dark Cave with million year old stalagmites and stalactites just next to me. These rock formations and animals are pretty unique and therefore I highly suggest not skipping this – paid – part of the caves. The tour takes an hour and is well worth it. I continued to the Petronas Towers after my visit.

MALAYSIA - Things you must see in Kuala Lumpur if you have just a day

Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers are the tallest twin towers in the world and a landmark in Kuala Lumpur. If you visit the city these towers simply are a must-go place. I could actually see them reaching to the sky from the Lanson Place hotel where I stayed.

Planning a visit

I recommend buying entrance tickets online to avoid any waiting line in case there is one. They are located in the central business district where they opened their doors in 1996. The towers are designed by an Argentine architect Cesar Pelli. They are made mainly of reinforced concrete with an outer metal skin. The outside look features various Islamic details referencing to the Muslim background in Malaysia.

The Tour

I arrived at the towers around lunch time and there was no waiting line at all. After a thorough security check I was in the elevator taking me up to the 86th floor. There I had a great view over Kuala Lumpur. At the time of my visit the highest sky bridge in the world on the 41th/42nd floor was closed for renovation. On the top floor you can learn about the construction and other background information. It’s well worth a visit and takes between an hour or maybe up to two. I continued to the old colonial district by Uber taxi.

MALAYSIA - Things you must see in Kuala Lumpur if you have just a day

Old colonial district

Kuala Lumpur City Center is the old colonial district. I arrived from the Petronas Towers at the Merdeka Square (Independence Square). This is the center of the old colonial district.

Merdeka Square

Around the square are various colonial buildings which for the most part are still in use and cannot be visited inside. The Sultan Abdul Samad Building with its beautiful clock tower makes up one side of the square. On the opposite you can see the Royal Selangor Club and to the right the St. Mary’s Church. The other side is the place of the independence monument and one of the biggest flag poles in the world. I walked around the square with my daughter. As it was very hot that day plus the fact that my daughter got tired and wanted to swim we went back to our hotel.

MALAYSIA - Things you must see in Kuala Lumpur if you have just a day

China town visit

If you have the time I recommend visiting also Chinatown on the opposite of the river. It’s an interesting place to wander around a friend of mine told me.

We arrived back to Lanson Place in the late afternoon. My daughter wanted to swim and I needed to do a bit of work on my computer. When we both finished it was time for a great dinner at Bijan restaurant. They really make some delicious Malaysian food. The next day I continued to Indonesia where I would do a two week itinerary with my daughter. For now our time in Malaysia came to an end. I enjoyed Kuala Lumpur and would like to return one day if I have another stop over to explore a bit more of the city. For example the National or Islamic Museum. When I do I’ll let you know here on CTB Global.

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Gallery Kuala Lumpur

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