Should a tight work schedule stop you from exploring a new place? I say no. Being a travel enthusiast, I always make sure not to miss out exploring any place during work tours. This time my work destination was Kuala Lumpur and I had a great time discovering the place.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is one of the emerging and fastest growing business hubs of the world. And when they say ‘Malaysia truly Asia’ in their tourism- promotion advertisements, I now know that they actually mean it. This place is a beautiful amalgamation of diverse ethnicities and cultures of Asia. During my short stay of just one week, I got to witness 2 major celebrations- the Chinese new year, obviously having its roots in China and Thaipusam, which is a major Hindu festival originating in South India. And the best part is that both the festivals were celebrated with the same vigour.
Since I had to be in office for the major part of the day, I only had the evenings to indulge in sight-seeing. Nevertheless, I have listed out some not-to-miss places which definitely should be in your itinerary when you visit Kuala-Lumpur.
1. The Petronas towers and KLCC
The Petronas towers,which held the title of the world’s tallest buildings till 2004, still stand tall in their glory of being the tallest twin towers of the world. Though most part of the buildings are occupied by one of the major Petroleum Operations companies-Petronas, the 42nd floor is open for tourists to get a bird’s eye view of the city. There’s a garden just outside the ground floor and is usually jam packed with tourists trying to get pictures. Adjacent to the towers is the Suria KLCC mall, where you can find all the major brands and also little outlets to collect souvenirs from. But the major attraction of the KLCC complex is the musical fountain show that runs in intervals in the evening.
I had a good time watching the show and enjoying the cool breeze in solitude.
You can have a glimpse of the show by clicking on this link: Musical Fountain at KLCC
2. Menara KL Tower
This is the second tallest building in KL which was originally constructed for telecommunication purposes. Two levels of the tower are open for the tourists- the observation deck at 276 metres and the sky deck at 421 metres above ground level. The sky deck has got a glass-floored area that protrudes out of the building and tourists are allowed to take pictures from there. So the day I went, it drizzled for a few minutes and by the time it was my turn to click pictures, the glass floor was wet. Being an acrophobic, I almost had to drag my feet and crawl against the slippery glass to get to the corner. The scene was hilarious!
The ticket to the observation deck is much cheaper, but if you are in Menara KL Tower you better not miss the sky deck (it will cost you around 100 Ringgits). The extra cost is totally worth it! One can buy a combo ticket also to enjoy other attractions like the mini zoo and the upside-down house. The best time to visit is the evening, when you can still enjoy the daylight and wait until nightfall to lit up the skyline. In fact, one can easily skip the 42nd floor view of the Petronas towers for this.
3. KL bird park
It is one of the largest covered bird parks in the world. It houses a variety of species, from pelicans, peacocks and ostriches to hornbills and flamingos. Tourists can even feed the birds, click pictures and even pose with trained birds in their photo booth. The close encounters with the birds are very exciting and fun filled. However, be careful while trying to click pictures of the birds in open. I got to witness an angry peacock chasing a tourist who was trying to take a selfie invading his personal space.
4. Bukit Bintang
For all the shopaholics out there, Bukit Bintang is definitely the place. Right from Electronics to high end fashion, the numerous malls have it all. In case, you miss the food back at home, this area has also got a few eateries serving Indian food. However, Brickfields, also known as ‘Little India’ is the hub of Indian food and products in Kuala Lumpur.
5. Batu Caves
Dedicated to Lord Murugan, the Batu caves is basically a limestone hill with numerous caves. Back in the 1890s, an Indian trader started using it as a place of worship and also installed an idol of Lord Murugan. This is now considered as one of the holy places by the Tamils with major Thaipusam celebrations every year. Apart from the religious aspect, it is the hub of rock climbing activities for the adventure seeking people.
I wish I had enough time to visit the Genting Highlands as well, but maybe that’s for some other time. But i did go to the Chinatown flee market in the Petaling Street, where one can find a variety of items at the cheapest rates. It is also known for its yumilicious street food and is heaven for non-vegetarians. Travelling, in general, is quite cheap with metro and available online cab services like Uber. The combination of different tastes from different places give it’s cuisine a unique taste.
Overall, Kuala Lumpur is the best place to engulf yourself into all of Asia at once!