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Killing Time in Kuala Lumpur

I had friends from Kuala Lumpur tell me very lukewarm things about their hometown. Things along the lines of “spend a day or two there and then head for Penang.” Their complaints ranged from “all people do is hang out in malls” to “it’s just kind of boring.” I had several days to kill in Kuala Lumpur before Victor joined me for a two week trip to Cambodia and Laos. I was determined to explore a bit of KL and come to my own conclusions. I had already visited once before and spent several hours wandering before going back to the airport to catch a flight. Chances are, if you are traveling in Asia, you will pass through KL because it is a hub for Air Asia. I had always associated KL with the movie Entrapment, starring Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta-Jones, because there are some pretty epic scenes when they rob a bank in the Petronas Towers.

Petronas Towers

I decided to wait for Victor’s arrival before heading to the top of the Towers. This turned out to be a bad mistake because Victor arrived right before the end of Ramadan when everything was closed in KL. So, I suppose I saw Kuala Lumpur at a bad time, because most of the city was closed. Although I had already visited, we decided to take a train out to the Batu Caves:

Batu Caves

The caves feature Hindu shrines and are a famous sight of pilgrimage. Plus you get a great workout climbing all of those stairs.

Up to Batu Caves

I must admit, my favorite part of the Batu Caves were the monkeys. They were incredibly cunning and I watched several steal food and other things from tourists. Plus I captured a monkey eating a popsicle, so it was a fantastic day. Look at the happy bugger:

Monkey Licking a Popsicle

Batu Caves

The caves are impressive, so I would recommend stopping by for a quick visit.

In the Cave

Since our options were limited, we decided to visit the KL Bird Park, the largest free-flight walk-in aviary in the world. I’m not big on zoos and the like, so it was a bit sad to see some of the birds trying to escape. The variety of birds here was incredible and it was nice that they are free to wander as they please. This one really caught my eye with its cheetah print legs:

Feet of a Cheetah

Don’t know how he/she survives from being detected in the wild:


After the aviary we walked over the butterfly park and I had fun with my camera:

Blue Butterfly


Flat Green


During my first trip to KL with Chloe, we wandered the area around the Central Market. It’s an area meant to attract tourists and there are plenty of shops and souvenir stalls within.

Central Market

The Central Market got old fast so we headed over to the Islamic Arts Museum. I highly recommend visiting this museum. They have a really impressive collection of artifacts.

Islamic Arts


But, of course we would visit when the main exhibit was a collection of Indonesian batik that was once owned by Ann Dunham, President Barack Obama’s mother. Obama even made a short video introducing the collection. It seems I can’t escape Indonesia wherever I go.

Ann's Indonesian Batik

In the end, I had to agree with my friend who said KL is good for a few days. I didn’t enjoy visiting it as much as I enjoyed visiting Penang. KL is a capital city. It’s a big city that is much cleaner and easier to travel around than Jakarta. But, for me at least, it lacked that hustle and bustle that Jakarta definitely has.

Where to Stay: Classic Inn is a fantastic budget option in Kuala Lumpur.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. I actually like KL. Sara loves it, so that may be part of the reason, but I’m happy just wandering around a bit and enjoying a nice public transportation system. It’s true I like Penang better, but a lot of that is family history bias I think. :)

    April 14, 2013
    • Yes, the creature comforts are nice, but I tend to get antsy after more than three days. This is also why I don’t really enjoy being in Singapore for more than three days either. The food culture in Penang is what really made me love it there. Hope things are well in Jogja!

      April 14, 2013
  2. vishalbheeroo #

    Enticing it and look forward to visit.

    April 14, 2013
  3. carrie #

    I spent about a week in KL. i couldn’t believe how big it was! i did most of the same things you did. the towers were wonderful. the bird park was definitely cool. the malls were outrageous. looks like you had fun! :)

    April 14, 2013
    • I had a blast eating my way around KL too. I’ll be posting on that soon. Thanks for stopping by and reading.

      April 14, 2013

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