We took some friends from the UK around Kuala Lumpur. Started off at Dataran Merdeka and ended at KLCC. The weather was great and the walk was amazing. It’s nice to be reminded why we love this city. The videos were mostly taken from Instagram Story, that’s why most of it is in portrait and photos were compiled from everyone involved that day.
Best and cheapest way to experience the city
Malaysia’s bustling capital city has plenty to offer. From the historic and cultural sights to the new and edgy developments. We planned for a morning till afternoon walk, that’s 9am to 1pm, so we could only squeeze in a small part of Kuala Lumpur. With a heavy heart, we had to forgo the National Mosque, Bird Park and Tugu Negara. But there is always a next time, right?
Our friends were first timers here in Malaysia and were eager to see its heart, Kuala Lumpur. We met up at the tallest flagpole in the country, on Dataran Merdeka.
Dataran Merdeka or Merdeka Square, was once a vegetable farm. The British then transformed it into a cricket field. Just across the field in all its Moorish architectural glory, is Bangunan Sultan Abdul Samad. Known only as Government Offices, in its early years, the building was the offices for the British administration. It was once the location for Malaysia’s superior courts and now is the building for the Ministry of Tourism and Culture.
Run on the field, take photos of the Victoria Fountain and keep your ears peeled for the hourly chime of the clock. If you are around on the 31st of August, catch the Merdeka Day parade or 16th of September for the Malaysia Day parade there.
We took a peek at St Mary’s cathedral, that has been around since 1894. Also, one of the oldest mosques in the city, Masjid Jamek.
As we were walking, one of our friends whom had just arrived the night before, mentioned that he has yet to eat in a mamak and told us to point one out to him if we came across any. We held our laughter as we told him that we have passed more than 5 mamak restaurants since we started! Restoran Yusoof dan Zakir was the nearest and we headed in for some teh tarik and teh o’ ais limau.
Tummy full of “pulled tea” as our friends would say it, off to Central Market. Once an open wet market, where you would come to buy fish and vegetables, this historic building has been around since 1888. It has undergone several facelifts over the years and it is now fully air-conditioned, displaying an array of trinkets and crafts perfect for souvenirs. For more arts, make your way to the back for the Annexe. You will see portraits of random famous people hanging on the wall and local artists painting and sketching in their little nook.
Just a few minutes away, lies Chinatown or Petaling Street. Greeted by persuasive salesmen, trying to assure you that the “Chanel” handbag is worth your money and its quality guaranteed. Unless your aim is to score some knock-offs, our advice is this: come here for the atmosphere, for last minute/last resort shopping of t-shirts and flip flops, or for the food.
Stop at the cross road and you will find the “air mata kucing” stall. Then try some roasted chestnuts and muah chee. Here is also a great opportunity for you try local fruits.
Look beyond the busy stalls and haggling vendors. The buildings lining Petaling Street have been here since the 1920s. These shophouses is a mixture of Dutch and Roman style architecture, and some are still run by the same families.
KL Eco-Forest Park and KL Tower
A retreat from the glaring sun and the hectic pace of the city, we made way towards KL Eco-Forest Park. It is one of the oldest forest reserve in the country and the only remaining tropical rainforest in Kuala Lumpur. A short 10 minute trek through the jungle and the herb garden, we find ourselves approaching the canopy walk. A fun and great way to enjoy the greenery! Before leaving Bukit Nanas, we visited KL Tower. South East Asia’s tallest telecommunication tower at 421 meters.
Petronas Twin Towers
Brisk walking on Jalan P. Ramlee then through the lined trees of the Standard Chartered KL Park. We arrived at the foot of the impressive Petronas Twin Towers, standing tall at 452 with its 88 floors on each tower. As locals who have laid eyes on these twin skyscrapers many times, we were still at awe. After some compulsory group photos and selfie, we end the tour with a new found love for our capital city. We would be more than happy to show it off anytime!
Have you tried a KL walking tour? Tell us your experience in the comments section below.