Having lived in New Zealand for two and a half years, I finally ventured to Southeast Asia this April with my cousin, Lucia and a friend from British Columbia. We all fell in love with the sights, sounds and smells of Malaysia and Indonesia. The following are some of our favourite aspects of exploring Kuala Lumpur.
1. Kuala Lumpur’s delicious and enticing street markets:
During our four nights in Kuala Lumpur, we couldn’t seem to get enough of the Petaling market, which takes place every night in the Chinatown district. The options for stir frying were endless, and we ended up having barbecue vegetables nearly every night! The outdoor dining was second-to-none, as most of the stalls were accompanied with picnic tables and various seating options! As we’ve come to accept, Chinatown also featured an array of “Genuine Fake” Longchamp totes, carryalls and Ray Ban sunglasses. Luckily, there were enough culinary options to keep us occupied for the duration of our travels!
2. Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary
Visiting the elephant orphanage was a definite highlight of our trip to Malaysia. All three of us loved the day long excursion to Kuala Gandah, which is approximately three hours from Kuala Lumpur. The sanctuary strives to help endangered elephants. What really caught my eye, in the elephant holding area, where we had lunch prior to feeding the elephants, were the little ones! After speaking to the handlers, we realized that these elephants we thought of as babies were actually adolescents. After the feeding, we stayed around to go on a brief elephant ride.
3. Our fantastic accommodation at Reggae Mansion:
Thank goodness for our travel agent at Student Flights (NZ), Pauline! Not only did she book us several incredible tours throughout our two-week holiday, she also managed to find the most amazing (and affordable) hostels. A highlight was Reggae Mansion situated in downtown KL. It’s the ideal spot to meet like-minded tourists, especially young travellers. The hostel features a rooftop patio bar, along with a cafe and restaurant in the lobby. The rooms are air-conditioned (a big MUST due to KL’s record-high temperatures and humidity!) We engaged in various social activities during our stay, organized by the hostel owners and I’d highly recommend a stop at Reggae if you are ever in KL!
4. Shop ‘Til You Drop!
Kuala Lumpur is a shopper’s paradise, with its sky-high malls and monumental towers featuring shops to suit every taste and budget! Many visitors are surprised by the modernity and man-made glory of Kuala Lumpur. Others are convinced KL is the prime example of man versus nature. We appreciated both aspects of our visit, and couldn’t conceal our excitement with both the Bintang Bukit and Pavillion Malls, which featured an array of restaurants, high street stores and ridiculous architecture.
5. The famously beautiful Batu Caves
You cannot plan a trip to Malaysia and not visit the Batu Caves. Standing at 140 feet, the world’s tallest statue of Murugan, a Hindu deity, is located outside the Batu Caves. The venerable, visually-stunning monument is a breathtaking place for worship. The trek up to the temple consists of nearly 300 steps, lined with monkeys who like to tease the visitors. The caves are a top tourist attraction bringing international guests to KL’s suburbs.
Part II, coming soon! It will feature some highlights of our Bali trip!
Until next time,