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Guide to Exploring Kuala Lumpur on a Budget

by Audrey on April 11, 2013

Oh, Kuala Lumpur! A city that can overwhelm the senses. As one of the fastest growing cities in South East Asia, Kuala Lumpur is loud, in your face, bustling with traffic, and full of colours and smells… It’s a lot to take in, but if you take the time to slow down and focus on the details, you’ll be able to enjoy everything it has to offer.

What to See

Sam at the Batu Caves

Batu Caves – The Batu Caves are located in the outskirts of town, just a short train ride from KL Sentral. Inside the limestone caves you’ll find various shrines dedicated to the Hindu god Murugan. The climb up to the entrance is steep; you’ll have to climb 272 steps, but there will be plenty of macaques to keep you distracted along the way – just don’t get too close to them because they are not afraid of people. Once you have finished visiting this site, you can enjoy a nice vegetarian meal in the restaurants located just across from the temple.

Petronas-Towers-Kuala-Lumpur-KL

Petronas Towers – Whether you visit them by day or by night, there is no denying it, the Petronas Towers are truly impressive. I would suggest you make time to visit the towers twice, by day and by night, so that you can see its two distinct sides. When you visit in the evenings, you’ll be able to enjoy a colourful water show with streams of colour shooting out of the fountain. The show draws both locals and visitors, and takes place nightly.

Merdeka Square in Kuala Lumpur

MerdekaMerdeka Square is an important site in Kuala Lumpur as it is where the Malaysian flag was raised for the first time. This open green space was once a cricket field, but today it is a gathering place for visitors and locals. It’s a place where national celebrations are held, and you’ll also notice that on certain evenings sports are shown on the jumbo TV screens by the field.

Peacock eating papaya at the KL Bird Park

KL Bird Park – Peacocks, parrots, lovebirds, storks, and emus! There are over 3,000 birds in this bird park, in more than 200 different species! The idea behind the KL Bird Park is that it is a free-flight aviary; this means that the birds can fly freely in an environment that closely resembles their natural habitat. With an admissions price ofย  48 Ringgits ($15 USD), this was our little splurge while in the city.

Where to Eat

Roti canai at Restoran Anuja

Restoran Anuja – Located just across from Puduraya Bus Terminal (you just need to cross the street via the overhead walking ramp) is a little Indian restaurant that serves up some of the best roti I have ever tasted. Restoran Anuja is always busy regardless of the time of day. The roti cheese is prepared to perfection, and they also make delicious fruit smoothies, lassis, and sweet chai.

Chinatown – Hands down the best place to find food! Whether you’re looking to eat in a real restaurant, al fresco, or just grab a quick snack to go, this is the right place to come. I recommend the Hokkien noodles!

Where to Sleep

Backpackers Travellers Inn – We chose this hostel for various reason. First, it is located within walking distance of Puduraya Bus Terminal, which meant we didn’t have to navigate the city with heavy backpacks in tow. Also, because it is located in the heart of Chinatown, the rates were relatively lower compared to other parts of the city. And lastly, Backpackers Travellers Inn offers an array of accommodations ranging from dorms to private rooms. They also have a nice little patio on the rooftop, where you can enjoy some delicious banana and chocolate pancakes. (Breakfast is extra.)

Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? Do you have any recommendations?

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Nat April 12, 2013 at 3:47 pm

I would go just for the bird park. Love them!

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Audrey May 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

The birds were beautiful to look at! ๐Ÿ˜€

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Jennifer April 12, 2013 at 5:55 pm

I went to Kuala Lumpur last year and loved it. The batu caves are great – we went when an indian festival was on so it was a hive of activity. They are so easy to get to using the train too. Also loved seeing the Petronas Towers at night – they look so magical when they are lit up!

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Audrey May 3, 2013 at 4:08 pm

Oh wow, that must’ve been amazing during the festival!

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Maria April 13, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Awesome topics and tips – I’m ready to check out Kuala Lumpur now! *counts pennies*

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Audrey May 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm

Hehe, a bit far but hopefully you get to visit one day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Andrea April 14, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Mmmm – love roti!

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Audrey May 3, 2013 at 4:05 pm

We can’t get enough of it!

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Abby April 15, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Great shot of the peacock! I wish I’d known about it there. No shopping, huh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Audrey May 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Haha, that was my first time seeing a peacock up close!
And, unfortunately we didn’t do too much shopping in KL, thought the malls are impressive! I’ve never seen so many designer stores in one place!

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