You’ve got 24 hours in Malaysia’s capital city and you want to engage your senses and immerse yourself in Malaysian culture. Here’s a hour-by-hour schedule of the must-see places and things to do if you’re in Kuala Lumpur for just a day!
8am – Petronas Twin Towers
Standing at a majestic height of 451.9metres, the Petronas Twin Towers is without doubt Kuala Lumpur’s most famous icon. Take a walk along the Sky Bridge – the world’s highest bridge between two towers, and enjoy a birds’ eye view of the city allowing ample photo opportunities.
Going up the tower is definitely not for the faint hearted but those who experience vertigo, not to worry! Some people say the best views are of the tower itself in all its futuristic glory. Just Google ‘Petronas Towers’ and you will find yourself looking at some pretty creative selfies taken with the skyscraper, which could serve as photo inspiration.
Tickets are required to go up the tower and are issued on a ‘first come first serve’ basis. So it is definitely recommended to head there first thing in the morning as it sells out pretty quickly. The tower is as beautiful on the inside as it is out and going to Kuala Lumpur without even walking past the highest standing tower in South East Asia, is definitely a ‘no-no’.
10 am – Kompleks Budaya Kraf: Craft Complex in Kuala Lumpur
Explore Malaysia’s ultural heritage through art. Situated within walking distance of the Petronas Towers, this craft complex provides a glimpse into Malaysia’s colourful culture. Tranquillity surrounds as artists scatter throughout the building working on intricate wood pieces, batik painting, pottery and more.
If you fancy yourself a little go at the artwork, try your hand at Batik Painting and take home your very own handmade souvenir. The Batik Painting is suitable for all ages and would make for an interesting and colourful experience both for solo and group travellers.
The artists are often more than willing to talk about their craft and share about Malaysian culture. Approach them with an open mind and it will be filled with fascinating lessons and educational stories of who, what and how the Malaysian people came to be, all told through the story of their craft.
1pm – Jalan Alor
Located in the heart of the city centre, lies a bustling street that would make any self-proclaimed foodie go into a frenzied excitement. Kuala Lumpur is a foodie’s haven and it comes in the form of Jalan Alor.
Stall after stall of Malaysian cuisine es flank the street and you would be spoilt for choice. From the very simple ‘fishball noodles’, to a spicier ‘curry laksa’ and to the more exquisite ‘drunken chicken noodles’, you’re likely to find anything you’re craving for here.
Be adventurous and be hungry when you’re in Kuala Lumpur and on their renowned food street. Pop into a stall and see, smell and taste what Malaysian delicacies they offer. And if you’re feeling especially hungry, don’t just stop at one stall, surely you have to try more?
3pm – Masjid Jamek
Kuala Lumpur is a largely Muslim Country and it’s no surprise to see several mosques around. However the largest and most spectacular of them would be the Masjid Jamek.
Nestled in between palm trees, this mosque, the oldest in Malaysia, provides a soothing sense of serenity and tranquillity. Step in only to be awed by the design of this religious building – take note of the intricate details and be amazed by the sheer size of this architectural beauty.
It’s a small cost to get into the mosque and both women and men are required to cover all exposed area of skin by wearing long sleeves, pants or skirts as a show of respect. Definitely a must see for those looking to get away from the hustle and bustle to do some quiet reflection and ready yourself for more buzz from the busy city of Kuala Lumpur.
5pm – Chinatown
Although a largely Muslim city, Kuala Lumpur also has a huge Chinese population. Chinatown was therefore created to cater to the Chinese residing in the city. Today’s Chinatown is alive with sights and sounds and smells as people peddle their wares at cheap prices.
For all those who love a good bargain, Chinatown is a definite must-go. From cheap watches, to branded goods (although not the real deal) and even illegal DVDs, it will definitely pique the interest of any avid shopper who can’t resist a deal. It’s recommended to bargain, and if you’re good enough, some peddlers may let their wares go for as low as 50% off the original price!
Even the avid shopper gets peckish but in Chinatown, stalls are scattered along the roads and you can easily pick up a quick bite. From ‘chee cheong fun’ (rice noodles with a sweet or chilli sauce) to small bowls of dumpling soup or even just a cup of traditionally made coffee could perk you up for round two of shopping.
8pm – Bukit Bintang
After a full day of shopping, eating and engaging in cultural activities, end off your experience in Kuala Lumpur at Bukit Bintang!
For the hungry, Bukit Bintang is littered with trendy cafes to stylish bars so wind down with a drink or if you’re up for a hearty dinner, pop into one of the many food stalls that line the street.
For the shopaholic, satisfy all shopping needs here. With 9 major malls all within walking distance, surely it’d quell all urges to shop after. From premium outlets, to trendy boutiques and even a night market that sells cheaper goods, get ready to shop till you drop.
And lastly for the culture vulture, soak in the atmosphere that oozes a mix of languages, smells, sights and smiles. Where locals interact with foreigners, where a myriad of voices fill the busy streets and it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, walk around and take it all in.
Warning: As with all crowded streets across the world, be wary of pickpockets and keep your belongings safe!