I’ve heard people say that you can see all of Kuala Lumpur in a day. I was surprised by that statement. Being the capital of Malaysia, covering 243 square km, with a population of 1.6 million, I thought there would be quite a bit to see. BUT taking that rumour as a challenge, I decided to make my trip to KL literally 24 hours. Just check out the plane ticket…
So what are the spots in KL? Number one is the Petronas Towers. After we checked into our hostel, we looked at the map and it was only a short walk away. But instead of heading directly to Petronas Towers, we took a detour around Kuala Lumpur Tower. Kuala Lumpur Tower is a communications tower with an observation deck, similar to what the CN Tower is used for in my hometown, Toronto. Reaching 421 meters (1,381 feet) it was something to see. Because we were in a time crunch and the fact we were there in the late afternoon, we decided to not go up to the observation deck though I’m sure it would give you a great view over the city.
We continued our way around to Petronas Towers. This is the iconic image of Kuala Lumpur you’re probably used to seeing. The twin tower skyscrapers were the tallest buildings in the world from 1998 to 2004. The towers are used for commercial offices but of course you can take a look over the city from the building if the Kuala Lumpur Tower wasn’t high enough for you. Below the towers is a shopping mall that I definitely took advantage of and skipped the view up top (mostly because we arrived too late). The Petronas Towers are beautiful by night. With each floor glowing, I felt like it could have been from an alien planet.
After grabbing something to eat and resisting the urge to check out the local cinema, we headed back to the hostel for some sleep knowing that we’d be getting up early the next day to see the last thing on our list before 24 hours was up.
The Batu Caves, located just outside the city centre, is a huge tourist attraction. It is home to the world’s tallest statue of Lord Murugan (42.7 meters or 140 ft), Hindu shrines, and a quite a few monkeys. We were warned while checking out of our hostel by the owner to “Be careful of the monkeys. They can be mean”. It’s a good point. My friend told me after that one of the monkeys tore open a friends backpack while visiting the caves. Thankfully, I didn’t run into any crazy monkeys on this trip unlike some of my other trips around Asia.
An option for the Batu Caves that I would recommend is the Dark Cave Tour. For 35 MYR (~11 CAD), you can get a guided educational tour of the cave and it’s conservation area. It was great to learn about the ecological significance of the caves and, as a huge fan of bats, I thoroughly enjoyed the struggle to see them overhead (you can hear them no problem though)! Just be careful not to step on all the bugs in the dark cave – there are LOTS!
We left Batu Caves with just enough time to catch our flight back to Singapore. The Kuala Lumpur 24 Hour Challenge was a success! I got the impression that KL is a wonderful city during my short time there. I would recommend NOT embarking on the 24 Hour Challenge yourself. I would have liked to stay longer and really get to know all the little things the city has to offer.