The Best Things to See and Do in Kuala Lumpur in 24 Hours
You'll have plenty of time to explore.
(SPOT.ph) Kuala Lumpur is fast becoming one of the Southeast Asian region's aviation hubs thanks to the abundant supply of budget flights that go in and out of Malaysia. Because of this, more and more people end up in the capital for a layover, ranging from two hours to almost a day. But instead of being stuck inside the airport, why not use the time to explore? Here's our list of attractions for travelers who just have 24 hours to spend in Kuala Lumpur (KL).
Getting out of the Airport
It is very important to point out that Kuala Lumpur International Airport is actually located in the Sepang district of Selangor, approximately 45 km from KL’s center. Anyone planning to explore the city must first travel to the main transport hub known as KL Central. Transport options available include the Light Rail Transit, public bus, taxi, and even car-sharing services like Grab and Uber. Fares range from 12 to 65 Malaysian Ringgit (approximately P142 to P800). The possibilities are endless in exploring this modern yet exotic city once you reach KL Central.
WHERE TO GO
The most strategic way to begin your tour is to start from the farthest destination from the city center, which is the Batu Caves. Located north of KL, it is a series of limestone caves reminiscent of the rock formations in El Nido, Palawan. It is also considered a sacred Hindu Shrine. This cave network is home to several statues of Hindu gods, one of which is as high as a six-storey building!
Getting to the cave entrance is already an adventure. You must endure the 272 knee-busting steps to reach the opening, then pass through wild monkeys that are notorious for stealing people’s food and bottled drinks. Any brave soul will be rewarded with the majestic view of the cave interior and sacred Hindu statues. A trip to KL is never complete without exploring Batu Caves.
Chinatown and Central Market
This place offers a wide array of RTW shops, handicrafts, souvenirs, food stalls, and cheap finds. It is comparable to Metro Manila’s Binondo, Divisoria, and Greenhills Shopping Center. Central Market started out as a wet market in 1928 and was later renovated to provide more shopping options, including both indoor and outdoor shopping bazaars.
It is also home to the kue putu (putu bambu), rice cake cooked inside individual bamboo tubes. So if souvenir shopping is your game, make sure to visit this side of KL.
Petronas Twin Towers
This is one spot that needs no further introduction as KL is synonymous to the Twin Towers of Petronas. Completed in 1998, the Petronas towers were the world’s tallest skyscrapers for six years (from 1998 to 2004). The towers are located at the Kuala Lumpur City Centre, an upscale area of building clusters, shopping centers, and a public park.
Visitors who are trying to take that perfect selfie shot have two options to choose from: The front entrance of the Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC) Mall or the lagoon behind the building. The front entrance has elevated platforms that make it easy for anyone who wants to take a picture of themselves with the towers as backdrop, while the colorful fountains at the lagoon area provide a refreshing contrast to the gleaming towers at night.
Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang
Just several blocks away from KL’s Chinatown is Jalan Alor, home to the best hawker-style street food in the city. You can find different cuisines—Chinese, Malay, Middle Eastern, American, and Indian—along this food strip. It's best to visit at nighttime, when all the food stalls are open.
Must-try dishes include the colorful Siomai (P100/dozen), Malaysian Chicken Wings, Fried Durian, Hokkien Mee, and the incredibly addicting Fried Oyster Mushrooms. Of all the attractions in KL, this is an easy favorite!
WHERE TO STAY
It may just be 24 hours in KL, but you still need to sleep. With a flight waiting for you in the morning, it makes sense to catch a comfortable snooze time. There are countless options available for travelers, but there are few standouts when it comes to affordability and killer views.
For P2,500, you can get a one-bedroom suite at Somerset Serviced Apartments. This features a queen-size bed, walk-in closet, bath tub, kitchen, living room, and an infinity pool with a view of the Petronas Twin Towers.
For other affordable options, you can also check out AirBnB. At Platinum Suites, rooms are within the P2,500 to P3,000 price range. The tower has an infinity pool with a panoramic view of both the Petronas Twin Towers and Menara KL Tower—something that even a five-star hotel can’t match!
Whether you're visiting for a while or just stopping over en route to the rest of Asia, KL is one destination that shouldn't be missed.
For more travel stories from Julius Calvin Santos, visit iHap Travel.