Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia was definitely a joyful trip to remember. I had so much fun with my friends that I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted. We planned a girls trip to Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand back in 2017 which was an amazing experience. One can say that we lived our best lives.
This trip was a great reunion as we planned to meet up with our international friends who studied at our university. My friend Linda prepared a busy and detailed itinerary for us which truly gave us an unforgettable local experience, even pulling an all-nighter.
Below I share what we got up to in our short time in Malaysia (including flight, accommodation, food), an example itinerary, few tips to help you travel smart and save costs.
We booked our flights in February for our 10 day trip in June through Kayak, which led to us getting a good price. Our trip included a long stopover in Dubai which allowed us to explore the city before our flight back to London.
Travel Smart Tip: Use flight aggregator websites such as Skyscanner, Kayak, Momondo, Google flights and Kiwi. Don’t buy the first ticket you see, compare prices on these websites which could save you costs! I find that the features on the kiwi and Kayak websites are great for booking a multi-city trip.
Route: London Gatwick -> Dubai -> Kular Lumpur -> Singapore -> Bangkok -> London Gatwick
Airline: All our flights were with Emirates
Total Cost: £446.07pp
Accommodation In Kuala Lumpur
We decided to use Airbnb to save costs and booked an entire apartment which offered lovely city views from the balcony, access to the outdoor infinity pool, fitness centre (gym), laundrette, retro bar (“Hubba Hubba”) and the terrace. I found the apartment super clean and had a great location.
KL Airbnb apartment: You can £23 off your next stay
Total Cost: £ 25.67pp (Shared between 3 persons)
Getting Around Kuala Lumpur
Although we had the luxury of getting driven around by my friend, I would recommend downloading the Grab app for taxis. I call it the handy South-East Asian version of Uber. I have used it in Thailand which was super affordable and from what my Malaysian friends have told me it’s the one to use.
Foods To Try In Kuala Lumpur
If you are a foodie like me, then you have come to the right city. Malaysia has a variety of dishes and delicacies. I found the food well seasoned and spicy in general. We had an amazing food experience (apart from trying Durians), indulging ourselves in local dishes and trying out street food including lovely desserts.
Travel Smart Tip: If you are travelling during Ramadan, Muslim-run food outlets close during the day but other restaurants will be open. Be mindful of eating and drinking in public as Muslims will be fasting during the day.
My top must-try foods when in KL are nasi lemak, roti canai, banana leaf rice and Nasi kerabu Kelantan, a popular local dish during the month of Ramadhan. If you are brave enough, I challenge you to try Durians (A popular fruit with a peculiar taste and smell).
Why not check out my post on 40 Photos That Will Inspire You To Give Southeast Asian Cuisine a Try featuring some popular Malaysian dishes.
Shopping In Kuala Lumpur
We indulged when it came to shopping as there was soo many bargains that we couldn’t help ourselves. We enjoyed this part of the trip as we got some super cheap quality items, such as clothes, shoes, bags and local products.
Travel Smart Tip: Make sure you haggle at markets. A lot of the items sold in the markets are at bargain prices and the pound goes a long way with the Malaysian currency (Malaysian ringgit).
Petaling Street in Chinatown is a bargain shopper’s paradise. We spent hours shopping and haggling for deals. We immersed ourselves in the lively atmosphere while eyeing some delicious street food.
The Pavilion is a shopping centre located in the Bukit Bintang district, featuring 700 stores over seven floors with many major western brands and a food court. I found this shopping centre very lively and busy. We even walked in just time to watch a show in the middle of the centre, entertaining us shoppers.
Uptown Shah Alam is a great upbeat market with plenty of stalls and delicious street food. We also got some beautiful henna done here which we found was very low-priced.
Bukit Bintang, Sungai Wang Plaza and Berjaya Time Square are other shopping centres I would recommend you visiting.
Clubs and Bars In Kuala Lumpur
On our first night in Kuala Lumpur, we were ready to explore the nightlife and it did not disappoint.
Recommended: Visit Heli Lounge Bar for sunset views and a great skyline view of the city at night.
We went club-hopping before we ended up in Zouk Club. This club did not come to play when it came to playing the latest afrobeat hits at the time (If – by Davido) and a good mix of hip-hop, R&b and bashment music. The vibe and music were shockingly awesome throughout the night.
My Top Five Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur
1. Explore The Batu Caves
The Batu caves is a limestone hill that has a set of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia.
Travel Smart Tip: When visiting the Batu caves, wear decent clothes and your knee should be covered to avoid renting SARONG (RM3) when entering the cave temple. Wear comfortable shoes as you will be climbing 272 steps to get to the top. Beware of the cheeky monkeys when climbing the stairs as they will come for you if you have any food, drinks or loose items insight.
2. Shop At The Central Market
Try a fish spa treatment in the central market (Pasar Seni). This was by far the biggest fish (that feed off your dead skin) I had seen.
3. See The Panoramic Views Of Kuala Lumpur
Enjoy a trip to the KL Tower Observation Deck + Sky Deck + SkyBox. This is a thrilling experience above the ground at 300 metres up, offering a great place to enjoy panoramic views of Kuala Lumpur.
4. Take A Selfie At The Petronas Twin Towers
Visit the Petronas Twin Towers, Malaysia’s iconic twin skyscrapers when illuminated at night. It is a must-do when you’re in Kuala Lumpur.
5. Take A Walk Down Jonker Street, The Centre Street Of Chinatown.
This popular street has many historical sites, museums, plenty of Malaysian street food choices and serves as a place for vintage fashion and antique shopping. This place turns into the night market at the weekend which is worth a visit.
Black Travellers Experience
Often when we walked through markets or busy places, It felt like we were treated like celebrities, with locals complimenting us. We did get stares and on some occasions, a few people came up to us to ask to take photos with us. But these events didn’t distract us from the overall positive experience we had together.
Thank you for taking the time to read. Did you find this travel guide helpful? Please pin, share my 3-day itinerary and comment below!
Looking for your next travel destination? Need help with holiday planning or would like a detailed personal itinerary?
As a travel consultant, I want to help you guys book the best affordable flights, hotels and activities to meet your needs and ease off that pressure of planning a holiday. Fill in a quick form on diywithjoy.com/shop/services/ which takes under 2 minutes. You can also send an email to diywithjoy@outlook@com.
Malaysia is one of the countries on my list that I wish I could visit some day. I love how you broke this down in a way that covers all the things that someone would need to know to be able to do it, from the flight to the accommodation and the food and shopping areas. And I love that you added that tip about traveling in Ramadan, such a smart and considerate thing to mention and do. 🙂
Thank you Ray for taking the time to read! I’m glad to hear this as I really enjoyed my short time there.I’m sure you will have a good time there when you visit some day! My Malaysian friends and some of my relatives are Muslims and thought this was important to point out so more people can be aware during Ramadan as well 🙂
Thank you Ray for taking the time to read! I’m glad to hear this as I really enjoyed my short time there.I’m sure you will have a good time there when you visit someday! My Malaysian friends and some of my relatives are Muslims and thought this was important to point out so more people can be aware during Ramadan as well 🙂
This post brought back so many memories for me, especially the food and Pavillion Mall! After seeing some of the apartments on offer, I would definitely consider the air bnb route next time.
Good to hear, love Malaysia! Yes definitely a good idea. There are some lovely KL apartments with a lot of hotel amenities like a swimming pool at affordable prices! x