Travel Tips for Kuala Lumpur

Travel Tips for Kuala Lumpur January 16, 2013

On Saturday, I’m flying to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malasyia. I’ll be speaking at a few venues, including the conference shown below. I’m wondering what you think I should see and do while I’m there. Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? If so, what tips have you got for me?

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  • I haven’t been to Malaysia, sorry, but this was in my reader stream today.

    Massive political demonstrations might have an effect on your travel plans, after all.

  • I have been to Malaysia multiple times. It is a muslim country, but it’s known as a “friendly” muslim country. In other words, they are extremely tolerant of other religions. You will see women dressed in full burqas (face covered, etc.), but mostly women with head coverings. Those in full burqa are often visiting from other muslim countries, like Iran.

    The people are wonderful. Most speak English.

    If you hit a 7-11, be careful of the green Slurpee…it’s not what you think…and, in fact, is mostly unidentifiable.

  • I was in KL a few times, but only to renew my visa for Singapore 😉 Definitely eat some good food at a hawker stand. Try the durian (why not). There’s a punk music scene there too (or at least there was 17 years ago).

  • oh and say hi to Sivin Kit for me!

  • Kien

    Hi I am from Malaysia. But not living there now. Try the local food. If u don’t have anyone who can take u around, let me know. There is a Hindu pilgrimage site neat KL called Batu Caves. I understand it is one of the top pilgrimage sites around the world for Hindus. Google and find out more. Then ask your self how a Muslim country can end up hosting such a significant Hindu pilgrimage site. BTW, Malaysia is gearing up to celebrate Chinese New Year. There are two public holidays for CNY. If u have a Chinese Malaysian friend, ask about “yee sang”, a traditional dish eaten during this time. Not something to shout about in terms of taste but very symbolic.

  • EG

    +1 on trying the local food.

    I’ve also been to Malaysia multiple times, though never KL. In northern Malaysia (Penang specifically), Char Kway Teow, Laksa, and Nasi Kandar are among the top choices served at hawker centers, and all are delicious. Each time I visit, I am left with a stronger impression that food is one of Malaysia’s chief exports.

  • Keat Lim

    Glad to know you’re dropping by KL Tony. Depending on what’s your interest but Kien’s suggestions are pretty good. Batu Caves will be crowded with Thaipusam devotees on the 27th, making it an exciting visit. If you have time for downtown sightseeing you might want to check out Imbi Market (wet market with interesting food delights) and Central Market (arts and crafts).

    Must try the food, and durian 😉

    Btw @Steve Knight, Sivin is still away in Norway; not sure if he’ll be back for CNY 🙂

    • Charles

      I second Keat’s recommendation, both the Imbi Market and the Central Market are musts. Oh, and just in case, there’s a White Castle available – at least there was last time I was there. Enjoy KL, it was a favorite when I traveled the PAC RIM.

  • StuLyman

    Lived in MLY 25 years still have colleagues there. EG’s list of dishes is great-I’m so hungry for some char kuey teow or ee foo mee right now. I’d add some of the different Induan rotis – there’s a shop in Subang Jaya that boasts 101 varieties. Have some teh tarik (pulled tea) with it. Best is to hook up with a local who will be thrilled to take you to the best places. Malaysian dishes are one of their national treasures. Enjoy!

  • Jay Blossom

    Visit the Petronas Towers!

  • Definitely Batu Caves, Central Market, street food.

    I also recommend checking out one of the shopping malls. (Perhaps Starhill Gallery?) They’re outrageous, over-the-top, unlike anything you’ll find in the U.S. It really is more like an immersive art gallery than a mall—red-carpet escalators, live music, bathroom attendants that pump your hand-washing water through a complex steampunk contraption, …

  • check you email later, I’m connecting you with some friends who were part of what was formerly known as emergentMalaysia who hosted Brian McLaren in 2007 *wink* 🙂

  • Kia Meng

    in response to Sivin’s comment above, feel free to connect with us. we can show you the ‘un-cut’ version of KL, beyond the stereotypical touristy facade of Malaysia.

    welcome to Malaysia, a confluence of social forces, packed tightly under colonial constructs inherited from the British, now bursting at its seams! it is really an interesting time to be here, Tony.