Hey and welcome to Malaysia!
It's hot, it's humid and it's super busy - that's Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia. It's not only a cool stop-over destination but definitely also worth a visit in its own right. I had five days to explore this huge, bustling metropolis where so many different cultures, languages and religions co-exist peacefully. Here you can find elaborately decorated Hindu temples, beautiful mosques, colorful Chinese temples and Christian churches all right next to each other down-town.
Luckily this multi cultural society is also reflected in the food you'll get here: Indian, Chinese, Malaysian of course, Thai, Japanese, Western specialties... you name it, they'll serve it! Apparently the street food is really good here but me being a veggie with a stomach that always plays up when I'm on holidays, I simply stuck to Food Courts - boring, I know! - but better safe than sorry!
Oh the shopping malls! They are simply everywhere and some of them are even connected to each other with really long, elevated tunnels! Everybody (tourists & locals alike) comes here to eat, shop, meet friends for coffee or simply escape the humidity for a while. With shops ranging from outlets & local boutiques selling traditional clothes to high street & haute-couture there's something for every taste and budget. The overwhelming amount of coffee shops and restaurants also makes for fantastic people watching!
But when the sun sets and it gets slightly more bearable outside then the streets fill up with people! From the colorful Chinese street food market that only really comes to life in the evening to the magically lit up Petrona Towers there is still a lot to discover in KL @ night.
The public transport system is efficient, cheap & safe (and air-conditioned!) and gets you to almost all the touristy parts of the city. Some of the trains even have carriages for women only - look out for the pink ones in case you're a female solo backpacker and are more comfortable with this option. The monorail is another great way to get from A to B giving you a fantastic view of the city from its elevated tracks. Walking is another option, just make sure you have a good map like the ones from Lonely Planet, as the street network can get confusing.
My favorite sights in KL:
* Merdeka Square - a big square with a fantastic view. Psst: that's also where you find the Tourist Office and the official "I Love KL" sign (see pic below)
* The KL Tower - You can go up to the top and enjoy the view or you can just check out the visitor center with the souvenir shops & a small video room where you can watch a film on how it was build.
Cool fact: There's a more than 100 year-old tree right next to the KL Tower which had been specially protected during the construction of the tower.
* The Petronas - day or night, they're just incredible!
* Batu Caves - just outside KL (can easily be reached by train) are these amazing caves that house colorful Hindu temples. Entrance is free but donations are appreciated. If you plan to visit, make sure you bring long pants and a long-sleeve shirt or a shawl to cover your shoulders. Alternatively, for a small donation staff will provide you with shawls and modest shirts for the length of your visit.
So without further ado - here are some of my favorite impressions of this incredible city. Make sure you check it out if you're ever in this part of the world!