"The new Gate to Southeast Asia" Kuala Lumpur by Airpunk

Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide: 6,429 reviews and 15,156 photos

Getting started...

Like many of my trips, this one has started with a special offer by an airline. Not a new Ryanair route, but the first low-cost connection between Europe and the far East. Air Asia X was offering return flights from London/Stansted Airport (my second home in Essex) to Kuala Lumpur for just 180.00 GBP return. After a friend and colleague became as excited as me about it, we decided to book a three week trip that started in Hamburg and would include Oxford, London, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore as well as two further destinations in Malaysia. With exception of the UK destinations, Kuala Lumpur was our base for the trip. And it turned out to be a friendly, lively and adorable host.

Although not as popular as Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur is becoming one of the favourite destinations in Southeast Asia. Not only because of the flight, but because of what Malaysia has to offer: East meets West, modernity meets traditions, chaos meets organisation and ethnicities meet each other. Right in the middle of there is Kuala Lumpur, the capital of the multi-ethnic nation of Malaysia, one of the most prospering nations in the region and a country, which is easily accessible to most tourists. For eating out, drinking and clubbing, it offers any taste and price level you can think of.

History, etc.

Founded in 1857, it is one of the youngest capitals in the world. Its history began as a focus point of tin mining and trading at the confluence of River Klang and River Gombak. The name of the city derives from this point: Kuala Lumpur is the Malayan expression for muddy confluence. Kuala Lumpur grew quickly to become the country's capital and was also the place where independence was declared on August 31st 1957 Today, it is the country's largest city and the financial hub of the country. It remains also the country's centre in many other issues, although some governmental institution are going to move to the nearby artificial city of Putrayaya. With only 1.8 million inhabitants, it sounds like a small city. However, you have to bear in mind that Amsterdam is only half as large and is one of most lifeliest cities on Earth. Besides that, around 8 million people live in the greater region of KL, so there is no way you will feel like in a dead place :)

What to do

As a young capital, Kuala Lumpur has not a vast number of historic spots to offer as tourist attractions. However, it has a good choice of museums, religious buildings and a couple of other nice attractions. If you like shopping your choice is as large as for restaurants, bars and clubs. And of course you should not miss one of the favourite attractions in KL: A visit to the Petronas towers with a walk on the Skybridge. Batu Caves and Putrayaya are nearby places which can be quickly visited on a half-day trip. And whatever comes to your mind: There are almost no limits in KL!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Cheap prices, safe place, friendly people, easy to travel - and a lot to see!
  • Cons:Only if you don't like the lovely chaos of big asian cities
  • In a nutshell:A place that never sleeps - has good chances to become my favourite destination in Asia!
  • Last visit to Kuala Lumpur: Feb 2010
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (25)

Comments (1)

  • yumyum's Profile Photo
    Jul 30, 2012 at 10:04 AM

    Excellent page on KL which is still on my wish list. Twice I passed through this huge old railway station when I took the train from Bangkok to Singapore many many years ago.


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