On Sunday, October 23, we flew to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We chose to go to Kuala Lumpur because there was a hotel there we could use our free nights from our credit card at, as well as it being an easy flight from Singapore. Neither of us had ever been to Malaysia, so we're always trying to visit new places. Malaysia and Singapore are on the same peninsula and were one country not too long ago.
When we got off the plane and got through passport control, there were so many restaurants, shops, and food stands! It felt like a mall. I was very surprised to see a Garrett Popcorn-I’ve never seen one in an airport outside of Chicago. The smell of caramel corn was all over the terminal.
We took an Uber from the airport to our hotel in downtown KL. It took over an hour to get there because the airport is so far outside of the city. We checked into our hotel (The Mandarin Oriental!) and got settled before venturing over to the mall right beside the hotel.
This beautiful rangoli was in the lobby of the hotel-the entire thing was made of colored rice! I can’t imagine how long it took for someone to create this masterpiece.
After walking over to the mall, we realized that it felt like everyone else in Kuala Lumpur had the same idea. There were SO MANY PEOPLE. The mall felt filled to capacity-think Black Friday and Christmas Eve combined. It was hard to walk around, especially somewhere we were unfamiliar with.
After getting a quick snack at the mall, we decided to go to a fancy restaurant in a nearby tower for dinner. When we walked outside, the Petronas Towers (Kuala Lumpur’s famous landmark) were brightly colored to celebrate Diwali.
Our dinner was delicious-we had steak, zucchini fritters, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese. It was an extravagant meal, but it was fun to sit on this high floor and look out at the buildings of Kuala Lumpur while we ate.
We didn’t do much on Tuesday. I had an amazing massage in the hotel spa, hung out by the pool, and walked around the mall. We did go out to see the water show near the Petronas Towers. While we were there, we saw them lit up in white light the way they usually are.
The one thing I really wanted to do in Kuala Lumpur was visit the Batu Caves. This is a Hindu temple in caves, with colorful stairs. We took an Uber from our hotel and arrived in the rain. We hadn’t eaten anything, so we stopped to get a snack at one of the stalls right outside the temple. They only took cash, which we didn’t have. We had to walk down to an ATM about a mile down the road. By that time, we were both so hungry. We ended up at a McDonalds and grabbed a late lunch. It was a little chaotic, but we made two travel mistakes that we are working to never make again-always eat before heading out (or have a plan of where you're getting food) and always have cash!
When we made it back to the cave, we started the walk up the stairs. While these stairs are beautiful to look at, they were challenging to walk up! They are uneven and worn in different places, so you have to pay attention as you are walking. I had read that there are tons of monkeys who live at the cave and will sometimes try to grab food from you. We didn’t see any monkeys, which was a little disappointing.
When we reached the top, we found the huge cave. The scale of this cave room was hard to believe and impossible to capture accurately in a photo.
Once we crossed the first cave room with the large temple, there was another set of stairs (you can see them in the photo above). We made it to the back room where there were more monks and another temple area. There was a lot to look at in all these areas, so we took some time to walk around, take photos and notice what was going on around us.
We started our trek back down the stairs. It was so humid; I was very thankful we had water with us. This area was worth going to see-it was very unique and I’m glad we were able to visit while we were in KL.
When we got back to the city center, we went on a night food tour. This was one of the more unique food tours we have been on-it felt more like we had a local guide who just ate dinner with us at a few places in this night market. The food was all good, there were a lot of things to look at, and we were able to try things we wouldn’t have ordered on our own.
This was my favorite thing we ate-it was tea with milk, but very strong and hot. We also had a sweet roti. Again, not things we probably would have found on our own or tried without doing the food tour, so that made it worth it.
We didn’t do a ton of exploring in Kuala Lumpur, but we were able to see some interesting things in our 4 days/3 nights there. If we ever go back, I would like to go up in the Petronas Towers or KL Tower to do an observation deck and see more of the food markets and other parts of the city.
We're Brennan & Megan
Since June 2022, we have been traveling to learn more about ourselves and the world around us.