10 Best Activities in Kuala Lumpur
Shopping, spas, or seeing the sights in a whole new way – whatever you choose to do when you visit the city, the most popular things to do in Kuala Lumpur are sure to leave you with fond memories. Visiting a big city like KL and getting to experience the best offerings is no easy task, but we can safely say this list of the best activities in Kuala Lumpur will help you cover a wide range of ways to enjoy your time in Malaysia’s capital. Ranging from casual shopping trips to the best malls in KL, and sampling local hawker food to going on an adventurous helicopter tour or nature walk, expect to find a lot great things to do in and around the city. Best of all, you will get to experience these things on your own time, allowing you to do only as much as you can, so do not worry if you can’t fit them all in – we are sure you will be coming back.
KL is a retail paradise that is home to some of Southeast Asia’s biggest shopping malls. The swanky Bukit Bintang is KL’s most popular shopping arena while Suria KLCC houses exclusive international brands. If you’re looking for phony designer bags, clothes and bootleg DVD’s then the prominent Petaling Street proffers a variety of fake-label merchandise – but keep in mind that you’ll need to bargain hard to get good deals.
Genting Highlands is a mountain peak destination located 51 kilometres northeast of KL; it’s an easy day trip from the city centre to this hill station. Boasting Malaysia’s only casino, it is the country’s version of Las Vegas – albeit a somewhat less glitzy version of it. Christened The City of Entertainment, this nippy resort-town plays host to the First World Hotel – listed in the 2006 Guinness World Records as the world’s largest hotel.
The best way to see its numerous landmarks is to take to the skies and get a spectacular airborne glimpse of the sprawling city. The “Become A One-Day Pilot” is a tour that puts you behind the controls of a plane and takes you on a scenic flight; if you’re afraid of heights this tour a great way for you to get over your trepidation. On the other hand the KL Helicopter Tour takes you on a trip above KL’s landscape while an experienced pilot navigates and provides insightful commentaries on KL attractions.
KL is the region’s gastronomic ground zero and boasts practically every permutation of Chinese, European, Indian, Nyonya and Southeast Asian fare. You can choose to dine in high end swanky restaurants or try the rough-and-ready affairs of the hawker scene. Foreigners often hesitate when considering eating hawker food because of its exterior appearance; yet if truth be told, hygiene standards may vary, but hawker stalls cleanliness levels are generally good and you should have no fear.
FRIM – also known as the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia – is a must-see landmark for all visitors to Malaysia. Boasting more than its fair share of natural forestry attractions, this 600-hectare tropical forest is a lush collection of exotic flora and fauna. Located along the outskirts of KL’s suburb city, this reserve lies approximately 16 kilometres north west of the capital city. Founded in 1929, the park’s crowning glory is the canopy walkway – which is suspended 30 metres from the ground and spans over 200 metres.
Frequently found in spa centres or within the numerous foot reflexology operations around the city, fish spas are incredibly in style in KL these days. Bringing new meaning to the term feeding the fish, you immerse your feet in a tank filled with these freshwater fish – also known as Doctor Fish – and they nibble away at the dead skin. The result is an initially ticklish yet not wholly unpleasant experience that leaves your feet cleaner and smoother.
If you’re looking to do something a little different than shopping excursions or sightseeing then you should definitely join a firefly tour. These harmless creatures congregate at a vast mangrove swamp that lines the banks of the rivers; cruises usually start at dusk when the night air has cooled down. This tour usually includes a seafood dinner before you take a short night walk or boat ride to view the fireflies that light up the sky like Christmas lights.
The sprawling 80-acre Sunway Lagoon Theme Park is Malaysia’s premier water park. Comprising the Wild Wild West, World of Adventure and Waters of Africa, this park has all the thrills and spills for a day of fun in the sun. The Wild, Wild West is an authentic cowboy town with old-style salons as well as a variety of Old West rides while breath-taking and thrilling rides are the name of the game at the World of Adventure Park.
Malaysian food is a melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indian and sundry influences and it’s a case of you either love it or hate it. Some people can’t stand its spicy zest while others simply love its flavour. Whichever side of the camp you land on, Malaysian fare is certainly undeniable – if you’re the former a cooking class is a great way to learn how to cook Malaysian gastronomic delights without the standard spicy quotient. However if you’re the latter, at these classes, you’ll be able to pick up tips from authentic Malaysian cooks who’ll even give you genuine family recipes.
Dubbed one of the Seven Wonders of Malaysia, The MINES Resort City is one of KL’s biggest attractions. Boasting a mega-size shopping mall, a theme park, a hotel, a beach and spa resort, a convention centre, a business park and a golf club, this exciting township was once a tin mining area. The Mines Cruise takes you on a tour of this sprawling 1,000-acre park where first you’ll get a chance to walk across the man-made beach of the Palace Beach & Spa Resort.