Malaysia Travel

Kuala Lumpur: One day for less than $15

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, is known for being a bustling multicultural metropolis. Last year, it was also the 8th most visited city in the world. Compared to Georgetown and Malacca, it is a new city having been only founded in 1857. But its modern infrastructure and city comforts lure in millions of tourists every year.

Traveling in big cities like KL always have the connotation that it’s expensive. If you can spend a day in Kuala Lumpur for less than 15 USD, why not right?

Getting to Kuala Lumpur

Thanks to budget carriers, it is easy to fly cheaply to KL. I got my one-way flight ticket for $35 via Cebu Pacific. But I’m sure you can get cheaper than that through other budget airlines.

Getting from the airport to the city center is easy enough. KLIA Ekspres Train goes from both KLIA and KLIA2 and onwards to KL Sentral, the transportation hub of the city. One way fare is 35 MYR ($8 as of Aug 2015) and the train ride is 28 mins. There are trains every 15 mins from 05:00 to 01:00 hours (Airport to City). A cheaper option would be to take the bus, but do take note that the travel time will be longer. Options are Aerobus, Skybus and Airport Coach.

Upon reaching KL Sentral, you can take your pick from the different modes of transportation to your next destination. There are buses, trains, and taxis available. If you’re on a day tour only and haven’t booked any hostel, do not worry because there are storage facilities available inside KL Sentral for your luggage. KL Sentral is not just a transportation hub but also a one-stop shop. Facilities include currency exchange, shops, pharmacy, ATMs and banks, ticket counters, and travel agencies.

Batu Caves

My first stop was Batu Caves, located in the Northern suburbs. From KL Sentral, look for KTM which has a direct route stopping just a few meters away from the caves. Two-way ticket costs 4 MYR (1$ as of Aug 2015). Entrance to the main cave is free. Up to you if you will give a donation or buy food for the monkeys and the birds.

Tip: Best to eat breakfast before coming here and make sure to bring water!

inside batu caves temple kuala lumpur malaysia

Back in KL Sentral for lunch and then off to wait for my favorite transportation in KL, the free Go KL Bus!  Go KL is a public bus service that offers free rides for commuters within the Central District (CBD) of Kuala Lumpur. There are four routes available, and the buses operate from 06:00 AM to 11:00 PM.

Tip: Get free maps at the Tourist Information Center in the airport!

Masjid Negara

Second stop of the day was Masjid Negara. It has its own bus stop but this is a bit of a walk from the mosque’s entrance. I was so excited because this mosque is one of the city’s most noteworthy landmark.

Its 73-m minaret and 16-point dome are the highlights of the National Mosque of Malaysia. This structure also reflects architectural design from Spain, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and other Islamic countries.

It was my fault that I didn’t take note of the visiting hours. When I got there, it was around lunch time and found out too late that I cannot go in. Take note that the mosque is not open for non-Muslims during the following hours: 12:00 to 3:00 PM and 04:00 to 05:30 PM (Monday to Sunday); 09:00 AM to 03:00 PM and 04:00 to 05:30 PM (Friday).

Masjid Negara

Merdeka Square

So off I go, back to the bus stop and since Merdeka Square is only a stone’s throw away, I just walked to the vicinity. The Independence Square is where you will also find the following buildings of interest:

  • KL City Gallery
  • Chartered Bank building
  • National Textile Museum
  • Victoria Fountain
  • Royal Selangor Club
  • St. Mary’s Cathedral
  • Sultan Abdul Samad Building
  • Former High Court Building
  • City Theatre
  • KL Railway Station
  • Majestic Hotel.

There is a FREE Heritage Guided Walk of Dataran Merdeka, but again, I was too late. Tour days are on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays. It starts at 09:00 AM to 11:30 AM and begins at KL City Gallery.

To book, email or call 603-2698-0332, or drop by KL City Gallery. Bikes and tram options are also available.

Merdeka Square

“Merdeka Square Kuala Lumpur panorama” by Ezry Abdul Rahman from Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia – Licensed under CC BY 2.0 via Commons 
 After walking around in the area, and getting a nosebleed because of the heat, I boarded the Red Line again and rode to Medan Mara to catch the Blue Line. After getting off at the bus stop, you just need to wait for the next Blue Line bus at the same spot.

KL Tower

My next stop was at Wisma MPL to board the Purple Line that will take me to KL Tower. Menara Kuala Lumpur is the sixth tallest communication tower in the world. Surrounding it is KL Eco-Forest Park, the only remaining tropical rainforest at the heart of the city.

Again, the main entrance is a bit of a walk, uphill this time from the bus stop. There is a free shuttle however that goes up to the tower to save you from more walking. Do take note that aside from the 110-year old Jelutong tree, the other attractions are not free.

You can find the following in KL Tower: Mini Zoo, Forest Eco Park, Flavour of Malaysia, F1 Simulator, Blue Coral Aquarium, Open Deck, Megaview Banquet Hall, Observation Deck, Revolving Restaurant, and XD Theater.

Kuala Lumpur Tower

KL Tower

After taking my shots, I waited for the free shuttle van to go down and waited for the Purple Line bus. Got off at Pavillion and chose to walk along the connecting skyway to KLCC. You can also take the Green Line and get off at KLCC.

Petronas Twin Towers

Of course, I cannot leave KL without seeing the Petronas Twin Towers up close. Formerly the world’s tallest buildings, it stands at a height of 452 meters with 88 floors. The design is rich in Islamic symbolism. The two tower’s eight point star motif represents the end of a chapter (Rub el Hizb), based from the Qur’an. The Skybridge at the 41st and 42nd levels is the highest 2-storey bridge in the world.

kuala lumpur petronas towers

So hard to get it all in one frame. I should have laid on the ground. LOL

When I got tired of taking photos of the towers and the park, I walked back to Pavillion to snack and explore in an AC environment. Haha! After a bit of rest, I walked all the way back to get dinner in Jalan Alor, one of KL’s street food haven, before resting in my hostel in Bukit Bintang.

RELATED: A Taste of Jalan Alor’s Wong Ah Wah

Jalan Alor at night

Malaysian street food!

Transportation: 39 MYR (KLIA Ekspres and KTM)
Food and Water: 22.5 MYR (lunch/dinner/snack/water)
Total Expenses: 61.5 MYR ($14.8 as of Aug 2015)

Other places of interest:

  • Colmar Tropicale at Berjaya Hills
  • Petaling Street (Chinatown)
  • Kuala Lumpur Bird Park
  • Botanical Garden
  • Sunway Lagoon Theme Park
  • Aquaria KLCC
  • Thean Hou Temple
  • Little India

I would love to hear from you!
Have you been to Kuala Lumpur? How was your experience? 🙂

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