One two of our family visa run trips we traveled to Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. I loved it because I am a city mouse and Kuala Lumpur is the right kind of city for me.
Both times we stayed at the Sahabat Gueshouse in the Bukit Bintang area of the city right in front of a Chinese Shrine that Small Kiddo absolutely loves. Some families don’t like staying here because it is a bit of party central at night. Fortunately during the day you simply don’t see that. The area is close to trains, malls, big avenues and the very nice Bukit Bintang Walk, an elevated air-conditioned walkway that takes you from Pavilion Mall to the KLCC Park, right behind the Petronas Towers.
The most famous landmark of Kuala Lumpur is the Petronas Towers complex. It is the most photographed piece of architecture in the entire city and pretty much every visitor will go and see it. Its not really surprising since The Petronas Towers are the tallest buildings in the city and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center (KLCC) has so much to offer. There really is something for everyone, you can spend an entire day there or even come back for more the next day, or the next.
The first things on the list are activities you can partake in and around KLCC and the Petronas Towers. I suggest you start at the Pavilion Mall in Bukit Bintang, easily the best shopping mall I’ve ever been too. The reason to start at Pavilion Mall is that the Bukit Bintang Walk starts there. Along the walkway you can find other ways to join on but Pavilion Mall is where it begins. And hey, there are so many options for eating at Pavilion Mall that you could even have breakfast there at the beginning of the day. On to the list…
1. Bukit Bintang Elevated Walkway
The Bukit Bingtang Walkway starts at the back of the mall, you can find it with the direction signs or just ask the information desk. Its a kilometer and a half of air-conditioned magnificence, perfect for strollers or running toddlers. Our kids loved stopping at one point in the middle where they could see the demolition of an old building, previous construction of some new mega complex.
2. Kuala Lumpur Aquarium
Towards the end of the walkway you reach KLCC, The Kuala Lumpur Convention Center and in the concourse level you will find the KLCC Aquaria, shock full of saltwater and freshwater fish, sharks of all sizes and kinds, manta rays, giant groupers, arapaimas, a 90 m. underwater walkthrough tunnel and glowing jellyfish. It’s rumored to be the largest indoor aquarium in the world at 5000 square feet. You can really spend a few hours here. The kids wanted to go there twice!
3. Huge playground and wading pool
As you leave the Aquarium and the KLCC you arrive at a huge park that skirts the Petronas Towers.
It’s only a short walk along a trail to the playground area. This is the largest playground I have seen in my entire life. The climbing castles with slides connect with each other to make a huge complex for the kids to explore for hours. There are games for teeny weeny kids and more complicated climbing walls for the bigger kids.
A little further down the path you will find what is easily the most amazing thing a public park could ever have; a really big wading pool that is no more than 50 cm at its deepest, with fun walkways and waterfalls and no slippery stairs. Even the crawling babies can enjoy this pool at its edges and sit and play with water toys. Whoever though of this is an absolute genius. Did I mention it is all absolutely free? We didn’t know we would find this when we went exploring so the kids splashed around in their underwear. They were not the only ones in that predicament.
4. The Petrosains Discovery Center.
After the playground and the wading pool there are more walkways along the park that take you to Suria KLCC, the Mall inside the Petronas Towers. The mall isn’t that great, it’s just another mall, but on the fourth floor you will find the Petrosains Discovery Center.
A maze of discovery for the kids to explore and experience all things science related. There’s even a big T-rex sculpture that sings a T-Rex song. We stayed in there for four hours!
5. The Petronas Towers Bridge Tour and viewpoint.
The most famous part of the Petronas Complex is the bridge that connects the two towers. You can do a tour of the towers that takes you on the bridge and around other areas of the towers, including a really high viewpoint at the top of one of them. The ticket office is in the basement of the complex, down some escalators. This part of the trip, the kiddos did with dad while I relaxed back at the hotel, but they said they really liked it specially the running across the bridge!
Kuala Lumpur is a big city, and even thought the Petronas Towers and the KLCC are a big tourist attraction it’s not all there is to do! Here are a couple other things you can do with the kids in Kuala Lumpur while you are there.
6. Go to Chinatown for tea
From Bukit Bintang To Chinatown you can take a taxi or walk if your kids can handle it. Every chinatown in every city is worth a visit. For tea, for food, for the temples. We were in KL on the week that the Chinese New Year ended so the streets were decorated with lamps and lights and all things Chinese New Year.
The kiddos love exploring chinatowns, so does my husband. There is always an endless maze of things to discover, each one with its own style mixed with the host country its in.
Chinatowns are a must!
7. Coliseum Café to have scones
The Coliseum Café has been open for 92 years and is known as the oldest standing western colonial cafe in Kuala Lumpur. Coliseum is famous for its scones and jam for breakfast.My son didn’t really like them so much but he enjoyed the ambiance.
The place hasn’t changed in all the years it’s been open and is still visited by locals and foreigners alike. Last year they were awarded by the Malaysian Book of Records for being open in the same location for so long.
8. Ride the train from the airport into town or vice versa
The KLIA Ekspres is the train that connects the airport to the city. The airport is pretty far from the busy areas of town. A taxi ride is long and in the end turns out to cost just as much as the train.
But when you ask your kids if they would rather go by train or by taxi, of course they will say by train! We took the KLIA Ekspres from the airport and then changed trains to the monorail all the way to Bukit Bintang. Needless to say the kids loved it.
Do you love Kuala Lumpuar too? What are your favorite sights there? Im sure I missed plenty but we will be back, Big Kiddo has made me promise.