Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia? You’ve come to the right place! Here’s my step-by-step guide on places you can visit and things you can do when you are there! I can say I’m an authority already because I did my trip there alone using maps and travel guides to Kuala Lumpur from the tourism office! This post is dedicated to everyone to everyone who would like to enjoy a cheap trip to Malaysia and Singapore. As the saying goes a penny save is a penny earned. (Click here for more tips on how to have an inexpensive out-of-the-country trip)
How much do you need to spend for your Malaysian trip?
Would you believe if I tell you that I spent a little over Php16,100 roughly around USD366 for my 4 days/ 4 nights trip to Malaysia. That amount already included the expenses I had during my short trip n Singapore . The amount covers the following expense:
- Round trip airfare Manila to Malaysia and Malaysia to Manila via Cebu Pacific
- Round trip bus fare Malaysia to Singapore and Singapore to Malaysia via Bus Online Ticket
- Hotel accommodation for 4days/3 nights in a Malaysian Hotel via Agoda
- Food and Drinks
- Leisure and Tours
- Souvenir items (Pashmina, Indian Anklet, Card Holder)
- Taxes and miscellaneous expenses (travel tax, terminal fee, baggage check in)
I paid for my hotel accommodation and bus fare using my Paypal account . Doing so keeps me safe from revealing my credit card information and other important information to prevent identity theft and hackers.
How to get to Malaysia?
TIP 1: Subscribe to airline sale alert and book your flight early! The fastest way is to travel by air. I saved a lot on my airfare because I subscribed the an airline sale alert . I paid Php2,650.00 only for my roundtrip airfare to Malaysia.
TIP 2: Plan your trip ahead . Being a frequent traveler I am aware that air fares are much cheaper if they are purchased months before the actual trip date. I am subscribed to a couple of airlines sales alert so I can get updated immediately when they have low airfare promotions, and if I like the destination on sale I won’t hesitate but see if I can book me a flight. I got my ticket from Cebu Pacific for Php2,200 + Php100 web admin fee+ go lite fee Php100 + insurance fee Php250. You can go away without the travel insurance but if you are traveling alone get it just in case. The web admin fee is a standard at the Cebu Pacific Website. I purchased my ticket during their 10/10/10 promo last October 10, 2010 so that gave me 3 months to plan ahead. I’ve been traveling via Cebu Pacific for awhile now and I haven’t experienced any major issues that will make me not want to book a flight with them compared to the other economy airlines I’ve tried in the past like traveling via Air Philippines (during the family trip to Cebu) and traveling via Sea Air (during one of the family trip trip to Boracay).
I save on my airfare to Singapore by taking a bus instead! I paid a total of SGD57.75 (Php1,905.75 @ Php33) for my round trip bus fare from Malaysia to Singapore and back!
Instead of traveling by air I decided to visit Singapore by bus, thanks to Dani for the information about the Bus Online Ticket an online bus ticketing website where you can book your trips in and around some Asian destination. I saved thousands of pesos doing this. The bus company is StarMart and the travel from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore (vice versa) takes about 5-6 hours with two stops in the immigration of Malaysia and Singapore, so you will still get your passport stamped if there’s no problem involving your travel documents you can pass the immigration and won’t be halted and be left by the bus.
You have a choice of riding a normal air conditioned bus or a double decker. But of course the double decker is highly recommended so you get a nice view of the road and whatever there is to see along the way. Or you can just sleep, the bus is very comfy and huge and cold!
The bus that will take you to Singapore from Malaysia will board and unload in front of Berjaya Times Square just below the Imbi Monorail Station. The bus that will bring you back to Malaysia from Singapore will board and unload in front of the Golden Mile Complex Beach Road Singapore (bus #100 pass through it).
Where to stay in Malaysia? Hotel Accommodations
Tip 3: I saved on my hotel accommodation by using Agoda. com an online hotel booking website that offer very cheap hotel accommodation at beautiful hotels everywhere around the world! For this trip my hotel expenses for a 4days/3 nights accommodation = US$87.92 (Php3,868.48 @ Php44)
I would have got a 4 star hotel in Malaysia if my mom and daughter joined me on the trip, but since I went alone I decided to go for a less expensive one and I found Presscott Inn Kuala Lumpur Hotel via Agoda.com the charges include taxes. I was upgraded to a superior room that can occupy two to four persons because of the two double beds in it.
Presscott Inn Kuala Lumpur is very near Medan Tuanku Monorail Station, the area is what they called the Golden Triangle and very near malls , restaurants, clubs and tourist spots, although my room was off the nice view of the KL Tower and Petronas, my hotel room window gave me a nice slice of the city view. My room was very decent, clean and spacious with two double beds complimentary 2 bottled waters, 2 sets of coffee, cream, tea and 4 sugar everyday. The toilet is small but enough to take a shower, brush your teeth and do number 1 or 2. Towels can be changed everyday just put the towel you want changed on the sink. The bed and room is cleaned everyday. The room has double lock, hair dryer, coffee maker, flat iron and ironing board and a spacious closet with a lot of closet hangers.
The hotel staff are very friendly and accommodating. I got there around 5am. Check-in time is usually 2pm. I requested to check in earlier and Thank God there were guests who checked out early so I got in a room at 6am without having to pay any extra for early check-in. Nice noh? FYI: The problem with early check-in is the room isn’t clean when you get in yet because the house cleaner comes in at 9am. But that’s not the hotels fault anyway since I got there earlier than I should . You can request for an extra bed covers to lay down on the bed you want to rest on and wait until the cleaning lady arrives to have the room made.
I love that whatever was displayed in their promotion and at the Agoda website was the same as what you will see in person. If you are traveling on a budget this hotel is one of the good choices.
Where to go in Malaysia? Top tourist destinations in Malaysia
Tip 4: Take the guided Malaysian Tour. Kuala Lumpur Tour via hop-on hop-off city tour bus. Before leaving your hotel, make sure to familiarize yourself with the area by getting those travel guides and maps that are free at the airport. For your first day in Kuala Lumpur, it is best to take the commissioned city tour . I highly recommended the KL Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour for RM38 the tour is good for 24 hours . This is one of Malaysia’s guided tours via bus . I highly recommend the KL Hop-On Hop-Off City Tour as it will take you to 42 major sights and attractions in Kuala Lumpur . Riding the Hop-on Ho-Off City Tour bus you can alight the bus anytime you want and stay there and ride another hop-on hop-off bus if you are done exploring . You have a choice to get the 24 hour or 48 hour tour in the bus. But the 48 hour tour for RM70 is the best choice if you are not in a hurry or in some kind of schedule like I have.
I personally got the the 24 hour ticket which allowed me to hop-off the Petronas Twin Towers stayed there and explore. I took a lot of pictures and went malling at the Suria KLCC Mall had lunch there and went for a stroll . I waited for another bus and hop-off at the KL Communication Tower around 4PM . I stayed there until sunset around 8PM.
There were a lot of stop-over at the hop-on hop-off bus. We had a stop over for a photo ops for 5 minutes at the National Palace, 5 minute stop to the Palace of Culture, KL Convention Center, National Museum, Little India, Central Market, China Town, Islamic Museum and many other major attractions. There are 22 bus stop overs and you can hop-on any bus at any bus station. You pay directly on the bus you will ride for the tour so don’t worry where you have to pay. They also sell tickets for a tour in the KL Communication Tower for RM35 only, it will cost RM38 if you buy on site.
My DIY Kuala Lumpur Tour
- Petronas Twin Towers
This is one of the top tourist must-see destination in Kuala Lumpur. Personally, I think the tour in the Petronas Twin Tower was very much hyped its not the best tour ever but its still worth it to step inside one of the worlds most popular and pictured destination. To get in the Petronas Twin Tower you need to queue at the ticket booth as early as 7AM and viewing starts at 9:30AM depending on the time on your ticket. The tower is not open for viewing on Sundays and Mondays. A ticket for a 15 minute tour on the bridge is RM10 while a tour including the observation deck is RM34 for adults, if you want to have a dinner date up there its RM200.
- KL Communication Tower/ 5th Tallest Communication Tower In The World
I recommend the tour inside the KL Communication Tower, it’s one of the best tour in Kuala Lumpur you can have. For RM35 you get a audio guided tour in the observation deck which will give you an awesome view of Kuala Lumpur city and the Petronas Twin Towers. You can stay as long as you want. We waited until the sun sets and the city was lighted, what an amazing view! I love it.
- Batu Caves/ World’s Tallest Murugan Statue
I was also disappointed with my trip to the Batu Caves or maybe because I expected too much of it. Don’t get me wrong the place is still a good place to visit in KL but I was very much disappointed to be welcomed by a filthy and stinky place. For a place of worship this one was very much not taken care of. I also feel sad for the cave, they killed mother nature/ the cave buy making cemented pavements, stairs and platforms and putting in electrical wirings, idols, and metal railing and lightings.
I hope I went to the Batu Cave at the wrong time or just right after a feast or sort the night before. The place needs to be maintained and cleaned. I guess they need to have an entrance fee or sort, I think tourist like me won’t mind. The climb to get inside the cave was a work out, imagine climbing more than 260 steps!
The World’s Tallest Murugan Statue, a Hindu god idol in front of the cave was breathtaking. There’s also a giant Monkey King Statue on the other side and some Hindu temples around. The cave was adorned with a number of Hindu idles and temples around, the view was nice except for the filth around.
Hot tip for an awesome cave adventure?
If you want to see a fresh live cave our caves here in the Philippines is still the best. Try the Puerto Princesa Underground River its amazingly alive and well preserved and only a boat ride can take you inside with only a lamp you will be carrying as lighting. Or you can check out Bathala Cave in Mindoro where you will walk on foot so better wear sturdy walking or mountain climbing shoes . Both are the freshest and livest cave I’ve ever been in my life. Don’t look up with your mouth opened for so long or God knows what you might catch with your mouth!
- KL Convention Center
Is a venue for big events in Kuala Lumpur it is located in a 40 hectare of land where the Aquaria and the KLCC park can be found with a nice view of the Petronas Twin Towers. KL Convention Center is at the back of the Petronas Twin Towers passing through Suria Mall.
TOUR FOR KIDS
Cosmos Theme Park
Located at the Berjaya Times Square and is the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia they have this super huge super roller coaster in there the Super Sonic Odyssey. If you are traveling with a child don’t forget to stop over here they will definitely enjoy. But adults will enjoy as well because there are so many rides I don’t think I’d let my daughter ride because they are way too scary. Entrance is RM38 for adult and RM28 for child. Its open from 12 noon to 10PM Monday- Friday and 11am to 10pm on Saturday, Sunday and Public Holidays.
For RM30 get acquainted with the sea creatures. There’s a nice free exhibit outside, a doctor fish / spa room, and fish / shark/ turtle feeding depending on the time and day of your visit.
I had a peek of how Malaysians party when I arrived on a Sunday 4AM. The Malaysian party people were just on the way home from a fun Saturday night party. They also dress very well, too bad I wasn’t able to take a picture. The Golden Triangle is the place to be for clubbing.
I didn’t go clubbing though, since I was alone. I don’t want to open myself to anything unsafe. Better be safe than sorry right?
How to get to Batu Caves/going around Kuala Lumpur
Take a KTM Komuter Train (electric train) from KL Sentral RM1 only
The trains KTM Komuter Train and the KL Monorail are an efficient and inexpensive way of traveling around Kuala Lumpur.
Airport transportation to and from your hotel
If you haven’t arranged for a pick-up as soon as you arrive in the airport (KLIA or LCCT) Don’t talk to the men in white polo-shirt, they are taxi (teksi) drivers and will charge you RM100-RM150 to take you to your hotel in Kuala Lumpur. Its a lot cheaper to get on a shuttle bus to KL Sentral, Sea Air has one for RM9 only! Then you can either take a cab from KL Sentral to your hotel not more than RM20 anywhere in KL or take the Monorail or the KLM Train RM1 – RM2.50 if your hotel is located near one like mine. You can do the same thing on your departure (taxi then bus).
Shopping in Kuala Lumpure, Malaysia
Personally, I don’t go out-of-the-country to do shopping because I can do that anytime from here, so it wasn’t really on my to-do list, besides its so expensive in Malaysia! But if you insist you can go to Suria Mall for high-end signature items and Berjaya Times Square for super chic, fashionable, hip items (there are lots of Korean inspired clothing in there!) .
Where to Eat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Food Tripping!
Secret Recipe is one of the popular Malaysian restaurant in Kuala Lumpur and you can find it everywhere you go. But if you want to try authentic I can recommend the hawker food stalls along the Mara Building in the Jamal Ismail street or if you feel safe in foods inside the mall you can go to Berjaya Times Square there is an Asian Food Court in there where you can have a feast of Asian food. I also ate in one of the oldest restaurants in the Golden Triangle just beside our hotel, most of the food are spicy! Malaysian food are generally spicy so ask them first if your picking a spicy dish or not (which often is spicy and very spicy :P) . If you can’t eat Malay food and feel much safer with fast food they have a lot of KFC and Burger King in there.
Souvernir Items Shopping
I got a Pashmina (Indian veil) from the Little India (RM10), a card holder with the KL Communication Tower, Petronas Twin Towers, Sultan Abdul Samad Building as a design (RM10) and an authentic Idian anklet from the Batu Caves (RM10).
My opinion as a tourist in KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
- If you love to see architecture wonders then Kuala Lumpur is the place to be in Asia. There’s so many fascinating buildings and establishments there and each of the building has its own unique character. Its such a feast of awesome architectural works Petronas Twin Towers is just one of the many buildings to admire in there.
- Kuala Lumpur has a very diverse community where Malays, Chinese and Indians forming the majority of the ethnicity of the 2million population.
- I love how disciplined they are when it comes to transportation. You can alight and ride a bus or a teksi (taxi) at the designated areas only. Walking is very normal in there.
- The city is very clean.
- Most can speak English but probably because of our similarity with them they try to speak Malay with me.
- Generally friendly people but some of the Indian men in the Indian community are crude.
I hope I didn’t forget anything in this post, in case I did don’t be shy and ask at the comment section. I hope this post helps.
How about you have you been to Kuala Lumpur Malaysia? Which Malaysian hotel did you stay in? What airline did you take? Which tourist destinations did you visited? Do tell!
Stay gorgeous everyone!