Situated on the Malaysian peninsula to the south of Thailand and just a few hours’ north of Singapore, Malaysia’s capital Kuala Lumpur (‘KL’) is a common stopover destination in South East Asia. As you’d expect from a city with a colonial history and a modern outlook, there’s much to explore.
But what if you have only 24 hours to explore. Don’t worry — even on a short visit, you can still do something that Malaysia’s capital has to offer. With 24 hours in the city, here’s how to maximise your time.
Take a photo of the majestic Petronas Towers.
One of the most important icons in Malaysia are the majestic Petronas Towers which cost $1.6 billion to build.
Did you know: From 1998 to 2004, the 88-storey Petronas Towers held the top record for the tallest building in the world at a staggering height of 452 meters!
The iconic towers, connected by a bridge at the 41st and 42nd floors, are the work of Argentine-American architect Cesar Pelli. For his firm’s work on the towers, Pelli’s company was awarded the prestigious Aga Khan Award for Architecture in 2004. In 1999, the building was featured in the Sean Connery/Catherine Zeta-Jones action film Entrapment, which grossed over $212 million worldwide. With all the towers’ publicity, it can be argued that the building pulled Kuala Lumpur out of geographic obscurity and helped brand Malaysia as a country with a bright future.
Business Hours: Tues – Sun 9 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Visit the Tallest Communication Tower in Southeast Asia.
Menara Tower is a communication tower constructed in 1995. The tower stands at 421 metres and effortlessly trumps the Petronas Twin Towers with the highest and most spectacular view of the city. This gleaming tower’s spindle-like apex is visible from almost anywhere in Kuala Lumpur.
Did you know: KL TOWER is the seventh tallest telecommunication tower in the world and the tallest in Southeast Asia.
If you still have time and you’re looking for some kind of romantic place, somewhere where the views match the food – then Atmosphere 360 takes some beating. This revolving restaurant is perched at a dizzying 282 metres above street level, at the top of the KL Tower. Decked out in a futuristic style, it offers an unparalleled vantage point to watch the bright city lights twinkle into life, whilst enjoying a sumptuous Malaysian buffet.
Business Hours: Mon – Sun 9 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Explore Malaysia Tourism Centre.
The Malaysia Tourism Centre, or MaTiC, in Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur is a heritage building and landmark and a good place for newly arrived visitors to obtain tourist information on Malaysia. During the Second World War the building served as a military office, firstly for the British, then the Japanese, and, after the War, for the British again.
Did you know: This attractive colonial era building was once surrounded by a six acre rambutan orchard. The elegant mansion started out life in 1935 as a plush home for a wealthy mining and plantation.
Business Hours: Mon – Sun 8 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Embrace the Local Culture in Wow KL!
Wow KL! consists of three elements, the Sports Bistro, Arts Restaurant, and Street-food Square. Want to chill and unwind, you can consider Sports Bistro, an open breezy lounge complete with a long bar, giant screen and live music.
To learn the local culture, drop into Arts Restaurant and catch the daily show of multi-ethnic dances, sketches and traditional Malay wedding. More so, enjoy traditional fare in an authentic setting, take a walk around Streetfood Square, where hawker stalls serve up choices Malaysia is renowned world over.
Towards the end of the cultural show, visitors may be invited on stage to participate with performers to have the Joget dance, a traditional popular Malay folk dance during varieties of social functions.
Business Hours: Mon – Sun 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Eat the world’s best Musang King Durian.
Heard in the news that one-third of Malaysia’s Durian orchards are now occupied by Musang King variety.
Known as being the world’s smelliest fruit. The smell is very pungent and very distinctive. So that’s one of the reasons why it is not allowed on trains, buses, and anywhere else enclosed. The smell is so potent that even one fruit will stink up the entire place.
But durian lovers say that what lays within the smelly pulp is the most heavenly flesh. Sweet and creamy unlike anything else. True lovers go nuts for it. But those who don’t think it’s disgusting. It’s one of those love-it or hate-it things.
Though I don’t like it. I was forced to try my first bite of the pungent, yellow fleshed, thorny fruit called Durian. Not bad though! Perhaps I can try again!
That’s my 24 hours experience in KL – short but fun! If you have more ideas about things to do in Kuala Lumpur, please leave them in the comments.
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