After a few days in Singapore, we returned to Changi Airport for the second leg of our trip, by way of a quick flight to Kuala Lumpur.
Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur
The first few days were spent at the Westin Kuala Lumpur, and we also spent a night at the Hilton KL. This post will discuss our flights on AirAsia and some of our experiences in KL.
We looked at a few options for getting to Kuala Lumpur, but ultimately opted for flights on AirAsia. I’m not typically a fan of low cost carriers, but the price was right, and the availability of frequent flights made this decision easy. It was about US $100 per person for round trip flights, including even ground transfers in KL. I thought about taking Singapore Airlines, but flights were significantly more expensive. I also considered redeeming Avios for flights on Malaysian, but just the fees would be more expensive than the AirAsia flights.
Obligatory shot from Changi toilet. Sadly this screen was broken, only showing “Excellent”
Legroom was lacking, but fine for the 50 minute flight.
I don’t have too much to say about AirAsia. It was perfectly fine for our needs, and flights were on time or close. The Low Cost Carrier Terminal at the Kuala Lumpur airport wasn’t particularly nice, but it worked. We also booked transfers from Air Asia, which took us to KL Sentral train station. All of this travel was certainly a step down after flying Singapore First Class at the start of the trip, but it was clean, safe and reliable air transportation…
Ground boarding at KUL airport.
We walked off our plane, collected our luggage, cleared customs, and then took the Skybus which we included in our AirAsia ticket to KL Sentral. We took a fixed fare cab from there to the Westin KL which worked well, since the meter wasn’t running while we were stuck in traffic.
Near the Petronas Towers there is a large shopping mall, as part of the KLCC development. There is an adjacent park that I ran a few laps around, then I went inside the mall to take advantage of air conditioning before running back to our hotel.
Another big part of exploring Kuala Lumpur is food. We enjoyed dining in various food stalls while there. We found this a bit more ‘formal’ than the hawker stalls in Singapore, since there were printed menus, and seating areas specific to a particular stall. It wasn’t better or worse, just different.
I didn’t actually order from this page, but I had to document it
Like Singapore, these are cheap and fresh options for dining, and I definitely recommend it. These photos are from Jalan Alor, but its certainly not the only area for this sort of dining.
We visited the Malaysia National Museum to learn a bit more about the Malaysian history and culture. One travel related thing there was a bunch of ceremonial kris daggers. These are traditional symbols in Malaysia, Indonesia and beyond. It is of course in the name of Singapore Airlines frequent flyer program, KrisFlyer.
Some examples of ceremonial Kris on display at the National Museum.
We also visited the National Monument, which was designed by the same sculptor who created the US Marine Corps Memorial in Washington. We had a nice walk to this monument, which also had a nice view of the city.
View of the National Monument from the Hilton Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is such a diverse place, and we just scratched the surface. There are a few Indian neighborhoods and we visited some Hindu temples while we were there.
Sri Mahamariamman Temple
Sri Kandaswamy Kovil temple in Brickfields
After visiting this temple, we found a “Banana Leaf Rice” restaurant nearby. This was recommended to us, and I’d certainly suggest this for KL visitors. We sat down, a large banana leaf was placed in front of us, then rice, and various toppings were offered and put on the banana leaf. Utensils are optional, and not typically used. It was a lot of food, and it cost about US $3.25 per person. It was fun, and a great value for some tasty South Indian food.
We had a few days to spend in Kuala Lumpur, and it was a nice change from Singapore. I think both places are certainly worth a visit. There are a lot of similarities, but lots of differences too. Singapore almost doesn’t seem real in that its so sanitized. KL is more gritty, more real. Both places are a unique mix of cultures, with lots of tasty food. As an English speaker, its easy to get around. I’ve always enjoyed traveling in Southeast Asia, and now there are even more places I like.
Next I will review our stay at the Hilton Kuala Lumpur.