Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia and is amongst the fastest growing cities in Southeast Asia. In this episode of our Malaysia video series, David explores the country’s bustling capital city to show you the best of what to see and eat in Kuala Lumpur.
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Nowhere else in Kuala Lumpur can you see the mix of Chinese, Indian, and British architecture than in and around Merdeka Square. There are several important historic buildings located here. One such building is the KL City Gallery, which was an old printing press turned gallery space where visitors can learn about KL’s history. Across the street is the stunning Sultan Abdul Samad Building and the City Theatre.
After sightseeing around Merdeka Square, David heads into the Central Market to check out some of the handicrafts and shop for masks to add to his collection. The Central Market is a great place to purchase souvenirs and expertly crafted items. David picked up a couple of Indonesian-style Batik masks at the Native Gallery on the second floor.
Another KL landmark that David visits is the Thean Hou Temple, a massive Buddhist temple overlooking the Bricksfield neighborhood (AKA “Little India”). After prayer service, David heads into Little India to get a small “taste” of what Malay Indian culture is all about. He and Ana sample some Indian fare at a local restaurant and get some henna art done on their hands.
The National Monument is their next stop – a sculpture commemorating Malaysia’s struggle for freedom. The bronze sculpture depicts a group of soldiers holding the Malaysian national flag. If the sculpture looks familiar it’s because the same Austrian sculptor, Felix de Weldon, designed the Marine Corps War Memorial in Virgina, USA.
The Petronas Towers were once the tallest twin towers in the world! They continue to be Malaysia’s most iconic buildings. David heads up to the Sky Bridge to check out the amazing views and learn about the history of the towers. The observation deck is located on the 86th floor.
Now, where to eat in Kuala Lumpur:
First stop is Madras Lane in Chinatown to a restaurant specializing in chicken and rice and barbequed pork. Since the weather that day was hot, David couldn’t skip out on trying a refreshing ABC dessert (Ice Kacang AKA Air Batu Campur), which is basically shaved ice with red beans, sweet corn, jellies, and evaporated milk. It is the ULTIMATE refresher on a hot day.
At night, Jalan Alor Street in the Bukit Bintang district is a great place to eat. It is lively and there are so many types of dishes to try! Some standout dishes are the Hokkien pork noodles, chicken satay, and butter prawns. Ti
Next up is another food street called Jalan Sayur. You won’t find many tourists here – this food street is more of a local hangout. David tries a few dishes including fried pork fat with curry, prawn noodles, fried chicken, and a fish cake. As you may have noticed, there aren’t many common Malaysian dishes here, so serious foodies only! Be sure to bring cash.
If you love Malaysian food, also check out our episode Where to Eat in George Town, Penang
And those are David’s top recommendations of what to see and eat in Kuala Lumpur.
Have you been to KL, share your suggestions for what to see and eat!