Top Things To Do In Kuala Lumpur

petronas twin towersKuala Lumpur is the capital and the largest city in Malaysia, and having grown swiftly since the tin mining industry developed in the area it is a truly modern metropolis.  One of the drawbacks of this is that it lacks some of the ornate and historic structures that are to be seen in many Asian cities, but this certainly doesn’t mean that Kuala Lumpur is a dull or tiresome place to visit.  The city may be most famous for its towering skyscrapers, but on the ground beneath it is a bustling area full of culture and wonderful shopping areas.

Shopping In Kuala Lumpur

For those who are looking for luxury and designer brands there is no doubt that Kuala Lumpur is the shopping Mecca that attracts people from all over Malaysia.  The Suria KLCC is one of the most attractive shopping malls in the city, lying beneath the Petronas twin towers and boasting some of the most exclusive shops and retailers.  However, the real heart of shopping in Kuala Lumpur is to be found in the Golden Triangle which includes the huge malls to be found on Jalan Bukit Bintang, with Starhill Gallery offering the biggest designer brands in a wonderfully ornate mall.

For those looking for a more traditional and authentic shopping experience they should head to the Chinatown district where the Central Market is a great space which has been converted into an arts and crafts market.  Traditional fabrics and clothing is sold alongside souvenirs for visitors to Kuala Lumpur in the former produce market’s charming surroundings.

Visit The Batu Caves

One of the natural attractions of a visit to Kuala Lumpur are the BatuCaves that also double as a Hindu temple.  Although the caves themselves are easily accessible from the city centre, it is worth noting that there is a significant stairway to climb up to the caves, and it isn’t suitable for those not able to climb the stairs themselves.  The large golden statue welcomes visitors to the area, while the caves themselves are a network of large caverns, while the Hindu temples inside are particularly attractive, and complement the natural structure of the caves.

 Enjoy Malaysian Cuisine

One of the great cultural aspects of a visit to Malaysia has to be the cuisine, and Kuala Lumpur has a wealth of places that offer excellent cuisine to suit a variety of budgets.  Some of the most interesting and tasty food can often be found in the street stalls.  The highlights here are the roti canai which are a flat bread that is combined with dhal and curry sauce.  One of the great authentic experiences in Kuala Lumpur is to head to one of the vendors across the city that dispense with plates and serve their dishes of curry and rice on a fan of banana leaves.

Visit The Islamic Arts Museum

Islam has often been portrayed in the west as a divisive religion, but a visit to the Islamic Arts Museum will show off some of the very best features and works of the religion.  There are 12 galleries in all that focus on various parts of the art and culture of Islam, and there are items on display from across the region.  One of the real highlights is the Quran and Manuscripts Gallery, which displays some of the beautifully ornate and masterfully made books and scrolls of Islam.

Enjoy The Birds And Animals At The Bird Park And The National Zoo

For those who enjoy viewing the rare and interesting birds and animals of Malaysia, the BirdPark and the National Zoo in Kuala Lumpur are two must visit places on any visit to the city.  The exhibits in the zoo include the impressive collection in the ReptilePark, along with Malaysian elephants, and a large number of primates.  The BirdPark is a charming aviary that has many of the birds living in an environment very close to their natural habitat, and it is great for spotting colorful attractive birds such as the Rainbow Lorikeets and the Red Lory.

Top Hotels To Stay While In Malaysia

petronas twin towersChoosing the right hotel can be a vital part of a successful trip, whether it is for business or for pleasure, and Malaysia has an excellent range to choose from whatever your budget.  Malaysia has an excellent reputation for delivering luxury hotels, and some of the best hotels on the Asian continent are to be found in its capital city of Kuala Lumpur.  However, for those on a budget we will also look at some of the best budget hotels available.

The Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

When it comes to looking at luxury hotels in Malaysia’s capital, they don’t come much bigger or better than the Shangri-La, which has frequently won awards in the press for its welcome and service.  This five-star hotel boasts a range of restaurants and bars within the complex, and being located right at the heart of the city makes it easy to use as a base to explore the city.  The prices may be a little bit on the high side for some people, but the level of luxury and the attentive service of the staff is a reflection of the quality that is being paid for.

The Four Seasons Resort, Langkawi

Lying in the northern reaches of Malaysia is the idyllic island resort of Langkawi, and the Four Seasons Resort on the north coast of Langkawi is certainly one of the most comfortable bases from which to explore the island.  The hotel itself is delightfully located near the golden sands of the beach, and many of the rooms and villas offer direct access straight on to the beach.  The interiors are exceptionally comfortable and spacious, and really make your stay comfortable, whether it is a brief trip or a relaxing fortnight or more.

The location of the hotel is ideal for those looking to explore Langkawi, and one of the great highlights is a kayaking trip through the tropical mangrove forests lying nearby.  For those who are looking to get in a quick eighteen holes while on holiday, the unique jungle golf course offers some very different challenges from the standard round of golf.  There are few places in the world more beautiful than Langkawi, and the island offers plenty for those looking for a relaxing beach holiday and the adventurous souls alike.

The SS City Hotel, Kuala Lumpur

For those who are traveling on a tighter budget to Kuala Lumpur, there is no doubt that the SS City Hotel is certainly one of the best budget hotels in the city.  This nautical themed hotel is a charming place to stay and offers clean rooms at a very competitive price.  The word of warning that I would add with this hotel is that although it is a great base from which to explore Malaysia’s capital city, the rooms aren’t the largest so don’t expect a lavish suite for your money.

The Sabah Hotel, Borneo

When it comes to enjoying a holiday in a jungle location, there is no doubt that the Sabah Hotel can boast a site that is right at the heart of some very dense jungle.  Located a short walk from the town of Sandakan this hotel lies surrounded by the thick jungle that attracts so many people to Borneo, and is a good location from which to explore the area.  The rooms are competitively priced, and although it may not be the most elaborate and plush of hotels, the rooms were clean and comfortable enough.  One item worth noting is that the restaurant was not as competitively priced as some of those in Sandakan itself, but the food was still nice enough.

Top Five Things To Do In Borneo

The Giant Rafflesia FlowersThe Island of Borneo is one of the most beautiful and naturally diverse islands in the world, and these features have helped to make it one of the most desirable places to visit.  The island itself is divided between Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei, although it is the Malaysian third of the island that has been most extensively developed and is most popular with visitors.  The cities of Kota Kinabalu and Kuching are the most populous cities on the island, but for the majority of visitors it is the natural aspects of Borneo that prove to be the most attractive.

Get Up Close And Personal With The Orangutan of Borneo

The Orangutans are among the most famous of the great apes, and their population in Borneo is one of the largest in the world.  One of the best ways to do this is by visiting the TanjungPuttingNational Park, which lies in the Indonesian portion of the island.  The Bornean Orangutan is considered to be an endangered species, and the opportunity to get close to some of our closest genetic relatives is one that is rarely available outside Borneo.

The animals themselves generally spend their time in the trees, and there are a number of sanctuaries alongside the national parks where guides can help you to get a look at these intelligent primates.  For those fortunate enough to see them swinging through the trees, it is a truly exceptional sight to behold.

See The Giant Rafflesia Flowers

The huge flowers of the Rafflesia are genuinely impressive when they are seen, but because they spend so long developing and then only flower for a few days, it can be particularly difficult to catch a glimpse of this remarkable flower.  The blooms themselves are considered to be the largest in the world, and as well as being brightly colored they also have an odd odor which tends to smell slightly like rotting flesh.

The best way to do so is with one of the local guides who will know where to find the buds that are closest to flowering.  The Rafflesia Information Centre in the Malaysian part of the island is an ideal base to walk to the flowering sites, although it is worth making sure you get there early in the day.

 Visit A Crocodile Park

There are a number of different species of crocodile to be found in Borneo, and there are a number of crocodile parks that allow visitors to get a good look at one of the largest animals in the country.  These are also often used as places to breed crocodiles, and although those in the wild are often cautious and are rarely seen by people, these crocodile farms do allow people to see the animals, and will often have a number of other natural attractions too.

Travel On The North Borneo Railway

The North Borneo Railway is one of the most impressive feats of engineering in the world, running through some of the thickest jungle valleys on the island.  The railway was originally built by the British imperialists to help exploit the island’s natural resources and to get them to the sea, but the railway now serves a much more benign purpose.

The steam trains that originally ran on the railway now pull the passenger cars taking visitors through the plantations of rubber and coffee that made the island so attractive, and also passing through villages and the thick jungle.  This is a great way to get a look at the parts of the island that would otherwise be inaccessible, and is a particularly magical experience for anyone with an interest in trains.

Shopping In Kota Kinabalu

After a relaxing holiday exploring the natural wonders on the island of Borneo, there is nothing better than spending a day shopping in Kota Kinabalu before you go.  There are a selection of large shopping malls to attract visitors, but it is the markets in the city which really make shopping here a wonderful experience, giving people a great chance to meet local people and to pick up a few keepsakes from Borneo, as well as letting them see more of the traditional commerce on the island.

Places to Visit in Kuala Lumpur

petronas twin towersMalaysia has many different types of cities but we are going to check out one in particular Kuala Lumpur. In the next few paragraphs we are going to see what you can do in this particular city as it has so much to offer and it has many tourist attractions.

Petronas Twin Towers – This is the main attraction to go and visit as it has made its name for itself as Sean Connery and Katherine Zeta-Jones made part of their film here which was called “Entrapment.” The company that runs this building produces 1,000 free tickets per day but it is only on a first come first basis. You can get tours that will allow you to go to the 41st and 42nd floor but these are only with a tour guide, however it will be defiantly worth it with a tour guide as you will know so much more information about the history behind it.

Pavilion Mall – As Malaysia is known for its cheap products it may be worth getting an extra suit case as Pavilion Mall is supposed to be the next main attraction. It has many shops within the mall that you will not to stop yourself shopping. If you are looking for something to eat then there is a food court which has many different varieties of foods that you can choose from.

Merdeka Square – If you are looking to see some historical facts about Kuala Lumpur then Merdeka Square if defiantly the place to visit. Back in 1957 the union jack was lowered in the square which made independence for Malaysia. You will also able to see the flag pole which has the Malaysian national flag on it and it is the largest one in the world.

Bird Park - Are you a big bird fan or looking to take a rest from the city, then you will be most attracted to come and visit this bird sanctuary. You will able to some amazing pictures which you will not forget. You will probably only need to spend half the day there but you will be glad that you have visited this wonderful Bird park. If you want your Bird Park extra special then you can pay an extra 2RM so that you can feed the lorikeets. If you are looking to do this it will be worth it as it will put a smile on your face.

Traveling in Malaysia

sepilokWhile in Malaysia I had the great opportunity to trek through the Borneo jungle. Sabah offers a wide range of sightseeing activities in its pristine jungle. We opted for a day trek into the Kinabatangan Wetland. It is a great place to spot some exotic monkeys which we did. The wetland is just a couple hours southeast of modern Sandakan, which is not far from the Sepilok Orang-utan centre.

The wetland cover 25000 Hectares of land and it is rated as having the highest concentration of primates in all of Borneo. We took a river ride with a guide to sight the strange looking Proboscis monkey which is only found in Borneo. Besides all the monkeys we saw, we also saw some pretty cool birds.

After the Kinabatangan Wetland, we went to the Sepilok Orang-utan centre because I’m obsessed. The centre is a great place to see these fascinating primates in their natural habitats. We got to see them during an afternoon feeding which let us spot them at very close range. It was a once in a lifetime experience and I would recommend it to anyone going to Borneo.

Our largest excursion was our trip into the Tambunan. It offers visitors a chance to see the world’s largest flower, the Rafflesia. It is definitely something to see. It is massive and very strange looking. While in Tambunan you can also picnic by waterfalls, hike through the rainforest, and climb Mt. Trusmadi.

We had the opportunity to climb Mt. Trusmadi, which is the second highest peak in Sabah. It is worth all the work of climbing it when you reach the top and get to look out over the beautiful landscape. You can see the islands and the rice fields and, when we were atop it, everything appears engulfing in a beautiful mist. It is definitely picturesque so don’t forget your camera.