Malaysia – Kuala Lumpur

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*deep sigh*

Alright…here we go. Last post. Let’s do this.

I finished my semester travels in Kuala Lumpur. It is the capital and largest city of Malaysia and the country’s economical, political, and cultural center.

Let’s just start with the main event. What’s the first thing you think about when you hear Kuala Lumpur? Right.

 

Petronas Twin Towers:

The highest twin towers in the world are one of the most iconic buildings in the world and KL’s most famous sight.

Now, you can absolutely visit the Towers and take some great pictures from the observation deck, more on that later. But for me, the iconic image of KL is not one from the Petronas Towers, but rather of the Petronas Towers. The view from the towers is great and very much worthwhile, but the view from there will obviously exclude KL’s most famous landmark itself. So, what’s the best place to get a great picture of the iconic towers?

You might think that KL Tower would be a good place to start. KL Tower is certainly a place worth visiting, as it has a very unusual open-air deck. Usually, these kinds of places will only allow you to peer out behind glass that takes away some of the atmosphere and can ruin pictures due to reflections. However, KL Tower has a full 360° open air platform (including a glass section that allows you to look straight down), which is a fantastic sight to behold.

There are also some other great attractions in or directly next to KL tower, like a lovely little zoo featuring quite possibly the most adorable animal imaginable.

Look at those eyes. Look at them!

And a very nice little, almost jungle-esque park that you can walk through or above on these suspension bridges.

So, KL Tower is a great place to visit. However, it’s kind of parallel to the Petronas towers, so your view of them is not perfect.

 

So, any other candidates? How about KLCC Park, a lovely park located right at the foot of the towers? It’s a lovely park and will make you appreciate the giant size of the towers. Definitely another place worth visiting.

Fantastic. But now, you’re almost too close and can’t get a full picture of KL’s skyline. What would be ideal is a place that is a bit further away and also elevated, maybe one where you could see both towers in their full glory, witness the sun set and rise. How about your own room? How about…your bed?

Please excuse my feet.

How about a room with a giant window so that the Petronas Towers are the last thing you see at night and the first thing when you wake up? Maybe a little balcony too?

Now, and just bear with me here, now what if that place also had a freaking rooftop pool with perfect view of the Petronas Towers, the KL Towers, and the entire KL skyline? Sounds pretty good, right?

Now, you might think that you would have to pay hundreds of dollars to get a room with such an incredible view. But, what if I told you that you can get all that for less than 35 dollars per night? Nuts, right? Just do a quick search on AirBnB and you will find multiple such offers. I cannot recommend going this route highly enough.

As far as the Petronas Towers themselves, going up there is also a great experience. You can walk along the bridge connecting both towers, and also spend some time on the absurdly high observation deck. Just keep in mind that the place is ~very~ popular and only lets in a handful of people at a time in 30 minute slots, so you might have to wait a while. Their system is actually really clever though – get there, book a spot for a later time, spend the time until then strolling through KLCC park or doing whatever, get back just in time to go up, and eliminate any annoying waiting time. Perfect.

 

Random impressions:

There is a lot more to see that I can’t fully get into. The Botanical Gardens are lovely, if a bit hard to find.

There are also many other attractions showcasing the beauty of nature that I did not get to see, like the KL Butterfly Park.

Strolling the streets, there is always something interesting that catches your eye, whether it’s an old colonial building, a mosque, Buddhist temple, a church, or whatever. KL is without a doubt a very vibrant and multifaceted city.

Monkey!

Alright, let’s end this with the absolute highlight of my time in KL, even surpassing the Petronas Towers.

 

Batu Caves

This is a hill that contains multiple caves that a sites of Hindu worship. The first thing you will notice is the freaking GIGANTIC statue of a Hindu goddess at the entrance.

You can climb these steep steps to get into the main cave, which is also gigantic and contains a Hindu temple. Very impressive.

However, the fun does not stop there, as there is also a smaller cave about halfway up the stairs. You can only enter this one on guided tours. It is quite fascinating as it turns completely dark at certain points. Our guide was very engaging and told some captivating tales about species that call this cave their home and whatnot.

However, the fun is still not over, and the best part might be still to come. I went there super early and did not notice anything unusual at first. But when I exited the main cave again…monkeys!

So many monkeys!

Baby monkeys!

And these monkeys are not shy, at all. You can pretty much get right in their faces and they won’t move an inch (not that you should do that). A perfect opportunity for some selfies!

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Again, my sincerest apologies to Paul Giamatti.

You are not supposed to feed them, but they will eat right out of your hands if you do. Or will steal anything that looks like food out of your hands or pockets if you don’t pay attention. One of them tried to pull down my shorts. It was a magical experience.

And the fun is STILL not over! There is also an Indian culture center near the cave entrance exhibiting a bunch of animals, Hindu art, dance performances, and much more.

You can easily spend half a day at Batu Caves without running out of things to see or do. And just as I was ready to leave, I got myself some ice cream and sat down on a bench in the culture center.

Why hello there, good sir.

What can I do for ya?

…oh.

 

If you still haven’t gotten enough of KL, check out this incredible time lapse video by Rob Whitworth:

 


 

Aaaand…that’s it. I’m all done. Everything has been written about. I went back home to Germany after that, and then spent most of the next three months moping around, looking at my pictures and writing much of this. So…yeah. Thanks for following along, I had the time of my life and it was a blast documenting all of this!

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