While one of the pillars of Southeast Asia probably needs no introduction, let’s briefly talk about that magical place known as Malaysia. If Malaysia has never been on your radar as a holiday destination, it very much should be. Whether you want to spend your afternoon in a stunning mega-mall that spans several floors or walk around in some of the local parks, Kuala Lumpur has you sorted. Not only is Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, a beautiful and diverse place in its own right, full of attractions which is bound to attract any tourist or adventurer alike, the rest of the country is a treasure just as well. However, before we get started on conquering all of Malaysia, let’s start at one of the prime time destinations, aka Kuala Lumpur itself. If you have not visited before, then it should be more than enough to keep you occupied for an indefinite amount of time.
Let’s start at the top
If we’re gonna start anywhere, let’s start at the top. The literal top of course, and by that we are of course talking about the Menara Kuala Lumpur, also known as the Kuala Lumpur Tower. This tower stands at an astounding 335 meters and comes complete with a handy observation deck to let you witness Kuala Lumpur from its highest point in all its glory. The tower is not only a pleasant tourist attraction but also serves as a ceremonious place used for spotting the moon to mark the start of the holy Muslim month of Ramadan. In fact, once a year a race to the top takes place to promote health and fitness, so not only is it a pretty tourist attraction, it is deeply integrated into the city’s life making it all the more meaningful.
And now for something completely different
From the top, to the almost underground. Just outside of Kuala Lumpur in a suburb named Selangor, you can find the Batu Caves. The Batu Caves are essentially a gigantic set of limestone cliffs which have been repurposed several times through the years, once serving as a Hindu shrine and series of temples, but now mostly just known as a tourist attraction. Although, they are still considered important places of pilgrimage for the Tamil residents of Malaysia. If just walking around is not really your speed, there are more rock climbing opportunities than you can shake a stick at scattered around the cliffs, over 160 to be precise, so if you’re up for an adventure, you know where to go.
Thean Hou Temple
Staying on the topic of spirituality and importance to the people, why not explore the iconic Thean Hou Temple which is probably one of the most decorative temples the world has ever seen in recent history. The intricate decorative pieces all over the walls and ceiling most definitely garner quite a crowd on a regular basis so do not feel like it would be awkward to walk in to the temple as a tourist. Considering the temple has Buddhist, Confucian and Taoist symbology and decoration scattered around inside, the temple sports traditional beautiful red pillars around it to promote prosperity and welcome its visitors. Because they sure do know that they will have a lot of those.
Back to the city
If you’ve had enough of holy places and temples for now, why not hit the mall for some good ol’ wandering around and shopping as well as window shopping. Sometimes there is just nothing better than stopping by a gigantic mall and watching your wallet deflate, sitting around drinking coffee and milkshakes one minute then admiring the pretty displays when going up escalators the next. If that sounds like something you would be interested in, then the Suria KLCC complex is probably the place for you. It is a staggeringly large shopping centre which spans over a whole six storeys. Whether you want to go around looking for some fancy new clothes, catch up on the latest tech walking around computer stores and phone shops, or even possibly buy some furniture on your holiday to mail back home, you are bound to find something for you. Not to mention, this is the perfect place to go and pick up some quality souvenirs for all your friends and family back home. After all, would be a shame to go all that way to Malaysia and not bring anything back.
A fluttering change of pace
If you’ve had enough capitalism and busy shopping centres for now, why not head over to the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park? If you have not already guessed from the name, the park proudly keeps hundreds of stunning colourful butterflies flying around everywhere. Most definitely a photo opportunity if there ever was one, and with more than 120 species of butterflies flying around you certainly won’t run out of things to put on your Instagram. Definitely a must-see for all nature and animal lovers.
Grab a bite somewhere
If you want to go and taste some authentic street cuisine from Kuala Lumpur, there is no better place to head off to than Alor Street. Alor Street has a history as rich as its food menus, being infamous as a red light district with a somewhat questionable reputation, but over the years they have cleaned up their act and now it is known as a culinary hotspot in the city. If you plan on visiting, spare yourself the disappointment and visit during the evening when all the fun people come out. Most of the stall owners and vendors come out when the sun starts setting, slowly introducing everyone into the evening laid-back mood of fun and relaxation. Of course, no Kuala Lumpurian culinary visit would be complete without trying out some of the local Nasi Kandar. Meaning quite literally “mixed rice”, the dish is as simple as it is delicious, being a well established iconic dish of Kuala Lumpur which came from its South Indian population.
Get lost in the side streets
There’s no fun in exclusive sticking to the main path and following the touristic signs with the occasional photo taking, sure it’s great for what it is, but it doesn’t allow you to see what the place you are visiting is truly like. Go and see how the locals live their lives, where they go to pick up some tea or coffee, and where they live. Check out the local architecture and if you just so happen to like it a bit more than you expected, you can check out the house prices in Malaysia and possibly even find yourself a new home. It is most definitely an exotic location which is rather different compared to the average western city, but it is westernised enough that you will still feel right at home. A cultural hotspot full of everything you can think of, from beautiful nature parks, to busy shopping malls, to mystical and revered temples and mysterious caves filled with bats and majestic cliffs full of temples, you certainly are not lacking variety in a place like this. Considering its rich heritage and diverse cultures, Kuala Lumpur is definitely one interesting place to live in, and you might not only find new business opportunities, new employment and new sights, but you might just find yourself anew, amidst the busy side streets of Kuala Lumpur. If you need some more time to think then why not head back to the Kuala Lumpur Tower and look over the city, seeing if it's welcoming you with open arms.
This is a contributed post.