Backpacking in Kuala Lumpur for 1 Day

It got me really excited to visit the melting pot of Asia. After visiting Singapore we spared a day for a cross-country trip to visit Malaysia. Just to give you a quick background about this 5D4N trip, on our first and second day, we’ll be in Singapore. The third day we’ll head to Kuala Lumpur via bus. The fourth day from Kuala Lumpur, we’ll head to Penang via bus again. And from Penang, we’ll take a plane to Singapore before heading back to Manila.

 

Previously:

Backpacking in Singapore for 2 Days

 

Kuala Lumpur

 

 

Cross-border Commuting from Singapore

From Singapore, you can take a bus or a train. We opted for 5-hour bus ride since it has a direct route to Kuala Lumpur. We booked our tickets online via EasyBook, it’s similar on how you book a flight. You can choose your preferred time of departure, bus route (pick-up and drop-off point), and bus type. Bus tickets range from MYR 104.40 to 138.85 (PHP 1167 to 1553). Print your ticket and be there at the pick-up point at least 30 minutes before the time of departure.

We took the last trip at 11:59 PM pick-up point at Bugis and drop-off point at KL Sentral. It was kinda risky since it’s a 5-hour midnight bus ride but very strategic since you’ll arrive Kuala Lumpur at 5:00 AM and get to spend the whole day in the city.

Upon arriving at Woodlands Singapore checkpoint, you will be asked to take off the bus with your passport for validation. You’ll be asked to take off the bus for the second time, this time with your baggage for inspection when you reached the Malaysian Immigration checkpoint. They will ask about your trip details similar with the immigration procedure at the airport. Don’t lose the exit card you are given, you will need it when you leave Singapore. Once cleared you can proceed to ride your bus.

TIP: Don’t forget to exchange your SGDs to MYRs before leaving. Money Changers at Kuala Lumpur opens at 10:00 AM.

 

Getting Around

Bus dropped us at KL Sentral. KL Sentral is their main railway station, and also a huge shopping mall called NU Sentral. From here, you can take all the regional and suburban trains. If you’ll be coming from KLIA or KLIA2, there’s a shuttle bus that will take you there.

Since we’re just staying for a day, we opted for Single Journey Tokens instead of the prepaid cards when riding the trains. You can also hop on the free GoKL bus outside KL Sentral.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur 2017

 

Where To Stay

You’ll never run out of accommodations in Kuala Lumpur, from hotels, hostels, and apartments. It’s best to pick a location near KL Sentral so it will be easier for us to get around the city. We chose to stay in PODs The Backpackers Hostel, just a few walks away from KL Sentral. It’s very cozy and the staff is very accommodating. For MYR 85 (PHP 950), we had a private room with two single beds, that comes with free breakfast also!

 

PODs The Backpackers Home & Cafe

G-6, No 30, Jalan Thambipillay, Brickfields, 50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Bunk Pods (Mixed or Female Dormitory)

• MYR 35 (PHP 391) per night, free breakfast

Single Pods (Private Room)

• MYR 65 (PHP 726) per night, free breakfast

Double Pods (Two Single Beds, Private Room)

• MYR 85 (PHP 950) per night, free breakfast

Trip Highlights

 

Muzium Negara

How To Get There:

From KL Sentral, hop on the free GoKL bus and get off at Jalan Namansara or Bus Stop No. 12

What To Do:

Before wandering the city, dropping by the National Museum is a must! Learn from Malaysia’s rich history from prehistoric to Colonial times. From there, you can get an idea which are the historic places that you’d like to visit. Entrance is just MYR 5 (PHP 55) per person.

Muzium Negara

Muzium Negara

Muzium Negara

Muzium Negara

Masjid Negara

How To Get There:

From Muzium Negara, it’s a few walks away from there

What To Do:

Visit the state mosque. It’s an open-air modernly designed mosque with 73 meters high minaret and the star-shaped roof. It’s free but you should be dressed properly.

Masjid Negara

Kuala Lumpur 2017

 

Islamic Arts Museum

How To Get There:

From Masjid Negara, it’s a few walks up on the hill

What To Do:

One of the must-visit museums in Malaysia. For MYR 14 (PHP 156) you’ll get to know more about the Islam and all the Islamic architectures around the world. This place is so beautiful!

Kuala Lumpur 2017

Islamic Arts Museum

Islamic Arts Museum

Kuala Lumpur 2017

Kuala Lumpur 2017

 

 

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station Restaurant

How To Get There:

From Islamic Arts Museum, walk back to the Kuala Lumpur Station, in front of KTM Building

What To Do:

Have a taste of their local cuisine in this cafeteria -ish restaurant. We tried their Nasi Lemak which surely is a must-try. It’s rice with various toppings or add-ons, served with sambal sauce (spicy sauce). We also had a taste of Ayam Goreng (fried chicken) and their famous Teh Tarik (Milk Tea) which is best served with ice. If you’ll be taking your drink with you, they’ll pour it into a plastic bag that has a string which will allow you to hang it on your wrist!

Kuala Lumpur 2017

Kuala Lumpur 2017

 

 

Batu Caves

How To Get There:

From Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, ride a train to Batu Caves Station

What To Do:

The Batu Caves is the home to various Hindu shrines and one of the top destinations to visit located at the edge of Kuala Lumpur. Upon reaching the entrance you’ll see a big golden statue of Lord Murugan and at the entrance of the Ramayana Cave is a towering statue of Hanuman, the devotee of Lord Rama, Climb up the 272 steps of this carved limestone hill. You’ll see a lot of wild monkeys ready to mingle with you and steal your food. Better watch out for your belongings!

Batu Caves

Batu Caves

Kuala Lumpur 2017

Batu Caves

Batu Caves

Batu Caves

 

Masjid Jamek

How To Get There:

From Batu Caves Station, ride a train going to Masjid Jamek Station

What To Do:

After alighting at Masjid Jamek station we took a walk to Masjid Jamek, the biggest and one of the oldest mosque in Kuala Lumpur. We weren’t able to take photos since it’s raining plus some of the parts were on construction. It’s said to be the first brick mosque to be built in the city.

 

Side Trips:

On the way to Merdeka Square, you can do a walking trip and take photos with the interesting buildings along the way. Here are some of the buildings: Sultan Abdul Samad, National Textile Museum, National City Gallery.

 

 

 

 

Masjid Jamek

Kuala Lumpur 2017

Kuala Lumpur 2017

Kuala Lumpur 2017

Merdeka Square

How To Get There:

From Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, it’s a few walks away from there

What To Do:

If you were able to visit Muzium Negara, then you know a bit of the history of Merdeka Square.  It is also known as their independence square where the Malaysian flag was raised for the first time to commemorate the end of British colonization over their country.

Little India

How To Get There:

From Merdeka Square, take a long walk to Little India

What To Do:

If you’re into shopping and Indian cuisine, taking a walk here is the place to be! I must admit my feet hurts from walking but it’s worth it. The pavement is full of expats and locals, especially on weekends.

 

The Petronas Twin Towers

 

How To Get There:

From KL Sentral, ride a train to Batu Caves Station Kelana Jaya Rail Line

From Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, ride a train to Batu Caves Station

What To Do:

The famous landmark in Kuala Lumpur, The Petronas Towers! It’s best to come here in the afternoon so you can take photos while there’s sunlight and wait for the sunset so you can see its beauty at night. You can go up and see Kuala Lumpur’s beauty and walk at sky bridge that connects the two towers. As for us, I just went inside the malls to shop!

At The Petronas Twin Towers

Kuala Lumpur 2017

Bukit Bintang 

How To Get There:

From The Petronas Twin Towers, hop on a GoKL bus going to Bukit Bintang

What To Do:

This is one of the most popular shopping districts with all the designer labels. We went here in the evening and so you can see tourists and locals enjoying a walk at this glamorous district. Some of them are bustling for the nightlife. Oh, there’s a big Sephora store here!

 

Jalan Alor Food Street

 

How To Get There:

From Bukit Bintang, it’s a few walks going to Jalan Alor

What To Do:

Dinner time and ending the day at one of the famous hawker centers. The Jalan Food Street is also a tourist destination. You’ll find a lot of food stalls serving chili crabs, BBQ, noodles, and dim sum!

 

 

In less than 24 hours, we were able to tour around Kuala Lumpur. I must admit this was very tiring and a day isn’t enough to immerse yourself and learn about Kuala Lumpur. The next day continues with our trip to Penang, Malaysia. Hope you learned from this travel guide for a first-timer! If you have questions let me know if the comments area. ????

 

Next Up:

Backpacking in Penang for 2 Days

 

 


DISCLOSURE

This is an all expense paid DIY backpacking trip. All thoughts and experience stated in this post are entirely my own.

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