My all-time dream destination, the Maldives, has finally become a reality (article to follow)! I don’t think there’ll ever come a time that I’ll be over this amazing 9-day trip.
But before flying to Malé (the capital of Maldives), our AirAsia booking included a 6hr layover in Kuala Lumpur. I’ve never been to Malaysia so I swore to make this a treat. ✨
TOUCHDOWN KUALA LUMPUR!
Here’s a 30-second video to sum up this fun layover:
A reminder that there is so much beauty to see — both in our perfectly sculpted lands and in our vast bodies of water.
In the arrival area, we had a hundred dollars exchanged to Malaysian ringgit. Exchange rates were the same across all counters in KLIA. 💸
Cat (my amazing travel buddy) and I pooled our cash during the trip to make payments easier since we’re doing the same activities.
We also found out that there’s an Old Town White Coffee in the airport! Old Town is a kopi-tiam restaurant chain that manufactures instant beverage products. We had to pass through the immigration; it was right outside.
My personal favorites are their Milk Tea and White Coffee. I can’t let my trip to Malaysia pass without a sip! They also serve a hearty breakfast; perfect for hungry travelers in the arrival hall.
Then we booked a GRAB CAR (Grab is cheaper than Uber services in Malaysia) using the app. Good thing the free airport internet was fast and reliable!
JALAN ALOR “FOOD STREET” (BUKIT BINTANG, KL)
It was an hour drive from the airport to Bukit Bintang. Grab fare: 60MR. The Grab driver was very helpful too, giving recommendations and the warning: “Food won’t be cheap because you’re tourists. Unfortunately, you can’t haggle.”
So I tried my best to blend in and NOT look like a tourist:
A unique culinary haven in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Alor is where your foodtrip destination should be.
It used to be a red light district (like what I would always say, “If you don’t know what it means, ask your daddies.”) but the entire street is now full of hawker stalls. I wanted to try everything! 😭
Although plenty of stalls are already open during the day (breakfast-afternoon), it’s best to come by at night. All the stalls would be open; and travelers, foreigners, and locals flock here to eat and drink.
Expect to try some the following. Ready your appetite!
- Tom Yum
- Stir-fried seafood
- Hokkien mee
- Pan mee
- Curry laksa noodle
- Fish ball noodle
- Drunken chicken noodle
- Beef noodle
- Roast duck
- Roast pork
- Sze chuan
- Chicken wings
- Hainanese chicken
- Crispy fried egg
But since the non-stop rain chose to chastise us, we had to book another Grab ride because we don’t have umbrellas and our handcarries were kind of heavy. The driver laughed when we confirmed that we’re going to KLCC because it’s near. 😂
We stopped over to marvel at the twin towers, already a beauty during the day (I’m definitely coming back to see it get lit at night). The shops inside KLCC also kept us busy. ✨ Note: Internet’s only available for restaurant/cafe customers.
There are 3 kinds of taxis in KL:
1. Premier/Executive (it’s costly)
2. Standard/Budget (for 2-3 people)
3. Family (can fit 6 people)
🚖 Traffic can get really bad in Kuala Lumpur. Make sure to allot 1-1.5hrs travel time going back to the airport. Only executive taxis were available around the mall so we had to walk a bit to get a budget taxi. Drive from Petronas Towers to the airport took 1.5hrs. Taxi fare: 90MR.
🛫 The line in the immigration was really really long too. But we got in our flight on time!!! We met with our other group of friends who booked a later flight, and traveled to Male altogether.
P.S. If your layover is 5hrs+ then I would recommend you go out and explore KL. But if it’s less than 4hrs, you may want to stay in the airport instead. Traffic can be intense and the queue in the immigration can be really long… you don’t want to be late for your flight!
It was a pretty interesting afternoon despite the weather and traffic. There’s more to do in Malaysia, and I’m definitely going back for more. See you soon, Kuala Lumpur!