Kuala Lumpur has often been said to be the best place to get a good, authentic sampling of asian culture. The population of Malaysia consists of three major races (Malay, Chinese and Indian) and this is apparent in the capital’s food, architecture and culture. Kuala Lumpur is an extremely easy city to travel around where almost everybody in the city has a basic understanding of the English language. The city is has an excellent transport system where it is possible to travel to most of the city’s attraction in the comfort on an air-conditioned train. Here is a list of some of the top attractions in the city.

The KLCC Twin Towers

Since its completion, the KLCC Twin Towers has become the country’s icon. The Twin Towers is to Kuala Lumpur as what the Statute of Liberty is to New York City. If you have not been to the towers, you have not been to KL. For full details of this attraction, check out this page.

Malaysian Heritage Walk

© malaysiaheritage.net

© malaysiaheritage.net

This is an absolute must for all culture vultures. This walking tour takes place around the oldest parts of the city that is rich and dense with authentic local culture. You will get a good sampling of some of Kuala Lumpur’s gorgeous historical architectures, religious sites and even a sampling of delicious local delicacies. For more information on this tour, check out this page.

Batu Caves

© Redtigerxyz at wikipedia.org

© Redtigerxyz at wikipedia.org

Regardless of whether you are interested in local culture, religious sites and nature or not, Batu Caves is definitely one of the must-visit places in Kuala Lumpur. Batu Caves is a big Hindu temple complex that is located in and surrounding a giant cave system. The giant golden statute at the entrance is definitely a sight to remember and steep 272 steps climb (surrounded by lush greenery and wild monkeys) into the heart of the cave is one that you would not likely forget. It also doesn’t hurt that the it is located just a short 20 minutes drive away from the heart of the city. You can take the KTM Komuter train and stop at the Batu Caves station to get there.

Lake Gardens & Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

The Lake Gardens is akin to Central Park in New York. Although not as huge, this spacious green space is located just at the edge of Kuala Lumpur, making it an easy place to visit if you are in the mood for some R&R or get closer to nature. The park itself houses many attractions including a planetarium, the Islamic Arts Museum, a deer park, a butterfly park, national monument and most famous of all, the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park. This Bird Park is the largest walk-in, free-flight aviary in the world and houses many beautiful and exotic bird species. The easiest way to get to the Lake Gardens is to take a cab. The park is located behind right behind the National Mosque. You can also take the KTM Komuter train to get there. Stop the KTM Komuter Kuala Lumpur station and take a short walk to the National Mosque. The park is about 1 kilometer in length is be sure to put on a good pair of walking shoes before you make a visit.

Bukit Bintang Area

© pavilion-kl.com

© pavilion-kl.com

This area is definitely a must-go for all shopaholics. The area houses at least half a dozen giant shopping malls, not to mention the many shops, stalls and eateries surrounding them. All these big shopping malls are within walking distance from each other so be rest assured that you would be able to get almost anything you want without living that vicinity. Whether you are looking for bargain goods or high-end luxury products, there is something for everybody in Bukit Bintang. Berjaya Times Square, Sungai Wang Plaza, Bukit Bintang Plaza, and Fahrenheit 88 are excellent spots for bargain hunting while Pavilion and Starhill Gallery (and Suria KLCC, which is just a short 10 minute walk away) have a good selection of luxury goods outlets. If you are looking for consumer electronics and tech gadgets, do give Low Yat Plaza a visit. It is the country’s largest IT shopping mall where all the entire 6 floors of the building is dedicated to selling smartphones, cameras, laptops, tech accessories and almost any other tech gadgets that you can think of. With a little research, you can also find some of the city’s yummiest street food in this area. For starters, Jalan Alor, which is the city’s most famous hawker food street, is located within Bukit Bintang.

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Did you know that budget airline and promo flight tickets could sometimes cost less than bus and train tickets? Did you know that many full serviced airlines often offer promo fares that cost less than half of their usual price? Due to the highly competitive nature of air travel, many airlines, be it budget airlines of 5 star airlines, offer unbelievable promo fares that are just too good to give it a miss. If you play your cards right and do a little research a couple of months ahead your travel date, you could save thousands of dollars on your airfare. Here are some easy tips on how to get the cheapest airfares possible.

Check Flight Booking Websites

© skyscanner.com

© skyscanner.com

Flight booking websites are by far the easiest for you to find and compare fares between airlines all on one website. Famous travel websites such as Tripadvisor, Expedia and Kayak all have excellent flight-booking search engines that allow you to make a thorough comparison. Whether you use the flight booking website to make the actual booking or book straight from that particular airline is entirely up to you. Using their flight search engines saves you the trouble of checking dozens of airline websites to choose the flight.

My personal all time favorite flight booking website would have to be Skyscanner. This website not only allows you to search through dozens of airlines for a particular date, but also search through the entire year (12 whole months) to show you the lowest fare that you can get within that time period. This feature is absolutely invaluable especially if you are flexible when it comes to your time of travel.

Check Budget Airline Websites

© airasia.com

© airasia.com

While flight booking websites are excellent tools in helping you get the lowest flight tickets possible, they are not perfect. For one, their search engines scan through not all airlines and sometimes certain airlines have promotions that are not reflected on those websites. After checking the flight booking website, the next thing to do is to check the websites of budget airlines that fly to wherever you are planning to go.

Thus far, the most complete list of budget airlines that I have come across in the internet is this one: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_low-cost_airlines. Take a look at the list and visit the airline’s individual website to see if they have any cheaper fares available for your travel date.

Loyalty Pays

When choosing the airlines that you are going to fly with, try to find out if they have any loyalty programs that allow you to accumulate flight points or mileage. If the price differences are negligible, do try to stick to the same airline (or same group of airlines) so that you can earn more points from your flights. While paying for the flights, it is also a great idea to make use of a credit card that have a great flight mileage or point system that lets you exchange it for flights. Through these points and mileage, you will be able to get some significant discounts or even free flights once you have accumulated enough of them.

Lookout For Short Term Promotions

Many credit card companies often team up with airlines for great short term and long term offers. It is not rare for certain airlines to offer a Buy 1 Free 1 promo when you buy the tickets using a certain credit card. You should also visit travel fairs as most airlines usually give some pretty amazing offers during the duration of the fair.

Do you also know that there are many budget airlines that offer ‘zero’ fare promotions on a regular basis? Air Asia for instance, usually runs a ‘zero’ fare promo (where you only pay for taxes and processing fees) at least once a year. If you can get your hands one some of these tickets, you will not only be able to save a lot of money but also significantly increase the number of places that you can visit. Be sure to sign up for the newsletters of the budget airlines in the area that you are traveling to so that you can receive advance notifications of such offers.

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Camera 360

When they were completed in 1996, the KLCC Twin Towers were the tallest buildings in the world. Today, they remain to be the tallest twin towers in the world and one of the most visited sites in Kuala Lumpur. Accolades aside, the towers are just beautiful to look at and is high on the list of must-dos for many tourists. Here is a quick guide to visiting the KLCC Twin Towers.

Getting There

Being one of the most famous icons of Malaysia, you will have no problems finding your way there. Even if you are driving, you could literally see the towers from a mile away. The quickest and most convenient way to get there is by train. The KLCC LRT train station is connected to Suria KLCC, is a large shopping complex located beneath the towers. The next best option is to take a cab there.

The Best Time To Visit

I would strongly recommend visiting the towers after sunset, as the KLCC Twin Towers are most beautiful at night. Suria KLCC is an excellent place to have your dinner, as there are lots of dining options to choose from.  Be it fine dining, casual or fast food outlets, there is something for everybody at the shopping mall.

A view of the city from Heli Lounge.

A view of the city from Heli Lounge.

View of the towers from the Marini 57 Bar.

View of the towers from the Marini 57 Bar.

What is there to do there?

Firstly, as mentioned earlier, there is Suria KLCC, which is one of the largest shopping mall in KL. It is a mid/high-end shopping mall that also houses a variety of restaurants, bars and cafes. It is a great place for you to take a short break before heading off to your next sightseeing spot.

Right at the doorstep of the KLCC Twin Towers is KLCC Park, a large, beautifully landscaped green space. It is also the best photo spot for you to get a good shot at the Twin Towers. Here is a tip: the best spot for you to get a good shot of the towers from the park is on the bridge over the lake. There is only one so you can’t miss it.

If you want to have a closer look at the Twin Towers from the inside, you can consider buying a ticket to its observatory deck on the 86th floor of one of the towers. Due to security reasons, only a limited amount of tickets are issued every so it is best that you buy your ticket in advance. You can buy them at the ticket counter on the concourse level of you can get them online at petronastwintowers.com.my.

The Petronas Twin Towers is also home to the Malaysia Philharmonic Orchestra. For those who are interested in classical performance, do check out mpo.com.my for their performance schedule and online ticketing.

Alternative & Interesting Spots To View The KLCC Twin Towers

Other than the spots mentioned earlier, there are also several other spots that offer excellent and interesting views of the towers. Sky Bar, located in Trader’s Hotel, which is just a stone’s throw away from the towers, offers spacious, open air, unobstructed views of the Twin Towers. Although there are many other bars and restaurants nearby offering similar views, many still consider the views from the Sky Bar to be second to none.

Other cool place to view the Twin Towers would be from Marini 57, a rooftop bar located in KLCC Tower 3, located next to the towers. Due to the proximity to the towers, you will get a very closed up, open air, view of the towers.

Then there is the Heli Lounge Bar @ Menara KH, located near Pavilion Shopping Center. This bar, which is located on a helipad on top of a building, not only has great views of the Twin Towers, but also KL Tower and its surroundings. I would strongly recommend visiting the bar shortly before sunset, so you can catch the day, sunset, and night views of Kuala Lumpur City.

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island good weather

Picking the right time to visit a beach paradise could mean the difference between basking in the sun for the entire trip or spending the entire vacation surfing the internet in your hotel room. Many of the major beach destinations in Asia experience monsoon rains and gloomy weather during several months of the year. If you are planning a seaside holiday trip anytime soon, it pays to do a little research before you buy your flight tickets. Here is a list of stating the dry and rainy seasons of some of the top beach destinations in Asia.

Thailand

Phuket
Dry Season: November – April
Rainy Season: May – October

Koh Samui
Dry Season: December – August
Rainy Season: September – November

Indonesia

Bali
Dry Season: April – October
Rainy Season: October – March

Malaysia

Langkawi
Dry Season: Late November – March
Rainy Season: April – September

Perhentian
Dry Season: March – October
Rainy Season: November – February

Sipadan
Dry Season: March – November
Rainy Season: December – March

Philippines

Boracay
Dry Season: November – May
Rainy Season: June – October

Maldives

Maldives
Dry Season: November – April
Rainy Season: May – November

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© Jyi1693 at Wikipedia

© Jyi1693 at Wikipedia

By Air

Thanks to the variety of budget airlines that serves this route, taking a flight has become the best way to travel between these two cities. There are three major budget airlines serving this route, namely Air Asia, Tiger Airways and Jetstar. There are also lots of other full service airlines that serve this route. Due to the large amount of competition, it is relatively easy to get your hands on a bargain fair. You can book as late as just one week before your travel date and still get a fare that matches a regular premium bus ticket. The flight to Singapore takes just 45 minutes.

By Bus

There are also lots of busses serving these two cities, with busses leaving every hour or so. The busses run throughout the day starting from as early as 6.30am. The last bus leaves at around 11pm arriving in Singapore in the wee hours of morning. Like with many Malaysian bus routes, most companies provide online ticketing services where you can purchase your tickets only.

There are also a lot of different types of busses to choose from. There are the regular air-conditioned busses, and then there are also ultra-vip busses that come with personal TV sets for each seat, meals on board, drinking water, an onboard steward/stewardess to serve you and on board wi-fi. These premium busses usually cost twice the price of regular busses. The journey takes anywhere around 5 – 6 hours depending on the type of bus you take. The premium busses are usually a little faster as they take a more expensive (higher toll rates), but faster route. An average one-way economy bus ticket cost around RM50 per person.

By Train

The price of a train ticket for this route is about the same as a bus trip, but the journey is much longer taking up to 8 hours on average to reach Singapore. Because of this, many people shy away from taking the train for this route.

Nevertheless, for those who are not in a grand hurry, taking a day train down to Singapore is a great way to see the Malaysia countryside. Some people may even find taking the train more comfortable as there are on board toilets and restaurant carts for you to hang out in if you want to catch a quick bite.

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© Randwick at wikipedia

© Randwick at wikipedia

Taxi

Just like with most airports around the world, taking the taxi is the fastest, yet most expensive way to get to the city. A one-way trip would set you back around RM120 or so, depending on the exact location that you are going to. When you arrive, you will find several counters selling taxi coupons at the arrival hall. You should purchase your taxi coupons from these counters, as they are government regulated with fixed prices. You can choose to either make the trip using budget taxis, vans, or luxury limos. The journey to Kuala Lumpur city center takes approximately one hour.

Train

The KLIA airports is served by an express train, the KLIA express that can get you to KL Sentral Station, near the heart of the city in just 28 minutes. It is by far the fastest way to get to the city. Tickets cost around RM35 per person per way. Although it might be the fastest, it is not necessarily the most convenient. Depending on where you stay in Kuala Lumpur, you may need to take another mode of transport to get to your hotel when you reach KL Sentral. If you are traveling in groups of 3 or more, taking the taxi might be a more practical option.

Airport Bus

Taking the bus is always the most economical option when it comes to airport transportation. Costing just RM10 to RM12 (depending on whether you are embarking from the KLIA or LCCT terminal), the buses would take you straight to KL Sentral Station in just an hour or so. The busses are very frequent, leaving every 30 minutes or lesser and the service runs for almost 24 hours a day. There is a bus company serving the LCCT terminal that runs from 7am in the morning till 2.45 in the morning.

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