May 29, 2009 / 4:54 AM / 10 years ago

Travel Postcard: 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters Life!)- Got 48 hours to explore Kuala Lumpur? Reuters correspondents with local knowledge help visitors get the most from a short visit to the Malaysian capital.

A man stands at Lopo Waterfall in Hulu Langat near Kuala Lumpur January 27, 2009. REUTERS/Zainal Abd Halim


6 p.m. - When the sun sets, Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown comes to life. Under Petaling Street’s red glow, take in the steamy smells of Malaysian Chinese delicacies while looking for the perfect fake designer accessory in the bustling night market. Save your tastebuds for “Ikan Pari,” stingray cooked in spicy chilies or a bubbling pot of claypot noodles: just look for the signs bearing the dishes’ names at the end of the street.

9 p.m. - Relax above the hot streets of Kuala Lumpur with a local cocktail from Sky Bar ( Situated at the Traders Hotel in the center of the city, the glowing iconic Petronas Towers are visible from your table.


8 a.m. - Start a day of culinary adventure with some hot dim sum from the hawker center “Jalan Ipoh Dim Sum” (Ipoh Street). Each bite of the little parcels is a flavor surprise. Even though the famous dishes draw a crowd, the number of dim sum restaurants will ensure there is a table available.

9.30 a.m. - Instead of buying traditional Malaysian fabrics to take home, make your own. Batik is wax painted and dyed fabric which appears in traditional Malaysian clothing and artwork. Jadi Batek ( in Bukit Bintang runs classes for first-timers to print and dye their own masterpiece. Cloth and all materials are provided but you must book at least two hours in advance.

11.30 a.m. - While your batik dries, hit the streets of Bukit Bintang for some retail therapy. If the stores on the street don’t max out your credit card, the nearby Low Yat and Sungei Wang Plazas provide level upon level of everything from the latest technology to fancy underwear.

1 p.m. - Travel to the end of Jalan Alor (Alor Street), and waiting on the right is a lunch of frog porridge. Beneath the white exterior of delicious lumpy porridge lies the sweet legs of the pond-hopping amphibian. If your stomach is not up to it, opt for the oyster omelet instead.

3.30 p.m. - Head out of the city for a few hours to Batu Caves, a Hindu place of worship. Try and avoid the prying fingers of the resident monkeys. Guarded by a 43 meter (141 ft) high golden statue of Lord Muruga, the caves have a spectacular roof, even if the floor is dotted with litter. If the main cave isn’t dark enough for you, the adjoining side caves, echoing with loud music to attract customers, offer guided adventures.

7.30 p.m. - Among the many small bars and restaurants of Changkat Bukit Bintang, the Cloth and Clef is unique. It houses art, food, drinks, live music and streetwear all under one roof. Browse through the art gallery and boutique upstairs or dine to the sounds of live music. Created by part time DJ Ethaya on the weekends it provides the perfect place for pre-drinks to a big night out.

10.30 p.m. - Zouk Malaysia ( gets its name from the original in Singapore, and like its parent it is the latest scene for clubbing. Hundreds of young Malaysians dress their best and line up for Zouk's packed dance floors. The venue is split up into various bars and levels, with Barsonic the most popular. The club is home to various local DJs but is also frequently visited by international acts. Ensure that you arrive before 11 p.m. and go straight to the appropriate line before the queue builds up.


10 a.m. - Fight off the hangover with a banana leaf package of Malaysia’s national dish, nasi lemak, a plate of coconut rice, anchovies and fiery sambal. One of the best is reputedly served by the Tanglin Nasi Lemak, which started selling the dish under a tree but has since moved to a proper building named after the old Tanglin hospital. The eatery is in Jalan Cenderasari, just behind the national Mosque.

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11. 30 a.m. - Unwind in the lush green surrounds of the jungle and soak your aching feet at the "Chilling Waterfalls' (here chiling.php). Along the road from Kuala Kubu Baru to The Gap, the start of the trail to the falls is signposted. To reach the waterfalls you must cross through Chilling River in five places, so wear clothes and shoes that can get wet. Remember to bring a towel and insect repellent to keep away the jungle mosquitoes. And check the weather forecast before going.

2 p.m. - Afternoon tea at Carcosa Seri Negara ( an old colonial mansion set in Kuala Lumpur's Lake Gardens (Tamin Tasik). It was built at the turn of the 20th century as the official residence of the British representative of the newly Federated Malay States. After Malaysia gained independence from Britain in 1957, Carcosa became an official guesthouse for visiting VIPs, including Queen Elizabeth in 1989.

4 p.m. - Wrap up the weekend with a visit the Islamic Arts Museum (, known as one of the capital's most interesting attractions. Mainly Muslim Malaysia heads the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the world's largest Islamic body, and is very proud of this collection of Islamic arts, ranging from jewelry and coins to armor and miniature masterpieces of Islamic architecture.

Editing by Miral Fahmy

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