The Petronas Towers
While at the crack of dawn, you don’t have to beat yourself out of bed to catch KL’s biggest attraction— both literally and figuratively— get a head start in the morning by plowing over to the Petronas Twin Towers. This iconic landmark, Kuala Lumpur’s undisputed icon, was the world’s tallest building until 2004. Even though it has been overtaken 15 times since then, the Petronas Towers are still one of the world’s finest new architectural treasures and one of Malaysia’s utter must-sees.
Upon taking in the views from the Petronas Towers, head over to nearby KLCC Station for a short train trip to Masjid Jamek Station (8 minutes walk). From here, the ancient center of KL is a fast 5-to7-minute stroll to Merdeka Square.
Once the sights and sounds of Merdeka Square have been consumed, cross the Klang River by Leboh Pasar Besar and head south along the eastern bank to one of the cultural attractions of KL, Central Market. Completed in 1928 with origins reaching back to 1888, Central Market has developed into a nirvana art from a calm wet market. Browsing through the torrent of Central Market stalls is like taking a miniature look down on Malaysia.
Chinatown and Petaling Street
It’s a quick walk from Central Market down Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock to Jalan Petaling Road, Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown’s central nervous system. The region is one of KL’s most entertaining, continuously abuzz with day and night activity, and an absolute must-visit in Kuala Lumpur during your first 24 hours.
After fully immersing yourself in Chinatown’s delights, head back to the Klang River to Pasar Seni Station where you will ride to KL Sentral to continue exploring the diversity of KL in Little India. Officially known as Brickfields, Little India is one of the most vibrant corners in Malaysia’s capital, plastered with curry houses and shops sprinkling Hindi music on the street while selling everything from saris to Bollywood DVDs to spices.
I’d say you’ve earned a little downtime with the bulk of a day spent haggling, walking and sightseeing. There’s no better way to do it than to hang out at a rooftop bar in a city filled with stunning views like KL.
Kuala Lumpur has plenty of rooftop bars, but one of the most praised is SkyBar, situated on the KLCC Traders Hotel’s 33rd floor. In addition to drinking one of the city’s most creative drinks and rubbing elbows with the well-to – do KL, a luxurious evening at SkyBar offers the best views of the front and middle of Kuala Lumpur, including a spectacular view of the Petronas Towers.
All the hard work of snagging panoramas of the world-class has definitely revived your appetite, no? If so, put your legs on a short walk south to Bukit Bintang, one of KL’s best regions, booming with local & international restaurants, chic bars, and fashionable shopping malls and boutiques.