Guest Post by Jess Signut
Thanks to Travel at Malaysia for sharing my article on the five best budget-friendly activities in Kuala Lumpur. It is a wonderful resource for anyone headed to Malaysia in the near future. And for those not planning a trip to Malaysia, I particularly recommend this article on the top 20 reasons why you should!
Although travel in Malaysia isn’t quite as cheap as in some other countries in Southeast Asia, Kuala Lumpur can still definitely be done on a budget. There are plenty of free or cheap activities to fill your itinerary, regardless of what your interests are. Here are five of our favorites:
Image courtesy of Guyfrombronx under CC BY 3.0
1. Take a Walking Tour.
The tourist parts of Kuala Lumpur are relatively compact, making the city easily navigable on foot. If you’re interested in taking a walking tour to help orient yourself and to learn some of the history of the area, you can download apps with maps and information to your smartphone or tablet. You may also be able to take a free walking tour. These are sometimes put on by the city hall. The tour guides are paid only in tips, meaning you aren’t obligated to shell out the exorbitant fees that some city tours charge, but you still get a great tour out of it.
2. Visit Masjid Jamek.
Roughly half of the population of Kuala Lumpur is Muslim, making this mosque a very important building in the city. In fact, it served as the main mosque of the city for the first half of the twentieth century, until the National Mosque, Masjid Negara, was completed. Masjid Jamek is Moorish in style, making it markedly different from the Chinese and Indian temples that also dot the city (many of which are also free to enter).
3. Explore the Batu Caves.
About eight miles north of Kuala Lumpur, you’ll find the Batu Caves. The caves date back roughly 400 million years; in more recent times, they’ve been turned into a Hindu religious site and filled with various shrines. You’ll need to pay to enter certain caves, but they fees are still affordable and are definitely worth it. Even if the caves and shrines aren’t of much interest to you, the area is worth a visit: the view of the city from the entrance of the main cave is spectacular. For the more adventurous souls, the area is also great for rock climbing.
4. Head to the Petronas Twin Towers.
These two towers, the tallest twin towers in the world, offer a lot of free and budget activities. Wander around the 17-acre KLCC Park. Go window-shopping at Suria KLCC, an enormous shopping mall inside the towers. Check out the art in the free Galeri Petronas. Or pay the nominal fee to go up to the KLCC Sky Bridge and take in the view. You could easily spend a day or two in these buildings alone—and all without spending a cent!
5. Get Steeped in Culture.
If you’re interested in learning about traditional Malay culture, one of the ways you can do so is by checking out the local crafts. Head to the National Craft Complex and you’ll find examples of pottery, woodcarvings and more. Or head to Kampung Baru, a traditional village in the middle of Kuala Lumpur. One of the best times to visit is in the evenings, when the main street is lined with food vendors. It can be a cheap way to get a good meal in while sampling a lot of different Malay dishes.
Bonus: Stay in.
When all else fails, movies are always a great fallback plan. They can be great for a rainy day or for one of those nights when you’re just tired or feeling a bit homesick. But if you try to watch Netflix from Kuala Lumpur, you’ll likely encounter an error message saying that Netflix isn’t available for streaming overseas. This is because the site server reads your IP address, knows from that that you’re in Malaysia, and restricts your access so that you don’t accidentally violate copyright restrictions. However, because the IP address is the key to this, if you use a VPN to provide Netflix with a fake IP address, the site won’t know where you really are and you’ll no longer encounter the error message—problem solved.
Guest Post by Jess Signut
A well traveled blogger.
“Hi, I’m Jess, and welcome to Tripelio! I’ve been obsessed with the beauty and the wonder of this wide world since before I could walk or even talk. I was always exploring as a toddler – much to my parents dismay – and things haven’t changed since. As soon as I finished school, I was off and around the world. I’ve spent the last 3 1/2 years (and counting) exploring every corner of this incredible globe and I don’t plan on slowing down any time soon. ” Check out Jess Signut’s blog at Tripelio.com for great insights of countries she has visited.