The 15-Hour Kuala Lumpur Layover

Photo Cred’s to Black Hummus Diaries.

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6:30 ~ Land in Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Arriving off a 7-hour flight from Tokyo Haneda Airport, make your way towards the Left Luggage counter to momentarily slough off winter coats, sweaters, and heavy IKEA backpacks before entering the 30+ (~86F) degree rainforest heat.

7:30 ~ Hop on the KLIA Express train into Kuala Lumpur

The train ticket is maybe a bit expensive, but it is still cheaper than a taxi so who can complain.

8:00 ~ Get on the Red Metro Line and take it one stop

Get off at Pasar Seni station and walk about five minutes to Kopitiam Ali, Muthu & Ah Hock for perfectly patina covered walls and delicious Nasi Lemak (Fried Chicken with rice and other goodies). Have it alongside a teh tarik or strong black coffee for the perfect start to a Kuala Lumpur layover.



I wanted another one as soon as I finished the first. But there’s stuff to see!

9:00 ~ Download the Grab App and get a cheap taxi to Batu Caves

South-East Asia’s Uber, Grab is the cheapest and most convenient way to get to the out-of-the-way spots in Kuala Lumpur. It also works everywhere else in South-East Asia, so make sure to download it before your journey.

10:00 ~ Hike up the Rainbow steps while weeding through tourists and monkeys

The Batu Caves are a great stop in Kuala Lumpur, with steep rainbow steps and greedy macaques everywhere.


If you can, make sure to go on an auspicious day to see worshippers out and about in the temples. Saturday’s are usually a good day for this. Once you climb the steps, you will be rewarded with a great view and the actual cave temples, which have a uniquely Indiana Jones kind of vibe to them.


We sat and oogled at tourists feeding monkeys for a while, so expect to spend around an hour here.

12:00 ~ Have another Grab take you to the Petronas Towers

The Petronas Towers, perhaps the best symbol of Kuala Lumpur, are worth visiting. If you feel like dropping ~US$20 to go to the top, then go for it. Stop in the nearby mall for a bubble tea and drink it in the shade of the park attached to the building. It’s starting to get a bit hot, so shade and tea are the best way to beat the heat.


14:00 ~ Eat a late lunch at Lot 10 Hutong

Located in the basement of the Lot 10 department store, the Hutong food court offers a wide array of local eateries from all over Kuala Lumpur. We went to Simple Life, a Vegetarian Restaurant (Not in the Hutong but on the floor above). Here I got some vegetarian Nasi Lemak, which I polished off instantly.


16:00 ~ Stop by a bar near Bukit Bintang for a pre-flight beer

There are plenty of bars in this graffiti-laden part of town. There’s also a street market nearby for more local foods if you are still a bit nippy.

Other possibilities:

Head to the Museum of Islamic Art for a great collection of Islamic antiquities from around the globe. If you have time, go to the walk-in Aviary nearby which is the largest of its kind in the world.

For a bit of history, head to the National Museum for a lesson on Malaysia’s past.

For a bit of Indian culture, wander around Brickfields neighborhood for great Biryani and some local temples

For the knick-knack shopper, go to China Town and Petaling street for all your Chinese knock-off needs.

For another drink after 17:00, go to Heli Bar for excellent views of the Petronas Towers.

19:00 ~ Hop back on the KLIA Express to the airport

Pick up the bags, and relax at the airport for a bit. It’s a tight airport but good enough for all you may need.

21:00 ~ Say goodbye to Kuala Lumpur, and hello to your next destination!

Kuala Lumpur is a pretty big hub for most travelers going to South-East Asia. If you have the chance to get out into the city, I would highly recommend it. Kuala Lumpur is a beautiful modern place with some excellent food and a cool atmosphere. The locals are friendly, and I am certain you will want to come back and see more of Malaysia as soon as possible.

For more, read my other post on Kuala Lumpur from August of 2018 here.

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Thank you so much for reading! I hope you have enjoyed a bit about Kuala Lumpur, and I hope you will want to make the journey there one day soon. Like and Comment if you feel!


Published by weekend-rambler

A content creator and community manager, I use my free-time exploring new places and cultures. I have a knack for traveling on a budget and discovering new and amazing things, so join me as I discover everything the world has to offer.

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