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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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