Top 5 Day Trips from Kuala Lumpur
A popular worldwide stopover city, Kuala Lumpur is full of things to do and places to see. If you are planning a city break in Malaysia’s capital, let us help you get to know Malaysia better and work out what to spend your time doing with our top 5 day trips from Kuala Lumpur.
Malaysia has many faces. It is a country divided into two parts: the first is a peninsula on the China Sea, the second is the north coast of the island of Borneo. One is very developed, with the capital Kuala Lumpur as its head, the other is wild and natural, with tropical forests covering the entire territory.
The mixture of cultures also contributes to the diversity of the country: Buddhist temples stand side by side with Muslim mosques, and it is even possible to see the country’s colonial history over the wide spectrum of people who live in these lands.
The two sides travellers will soon discover in Malaysia are that of industrialised and modern cities in the image of an emerging Asia, and the other, a laid-back place with beautiful beaches and in an idyllic climate. From a base in the city, it is easy to experience a little of all Malaysia can offer. These top 5 day trips from Kuala Lumpur will help you to do just that:
1. Kuala Lumpur City Tour
Built in the middle of the jungle, Kuala Lumpur took off thanks to the exploitation of its tin. The city is home to 7.5 million people and is an assortment of cultures from all walks of life. Nobody can miss the Petronas Towers, 451m high and a powerful symbol of the city. The towers are especially stunning at night, under coloured lighting. For a great panoramic view of the city, climb the Menara Tower.
There is an abundance of beautiful buildings in Kuala Lumpur, like that of Sultan Abdul Samad situated between the skyscrapers and the Masjid Jamek and Masjid Negara mosques. Istana Negara, the old palace of the king with 13 acres of land, is also sublime. Enjoy the hustle and bustle of Little India and Chinatown (Jalan Petaling Street) for some shopping or a bite to eat.
Depending on the full moon of the Tamil calendar (sometime between January and February) the Thaipusam Hindu festival takes place. This is a pilgrimage to the Batu caves where the Sri Subramaniam Swamy temple is located alongside a gigantic golden statue.
Discover the old and new parts of Kuala Lumpur on our City Day Tour.
2. The Batu Caves
The Batu caves of Malaysia are not just a series of caves: it is an area of cultural significance as well as a place ripe with adventure … and monkeys!
The caves, located north of Kuala Lumpur, are known for a huge statue of the Hindu god Murugan and its 272 steps that lead to a magnificent view of the city and the surrounding area. Travellers don’t just come to see this cultural icon, however, but also for the many monkeys that have made the Batu Caves their home.
This is where adventure comes into play, too – take one of the many climbing tracks located inside the caves to explore!
There is now no need to take a bus or a taxi in order to get to the caves as a new train line means that KTM Komuter train departs from KL Sentral Station and go directly to Batu. Trains leave every 30 minutes allowing you to plan your trip perfectly and fit it around other things you want to do in the city.
Alternatively, enjoy a hassle-free Batu Caves Tour from just £14.
3. Discover Malacca
Called the Venice of Asia and listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city of Malacca is a port full of history with a rich colonial heritage. Portuguese, Dutch, Chinese, English and Japanese followed one another and there are traces of colonisation throughout the city.
This is a multicultural place and very much like the other big cities of the country in that respect. With three ancient religious buildings – Kampung Kling Mosque, Cheng Hoon Teng Temple and Christ Church – it’s clear that there are many traditions present in the cultural patchwork of the city.
Malacca’s different neighbourhoods are pleasant to discover, with colourful areas and a mixture of diverse cultures: Indian, Chinese and Malay. Here you will find a Buddhist temple, next to a mosque, itself next to a Hindu temple. Malacca is well known for its beca, a kind of local of tuk-tuk. It is no exaggeration to say that this is one of the most beautiful cities in Malaysia, both from a historical and an architectural point of view.
What to Visit in Malacca
Malacca is also the birthplace of the Baba Nyonya community, the descendants of the first Chinese immigrants who married Malays. There are also traces of this community all over the old city. Chinatown, located around Jonker Street, the main street of Old Malacca, bears plenty of sites to visit:
- The Baba Nyonya Heritage Museum is the perfect place to discover the look and feel of a traditional 19th century Malaysian residence, evoking a distant world far away from what we know today.
- Cheng Hoon Teng, a traditional Chinese temple, is the oldest in Malaysia and another impressive cultural monument.
- The Jonker Street Night Market is open on weekends, selling food and other souvenirs of the country.
- The Windmill Dutch Square is another must-see place in Malacca where you will also find the Christ Church as well as museums, a huge clock tower other sights of the town.
- The banks of the Melaka River: boat tours and cruises along the city’s main waterway give a unique glimpse of the town.
- The Villa Sentosa, another typical Malaysian house now turned into a museum.
- Malacca Straits Mosque, the floating mosque of Malacca, a little gem of architecture and indeed of engineering.
Simply stroll through the alleys of the old town, take those all-important Instagram snaps of the colourful shopfronts and just enjoy the unique atmosphere of the town whilst enjoying some local dishes.
Book your Malacca Day Tour from Kuala Lumpur today.
4. The Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre
This sanctuary in Pahang is one of Malaysia’s most important elephant conservation centres. Nature and animal lovers now have the opportunity to observe elephants, discover how they are cared for and rehabilitated and contribute directly to the protection of elephants in Malaysia.
The Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, created by the Malaysian Wildlife Society, is the headquarters of the Elephant Relocation Team of the Department of Wildlife and National Parks, which helps capture and relocate solitary elephants from all over Southeast Asia and give them a great permanent home.
At the entrance to the site, an explanatory film on the living conditions of elephants gives visitors a flavour of what to expect when inside. It also lays bare the stakes of the sanctuary for the rehabilitation of these in their natural element: most of these elephants have been saved from abuse or poaching and the sanctuary really is a matter of life or death.
After the film, the next step is to enter the elephant enclosure, which is home to the rehabilitated creatures. Visitors discover the important role that this elephant sanctuary plays in ensuring the survival and well-being of these majestic animals, and catch a first-hand glimpse of the sanctuary professionals carrying out their important work.
Learn more about this Elephant Day Tour now.
5. Kuala Lumpur Foodie Street Tour
Kuala Lumpur is a city designed for foodies and what better way of tasting the local culture than with a local guide. Get picked up from your hotel and head around the numerous food streets, discovering the amazing gastronomy and cuisines that Kuala Lumpur has to offer. The food here is a mixture of Indian, Chinese and local dishes that are set up in different areas and districts around the city.
Start in the Brickfields neighbourhood where the Indian influences can be seen and smelt. Brickfields is the most recent of the three Indian districts in Kuala Lumpur. With elephant fountains, Bollywood music and colourful houses, you truly feel like you have stepped into India itself. Taste the Tosei (rice flour pancakes), fresh banana fritters, sticky sweet gulab jamun or the local favourite cendol. Once your belly is full, take a walk around the area and admire the flower stores and colourful streets.
Next, why not head to Chinatown? This is the busiest area in the city and the Chinese influences are not only found in the food but in the architecture of the buildings and store signs. Chinatown is famed for its street food and Jalan Alor, is an eclectic mix of stalls and seafood restaurants. Discover food specials such as Satay (skewers), dumplings, noodle soups, sautéed noodles, crispy pork belly, roasted duck and fresh fruits. Jalan Alor is a true foodie paradise with opportunities to try all the local delicacies whilst enjoying a gentle stroll down the bustling street.
Discover the culinary side of Kuala Lumpur on our popular Foodie Street Tour.
Kuala Lumpur is a city of variety and colour, culture and history. Whether you are visiting as part of a longer Malaysia holiday or using KL as a stopover city on your way to another destination, don’t miss these top 5 day trips from Kuala Lumpur on your visit.
Explore further with our Cameron Highlands 3-day adventure from Kuala Lumpur, or choose to incorporate Kuala Lumpur into a longer Malaysia journey, from a thrilling Malaysia Self Drive or an exciting Malaysia Grand Tour.