In our Malaysia Road trip Guide series, we’re featuring six of the best destinations in Peninsular Malaysia you can drive to for the ultimate road trip. For the third part of our series, we decided to focus on Malaysia’s vibrant capital city, Kuala Lumpur (KL).
Although quick, round trip airfares from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore can be quite expensive especially if you have a large family. Long airport queues, limited baggage allowances, and tight flight schedules can also cause you unnecessary stress. Plus, it’s a great excuse to take out your car for a proper drive outside the country. Apart from the affordability, bringing your car with you on a KL holiday can be very convenient way to get around the city.
Kuala Lumpur is a modern city that is an excellent destination for shopping and entertainment. It’s the ideal destination for the whole family because there is something for everyone here.
Driving up to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore may seem daunting but it’s actually pretty manageable. It only takes 4 hours to get to the city from the Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoints. The best and fastest route to get to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore is through the North-South Expressway. From here, it’s essentially a direct course all the way to Kuala Lumpur.
There are several Rest and Service Areas (RSA) along the way where you can grab a bite to eat, use the toilet, or you just want a break from the long drive. There are five RSAs along the North-South Expressway – Gelang Patah, Machap, Pagoh, Ayer Keroh, and Seremban. If you prefer a longer and much more interesting detour, Malacca is a great stopover. Whether you plan to stay for a few hours or overnight, Malacca is certainly worth it. Do check out our previous guide to learn more about touring the Old City.
Malaysia’s cultural diversity is no more apparent than in Kuala Lumpur. This is why it is such a fun city to explore. It’s a city full of modern attractions perfect for the whole family. With KL’s sprawling size, it’s convenient to have your private car with you to explore different parts of the city. What are some of the attractions you shouldn’t miss in KL? If you came to Kuala Lumpur to go shopping, the best place to head to is Bukit Bintang. With large retail chains and trendiest boutique shops, you can’t go wrong when shopping in the area. Popular malls in the area are Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, Low Yat Plaza, Star Hill, and the Berjaya Times Square. Here are other non-shopping attractions you should check out in KL.
- Petronas Twin Towers (Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
A trip to Malaysia’s most iconic building is a must for first time visitors to Kuala Lumpur. Whether you are viewing the city from the building’s observation deck or the Skybridge, there really is no better view of Kuala Lumpur than in the Petronas Twin Towers. There are only limited tickets are available so it’s best to purchase your tickets online before your trip. Ticket prices cost RM85 for adults, RM35 for kids, and RM45 for senior citizens. Visiting hours are from 9am to 9pm on Tuesdays to Sundays. Also located in the Twin Towers, is the Petrosains, The Discovery Centre. It is a Science Discovery Centre where children can explore various interactive exhibits about science and how applicable it is to everyday life in a fun hands-on approach. You can also head to the Aquaria KLCC to learn more about Malaysia’s diverse marine life.
- Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (Jalan Lembah, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
If you want to learn more of Malaysia’s multicultural heritage, a visit to the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia is not to be missed. There are twelve main galleries in the museum that features Islamic art, literature, textile, ceramics, glassware, architecture and so much more. Museum is open daily from 10am to 6pm. Admission fees cost RM14 for adults and RM7 for children and senior citizens. Plus, you can also check out the different sites in Malaysia such as the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park, Perdana Botanical Gardens, National Mosque, and the Planetarium Negara.
- Batu Caves (Batu Caves, 68100 Batu Caves, Selangor, Malaysia)
A trip to Kuala Lumpur isn’t complete without a trip to the Batu Caves. The Caves are a series of Hindu temples and shrines a top of a limestone cliff. You don’t have to be religious to marvel at these splendid temples. It’s located just 30 minutes from Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC). It’s a very popular destination so try to go early to avoid the crowd and wear appropriate clothing. Admission is free in the Batu Caves.
The great thing about staying in Malaysia’s capital is the numerous accommodations available in the area. There are so many hotels to choose from regardless of your budget and preferences. Most hotels in Kuala Lumpur can be found in the Bukit Bintang and KLCC area. Here are some of the highly rated hotels in the city based on various budgets:
- Villa Samadhi (8 Jalan Madge, 55000 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Villa Samadhi is a boutique hotel located in Kuala Lumpur. Currently rated the top hotel in KL, Villa Samadhi is a tranquil escape from the hustle and bustle of Bukit Bintang or KLCC. Its luxury amenities and lush surroundings make it a perfect romantic hideaway for couples.
- PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur (No. 1 Jalan Nagasari, Off Jalan Raja Chulan, 50200 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Another great hotel in Kuala Lumpur is the PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur. It’s located next to Bukit Bintang and Jalan Alor, which ideally close to Kuala Lumpur’s best attractions. Reasonably priced accommodations and apartment-like amenities make it perfect for families and longer stays.
- Mandarin Oriental, Kuala Lumpur (Kuala Lumpur City Centre, 50088 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)
Mandarin Oriental (Kuala Lumpur) is the best hotel for those who want five-star service and facilities but don’t want to compromise on location. Located right in the heart of the city, you can easily walk to the Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC Park, and Suria KLCC. Plus, the hotel has great views of the KLCC area.
Kuala Lumpur, being the capital of Malaysia, offers tourists a diverse dining experience. From award-winning restaurants to hawker centres, Kuala Lumpur’s wide-ranging cuisine makes it a perfect destination for foodies. Top restaurants in the city you should check out are Naughty Nuri’s Life Centre, The Point Restaurant & Bar, Dining in the Dark KL, and The Steakhouse. For those who want authentic and affordable Malaysian street food, check out areas such as Jalan Alor, Petaling Street (Chinatown), and Brickfields (Little India).
Exploring Kuala Lumpur is definitely something every Singaporean car owner should experience at least once. You get to experience it in your own time without being rushed to catch a flight or a train ride. However, do ensure that your car insurance coverage includes Malaysia. Keep emergency numbers as well as your travel insurance policy ready in case of any issues during your trip.