Kuala Lumpur has been at the top of my travel bucket list since I can remember, so it’s only right that I go there for my solo trip during Vietnam’s holiday! I will admit, it wasn’t one of my favorite places that I’ve visited (keep reading for my reason why), but it’s a great place to go if you only have 2 or 3 days to spare. Malaysia is full of so many different ethnic groups: Malay, Bangladesh, Indian, Chinese and more! Because of this, there are not only so many different people of various backgrounds to get to know, but authentic places to eat and things to see. Here are some things I did as a solo female traveler in Kuala Lumpur:
Islamic Arts Museum
The Islamic Arts Museum is a beautifully put together museum displaying thousands of Islamic artifacts, with an emphasis on Islam in Asia. Unlike many other museums that I have been to in Asia, the Islamic Arts Museum actually have their artifacts explained in English as well. Entrance to the museum is roughly 14 RM. There is also a nice gift shop and restaurant you can stop in when you’re finished admiring the artifacts in the museum.
Thean Hou Temple
This Chinese temple is absolutely breathtaking. There is so much color, and whoever constructed this temple really paid attention to the small details. Like most places on this list, you should get there early as it gets crowded. Entrance is free, so why not take the short drive and stop by?!
Chinatown – Petaling Street
Although you can come during the day, I recommend hitting up the night market! There are various shops lined up for you to shop your heart out at. When you’re finished shopping, take yourself to one of the restaurants in the market for some delicious Chinese food!
This place hit my bucket list way before moving to SE Asia and it did NOT disappoint! The Hindu temple is located inside the Batu Caves, but in order to get to it you have to hike up 272 colorful stairs. There are hundreds of monkeys as you make your way to the temple, which makes for an interesting hike up! Once you’re finished, you can grab a bite to eat at one of the food shops located near the entrance.
Petronas Twin Towers
The Petronas Twin Towers were once the tallest buildings in the world, but are still the tallest twin towers in the world. You can admire their remarkable structure from the KLLC Park while you’re relaxing from a long day of exploring Kuala Lumpur. Inside the twin towers is the Suria KLLC shopping mall, which is a literal heaven for any shopping lover! This mall is six floors of shops, restaurants, a discovery center, and a movie theater!
Alor Food Street Night Market
As a food lover, I am so sad that I waited until my last night to come here! During the day it’s just a typical street lined with restaurants, but at night the restaurants move tables and chairs on the street. Jalan Alor becomes packed with other various food vendors and crowds of people. The food is all SUPER delicious and there’s a little something to satisfy anyone’s taste buds. There’s Thai, Chinese, Vietnamese – you name it. You can sit down at a restaurant or snack your way down the street with all of the different vendors. It’s a food lover’s dream come true!
The Central Market is actually one of the more enjoyable market experiences I have had. As most markets are crowded with people and have vendors urging you to buy something, the Central Market didn’t give me that impression. Although there were a few stalls very similar (especially ones selling clothing), others seemed to be somewhat unique. I wasn’t being pushed this way and that by other tourists or being yelled at by the shop vendors: “you buy something”. The inside also has aircon, which is quite nice in the Malaysian heat / humidity.
Things I didn’t get to, but you should:
- Masjid Wilayah Mosque (Also known as the Federal Territory Mosque)
- Kuala Lumpur Tower
- Brickfield’s Little India
- Botanical Gardens
Feeka Coffee Roasters
A • Toast – Breakfast & Juice Bar
Nous Hotel KL
When I walked into this small boutique hotel, I was genuinely confused on how it had such great ratings as it’s really not the nicest. As soon as I met the staff I realized why. They were are all so welcoming and helpful throughout my entire stay. Anytime I came in and out, they greeted me by name and started conversation with me. When I first arrived, I forgot to get cash out to pay the deposit (that you get back when you leave), but they weren’t bothered and allowed me to pay whenever I was able to get to an ATM. I also forgot an adapter for my phone charger, so the front desk worker (Haider) gave me his charging cube for the weekend. I also mentioned how Vietnamese coffee was my favorite, so Haider went out the next day and bought me packets of Vietnamese coffee. The hotel also provides refillable water bottles and a water dispenser so I didn’t have to bother spending money on water. It may not be a five-star hotel, but being only $14/night and having such an amazing staff, I couldn’t recommend this hotel enough.
- I used Grab throughout my stay in Kuala Lumpur and although it’s an easy means of transportation, it became a little frustrating. The Grab drivers in KL cancel frequently and take their time picking you up (I typically waited 15 minutes for a driver that was 3 minutes away). If your schedule is time sensitive, keep in mind the time it may take for you to get a ride. Next time, I will give KL’s public transportation a chance!
- I went as a solo female traveler, and although I felt fine once I got to each of my destinations, I was pretty uncomfortable trying to walk places. I was constantly bothered by men trying to talk to me, get my number, or walk with me to wherever I was going. Although I’ve become accustomed to a small portion of it from living in Vietnam, it was to a-whole-nother level in Kuala Lumpur. I ended up calling it quits on walking and just booked Grabs everywhere because I felt so uncomfortable. If it wasn’t for being bothered every 5 minutes, I think my time in Malaysia would have been a lot more enjoyable. Just a heads-up to any solo female travelers! Be safe! 🙂 (P.S. none of these people were locals, all were foreigners! The local people were nothing but kind!)
If you have any questions about my time in Malaysia or life in Vietnam, please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Until next time,