Solo Trip To Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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!

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Batu Caves

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!

 

Central Market

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

Cafés

Feeka Coffee Roasters 

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Lemon and ricotta pancakes / iced white coffee

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Avocado toast / kombucha

A • Toast – Breakfast & Juice Bar

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Potato wrap / iced white coffee

Accommodation:

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.

Tips:

  • 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,

Hales

The Gem Of Central Vietnam – Da Nang

One of Central Việt Nam’s many gems – Đà Nẵng. It is filled with beauty, adventure, and culture. I left Đà Nẵng with no doubt in my mind that I would be back. It has a little something for any type of person: whether you’re a city, beach, or mountain lover. Here are the things I did during my trip to Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam:

The Dragon Bridge

If you are planning a trip to Đà Nẵng, be sure to plan it around a Saturday or Sunday to ensure that you don’t miss the show at Dragon Bridge. The Dragon Bridge itself is really neat, but at 9 PM every weekend it spits fire and water. I’m. Sold. While you’re waiting for the show you can walk along the river, get dinner, and watch street performances.

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The Dragon Bridge in Đà Nẵng, Việt Nam.

Golden Bridge in Bà Nà Hills

If you’re coming to Central Việt Nam, you can’t not take a short trip to Bà Nà Hills and see the Golden Bridge. I was skeptical at first, especially since I was visiting during the cold and rainy season, but it really is amazing – sunny or not. On a sunny day, you will have a view of Bà Nà Hills from the bridge. I went on a cloudy day so I did not have a view, but it did feel like I was floating on clouds. Even though I didn’t have a view at the top of the mountain, I still had a beautiful one while riding up in a cable car. If you’re worried about transportation to Bà Nà Hills from Đà Nẵng, don’t. It was very easy to book a Grab there and my driver and I ended up swapping numbers so he just parked and waited for me to get done – easy enough.

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One of the two hands of Golden Bridge.
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My view from the cable car ride to the top of the mountain.

Mỹ Khê Beach

I can honestly say that this was the best beach experience I have ever had. Since the Vietnamese either avoid being outside midday or keep themselves covered to avoid tanning, the beach was pretty much empty. There were only a few tourists, some fishermen, and me. The beach is clean and you have a beautiful view of Sơn Trà Mountain and Lady Buddha watching over you.

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Mỹ Khê Beach – it was a cloudy day, but having the beach basically to myself made up for it.

Marble Mountain

I went through a tour group called HomeTown Free Tour for my visit to Marble Mountain. It’s a group of University students who volunteer as tour guides in order to practice their English – and it’s free! A tour guide from HomeTown picked me up from my hotel and took me to Marble Mountain. She was able to explain the elements of the mountain to me, including many facts about Buddhism. For those who don’t know, Marble Mountain is one of Đà Nẵng’s most popular attractions. I only had time to visit one of the five mountains, but I will definitely be back to visit the other four. There is a cave entrance leading into the mountain and inside contains many Buddhist shrines. There are stairs that lead to ‘hell’ with multiple displays showing punishment for each wrongdoing. There are also stairs that lead to ‘heaven.’ The stairs to ‘heaven’ are very steep and can be slick if it has rained, but they are well worth the climb as they lead to a beautiful view.

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The steep stairs leading to ‘heaven.’

Linh Ứng

I went with a guide from HomeTown Free Tour to visit Linh Ứng as well. She took me on a drive through the winding road of Sơn Trà Mountain, where you’re able to see the ocean and all of Đà Nẵng. I unfortunately didn’t see any monkeys while driving along the road, but have been told they are pretty common (it is also nicknamed ‘Monkey Mountain’). Once we got to Linh Ứng I was in awe. The pagodas are filled with mesmerizing shrines and people who have come from all over the world to worship. There is a beautiful garden, courtyard, and of course – the Lady Buddha. Lady Buddha is said to be facing the ocean as to keep the local fisherman safe from harm and is one of the three Lady Buddhas located in Đà Nẵng. This site is so full of history and culture, it would be easy to spend hours here.

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The entrance to Linh Ứng.

Spa Day

If you want to have the best spa day of your life for dirt cheap, Việt Nam is your place. I started my day off at Herbal Spa with a massage and facial. It was the most relaxing few hours and only cost $41 USD. I then headed to Beachside Nails to get a gel manicure and pedicure for only $15 stinking USD. That’s a total of $56 USD for a full day of pampering! You won’t hear any complaints from me.

Places to eat:

  • Bà Mua for some yummy mỳ quảng – I got mỳ quảng cá lóc (mỳ quảng noodles with fish and egg). Mỳ quảng is a Central Việt Nam specialty and possibly the best dish I have ever had.
  • Taco Ngon
  • Limoncello
  • If you’re wanting to eat like a local and feeling something sweet, visit the Bắc Mỹ An market and try some avocado ice cream. If avocados aren’t your thing, don’t worry. This market has many other food stalls for people to enjoy as well!
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Mỳ quảng cá lóc at Bà Mua.

My accommodation:

I had originally booked with a hostel, but cancelled it last minute and booked a hotel room at Bao Anh Hotel instead. It’s only a two-minute walk to Mỹ Khê beach (I had an ocean view from my room) and also within walking distance of numerous cute coffee shops, restaurants, and bars. It was clean, modern, and the staff was always friendly and helpful.

If you want to know more about my trip to Đà Nẵng or my life in Việt Nam, please feel free to contact me!

Until next time,

Hales