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Idiot's Guide to KL : What to Do If You Just Have 24 Hours in Kuala Lumpur ?

Updated on December 27, 2016
Mom! It's hot around here
Mom! It's hot around here | Source

You've Arrived. Great. Now What?

Your plane had just touch the tarmac of the KLIA airport 2 hour ago. It's night time. You're now standing clueless in the airport. The weather is scorching hot, even in the air-conditioned airport.

Now what? You got one day to sleep in Kuala Lumpur before heading to Bangkok. What should you do the next morning ? What to explore?

Get some sleep first (preferably in a hotel near KLCC). Once you wake up, follow my lead.



This is the first place you should explore.

After breakfast, head on to the KLCC park -- ( before sunrise if you wish to get spectacular shots of the Twin Towers) and get someone to shoot a picture of you posing in front of the tower from the short bridge on the park. Post to your FB. Brag that you're in KL.

( While relaxing there, call the Be Tourist at 03-2032 1031 or email them at and ask if there's any open slot for their free Heritage Walk for that day.)

If your hotel didn't provide breakfast, wait till the Suria Mall under the Towers to open. Enjoy some coffee and pastry there while you wait for the rest of the mall to open.

While there, do this these :-

  • (if you are here before 8:30am and don't need another breakfast) Go to the Concourse Level and be one of the 1,200 people to get a ticket to the Skybridge for that day. See KL from the middle of the tower.
  • Buy a KLCC Pewter gift on the floor

You've got to rush since you've got an appointment due. It's time to know more about KL. It's time to head on to the ..


2. Central Market

Good, make sure you arrive at the Central Market before 10:30 am. It's not that far from KLCC, and your driver shouldn't charge more than RM10 (~USD 3.50)

Remember that call we asked you to make just now? It's for this particular free tour.

Go to the Central Market information counter and wait for the rest of foreign tourist group to arrive. You'll be in a 2.5 hours walking tour around the old KL, so make sure you get some bottled water along.

You'll walk through historical landmarks like the open air Masjid Jamek to Lebuh Ampang, originally famous for money-lending establishments set up by the Chettiar community from South India.

You'll also walk around the Old Market Square where Yap Ah Loy (the man who founded Kuala Lumpur) used to run his opium and gambling dens.

By the end of your walk, you'll know more about KL than most KL residents -- guaranteed.

But it's not over yet. Time to see a bit of culture. Hail a cab and head on to the ...


3. Islamic Museum

When you arrive, it's probably around noon. If you're hungry there's an award winning Arab restaurant in the museum for you to feast upon.

See miniature holy buildings, holy books, important artefacts and accessories made by the Muslims from all over the world - we're talking about China and India here -- not just Egypt or Middle East countries.

This is not your ordinary boring museum because it is not owned by the government. It is funded by the richest Malay in the country, Tan Sri Syed Bukhari, the same guy who now owns the Malaysian-made car - Proton.

You'll learn more about the religion here than by reading the Guardian or the New York Posts papers.

While there, do one of these :

  • Visit the nearby Bird Park
  • or the Police Museum (and see what crooks in KL use as weapons)

Then, get a cab and ask the driver to head on to ..


4. Bukit Bintang

Yup -- time to do some shopping and feasting.

Ask your driver to go to Bukit Bintang. Firstly, visit the Starhill and marvel at the posh mall. The prices at this mall will probably induce cold sweats.

There are a few more malls to explore -- like the Japanese designated mall of Farenheit88, the Pavillion or the gadget-haven mall of Low Yat here. It's just a matter of having a healthy wallet.

Shop or browse till it's night time. Then, you're probably as tired as racehorse and you're already thinking of food.

Walk to the Jalan Alor. Get a bowl of noodles in of the many Chinese hawker stalls there. Watch the crowds and eat and drink till you feel like it's time for bed.

Time to head to another city in another country. Till we see again. We Klites are honored to have you here in KL.

See you again!


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