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Kuala Lumpur is one of the most popular destinations in the world, receiving countless tourists each year. The vibrant night-life and the looming skyscrapers have made Kuala Lumpur one of the most alluring metropolises in Southeast Asia. If you are on a whirlwind trip to this part of the world, then it makes sense to carve out at least 36 hours for this remarkable destination. One cannot possibly experience everything that Kuala Lumpur has to offer in 36 hours, but it will be an adventure that will remain etched in memory for years to come.
Day One – Morning
You should arrive early in the morning to make the most of your stay. After a long flight (be sure to find a cheap fare), you will obviously want to have breakfast – and the best place is Valentine Roti, which serves wonderful roti canai (an excellent breakfast dish) in Kuala Lumpur. You can ask for roti canai with sardines, egg or onion. The dish is very filling and costs only RM 6!
From Valentine Roti, you can take a 25 minute walk to the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. This is a great chance to explore the city by foot, but you can also hail a taxi and reach the twin towers within eight to ten minutes.
Once you reach the Twin Towers, you will come across an outdoor park that has beautiful fountains, Aquaria KLCC (a world-class aquarium) and a snazzy looking mall on the ground floor. However, due to time constraints, you may want to skip all these and buy the special sky bridge ticket, which will cost you RM 142. From the sky bridge, you can enjoy amazing views of the city.
Day One – Afternoon
All of these morning activities should take three to four hours, and it will now be time to check-in to your hotel. Since this is a quick trip, we suggest that you stay at a budget or less expensive hotel in the Bukit Bintang area.
If you want lunch, then you can try SaoNam, a Vietnamese restaurant that is very hard to locate, but well worth the effort. From here you should head to Pavilion KL, which is located in the Golden Triangle. This mall has seven levels of retail shops including all the top brands like Gucci, Burberry and Prada. If you are coming here during a sale, then you should definitely pick up a few items. On your way back to the hotel, stop at the Islamic Arts Museum, which has a marvelous collection of decorated pottery and the beautiful carpets.
Day One – Evening
As night slowly sets in, it’s time to visit Petaling Street to check out the night market. Here you can get cheap knock-off versions of almost everything on the planet – Louis Vuitton handbags, Nike jerseys, smoking devices, Rolex watches etc. Here you will also find odd stairways illuminated by pink lights – we will not go into the details, but you can skip or visit these places as per your desire.
From here head straight to Jalan Alor street for delectable street food. You can get delicious Malay and Thai dishes for very cheap. We tried a small plate of noodles and a small bowl of coconut ice-cream and both were delicious. Unless you are a nightlife junkie, then it is time to head back to the hotel and hit the bed.
Day Two – Morning (24 hours has elapsed)
After having breakfast at the hotel, head to Merdeka Square. This is the spot where Malaysia declared its Independence in 1957. The square is surrounded by colonial buildings, which definitely portray a strong British influence.
Next, visit the Putrajaya Mosque en route to the airport. It is a new administrative city that was built by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia. Visit the Medan Selera Taman Warisan Pertanian at Putrajaya to have the last Malaysian dish just before you leave the city.
The next stop is the airport, where you can hop over to Borneo to visit the most beautiful places in Kundasang, Sabah. We are confident that if you follow this itinerary then you will have received a short, but memorable introduction to the country and its culture.