Friday, May 09, 2008

Self-Tour

See Kuala Lumpur On A Budget

Although Kuala Lumpur looks big and complicated at first glance, the city capital is actually very organised.

A good public transportation network covering all major areas in Kuala Lumpur sees to it that you can get from one end of the city to another with relative ease - whether it is using buses and taxis or any of the three rapid transit systems comprising the Light Rail Transit systems (Rapid KL) or the KL Monorail.

Kuala Lumpur's tourist attractions too are grouped within walking distance and if you are up to it and health is no problem, you can even take in the sights and sounds at leisure.

Below are suggested itineraries that you can plan for yourself if you decide to go for a self-guided tour of Kuala Lumpur. I have included a simple walking map which you can download at your hotel business centre and have it printed. The files are pretty small and the maps have been simplified and should come in handy as your discover Kuala Lumpur on foot:

City Centre Tour - Self Discovery, Light and Easy:
1. Jalan Sultan Abdul Samad Tour - Sights to take in include the Sultan Abdul Samad and the Clock Tour, Textile Museum, Merdeka Square, St Mary's Cathedral, Historical Museum, KL Memorial Library, and the British Council.

2. KL Railway Station Tour - This takes you to the southern end of the city. Attractions nearby include the National Mosque, National Planetarium, Islamic Civilisation Museum, General Post Office, and the British Council. End your day's discovery at the National Museum.

3. Lake Gardens Tour - Start at the National Monument and the Cenotaph, head straight into the Lake Gardens area. Sights here that you should not miss when in Kuala Lumpur include the Orchid Garden, Deer Park, Hibiscus Garden, Bird Park, Butterfly Park, Tun Razak Memorial, the Lake Garden(known also as Sydney Lake in the past).

4. Shopping at Chinatown Tour - Start at the western end of the Petaling Street, at the Central Market. Shop for souvenirs at the Central Market and move from there into the Chinatown area. Sights to take in include quaint shops and eateries, Sri Mahariamman Temple, Sze Ya Temple, and more. This is one of the oldest historical areas in Kuala Lumpur.

5. Starhill escapade - Bukit Bintang Tour. This is the ultimate shopping experience when in Kuala Lumpur. It comprises visits to Sungai Wang Plaza, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Lot 10, Starhill Complex, KL Plaza, Low Yat Plaza and Berjaya Times Square. Discover the multinational restaurants and eateries, boutiques and fashionhouses along the roads.

6. Intellectual Tour - The National Art Gallery, located at Jalan Tun Razak, is neighbour to the National Theatre and National Library. Check out Malaysian literature at the National Library or take in the country's artistic heritage at the National Art Gallery. The National Theatre organises frequent concerts and shows and if you are for the arts, check it out, too.

7. KLCC - Must not be missed when you are in Kuala Lumpur. Located within this mega shopping complex are the Aquaria (one of the largest aquariums in the country), the Petronas Science Centre (Petrosains), the Petronas Art Gallery, and the Suria Shopping Mall housing international class eateries as well as fashion houses. Outside, within walking distance is the KLCC park which offers photography opportunities. Other shopping complexes nearby are Ampang Park and the City Square.

8. PUTRA, STAR and KL MONORAIL tours - Fancy a rail-ly guided tour of one end of Kuala Lumpur to the other? Then go aboard one of the above - or even tackle all three in one day - and see the city from above and below. For ticket prices, check these links - Rapid KL lines and KL Monorail.

Tips:
Kuala Lumpur is generally a safe city but basic commonsense applies when walking around in the city, especially alone. These are some general tips when touring the city on foot.


  • Bring a good supply of water as the city can be quite hot for those from temperate countries. Drink lots of water. All places of interests are equipped with generally clean toilet facilities.

  • Wear light clothes and carry an umbrella or wear a hat if walking under the hot sun. Sunblocks are optional but can be useful.

  • There are bus stops and taxi stands indicated by their respective signages. Buses can only stop at designated places but taxis, can sometimes pick up passengers at any spot unless specific taxi stops are indicated.

  • If travelling by taxis, make sure cabbies go by the meter - this is the only authorised means of charging passengers. Some taxis even have receipts and don't be afraid to ask before your board them.

  • Most places of interest open to public by between 9 and 10am, but to visit at the latter hour is generally a safe bet.

  • Some places, such as places of worship, discourage the wearing of shoes into the premises. Observe and follow - this is the best way of not offending the hosts.

  • When touring the city on foot, basic commonsense applies when it comes to personal safety. Travel at least with a friend and avoid dark alleys at night fall.

  • When in areas of high traffic such as night markets, be careful with your belongings. Keep your wallets and handbags safe. Although it is very rare, snatch thiefs and pickpockets may lurk in these areas. Keep an open eye.

  • Tourist police can be found around the city and even normal policemen are most willing to help. Most of them are conversant in English, so do not hesitate to ask for help - whether it is directions or other types of assistance.

  • Locals are also very helpful and many speak and understand English. Don't be afraid to ask for assistance if the need arises.

  • Indecent behaviour in public areas are discouraged.

1 comment:

aiRis faDzLi said...

hi... i enjoy reading about kl in your blog though i've born & lived here for 30 years.

just wanna share some info.. do you know there's 'police museum' next to the national mosque? i went there several times (coz my ambitious son wants to become policeman) and it's way more better than the national museum. free enterance... just park your car at the mosque parking lot, then u can walk through the gate just next to it.