We have now been in KL for just over 3 weeks and we have 3 more before we move further north in Malaysia. Here are some hits and misses in our first 3 weeks….
Chinatown – Petaling Street
Early into our time in KL we decided to check out Chinatown and with this area nearly 4kms from our apartment, we chose to Uber, which has proved to be a very easy and cheap way to get around KL and usually at the fixed rate given when you request a pick up. After a wander through the vast number of shops and stalls we picked up a few things, watches for the boys with Lincoln’s being a “Baby G” while Braxton was also keen to get a fidget spinner as Lincoln had purchased one in Chinatown in Singapore. By this stage it was around 4.30-5pm and even more stalls began to be wheeled out from behind the main strip of stalls and were set up in the middle of the lanes. This made the walkways became very narrow and crowded and gave the stall owners a lot closer access to everyone who walked pass as they tried to sell their wares. Also around this time we could start to see and smell the food stalls starting to crank up; roasting chestnuts, bamboo steamers and charcoal bbq grills. We ate some delicious food including satay sticks and dim sums and loaded up our backpack with fresh fruits and headed for home. By this stage the evening traffic had ramped up and we walked a little way to try to get away from the main arterial road and finally ended up by the KL Stock Exchange as we waited for our Uber home. Since this first visit, we have been back to Chinatown a further couple of times and I darn’t say it will be the last.
Chocolate Factory Tour
Within just a few blocks of our apartment there are three chocolate factories/shops, which the tourist buses/coaches flock to seven days a week. So one lazy afternoon we decided to go for a little wander around the neighbourhood and check them out ourselves. First stop was Belice Chocolate Kingdom; a little less kingdom and a little more tourist trap. There was a small amount of information about cocoa production, Malaysia’s involvement in the world production and chocolate manufacturing along with a few free samples; but mostly it was just a shop full of a huge amount of chocolate products, that those from the buses were lapping up and had shopping baskets filled with product. We managed to satisfy the boys with a couple of ice cold chocolate drinks (5 MYR/$1.65 NZD each), they were nice but got very sweet very quickly, even for the family’s choc-o-holic, Braxton. Second stop was Harriston Chocolate and this was basically just a chocolate shop, we didn’t even see any information about the chocolate itself, but just more chocolate products that were again being purchased by the basket load. Maybe you need to be part of a tour group to view any actual chocolate production but after two out of the three chocolate locations, we decided we had got the gist of these spots and decided to give the third a miss.
Little India Brickworks
This day we decided to take the Monorail to the Little India Brickworks area. This was a very different experience to the MRT system in Singapore; very cramped, unmaintained carriages and hot, dusty stations. The total cost for the four of us was 10 MYR/$3.33 NZD, so now we had a cost gauge against Uber rides. The sights, sounds and smells of Little India engaged the senses and we wandered through the streets for a bit before the need for lunch hit. Lincoln and Logan fully embraced the local way of eating the delicious banana leaf meals with their fingers. We had only purchased two meals, as the ones we had seen on other tables looked huge, this was a good decision, as between the four of us we still couldn’t finish them all. Lunch and drinks costs us 24 MYR/$8 NZD. We purchased some fresh fruit, looked at some of the statues and plaques and took some photos before grabbing an Uber (which cost the same as the Monorail) that had just dropped off some passenagers.
After using the Monorail to go to Little India we knew the cost plus the extra time walking to our closest station, so we took an Uber to the KL Sentral station (10 MYR/$3.33 NZD) and from there we took the KTM Komuter train direct to Batu Caves (7.80 MYR/$2.60 NZD). This is the end of this train line, so as you walk down from the train platform you are right near the entrance to the Batu Caves area. There are 3 main caves and some have entry fees to enter, however the biggest, referred to as Cathedral Cave or Temple Cave, it free to enter. Visiting Batu Caves was high on Logan’s must-dos in KL and overall it didn’t disappoint. There is a huge statue of the Hindu God right next to the 272 steps it takes to reach the main cave. On the way up, there are some pretty stunning views back over the city, as well as plenty of cheeky monkeys around the caves. Some playing and some scavenging for food and willing to take anything and everything they might see. We had already read about the monkeys, so we gave the boys the heads up to not have anything in their hands while we were around them. We began the ascent up the daunting looking stairs but it actually wasn’t that bad. We stopped a few times to take photos and before too long we had reached the top of the main staircase. Once you reach the top and enter into the cave there are some little shops and stalls, and sadly some are actually built into the caves and seem like very permanent fixtures, but they take little away from this incredible natural set of caves created by a river that used to run through the limestone hills. Down some steps and then up another few flights, you enter into the area with the main temple and where the light from outside breaks through the hole in the top of the cave. Inside the caves are damp and a little eerie and I can’t image how these caves would be during annual Hindu festival, Thaipusam. We arrived around 11am and while there were people sweaping the stairs, it was a shame that there was so much rubbish. After some time inside the caves, we came back down to the entrance area and found one of the vegetarian cafes to eat at. Another couple of delicious banana leaf meals, rotis and well earned drinks (27 MYR/$9 NZD) that fully satisfied us. We wandered back towards the train station and saw a number of stalls selling different things, including different sized versions of the golden Hindu God statue. After a small wait for the train we headed back to KL Sentral station and then got an Uber back to the apartment, by this time we were well and truely ready for a swim.
Petrosains is a Science Discovery Centre in the Suria KLCC mall, right next to the Petronas Twin Towers. So one Friday we decided to take the boys on a field trip for a mix of learning and fun. We knew a promotion had started at Petrosains, each child was free with a paying adult, so it cost us a total of 60 MYR/$20 NZD for entry tickets. We spent over 3 hours here and the boys (and us) had a great time trying out lots of experiments, testing ourselves on some of the brain teasers and gadgets and having lots of fun with the technology. After the brain workout we moved outside to explore the KLCC Park, a 50 acre garden set along side the mall and the twin towers. Within the park, there is both a very large dry playground and also a wet playground, so the boys changed into their togs and had a splash and play in the water area while we sat under the trees and admired the view under the extraordinary twin towers. We ate at Signatures food court (Level 2 within the KLCC mall) for dinner and had more tasty food at very reasonable prices. With a little treat for desert, we sat by Lake Symphony and watched a little of the water fountain show. We wandered around to the front of the twin towers to take some pics as we tried to get an Uber. It was Friday evening and within the full-on peak time, so after a few drivers who cancelled on us, we got an Uber and rode home under the wonderful evening lights of KL.
DC Comics Super Hero Cafe
We had planned to go to the Super Hero Cafe in Singapore but didn’t quite make it, so when we saw there was one in KL and it was pretty close to us, we put it back on our to-do list. The KL Super Hero Cafe is located within Pavilion, a stunning complex including a seven storey, preimum shopping mall. There are also 2 blocks of residences, a tower office block and a upcoming five star hotel. While this complex first opened in 2007, it is still very shiny and new, hosts plenty of high end stores and has picked up numerous awards of the past 10 years and it’s not hard to see why. Pavilion is an easy 20 minute, child pace walk from our apartment but as we were heading out this early evening we caught a few lots of thunder and lightning and then the skies opened and it started to absolutely bucket down. We managed to get to a shelter pretty close by without getting too wet and called an Uber to recuse us. There was a vast amount of water on the roads and our Uber driver delivered us dry to the entrance of Pavilion. As we headed to the concierge to pick up our ‘Tourist Reward Card’, which entitled you to discounts at a large array of retail and food outlets within Pavilion, we came across a Lego themed area; so we headed in to check it out before dinner. A lot of the malls in KL seem to have these awesome little extras throughout their complexes and we love discovering them. We moved onto finding the Super Hero Cafe and came to the retail store entrance first, we looked through all the amazing merchandise and displays before settling in for our super hero meals. We had super hero burgers, Batman spaghetti and Wonder Woman chicken as well as amazing milkshakes and deserts for the boys. Total cost (after our 10% tourist card discount) was 140 MYR/$46 NZD. A little more than we had been spending on our evening meals but still a lot less than a meal similar to this back in New Zealand. Everyone was more than satisfied and the thunderstorm had passed by the time we left Pavilion, so we had a pleasant evening stroll home as the sun began to set around 7.30pm.
Berjaya Times Square Theme Park
After a quiet week, we planned a Friday day out to the biggest indoor theme park in Malaysia (From The Book of Malaysia Records) inside the huge building, Berjaya Times Square. This theme park covers two levels within another massive shopping complex in KL. The kids were pretty excited to experience this indoor theme park but that turned for Lincoln when we arrived and saw that he couldn’t go on a couple of the rides he really wanted to because he wasn’t tall enough (minimum height was 140cm). We thought, like at many theme parks, he would still be able to go on these rides with an adult…. but we were wrong. A family pass was 147 MYR/$49 NZD and soon after entering and discovering the height issues, Logan and I were starting to wonder if we had just wasted this money and if we would even last here an hour. Once the boys had had a few rides, they were soon into the swing of things and Lincoln was happy again. In the end we were there for nearly four hours. Lincoln’s favourite ride was ‘Ooort’s Express’ but Braxton found it too hard to choose a favourite as he liked all the rides. So thankfully, it wasn’t a complete bust after all.
In between all the bigger activities, there has also been plenty of school work, walks around the neighbourhood, exploring different areas and trying out different street food stalls and eateries. Some of our favourites are the downstairs food court, Lot 10 Hutong @ the Lot 10 Shopping Centre, Jalan Alor Food Street and the little Indian spot, poolside, at our apartment complex. We have discovered that KL is definitely a city of two tales and there will be more on this in the coming weeks….
We would love to hear about anything others have enjoyed while in KL or if you have any further questions, please do leave a comment below or send us a message via our contact us page.