We have spent a brief but intense vacation in Kuala Lumpur in December 2016. Here are some notes with our experiences and tips that can be handy during your travels.
Our Stops in Kuala Lumpur:
- National Mosque of Malaysia
- Islamic Art Museum Malaysia
- Batu Caves
- Chinatown Kuala Lumpur
- Petronas Twin Tower
Decent Hotel in Kuala Lumpur
We stayed at Ancasa Hotel & Spa Kuala Lumpur and were quite OK with the decision. A cleanliness wasn’t ideal, but its location enabled us to reach all our scheduled “attractions” by foot. The hotel provides excellent breakfast and is equipped with a swimming pool. I remember one morning, when we had decided to refresh in the pool, we saw one hotel visitor entering the pool with his trousers on. He looked like a native or a tourist from South Asia. Not hygienic at all, we said to our selves…
Is Malaysia a Muslim Country?
Islam is majority religion in Malaysia since 61% of residents call themselves Muslims. However Malaysian governments promote freedom of religions for years and build modern democracy with Islam as the state religion.
Is Malaysia Safe for Tourists from Europe?
It’s something I can consider only from my own perspective and since we came to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore, indeed, frequent callings from minarets were a bit startling for us. At the same time, it was evident, that Malaysia is a Sinpapores poorer neighbor. We hung around Chinatown, where after the sun goes down, streets turn into travesty show and prostitution flourishes. In other words, we felt safe only during the day and in a pair. I would firmly advise Europeans not to reveal much skin since locals don’t do that. Don’t wear shorts, mini skirts, crop tops or similar.
If you’re about to visit National Mosque of Malaysia
My husband’s curiosity and interest in the Malaysian Islamic traditions brought us to the mosque, built in 1965. The monument has a capacity of 15 000 worshipers. There is no entrance fee, but visitors can enter only at a certain time. Be aware up front that you will have to cover yourself. Men have to cover their legs and women a whole body including the head. Being dressed as a Muslim was an interesting personal experience for me. Feelings of excitement, getting the adrenaline going, fear and aversion were blending inside of me.
The building itself is indeed interesting architecture wise. Spacious, open, filled with air. We couldn’t enter the main hall though because we are not Muslims.
Why visit Islamic Art Museum in Malaysia
In the vicinity of the National Mosques in Kuala Lumpur is the modern museum with Islamic Art collection. It has exceptional open space, where visitors walk freely through the vast expositions and collections of Islamic architecture, Koran manuscripts, Islamic fashion and textile, weapons, jewelry, coins and ceramics and many more.
As I mentioned earlier, the architecture of the building is contemporary. So it was designed to provide also facilities for merchandising, therefore you can buy really nice, high-quality goods in the local museum shop.
Do not miss Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur
You will easily reach Batu caves by KTM Komuter, which is one of the metro providers in the city. A ticket cost around 1 Euro. Be aware of the fact that metro is operated by several companies. Therefore it is not possible, to buy one ticket and change lines.
The limestone Batu caves turned into Hindu shrines about a hundred years ago. The cave complex consists three large and other 7 small spots. The main one and the most popular of them is the Cathedral Cave, which has 100 m high ceiling and is a worship place of many Hindu gods. Visitors must walk 272 concrete steps to get inside. Right at the beginning of the staircase is the Lord Murugan statue, also called Kartikeya. He is the Son of Shiva and Parvati, and his brother is Ganesha. Murugan symbolizes war and the victory. It is indeed impressive monument and gradually became the symbol of Batu Caves. You can enter for free.
Besides the Murugan monument, you can pass by the Lord Hanuman statue located by the entrance. The Lord Hanuman is a Hindu god with a face of a monkey. This is the right moment to mention the fact that the whole area is loaded with monkeys, which are incredibly annoying and dangerous. Despite their behavior, we were having a great time, since meeting wild apes is a unique experience for Europeans.
Very quick glimpse of Petronas Twin Tower
We didn’t have tickets to enter Petronas Twin Tower – the tallest building in the world till 2004, therefore we were unable to get a lift. We just hung around the district which resembles developed business areas in any modern metropolis.
Enjoy your travel to Kuala Lumpur. If you have a question about the spot, I’m ready to help.