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48 hours in Kuala Lumpur

Haggle in bustling Chinatown, indulge in local spicy flavours and kick back with a traditional treat. You can have it all in Malaysia’s capital, says Sonam Basantani

Petronas Twin Towers
Image Credit: Supplied picture
Head up to the 86th floor of the famed Petronas Twin Towers for great views.

The Royale Chulan Hotel ( is a five-star hotel located in the heart of Kuala Lumpur, just minutes away from the Pavilion mall and the Petronas Twin Towers. The spacious rooms – think high ceilings and balconies – fuse traditional decor with modern luxuries. Stays include a buffet breakfast, which features delicious traditional dishes. Prices start from Dh360 per night.

Even though this is a city-stop, much like Singapore, there’s a surprising number of attractions for nature lovers, with various parks across the city. The KL Bird Park ( features some 3,000 birds – visit during feeding time for the best experience. Another nature must-do is to take a journey out to the Kuala Selangor Nature Park ( after sunset to see the fireflies. Take the motor boat along the river to see these nocturnal lighting bugs illuminate the river banks. Dh20 for adults, Dh10 for children.

The Pavilion mall in Kuala Lumpur is the go-to mall in the city – perfect for fashion lovers, this seven-storey mall has around 450 retail stores from high-end to high street. But if you’re looking for street culture and kitsch pieces then head to Petaling Street. Better known as Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown, and popular with tourists, these streets are bustling with stalls and shops selling souvenirs. Try your haggling skills on local street vendors for a true cultural interaction.

You can’t leave Kuala Lumpur without visiting the famed Petronas Twin Towers ( – at 1,482 feet (451 metres), they were once regarded as the world’s tallest towers. It’s definitely worth heading up to the 41st floor and walking across the Skybridge, which connects both towers. From there, make your way to the viewing deck on the 86th floor for an incredible view of the city. Dh60 for adults, Dh30 for children. A live theatre performance is also a must-see. Head over to Saloma Theatre Restaurant ( for its Dinner Cultural Show, where dancers perform multi-cultural dances in traditional costumes from an array of different communities within Malaysian Culture. This hour-long show is accompanied by dinner, from Dh100 for adults and Dh75 for children.
To get a flavour of true Malaysian cuisine, head to any local restaurant – sample Malaysia’s national dish, Nasi Lemak, a coconut-based curry that’s a tad on the spicy side but one to try. Another must-try is the Ice Kachang, a shaved ice dessert topped with a variety of syrups, great for helping curb Malaysia’s tropical summer heat.

If you’re looking for five-star pampering then head to the Spa Village at Ritz-Carlton ( Known for its serene environment and renowned treatments and therapies, this spa is the perfect city sanctuary. If you’re just looking for a quick pick-me-up mid-shopping, then head to one of the many local reflexology centres to relieve your aches and pains. They’re not only everywhere, but are open until 2am, accept walk-ins and you can haggle a good price. Whether you plan to stay local or want a trip overseas, check out these great offers