What does one do when visiting a country’s financial hub? In a concrete jungle like Kuala Lumpur (KL), man-made recreation makes up for a lack of picturesque scenery. Much of the entertainment KL has to offer is located in its city center, so you can practically get around on foot.
Just keep eating
Home to descendants of many Chinese immigrants, KL presents itself as a melting pot (pun intended) and birthplace of multiple Straits-Chinese delicacies. Delicacies I highly, highly recommend you try – or regret.
One of KL’s most famous food streets is Jalan Alor. Located in the heart of the city, most international hotel chains are concentrated in the area; even the iconic Kuala Lumpur Tower is just 2km away. The moment you step onto Jalan Alor, it hits you: you hear the woks clang, the smoke blurs your vision slightly, and your nose is drawn in a thousand different directions. All in concert, your senses are preparing you for the perfect gastronomical experience.
You’ve anticipated rightly: the food tastes as good as it smells.
Hokkien mee legend
KL Hokkien Mee: thick noodles fried in a sweet and salty black sauce, with seafood, vegetables and pork. Much of its flavor comes from the pork rind used to fry it. This is one decadent, cholesterol-rich dish not suited for the weak hearted – literally.
Originating from KL’s Hokkien enclave, Jalan Alor’s KL Hokkien Mee is so iconic that there is a stall that identifies itself as such in Resorts World Sentosa Singapore’s Malaysian Food Street.
Smokin’ hot seafood
Another must try: barbecued seafood – the above being stingray – served with sambal belachan (a spicy Straits sauce made using chili, shrimp paste and a variety of ingredients).
Avid instagrammers and photographers of food be warned: the food looks and smells so good that you might just dive right in and forget to snap a shot of it first. As the locals would describe it, sedap! (Malay for ‘delicious’) You might also wish to try the barbecued chicken wings, fried oyster omelets and fresh coconut water.
If you’re on a family vacation with children, I recommend visiting Sunway Lagoon, because it provides fun that the whole family can enjoy together. Since its large-scale renovation a few years ago, its attractions seem much smaller now but are way more hi-tech.
Of note is the 5D Waterplexx, which Sunway prides as the world’s first. If I had to describe it in a sentence: it’s like playing Xbox Kinect Adventures, but more thrilling because your seat’s moving and you actually get wet in the process.
That’s not to say that the park’s only for kids though. In fact, some of its rides like the Vuvuzela (a gigantic, steep rapids-style water slide shaped liked a Vuvuzela) are so exhilarating that they scream out to all thrill-seeking teenagers: “SIT ME, YOU ADRENALINE JUNKIE!”
A shopper’s paradise!
With commercial brands like H&M to high fashion houses like Louis Vuitton, it’s no wonder that many identify KL as a shopper’s paradise.
Although many of the brands available in KL are international ones found in just about any cosmopolitan city in the world. But if you’re already planning to visit the city, why not indulge in a shopping spree?
I want it all! (Moms, take note!)
If you wish to eat, play and shop without traveling to different places in the city for each activity, head down to Berjaya Times Square. With an indoor theme park (it’s not as big as Sunway though), a bowling alley, laser-tag and karaoke, it’s pretty hard to run out of things to play. If you’re aching from browsing through its 9 floors and 3 wings’ worth of shops, stop by one of its beauty and wellness centers for an hour long full-body massage for just 20-30 USD. If you’re feeling a little hungry, head down to one of its many eateries to grab a bite or two in the process.
Mothers, you now won’t have to worry about your husband and children getting bored, as you shop to your heart’s content. Then, when you’re all done, end off the day with a family meal at Jalan Alor, just a ten-minute walk away! Although Berjaya Times Square’s indoor theme park comes nowhere near full-fledged multi-parks like Sunway Lagoon, Berjaya Times Square as a whole offers a decent 3in1 deal that might appeal to time-constrained tourists, and groups which members have varying interests (other than play).
Kuala Lumpur awaits!
So if you’re looking for a short, indulgent getaway of 2-3 days just because, look no further! The cosmopolitan city of Kuala Lumpur offers you modern luxury and gratification while satisfying your mouthwatering appetite with delicacies that can only come from a rich cultural legacy and heritage.
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