Kuala Lumpur

Muddy confluence

Kuala Lumpur, also referred to as KL by the locals is the capital and largest city of Malaysia. Located close to the center of peninsular Malaysia in the Selangor state. The name Kuala Lumpur translates to “muddy confluence” and the city is called this, as it is located at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak rivers!

Kuala Lumpur was once a small Chinese village, with the locals working within the tin mining industry. The city has come a long way from this once sleepy village.  The city is described as being the cultural hub of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is a cultural melting point, the mix of Malay, Chinese and Indian communities brings this city to life.  The city is vibrant and full of energy. From modern skyscrapers to ancient temples, the mix of old and new is impressive. From the sights in and around the city, the modern shopping options and dinning experiences. Kuala Lumper is a great city to explore for short stays or even for a stopover.

KLstreetviewKL

Five days in KL

We had just spent two and a half weeks exploring parts of Thailand; PhuketPhi Phi Island and Bangkok and we had the chance to explore a new country before flying to London for the beginning of an eight month work and travel experience in Europe.

We stayed at a guest house in the Bukit Bintang district, the ‘trendy’ area of the city. The Bukit Bintang area is well known for its shopping and entertainment. From fancy shopping centers/malls to night markets. The nightlife is also happening here, with many cafes, restaurants and bar options. Popular among the local youth and tourists, this is probably the best area to stay in for a first time visit to Kuala Lumpur.

Five days was enough time to explore the city and see most of the sights, we were also able to enjoy two day trips from the city.

KLdrinks

KLtowers

Highlights and must sees

The Petronas towers

The most famous landmark in Kuala Lumpur. These towers are very impressive, both from the ground and from the top! Standing at 451.9 meters tall and with 88 stories. These towers were once the tallest buildings in the world, from 1998 to 2004. They still remain the tallest twin towers in the world.

Kuala Lumpur bird park

A great way to escape the heat and humidity of the city is by exploring  this eco tourism park! The worlds largest free flight walk in aviary, I was very impressed.

Perdana botanical garden

A nature sanctuary in the city, another option to try and escape the heat! This makes for the perfect early morning or late afternoon walk.

Kuala Lumpur butterfly garden

This park is so impressive, walking around lush gardens in amongst 6,000 butterflies! Show casing 120 species.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Impressive architecture and represents a historical landmark of the city.

Menara KL tower

Another well known landmark of the city. Sitting at 421 meters tall, this tower offers impressive views of the city.

Chinatown

Vibrant and filled with energy. The perfect place for bargain hunt shopping and to enjoy the nightlife.

Jalan Alor

A strip representing the city’s local cuisine. The perfect place to explore the various food options.

KL2KL1shopping-center

KLgardens

butterflyrainforest

Day trips from Kuala Lumpur

Batu caves

A limestone hill over 400 millions year old, containing three caves and a series of cave temples. Batu caves is a place for hindu festivals and pilgrimages. This place is well worth a visit. We took a train from the Kuala Lumpur central station and travelled for approximately  17 km, north of the city to the Batu caves train terminal. A very easy and affordable (50 us cents)  journey.

When you  arrive, the first sight is the impressive statue of the Hindu God. After climbing the steep staircase you can enter the caves and explore. The limestone formations are impressive and I also enjoyed watching the cheeky monkeys.

Kanching rainforest waterfalls

A refreshing break from the heat of KL, we took a local bus from the Kuala Lumpur central market bus terminal to the Kanching rainforest waterfalls. The falls are located inside a forest reserve. It was nice to walk through this park, and a great hiking experience  to see the waterfalls. A couple of the waterfalls had a pool large enough to swim in. Many monkeys occupy the area, I know that they are a nuisance for some people, they are not for me. I was disappointed to see the amount of rubbish people left in this beautiful place. Remember, if you’re traveling, don’t leave your mark and take only memories.

I enjoyed my time exploring the city of Kuala Lumpur and the nearby areas. Hopefully one day I can return and explore more of Malaysia!

batu-caves

KLmemonkeyroadwater

KL5KLmonkeyyKLwaterfallplacw

Amsterdam

water

Amstel

Beautiful canals, stunning architecture and an impressive art scene.

Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, located in the southeastern section of the  providence of north Holland. The official language is Dutch, although the majority of residents do speak English. The Euro is the currency. Peak tourist season is during July and August (Summer). The name Amsterdam comes from the cities origins, as Dam of river “Amstel”. It is  easy to get around Amsterdam, the city is walkable and it is very easy to rent a bike and explore the city this way. The Public transport system is great and includes, the metro, buses, trams and ferries. Amsterdam, a city full of life, culture and a rich history. Beautiful buildings, picturesque scenery and a stunning canal.

coffee-shop-36

 

A visit to the Netherlands

I have visited this wonderful city, twice. Both times I stayed in a backpackers located near the center of the city. Once in the autumn (fall) and again during the winter period. Both times were very fulfilling and an enriching backpacking experience.  Autumn provided us with nice weather, enabling us to make the most of the parks and outdoor scenery, even renting a bike to experience the craze of the bicycle capital! A must do! Heineken beer, cheese tasting, exploring the red light district  and experiencing the famous coffee shops I would definitely return to this wonderful city for a third time!

 

buildings

Highlights and must-sees of Amsterdam

  • Walking tour of the city: It is free and great way to get your bearings whilst learning about the history of the city.
  • Anne Frank house: The house where Anne Frank hid during world war two and wrote her diary. A very rewarding visit.
  • Oldest pub: Cafe Karpershoek claims to be the oldest pub in the city. Opening in 1606! So why not enjoy a drink whilst sitting in history!
  • Coffee shops: In the Netherlands, coffee shops are defined as alcohol free, but where cannabis is sold and consumed. There are approximately 200 coffee shops in Amsterdam.
  • Van Gogh Museum: The worlds largest collection of beautiful artwork from Vincent Van Gogh.
  • Vondelpark: I love the outdoors, and this urban park is a great way to spend a day outdoors.
  • Jordaan: A beautiful neighbourhood to walk around and immerse yourself into the Dutch lifestyle.
  • Rembrandt House Museum: Historic house and art museum.
  • Dam square: The heart of the city. Located in the historical center of Amsterdam.
  • Royal Palace of Amsterdam: Still used by the royal family. Rich in history and stunning architecture.
  • Science center NEMO: I love science and this is a great interactive museum to explore and discover science and technology.
  • Leidseplein: Great place to sit back, relax and enjoy the atmosphere of the city.
  • Venustemple sex museum: Worlds first and oldest sex museum.
  • Red light district: Window parlours, sex shops, brothels and even museums, the infamous attraction of Amsterdam is worth the visit.

 

 

amsterdamamsterdam-canalbikesboat-resturantmarketsmellowyellowred-light-districtthe-bulldog