Following a short transit through a decidedly chilly Holland and Belgium (see If It’s Tuesday, This Must Be Belgium), we were ready to take a flight to warmer climes. Our KLM flight went non-stop from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, departing at 20:50 in the evening and arriving at 15:45 the following afternoon.
The flight was comfortable enough, and cost just €521 for a return ticket.
While still inside Kuala Lumpur International airport, we booked a taxi coupon from one of the booths (RM89), then boarded our taxi. We were headed for the V Garden Hotel in the Jalan Cheras area of the city. It wasn’t easy to find, but with some backtracking our driver finally managed to locate it.
It was already getting dark, and we were keen to wash and get something spicy to eat after the long flight.
Kuala Lumpur Jalan Cheras District
The hotel itself was unbeatable value for money, and ticked all the boxes for us (€28 for a double, including breakfast). There were excellent helpful staff, a good room with a really comfortable bed, and a good breakfast.
Great for a short stay in Kuala Lumpur.
The hotel is not central, but just 100 meters up the road we found 5 or 6 great local street restaurants with tasty food. Our evening meal for two cost us RM15 (about €3).
The non-central location of the hotel wasn’t an issue for us, since we were heading off early the next morning to catch a coach. We were going to save Kuala Lumpur until the end of our trip, when we were planning to spend 2 more nights there in a more central location.
Kuala Lumpur Jalan Petaling District
When we returned to Kuala Lumpur towards the end of our trip, we decided to stay in the Jalan Petaling area.
Jalan Petaling, otherwise known as the Kuala Lumpur Chinatown, is as good a reason as any to visit this cosmopolitan city.
After just 3 nights in Sepilok, we packed up our bags again and made our way to the airport at Sandakan. We had pre-booked flights back from Sandakan to Kuala Lumpur via Kota Kinabalu. With Malaysia Airlines, there were no direct flights between Sandakan and Kuala Lumpur.
The Vivatel, Kuala Lumpur
In Kuala Lumpur, we had pre-booked the Vivatel. This is located close to a metro station, giving us easy and cheap access to the center of town.
We had taken special care to find a good hotel, centrally located, with an outdoor pool. The pool was important to us since we were in a big city, but wanted to end our holiday with a splash!
The Vivatel cost us EUR55 /USD76 per night for a double room. This was at the upper end of our daily budget, but we were hoping it wouldn’t push us over our total budget for the trip.
As it turned out, we really fell on our feet, and should be rating the Vivatel 5 stars…
On arrival – due to a full house – we were upgraded to their most expensive accommodation – a Duplex Suite normally priced at €360 per night!
This was the cherry on top of the cake to end our trip through Malaysia.
The suite was superb, as you can see from the pictures. It was equipped with all mod-cons, 2 wall-mounted TVs, living room and kitchen, 2 super modern bathrooms, internal staircase linking the living and sleeping areas, and even 2 entrances on different floors.
From what we could see, other rooms in the hotel were also of a high standard.
They use a card system for accessing rooms and even lifts. The swimming pool and deck area on the 5th floor provides a refreshing break after a long day travelling around the city, and while we were there it didn’t get very busy.
The hotel is very popular with the Chinese, which is reflected in the buffet breakfast – western breakfast options are a bit of an afterthought. There is an extensive shopping mall connected to the hotel, offering everything you need, including a really good supermarket.
Access to the metro is also straightforward – a 10 minute walk away. With a helpful and accommodating staff, we would thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Kuala Lumpur.
We had the best part of 2 days in the city. However, coming to the end of a busy trip, we didn’t really want to rush around trying to pack in all of the “must-see” tourist attractions. Instead, we decided to take it easy and just soak up the city at ease.
Kuala Lumpur Chinatown – Street sellers of Jalan Petaling
There was a metro station 10 minutes walk from our hotel, so we took a metro to the center of town, and wandered around until we found Jalan Petaling – Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant Chinatown. Here we splurged a bit on street food and delicious fruit smoothies from the local stalls.
There are plenty of bargain shops and stalls selling a variety of food and handy products. I managed to purchase a lightweight telescopic camera stand and some memory cards. Everywhere there is the aroma of food, occasionally mixed with incense from a temple or shrine.
In the evening we returned to the shopping mall next to our hotel, and ate in an interesting-looking Thai restaurant.
Our table was very low to the floor, and we lounged on cushions while we enjoyed our food.
On our first evening in Kuala Lumpur 18 days earlier, we had enjoyed fabulous street food in the Jalan Cheras area of the city. For our last evening we did the same again when we found an area close to our hotel where a lot of local people were eating.
This was to be our last real taste of Malaysia before leaving the following day.
So what had the entire trip cost us? Check out our Malaysia & Borneo – Highlights & Costs.
If you enjoyed Kuala Lumpur First Impressions, check out our other East Malaysia & Borneo adventures. You may also like:
Subscribe now and get our newest, best “SandSpice” ideas for FREE…