Updated 2016

Why you should add Kuala Lumpur to your Indie/RTW trip

  • Variety - colonial architecture rubs shoulders with Chinatown, giant mosques, and temples.
  • Kuala Lumpur has the tallest skyscrapers in SE Asia, and the modernity of the city is a testament to Malaysian ingenuity.
  • KL is your starting place to explore the Cameron Highlands and Taman Negara.
  • If you had the choice of Little India, Chinatown or a Malay restaurant for lunch, which would you choose? Malaysian food is as varied and tasty as you'll find in a region defined by amazing cuisine.
  • Experience the cultural diversity in KL - ethnic Malays, Chinese, Indian, and British have all had an impact on what the city looks and feels like today.
  • Visit a tolerant Islamic country where smiles are as common as sunny days
  • If you're into nightlife, KL is your city.
  • There are a wide variety of parks and monuments outside of the city limits that are great to visit as day trips and get away from the chaos of the city.
  • There are cheap flights available regionally (from AirAsia), and KL is a great city to add into your multi-stop flight itinerary as it's a major Southeast Asian hub.

Read: Falling in Love With Malaysian Food.

Indie travel tips for Kuala Lumpur

  • Check out the Lembah Kiara Recreational Park, particularly in the morning or evening, to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
  • Take a day trip to the Genting Highlands and see how Southeast Asia does theme parks
  • Learn more about the Islamic culture at the open-plan, 4 story Islamic Arts Museum.
  • Though nearly every tourist visits the Petronas Towers, there's a reason for that.
  • Visit the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park - the world's largest free-flight, walk in aviary.
  • Check out the Central Market, a fixture in KL since 1888.
  • If you're coming to KL for the food, hit up the Kampung Baru Hawker Stalls on Saturday night and into early Sunday morning.

Read: Indie Travel in Malaysia for $10 a Day.


Most travelers fly into Kuala Lumpur, either directly, as part of a longer, multi-stop trip, or on one of the smaller, regional airlines. You can also travel overland from Thailand if you're already in the region and traveling slowly.


There are plenty of cheap accommodation options available in KL. Check out the hostels all over the city for the most affordable options.