Kulala Lumpur - Malaysia
Malaysia and Vietnam were the first countries out of Europe we visited as a family. The strategy was to find a country in Asia where don’t need a visa, and find cheap airfare to there. Malaysia was the country fit the criteria, and as long as we’re in the neighborhood, we thought we’d also hop to Vietnam, all in one trip. So we planned our route to start from Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Hanoi and Phu Quoc in Vietnam.
We flew Qatar Airways trough Doha. It is one of the best organized airlines. Very nice planes, comfortable seats, excellent entertainment system, gifts for the kids. This was our first time on a plane where our kids were provided a meal prior the rest of the passengers. That way you can help your kids finish their meals and then eat your meal in peace. The meals were delicious. The Doha transfer terminals are very big, spacious with a lot of entertainment around: kids playgrounds, family rooms, computer decks, free WiFi, restaurants, shops etc. so you can easily spend your time waiting there for the next flight without the kids jumping all over you.
The airport in Kuala Lumpur had big lines for everything. We spent almost 2 hours at the immigration. Lots of visitors from the Arabic countries, with lots of females accompanied by a single male. The lines were present on our way back, so it is good to be at the airport at least 3 hours before departure. We did not anticipate the line at immigration so we had to beg people to let us through as our departure time was fast approaching.
We got an AirBnB on 29th floor in a big condominium with a nice view over the city. The best thing about staying here was the infinity pool at the 37th floor with a view over the Petronas towers. At night it was marvelous. The water at the pool was warm for swimming and you’re enjoying the best view of the shining Kuala Lumpur.
Kuala Lumpur is a big city, with an overwhelming number of shopping malls. It’s known as shopping paradise which explained the huge number of tourists coming in to KL. For getting around we found that Uber was efficient and affordable.
The biggest landmark of the city are Petronas twin towers (the tallest buildings in the world from 1998-2004 and still the tallest twin buildings in the world). Together with the KL Tower they stand proudly in the center of the city. They are surrounded by a park (KLCC park) with a lake, a public swimming pool, a big children playground and of course some more shopping malls. There’s actually a mall in Petronas tower.
The literal translation is Independence square, with one of the tallest flagpoles in the world, it has a fountain, the famous Sultan Abdul Samad Building, which is currently the location of some ministries. You will also find St. Mary’s Church here, one of the oldest Anglican churches. Overall it’s a large green open area where they do concerts and events, with the government buildings on each side. Great for photo ops.
If you want a truly unique experience, you want to visit the Batu caves. They are easily reached by public transportation. The whole site where Batu Caves are located is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor. It gets its name from the Sungai Batu, which flows past the hill.
There’s a great number of stairs to the top, so take your time, but you will be rewarded with a very nice view when on top.
Be very careful when climbing up, there is an organized gang of robbers taking anything of value from unsuspecting tourists, but they are not human. They are little monkeys, and there’s a lot of them, each one up to no good. Right in front of our eyes they snatched a camera from an unsuspecting tourist, right from his hands. The poor fellow then tried to bribe them with treats to get his camera back, but we didnt see if he was successful. The monkeys are all over the place and they are so skilled in petty thievery they can steal anything. Watch your belongings and do not wear shiny objects such as jewelry. If you have a camera in your hands, make sure you wear a strap. And don’t think that if you see them, you can fend them off. For every one you see there’s two somewhere on a pole behind you that you don’t see, lurking you from behind.
Previously when Ziplining, I asked the owner of a monkey on a leash if I could pet him. The monkey bit me before I could blink, and I had a bruise for 10 days. So here we were more careful. The moral here is don’t try to pet monkeys, even when they are on a leash.
Batu Caves also had ladies that could paint your hand with henna. They were super talented, and she was so fast, she managed to draw my hand before my husband could pull his phone out of his pocket. So if you want a nice hand drawing, we highly recommend the ladies here.
Kuala Lumpur also has the biggest bird park in the world. It is huge with lot of birds from all kinds. The park is constructed so all the birds can walk/fly freely around you. There is food available to buy at the entrance so you can feed both the birds and the fish in the park. We fed them, walked with them and enjoyed looking at all the different species.
Ziplining in the forest
The best experience in KL was the day trip to the Shah Alam Agricultural park (45 minutes from KL) for the Skytrex experience. It is a big adventure park with zip lines and adventures obstacles. Obstacles are divided into three courses according to difficulties, and the minimum height requirements are 1.1m (Little Adventure) and 1.4m (Big Thrill and Extreme Challenge).
Skytrex is only open during weekends, and it is advisable to book online to ensure your spot for the course. We choose the Little Adventure so our youngest – Luka can have some fun too. We took an Uber to get there, and as soon as they started strapping us up for safety it started pouring. We found a safe space under a gazebo and spent an hour there waiting for the rain to stop. I actually enjoyed it, considering we were in a beautiful forest, surrounded with nature and listening to the sounds of the rain. When it finally stopped we started the adventure and it was great fun for both us as adults and the kids.
The staff were friendly, always there to help if needed, very tentative whenever Luka would get stuck on one of the zip lines. In the end, the little one did not want to leave, he was just having so much fun. Very highly recommended!
Malaysia in general
People in KL are nice. Everyone we met spoke English so it was really easy to navigate through city. We felt safe all the time. Be aware that it is usually forbidden to cook pork at the apartments, considering that is a Muslim country. They have big supermarkets with everything inside but the prices were on par with eating at a restaurant, which they have plenty of. If you’re on a budget, consider the food courts in the malls. Just enter any mall and choose your meal there. We had no problems wandering around any time of the day. We will definitely go back and explore some more of Malaysia.
Our youngest son – Luka was a bit of a star in KL. A lot of people (especially from India) wanted to take a picture with him. We noticed we were being secretly photographed by random people, so I decided to google it and there was it in the search “why do Indian people take picture of me”. It was real, blond people are especially attractive to them. We didn’t find it offensive but rather trying posing and smiling for their photos.