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Scamp Feb 28th 2016 6:51 am

Visiting KL
 
Morning all,

I'm planning a trip for my birthday with the Mrs to KL. We're thinking 5 nights should be plenty for most cities to get a good experience. Looking at hotels etc it seems the most recommended locations are; KL CC, Merdeka and Bukit Bintang.

We're 28 and 29 so enjoy going out for dinner / drinks. I'm the one who likes to explore and like seeing old and new bits of cities. I also think we'll enjoy places like Chinatown (i know we will actually as we did in Singapore and other places).

Obviously, got a few questions for you folks in the know;

Anyone got anything different on locations to stay to the research I've done so far?
Is staying by Petronas / KL CC a bit far from other places to go and see or is it a piece of cake on foot / in cabs / metro?
Any MUST see / do things (so far Petronas and malls seems to dominate a lot of the lists).
Any hotel recommendations? If it's down to me then budget can be pretty generous - I've always wanted to stay in a Mandarin Oriental for example. If it's down to her then a bit more sensible (Traders, Shangri-La, Renaissance have all been put on her list).
I'm making a blind assumption that it's a pretty safe city, like most - if you act daft in the wrong areas then expect bad times.
Are cabs cheap or is it all walking? Is the monorail / LRT the best way?

Anything else worth noting / expecting?

Thanks in advance for any help and guidance. It's a bucket list place for me so I'm quite excited.

Gunnar45 Feb 28th 2016 7:58 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
Hi Scamp,
I would travel by LRT in KL, taxi drivers can be a pain with having to argue about pricing and to get them to go by meter.
For Petronas towers it is best to book in advance, especially for visits on weekends.
So pass by there the day before or book online.

LRT station for China Town (Petaling Street) and Central Market is 'Pasar Seni', four stops from Petronas. (LRT stop 'KLCC')
Next to Petronas is a huge modern shopping mall 'Suria KLCC' and from its basement you get into the LRT but you can also comfortably walk through a tunnel to the aquarium which is worth a visit if you enjoy such things.
From the convention center next to the aquarium there is also a comfortable walkway to Bukit Bintang area with many restaurants & hotels.

A nice Brazilian steakhouse 'Churrascaria Samba' can be found in the KLCC building third floor diagonally opposite Petronas (Just go upstairs from the Petronas LRT station)

Then you could do a day trip, like a tour to Genting Highlands or the Batu Caves.....

SushiFan Feb 28th 2016 8:50 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
In case you arrive late and exhausted at Kuala Lumpur airport then you might consider to stay at one of the hotels at train station KL Sentral (Hilton, Le Meridien). There is a direct train from the airport to this station.

InVinoVeritas Feb 28th 2016 10:10 am

Re: Visiting KL
 

Originally Posted by Gunnar45 (Post 11881496)
For Petronas towers it is best to book in advance, especially for visits on weekends.

This certainly wasn't the way it worked when I tried to visit Petronas Towers. The tickets were sold on the day, on a first-come-first-serve basis and only at the ticket office. The office opened at 8:30am but the tour guides were there from 7am buying tickets for their groups, meaning if you got there at 8:30am you could be out of luck.

Scamp Feb 28th 2016 10:19 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
Thanks for the tips.

So in terms of locations to stay, anywhere 'central' (KL CC / Bukit Bintang etc) will be fine to get around from?

Anyone got any preferred hotels or anything on that front?

OriginalSunshine Feb 28th 2016 10:41 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
Hi Scamp.

Mandarin is next door to KLCC and is very convenient. It's a grand hotel, at remarkably good value, but the rooms are rather tired. When I stay in KL (which is for a few nights per fortnight) I stay at Traders but it is more of a business hotel, and I prefer breakfast there, and the spa, gym, and bar are better. You can also walk all the way. Underground to KLCC.
Both are next to the park which is lovely for a morning jog.

Renaissance gets you Marriotts points, but that's all it has for it. Location is by a busy junction, and it's not quite near enough walkable for most places.

KLCC has a good mall but it is very high end. I prefer getting a taxi to Mid Valley Mall, and the adjacent Gardens mall, for any shopping needs.

I've never needed to book tickets for the Towers but that's because I get to go through the trades men's entrance

Batu caves are worth seeing. Tripadvisor is about right for other things to do and see.

Again, personally speaking, I've never had trouble with taxis around KL. Blue cabs are nicer, drive more safely, but a bit more expensive. You can also get the LRT, but taxis are so cheap (coming from ME) that the hassle of the LRT is sometimes not worth it.

Food and night clubs are good around bukit bintang but it's a noisy place to sleep.

Scamp Feb 28th 2016 10:56 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
OS - I knew I knew someone in this neck of the woods.

Thanks. The Mrs has shortlisted Mandarin Oriental, Traders, Shangri-La, Grand Hyatt and Renaissance.

I quite liked the look of Traders and the MO does look a touch dated. Still, will just pick one soon because I don't intend on being hotel-bound the whole time.

Got the trip advisor list (inc Batu Caves) and lots of others so we can look in detail. I'll also buy the Lonely Planet too.

I'm proper geeky when it comes to planning a holiday. Thanks for your help.:thumbsup:

eCdD Feb 28th 2016 4:33 pm

Re: Visiting KL
 
I highly recommend you to stay in Bukit Bintang. If you "enjoy going out for dinner / drinks" then everything else is useless.

We KL citizens do everything by walking or GoKL buses. I really never used a taxi so far, i know it sounds unbelievale. For KL Sentral we take the Monorail and for the Airport we take the Airport bus from Mydin in Chinatown.

If you don´t care for the budget, probably all these international business hotels are OK. Just totally overpriced campared to the local four stars.

Original Sunshine, the tickets for the towers were free for many many years and needed to be booked quite far in advance. Since you have to pay for them the situation is much relaxed.

Gunnar45 Feb 29th 2016 12:43 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
IVV,
Regarding the towers, I can only refer to own experience a few years ago and also:
Tickets | PETRONAS Twin Towers

Epicurious Feb 29th 2016 3:43 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
I live in KL and I would agree with most of what Gunnar45 says. However, I find budget taxis here are mostly fine, if you don't mind half of them being a bit old and beaten up. I use them a lot and I find the drivers will use the meter 90% of the time. Late at night or in Chinatown you may have to haggle. Taxis from KL Sentral train station are prepaid, fixed price depending on distance, no hassle.

However, use the popular phone app Grab (formerly MyTeksi) and you can avoid haggling in all circumstances. 2RM will be added to the metered fare and you will get a receipt by email. Grab drivers are keen to provide good service because passengers are encouraged to rate every journey and anyone who falls below a certain approval level will lose income!

As for the other points, I'd say stay in Bukit Bintang or KLCC areas. There's not much nightlife outside of the centre. Compared with Bangkok, it's rather dull, but a whole lot safer and public transport is MUCH better. There's not a huge amount to see for tourists and five nights will be plenty to get a good feel for the city.

Chinatown is rather small, scruffy, and full of stalls selling the usual shoddy knock-offs, bling and tat that you will find in Chinatowns worldwide. I'm not impressed. (Very) Little India is also a bit of a let down.

Scamp Feb 29th 2016 4:22 am

Re: Visiting KL
 

Originally Posted by eCdD (Post 11881801)
I highly recommend you to stay in Bukit Bintang. If you "enjoy going out for dinner / drinks" then everything else is useless.

We KL citizens do everything by walking or GoKL buses. I really never used a taxi so far, i know it sounds unbelievale. For KL Sentral we take the Monorail and for the Airport we take the Airport bus from Mydin in Chinatown.

If you don´t care for the budget, probably all these international business hotels are OK. Just totally overpriced campared to the local four stars.

Original Sunshine, the tickets for the towers were free for many many years and needed to be booked quite far in advance. Since you have to pay for them the situation is much relaxed.

Thanks for the help. Appreciate it.


Originally Posted by Epicurious (Post 11882095)
I live in KL and I would agree with most of what Gunnar45 says. However, I find budget taxis here are mostly fine, if you don't mind half of them being a bit old and beaten up. I use them a lot and I find the drivers will use the meter 90% of the time. Late at night or in Chinatown you may have to haggle. Taxis from KL Sentral train station are prepaid, fixed price depending on distance, no hassle.

However, use the popular phone app Grab (formerly MyTeksi) and you can avoid haggling in all circumstances. 2RM will be added to the metered fare and you will get a receipt by email. Grab drivers are keen to provide good service because passengers are encouraged to rate every journey and anyone who falls below a certain approval level will lose income!

As for the other points, I'd say stay in Bukit Bintang or KLCC areas. There's not much nightlife outside of the centre. Compared with Bangkok, it's rather dull, but a whole lot safer and public transport is MUCH better. There's not a huge amount to see for tourists and five nights will be plenty to get a good feel for the city.

Chinatown is rather small, scruffy, and full of stalls selling the usual shoddy knock-offs, bling and tat that you will find in Chinatowns worldwide. I'm not impressed. (Very) Little India is also a bit of a let down.

Thank you. I didn't enjoy Bangkok that much at all if I'm honest. We've booked in to the Grand Hyatt and I don't intend on spending every waking minute out exploring, a Scamp's got to chill as well, so should be alright.

patr Mar 2nd 2016 11:44 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
The Impiana across the road from the Hyatt is also a nice hotel. It's not as plush as the Hyatt by any means but it's not as expensive either. Both Impiana and Istana do occasional special offers for Malaysian residents. Of the two Istana has the better gym (I can't remember if the Impiana has one) but Impiana a slightly better location in my humble opinion.

Impiana is 7 minutes walk from KLCC and 5 minutes from Pavilion. The Hyatt is 5 minutes to KLCC and 7 minutes from Pavilion.

patr Mar 2nd 2016 11:46 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
I should add though that it's been a while since I stayed in either.... and my budget has never stretched to the Hyatt or even Traders or the Shangri-La

bakedbean Mar 2nd 2016 10:57 pm

Re: Visiting KL
 
Welcome to the forum, patr :wave:

OriginalSunshine Mar 2nd 2016 11:09 pm

Re: Visiting KL
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 11882107)
Thanks for the help. Appreciate it.



Thank you. I didn't enjoy Bangkok that much at all if I'm honest. We've booked in to the Grand Hyatt and I don't intend on spending every waking minute out exploring, a Scamp's got to chill as well, so should be alright.

Forgot mention Mandarin has a cool golf simulator next to the bar......

Anyway, don't stress about the Towers too much. They are cool for SEAsia, but I'm sure you've seen higher. The view is great, only if it's not raining or no haze.

Grab and Uber work well, but so does flagging down taxis. If they try to set a fixed price, you're being ripped off, so walk away/out. I've climbed out of taxis, as a solo woman a number of times because they are trying to rip me off. Meter is best.

Don't walk long distances. It's sweaty in a way the ME isn't. Also as a non local you don't know which routes have sudden random pavement breaks /stops and you find yourself walking down the side of a dual carriage way in the road.....

Scamp Mar 3rd 2016 5:55 am

Re: Visiting KL
 

Originally Posted by OriginalSunshine (Post 11884867)
Forgot mention Mandarin has a cool golf simulator next to the bar......

Anyway, don't stress about the Towers too much. They are cool for SEAsia, but I'm sure you've seen higher. The view is great, only if it's not raining or no haze.

Grab and Uber work well, but so does flagging down taxis. If they try to set a fixed price, you're being ripped off, so walk away/out. I've climbed out of taxis, as a solo woman a number of times because they are trying to rip me off. Meter is best.

Don't walk long distances. It's sweaty in a way the ME isn't. Also as a non local you don't know which routes have sudden random pavement breaks /stops and you find yourself walking down the side of a dual carriage way in the road.....

Yeah, looked at the weather recently and humidity seems off the chart. We dealt with it in Vietnam and places but it's pretty sticky.

Golf simulator sounds quality- thanks for that.

Most places in SE Asia that we've been to involve negotiating the big white man tax with cabs. I found myself arguing over 40 pence in Thailand. Still, worth knowing so thanks for the heads up.

I love being in cities so I'm looking forward to just exploring and getting around and seeing lots.

eCdD Mar 3rd 2016 8:01 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
When you arrive, just get the leaflet with the routes for the free GoKL busses.

Only four routes, but there is no place in KL that it will not bring you. But from KLCC to BB the elevated walkway is a much better option in peak hours. Never ever take a taxi, bus or car at peak hours, that is the most important advise in KL :D

OriginalSunshine Mar 3rd 2016 11:16 am

Re: Visiting KL
 

Originally Posted by Scamp (Post 11885097)
Yeah, looked at the weather recently and humidity seems off the chart. We dealt with it in Vietnam and places but it's pretty sticky.

Golf simulator sounds quality- thanks for that.

Most places in SE Asia that we've been to involve negotiating the big white man tax with cabs. I found myself arguing over 40 pence in Thailand. Still, worth knowing so thanks for the heads up.

I love being in cities so I'm looking forward to just exploring and getting around and seeing lots.

Just insist on a meter. No meter = no fare.

OriginalSunshine Mar 3rd 2016 11:17 am

Re: Visiting KL
 

Originally Posted by eCdD (Post 11885159)
When you arrive, just get the leaflet with the routes for the free GoKL busses.

Only four routes, but there is no place in KL that it will not bring you. But from KLCC to BB the elevated walkway is a much better option in peak hours. Never ever take a taxi, bus or car at peak hours, that is the most important advise in KL :D

Especially not during Friday prayers, nor when it rains. In those situations, find a nearby cafe, and hunker down.

patr Mar 4th 2016 9:23 am

Re: Visiting KL
 
Thanks for the welcome Baked Bean. Hope all you experienced forummers will forgive my inexperienced posting. I thought I'd posted this before but can't find it so assume I Did Something Wrong...or it was eaten my the ants that live in my keyboard.

Just wanted to suggest to Scamp that, if he likes music, check out the MPO. It's not all classical, they also have Unplugged and Happy Hour sessions which are more contemporary or jazzy. Tickets for these are only 30 or 40 rm. Once a month they have an open rehearsal too. No Black Tie, Pisco Bar and Frisky Rooftop have music and Pisco and Frisky also have free European cinema nights.

patr Mar 4th 2016 9:30 am

Re: Visiting KL
 

Originally Posted by eCdD (Post 11885159)
When you arrive, just get the leaflet with the routes for the free GoKL busses.

Only four routes, but there is no place in KL that it will not bring you. But from KLCC to BB the elevated walkway is a much better option in peak hours. Never ever take a taxi, bus or car at peak hours, that is the most important advise in KL :D

I completely agree with the "avoid rush hour" advice

GoKL bus routes are here GOKL

I use them a lot but not between KLCC to B Bintang. It's easier to walk.

Scamp Apr 7th 2016 1:06 pm

Re: Visiting KL
 
Thanks again. Just got back.

Fantastic city, some cracking places visited and thoroughly enjoyable. :thumbsup:


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