My first international holiday included sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur or KL and Langkawi, Malaysia was quite a learning experience. Located in Southeast Asia, Malaysia is a country comprising of two territories separated by South China Sea, tropical climate and comprising of multi ethnic religious groups. From white sandy beaches to lush green landscapes of Langkawi to concrete urban jungle of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia is considered to be one of the most popular tourist destinations. Sightseeing in Kuala Lumpur including PETRONAS Towers KL, KL Aquaria, KL Bird Park, Central Market KL are good options. In Langkawi, water sports activities like jet skiing, Parasailing and island hopping are great activities. Don’t forget to visit Sky Bridge with Gondola (Cable Car) ride. In short, Malaysia can be thought of as a blend of Indian and Chinese ethnicity
Day 1: Arriving at Kuala Lumpur
Well, as our flight got delayed for three hours at Karachi airport and we missed the connecting flight in Bangkok so the Day 1 was quite restricted to duty free shops at the airport. We reached Malaysia at KL airport at about 8 p.m. local time and the immigration and Baggage claim took about an hour and a half. We had already booked the tickets of KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) Ekspres train; a rapid train service that runs from the airport to KL Sentral, the area where our hotel was located nearby. Normally, the airport is about at least 45 minutes to an hour drive from the city but the rapid train takes only 30 minutes to reach the KL Sentral. By the time we reached the airport, we were extremely exhausted and it was nearly 10 p.m. So we had to rest after such a stressful journey.
View from Hotel in KL
Day 2: Visiting KL Tower
After booking our airline ticket to Langkawi for the next day, our first spot for sightseeing in Malaysia to see was the KL tower. Originally built for communication purposes as it has an antenna more than a thousand feet high and said to be 7th tallest free standing tower, it is a really good place for tourists to see as a panoramic view of the city can be seen from the building. It also serves as an observatory for moon sighting for the beginning of RAMADHAN; the fasting month observed by the Muslims, Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha.
Even though the staff there will help you, make sure what levels are included when you buy your tickets. There is a ticket for the Observation Deck which allows you only to visit the Observation Deck which is of course a little cheaper. Until and unless you are afraid of heights, you can buy the Sky Deck ticket which includes both the Sky Deck and the Observation Deck.
Sky Deck is the top most level of KL tower including the Sky box made up of transparent class. Once can view the complete view of the city from the top. Sky Deck also includes an area known as Sky Box, an area made up of transparent glass mainly used for photography. There is a photographer there who will take your snaps which you may collect on your way out but they’ll charge for it.
Sky box at sky deck
On the observation deck, there are several souvenir shops as well as an installed binocular for the city view.
A part from that, the KL tower included other attractions nearby as well such as a revolving restaurant, mini zoo, F1 simulator, KL-forest Park and many more. For further information, please visit https://www.menarakl.com.my/index.php.
Day 3: Flying to Langkawi
We had our flight to Langkawi in the afternoon. Unfortunately due to the Chinese new year, airfare were higher and most of the airlines as well as the hotels near the beach were full. There are options available for cheap airlines among which Air Asia, a Malaysian based carrier is the most popular in Malaysia and its neighboring countries. The flight took slightly above an hour to reach Langkawi. Langkawi is an archipelago of several islands. As compared to the busy urban city of Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi is a quiet place famous mainly for its beaches and landscapes. Please not that Langkawi has taxis as the only means of public transport with fixed fares. Other option is to rent a motor bike/scooter or car which can be more expensive if the stay is longer.
View of Langkawi from the airplane
We had a stay at its capital town Kuah and fortunately had a shopping mall and food court with reasonable prices nearby. We reached to our hotel an hour before sunset and had a plan to visit Eagle Square that evening. The cheapest option is also available to rent a bicycle but it also is the most tiring as places to see like Sky Bridge and Pantai Chenang beach are located 30 to 40 minutes away from Kuah town.
Sunset view at Kuah town
Day 4: Visiting Sky Bridge
We had a plan to visit Sky Bridge which was located about 40 minute drive from our hotel. It’s a large 125 meters long bridge suspended 660 meters above sea level reached via cable car known as “Gondola”. We had to wait for about more than an hour because the cable cars weren’t operational due to strong winds.
Queue for cable car entrance
We wondered because we were on the ground and it was quite a hot day. As we had already purchased our tickets online so we went to the cable car a bit quicker than others. The longer lanes can be avoided by purchasing the tickets for Express lane. Plus various Gondola options are also available like Private Gondola, VIP Gondola, and Bottom Glass Gondola etc. Other attractions a part from SkyBridge like SkyDome, 3D Art, 6D Cinemotion, Time travel etc. which can be found in the following link along with ticket info: http://www.panoramalangkawi.com/. There are three stations from getting to the SkyBridge. Base Station is the first from where you’ll actually get on to the cable car, Middle Station which is a stop between SkyBridge and Base Station for a panoramic view of the landscape and finally the Top Station which is the main entrance towards the SkyBridge.
Cable car departure from Base station
We got on to the station and as the cable car(s) went operational and we got on to it, we surely realized what the officials meant because the winds were literally shaking our Gondola J On our way towards the SkyBridge we had a glimpse of waterfalls known as “seven wells” based on a legend and a fact that these waterfalls fall in to seven ponds.
View of Seven Wells from Gondola
We had a short stopover at the middle station to have a view of landscape.
View of SkyBridge from Middle Station
From middle station, the cable car towards the Top Station will take hardly three to five minutes. On reaching the Top Station, a separate ticket is to be purchased. It depends upon the choice whether you take “Sky Glide”, a slow sliding cable car that will take you to the SkyBridge which has slightly a higher ticket or you may walk taking steps towards the SkyBridge. We took the steps to have more of a close-to-nature experience J; but remember there are signs saying “Don’t feed or tease the monkeys” if encountered any as they may become hostile.
Steps towards the skybridge
Walking the SkyBridge is one of the wonderful experiences you may have. Standing several feet high above the ground, experiencing gusts of wonderful breeze and surrounded by beautiful lush green landscapes of both mountains and sea.
Tourists walking on the SkyBridge
View from SkyBridge
Day 5: Fun at Pantai Cenang beach
We planned to visit the famous Pantai Cenang beach of Langkawi to enjoy the Jet Ski ride with parasailing and swimming. It took us about twenty five to thirty minutes to reach the beach. The day was quite hot with low tides to it was somehow, a really good condition to enjoy our day at the beach. Even though there are several tour operators available at the beach, I suggest you do your homework early. Most famous operators for watersports are Mega, Naam, Toro and Seeman watersports. They offer both Jet Ski and boat island tours which include swimming, snorkeling and banana boat ride. We chose Jet Ski ride and Parasailing for the day. The prices of Jet Ski ride vary by the type of Jet Ski you choose.
Apart from the picture above, it is a unique feeling. It will give you goose bumps initially especially when you get pulled and then lift off the ground into the air but then it’s a really exciting feeling like conquering the fear especially when you are afraid of heights and even if not, it will surely scare you a bit.
Day 6 and 7: Visiting KL Bird Park and Central Market KL
We had our flight back to KL after spending three days in Langkawi. We reached our hotel in KL after departing from Langkawi at 10 a.m. As the Chinese New Year had begun, we took some rest in the afternoon and then went for some shopping at the nearby mall as various outlets were offering discounts on Chinese New Year. The next day, we planned to visit Central Market KL which the oldest market in Malaysia since 1888 and KL bird park, once of the largest bird sanctuaries in Asia. After spending some time at the market, we went for KL Bird Park which is situated nearby. Spread over 20 acres and divided into several zones, one can walk through and view various species of birds ranging from ostriches and ducks to flamingos, owls, peacocks and hornbills.
Birds at KL Bird Park
After the tour, we had our lunch at Hornbill Restaurant in the park. Though expensive, it was worth a place for dining out. We had decided to visit KL Petronas Towers later evening but it started to rain. So we had to postpone it for the next day.
Day 8: KLCC PArk, Petronas and KL Aquaria
The day before leaving back home, we decided to visit KL Petronas and the KL Aquaria. We left after breakfast but it began to rain. So we got into the KLCC shopping mall and wandered a bit there. As soon as the rain stopped, we went to the KL City Central Park also known as KLCC Park.
Petronas Towers KL
We later had a lunch at the shopping mall. After the lunch, we went downstairs for visiting the KL Auqaria. As the name suggests, it is a place containing large sent of marine animals ranging from sea turtles to different kind of fishes like sharks, alligator fishes.
I suggest cheap holiday options it may get hectic. Although couch surfing is quite common, it can be unsafe. What we did was to keep a balance between cost saving and luxury and opted for three and four start hotels instead which cost us about 35 USD per night. For details regarding booking, please refer to www.booking.com.
Due to Chinese New Year in Malaysia, most of the hotels were completely booked so we had limited options available. Street food is quite cheap which costs about 10 to 30 MYR (3 to 7 USD) per meal. Taxis are not usually metered so you’ll have to pre bargain or use options like Uber. So, most tourists usually opt for public transport options like buses and local rail systems. You’ll find the details of routs online or even leaflets available in hotels. For domestic flights within Malaysia, cheap flight options are also available among which Air Asia is the most popular. For sightseeing, in case you have “MyKad”, you’ll find cheaper tickets at most sights at a low price. Otherwise, sightseeing will be relatively expensive.
Malaysia is a safe country with an extremely low crime rate. However, you’ll find notices while landing at Malaysian airport that beware you from illegal taxis and encouraging you not to use them. Even petty crimes are common but violent crimes are low.