20 photos to inspire you to travel: Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Last year in April, I left Australia to start a three-month stint as an Editorial Intern in Kuala Lumpur (KL). Before moving there, I knew very little about the city. The few things that I did know about Malaysia’s capital was that the city is notorious for shopping and its airport is a major international layover hub.

Once I started my internship, I quickly learned more about what Kuala Lumpur had to offer. Even beyond the architectural wonders of the Petronas Towers and the mystical Batu Caves, I was excited to discover that there was so much more to KL than meets the average tourist’s eye.

During my time in Kuala Lumpur, I developed an appreciation for street art, which I’d often pass on the train to my internship, and was mesmerised by the vibrant Hindu and Taoist temples that I stumbled upon in Chinatown. I learned that the city is a melting pot of people and their cultures: locals, immigrants, expats and tourists alike. Within a few weeks, I transformed from a typical, terrified tourist trying to catch public transport in Southeast Asia into a capable, daily commuter, who could explain to other tourists how to get to their intended destination. I was amazed every day by the fiery Kuala Lumpur sunsets but discovered that the lightning storms are even more impressive to watch – especially from one of the many high vantage points in the city centre.

Don’t get me wrong though, the malls in KL are every shopper’s dream; they are ginormous and there’s almost every store you could imagine in Kuala Lumpur. Let me tell you, resisting the urge to take advantage of being in one of the world’s biggest shopping hotspots proved quite difficult for my little Intern wallet.

Wallet’s aside, for now, here’s a little destination “window shopping” to inspire you to travel to Kuala Lumpur:

Colourful buildings lining the streets of Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown


The infamous Petronas Towers, each of which weighs 300 000 tonnes

Monkeys guard the 272 stairs up to the Batu Caves entrance. Caution: Don’t feed ’em.

A vibrant street mural on a back wall. Read: Back alleyways and river walls: 15 photos of street art in Kuala Lumpur

 The golden Statue of Murugan at the Batu Caves, behind are the stairs leading up to the cave’s entrance.

The SkyBox 300 metres up extends from the KL Tower’s Sky Deck out over open air. Read: Sky high in Malaysia: Views from the KL Tower

The KL Tower silhouetted by a fiery sunset

Playful little Nuan Nuan hanging out on one of the climbing apparatus at Kuala Lumpur’s Zoo Negara. Read: Meet Nuan Nuan: 6 pictures of Kuala Lumpur’s baby panda

Helipad by day and rooftop bar by night, the Heli Lounge Bar is the perfect spot for sunset cocktails

The vibrant interior of the Guandi Temple in Chinatown

Durian cake from Arch cafe… try it if you dare!

Colourful, freshly picked roses at a Chinatown florist

A fisherman searches for fish at a beach in Port Dickson, about an hour away from Kuala Lumpur

A bright and colourful wall mural in Chinatown

These cute little Ixora flowers line the grassy path to the beach at the Thistle Resort in Port Dickson

The Kuala Lumpur Tower lights up as the sun goes down

One of the beautiful and vibrant carved shines at the Batu Caves

Just an hour away from the city, Port Dickson offers a beach getaway

The silhouetted Kuala Lumpur skyline at dusk

Outside the Sri Mahamariammam Temple where street stalls sell fresh flower garlands

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  1. Absolutely stunning!!! I can’t wait to visit such places and be able to capture all of it’s beauty and glory! You have some great shots from some very awesome angles.

  2. Consider your post successful. I’m inspired and very jealous. Wish I had traveled more when I was young and before children. Now, it will be after retirement.

  3. Your photos are amazing – Kuala Lumpur is awesome but I just felt like some of the places were so dirty 🙁 and badly kept! But your photos are beautiful.

  4. This is exactly why Malaysia is fast becoming my favourite Asian destination! I hope you get time to explore the rest of this magnificent country. There is such diversity from the rainforests of Sabah to the beaches of Langkawi and the food of Penang.

    1. I hope to make it back to Malaysia in the next few years, I’d love to see all three of the places you’ve mentioned!

  5. WOW! I love the juxtaposition of the city and nature as well as the new and the old. great stuff! #gltLOVE

  6. I definitely need to make it to KL sometime soon! I have been to Malaysian Sabah but didn’t make it to KL last time. Your adventures are definitely inspiring me to go!

    1. KL is a great place to have a stopover for a few days! And I’d love to go to Sabah – there’s so many beautiful places in Malaysia.

  7. How was the durian cake?! Ha!
    I love kuala lumpur! Only spent a few hours there but I hope to go back in the future and really see it all. Especially Batu Caves! Great shots! #gltlove

    1. I usually LOVE cake, but that durian cake was an exception… Hope you manage to make it back there and see more of the city! And thank you 🙂

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