Kuala Lumpur will for a lot of travellers, be their first stop in Southeast Asia before they head north into Thailand or Cambodia. Kuala Lumpur has some really good hostel options, amazing food, and a great public transportation system that makes it very easy to get to anywhere of interest.
Back Home Kuala Lumpur is in a great, central location near Chinatown and the central Market. Back Home is very clean with a modern design. It has previously been rated the most popular in Kuala Lumpur. There’s lights and power points at each bed and very friendly, knowledgeable staff. This hostel is a few minutes walk away from Reggae Mansion hostel. This means you can utilise the rooftop bar at Reggae Mansion (its a public bar) but enjoy the quiet dorms of Back Home. This is my favourite hostel in Kuala Lumpur.
Reggae Mansion is a really good party hostel in central KL. The party element comes in the form of popular roof top bar that stays open until late every night of the week. The bar always seemed to be thriving each time I went there. The prices are not particularly low, both in the bar and for a bed. Despite its party hostel roots Reggae Mansion is also a fantastic hostel to get a bit of privacy and rest. The layout of the rooms is one of the best I have seen in a hostel. Each bed is recessed back from the room itself meaning there are walls on 3 sides of the bed and a curtain across the front giving amazing levels of privacy even in large dorms.
If you are planning on spending most of your time in KL around the Bukit Bintang (entertainment district) than this a great option. It is located a two minute walk away from the Jalan Alor food street. They have some nice social spaces, and the rooms are quite nice. Though overall I prefer the other two options. Stay here if you really want to be close to Bukit Bintang.
Sights and Highlights
Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves and cave temples in Gombak, Selangor, Malaysia. It takes its name from the Sungai Batu (Batu River), which flows past the hill and also it is the tenth (Pattu in Tamil) limestone hill from Ampang. Batu Caves is also the name of a nearby village. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India, and is dedicated to Lord Murugan. It is the focal point of Hindu festival of Thaipusam in Malaysia.
Jalan Alor is a unique food destination that sprawls along Jalan Alor, just north of Jalan Bukit Bintang. From around 5pm till late every evening, Jalan Alor turns into a food street with hundreds of plastic tables and chairs and rival caterers shouting out to passers-by to drum up business. Most places serve alcohol and you can sample pretty much every Malay, Chinese and Thai dish imaginable, from grilled fish and satay to kai-lan (Chinese greens) in oyster sauce and fried noodles with frogs’ legs. The best way to experience the food street is to stroll along looking at the signs and the dishes on the tables to see what takes your fancy.
A fantastic Indian restaurant located very close to both Back Home and Reggae Mansion hostel. A full meal including a drink can be had for less than 10 MYR. My favourite is the South Indian Thali served on a banana leaf. They have very comprehensive menu and the restaurant always seemed to be busy with locals. Staff were very helpful.
Bukit Bintang is the name of the shopping and entertainment district of Kuala Lumpur. It encompasses Jalan Bukit Bintang and its immediate surrounding areas. The area has long been Kuala Lumpur’s most prominent retail belt that is home to many cafés, swanky bars, night markets, as well as hawker-type eateries. This area is popular among tourists and locals. It is located just around the corner from the Jalan Alor streetfood market.
Reggae Mansion Bar
The bar at Reggae Mansion hostels is always lively and full of travellers. Food is available from the bar and there are pool tables available to use. If you are looking to make a few friends to travel around with for a few days than this is a really good place to start.
Traders Hotel Skybar
The Skybar inside Traders Hotel offers spectacular views of the Petronas towers. Rather than queue up and pay money to go up to the Petronas towers skydeck, go to the Skybar instead and spend that money on a cocktail. Dress code is fairly casual, a simple tshirt with trousers and joggers are fine.
There is extensive public transport system in Kuala Lumpur. The backbone of this system is rail network that can be used to get almost everywhere. A rail network map is available that shows all rail lines. The myrapid.com.my website also contains bus routes as well as a journey planner. However the best journey planner for Kuala Lumpur is google maps which provides public transport directions for the city with up to date timetables.
From the Airport
A lot of travellers arriving in Kuala Lumpur will do so through KLIA, the international airport. By far the easiest and most convenient way to get into the centre of the city from the airport is by using the high speed train service know as the KLIA Ekspres. Both the KLIA Transit and KLIA Ekspres trains will take you from the airport all the way to KL Sentral train station. The express train (KLIA Ekspres) will do so without stopping. You can pre-book your ticket for both trains using the mobile app or buy on the website which allows you to scan your phone to gain access to the train. On my most recent trip I was able to purchase a return ticket with 1 month validity for 80 MYR. At that price it is the best option.