Kuala Lumpur | Night Markets, Caves and a Free Night Out

Once we’d finally found our coach and settled in to what was meant to be a five hour journey to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore we had our first land crossing to contend with. This turned out to be a really quick and easy one for us however the same can’t be said for people who we were on the coach with. After having to wait 40 minutes for them to come through our coach had to wait a further hour in Johor before we could start the journey north. Driving through torrential rain the four hour trip to Kuala Lumpur quickly turned to eight. This delay provided another issue for us as our driver then told us he couldn’t take us all the way in to the city as he was due to be back in Singapore in just a few hours. to get around this he ordered a Grab for us and told us to get off the coach and into the waiting car which would take us the rest of the way. Eventually we were in Time Square, and after realising the offline map wasn’t going to help us we found a hotel who were willing to point us in the right direction of our hostel. 

Ten hours after leaving Singapore, we arrived at our hostel. It was 11pm, and with no dinner and loud music from the coming from the hostel bar we crashed. Awaking the next morning to an overcast but a hot day we went downstairs for our free breakfast. Unlike the other free breakfast’s we’d had in hostels so far this wasn’t just toast. We were given a fresh roti and vegetarian curry which has set the theme of our breakfasts since. Our first day in Kuala Lumpur was spent trying to avoid the rain. After first navigating our way around the city using the free buses – these we can highly recommend – we went to the free police museum. This offered us an insight into Malaysia’s history and the colonisations that it has been through from the Dutch to the English as well as some police propaganda. When we left the museum we found the rain had stopped so headed to the botanical gardens. Here we were expecting to find local flowers and instead were greeted with local trees and bushes. So after an hour or so walk through the gardens we headed back towards the bus in hope of finding some lunch at a market we saw earlier in the day. 

However when we arrived at the market it was clear they were done for the day, with the floor littered with remnants of coconuts and plates, we boarded the bus and headed for our hostel. Deciding that having lunch was pointless when we got back as it was already 5 pm we got changed and showered and waited for the night market to open. The market in Kuala Lumpur was much more established than the ones in Singapore offering options that we couldn’t wait to try. Our first port of call was the pick your own barbecue stand where you could choose from any number of meats, vegetables and fish on colour coded sticks and they would cook them in front of you. After we deliberated for a while we chose chicken, and with our chicken on a stick in hand went in search of our next course. This was not an easy decision, however, when we saw sweet potato fries we felt we had to try them. Salt doesn’t seem to be used anywhere near as much as it is in England so we both had a slight craving for it after a few weeks without. 

After these two small plates we decided that we would get something more substantial, especially not having had dinner the night before or lunch that day. Thankfully for us, the night market lined the streets also housed lots of Thai restaurants so picking the busiest and also the cheapest we dug into an incredible green curry. Feeling full for the first time in a couple of days we thought we’d go to our hostel bar as the music turned off at midnight and trying to sleep through it was somewhat pointless. Here we met some fellow backpackers who happened to be from the Isle Of Wight and made plans to go to the Batu Caves the next morning. 

Attempting to get the train there started well, the monorail was quick and comfortable, however, the second leg of our journey wasn’t so simple. It turns out that one of Kuala Lumpur’s busiest tourist attractions at the 5 end of a train line that is infrequent and slow. This combined with the cost per person made us book a Grab and head there by car. The caves were as colourful as they appear online however the sheer number of people climbing the stairs made it almost impossible to really appreciate the wonder of the site. Eventually, after being held up by monkeys fighting over dropped peanuts and tourists taking selfies we made it into the temple at the top. The theme of colour didn’t end at the steps however painting the grey walls of the cave with grey paint seemed a bit confusing to us. After wandering, exploring the cave and the temple within we headed back down the steps to the temple at the base. 

After we had satisfied our craving for Kuala Lumpur’s many Hindu temples, we caught a Grab back into the city and set off to explore the Time Square shopping centre. This mall has everything you could imagine including a full size rollercoaster and our favourite shop so far in SE Asia, Mr DIY, Malaysia’s answer to Wilkos. Chris and Martina who we were spending the day with had heard of a burger restaurant near the centre, Burgers on 16th and we all headed over before the rains hit and we were trapped Kuala Lumpur’s shopping haven. They didn’t disappoint, and for western food, the price was very reasonable, 19MR with a soft drink and chips. 

With our time in Kuala Lumpur fast coming to an end and everyone else heading off the next day we decided that we should frequent our bar with everyone. It was full of English travellers all looking for a cheap drink before heading to bar street for what was being billed as “ladies night”. This was far from in our plans as Jess, dressed in pyjamas and Sam in shorts joined the crowd of people heading over the road. We found ourselves in a bar in which Jess and four others girls were being given free cocktails while Sam and the rest of the men were sat around trying to hide drinking the drinks like a 14 year old in a pub. The night culminated in a nightclub where the free drink was a bottle of top-shelf vodka and free entry. This although being a bit unnerving turned out to be great fun and even had lasers to cross that looked like something out of James Bond. 

The final day arrived and with it a lot of packing up belongings and a final walk around the city we had fallen in love with and can’t wait to get back too. We headed to the bus stop by monorail where Sam in typical fashion managed to trip up a curb and land with his bag on, on his back and was left stranded by a laughing Jess while he tried to get back to his feet. Not the smoothest exit to Kuala Lumpur ever!

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3 Replies to “Kuala Lumpur | Night Markets, Caves and a Free Night Out”

  1. Great blog giving a good feel of KL. We loved the Batu caves and can recall the monkeys everywhere eating all the scraps left by tourists. It’s great that you’re seeking out the free entertainment – good on you! And fancy meeting a couple from the IOW – what a small world! Keep the blogs coming, they’re great.
    Love mum / Jackie xx

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