Back in April, we had a wedding in Halong Bay, Vietnam, so we decided to do a cheeky stopover in KL on the way. J had never been there before (except for the airport!) and it had been around 10 years since my last trip there, so we figured it would be an awesome way to break up our flights to Hanoi. We flew AirAsia, which is always kind of painful, but it was super cheap, so no complaining here!
The first thing to consider when heading to KL, is flight time. Traffic is INSANE there, so you don’t want to land anywhere near peak times. We left Perth early in the morning, so landed about 12.30 pm. This was perfect, there wasn’t too much traffic, and by the time we got through immigration and customs, and jumped in a cab, it was pretty much check in time at our hotel.
I spent AGES trying to decide where to stay in KL. There’s so many options, plus I was struggling to do decide what area to stay in. We like to avoid the big huge chain hotels, and stay in the little boutique ones, so I ended up booking The Journal. It’s a pretty new hotel in Bukit Bintang, which is a great little area, with lots of bars and restaurants, plus its walking distance to the Petronas Towers and some of the big shopping malls. It also had a roof top pool…bonus!
We loved it from the minute we arrived. It’s bright and modern, the staff were so friendly, our room was awesome, and we could (just) see the Petronas Towers from our window. We headed straight up to the roof to check out the pool, and then went to the bar to have a beer and get a little food before heading out to explore.
We headed straight for the Petronas Towers, and walking there, I couldn’t believe how much the city had changed in the last 10 years. SO MANY SKYSCRAPERS. Back on my last trip, there weren’t many tall buildings around the towers, now there were lots, and so much building going on too. It was cool to see the difference. We spent the whole afternoon just wandering around, before heading to the hotel to chill before heading out for the night.
I always use Trip Advisor to find bars and restaurants to check out around wherever we’re staying, and I had already decided that we had to go to the SkyBar for drinks at sunset. They’re directly opposite the Petronas Towers, so you just get an incredible view. I’d recommend getting there a little early so that you can see the view go from daylight all the way through to darkness. It also gets kind of busy, so the earlier you get there, the better chance you have of scoring a seat with a good view. We got a little booth type thing, which was perfect. It’s a kind of crazy bar, with weird lighting, a pool up the middle, and a great cocktail list!
I’d also booked us a table at The Steakhouse for dinner. It was one of the top rated restaurants in the area and it did not disappoint. Our steaks were seriously incredible, as good as anything we’d had even in Argentina! They had a massive wine list (we had a Malbec) and had some great little added touches like bringing out a selections of salts and sauces with the meal. SO GOOD.
We also got a little obsessed with The Whisky Bar next door, and went there for the next 2 nights. J LOVES whiskey, so he was in heaven with the huge menu and walls covered in bottles. I am not a whiskey fan, but I do love bourbon, so I was pretty happy with some Jack Daniel’s while he sipped on the fancy stuff. They serve every drink on a little tray with 3 glasses – one for your actual drink, one full of ice, and one with a little syringe and either water (for whiskey) or diet coke (for losers like me that can’t do straight spirits!). Such a cool idea, and the comfy chairs and chatty staff will mean that you’ll never want to leave!
On our second day, we weren’t really too sure what to do during the day, so we ended up getting tickets for an open top jump on/jump off bus. They’re such a good way to see the city, and with the traffic being so ridic in KL, we probably wouldn’t have managed to get around so much without doing one of these. We jumped off at quite a few spots, the highlight of which was The KL Tower. We got tickets to go up to the top, where you get incredible views of the city, and can stand out on a glass platform and get mad photos!
That night we checked out a little jazz bar that I’d read about called No Black Tie. I can’t remember how much we paid to get in, but I think it was around 20 bucks. We went to the 10 pm showing, and it was such a great night out. We got a little 2 seater table near the front, and the band were incredible.
On our third day, we were feeling kind of lazy, so we decided to make the most of the rooftop pool, spending most of the day hanging out there. Early afternoon, we caught monorail over to Chinatown to wander through the markets. In the evening, we checked out another restaurant called Opium, which was another win! We loved everything about our meals, with the stand out dish being the beef rendang. I’d also recommend getting a table outside, it’s such a great spot for people watching! Ooh and the weird little cups that they serve the wine in are so cute! After dinner, we headed back to the Whisky Bar to finish out our trip, before flying up to Hanoi the morning.