Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on a Budget – Asia Tour 2017

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Two Days in Kuala Lumpur, Backpacker Budget, Visit the top sights, Eat some good Food.  Here is how we did it!

Petronas Twin Towers - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Petronas Twin Towers

Kuala Lumpur, a bustling city showcasing the famous Petronas Twin Towers, the KL Tower, Bukit Bintang luxury district, Asian Fusion Foods and shopping with great prices for those on a budget.  Chinatown was our hotel destination, Hop On Hop Off Bus helped us discover!

Kuala Lumpur Skyline - Malaysia
Beautiful Kuala Lumpur Skyline

We booked our flight with Air Asia from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur for SGD$178 for both of us – Euro €118.50 or €59.25 pp. The flight was approximately 30 minutes.

Chinatown is an approximate 1 hour car drive or 38 minute train ride; the train is directly at the airport. It was cloudy and raining lightly on our arrival. A friend who lives in the city picked us up with his car, so we did not need transportation, however we did learn that taking a Taxi would have been cheaper than train!

Night Market in Chinatown - Kuala Lumpur
Night Market in Chinatown

The Currency is Malaysian Ringgit (myr or RM)

On our way to the City, we stopped for some food at a highway stop. (Like a truck stop) Our friend told us the best place to eat is the booth called Satay Kajang HJ Samuri. He recommended the Beef & Chicken Satay with peanut sauce & sambal (spicy)sauce, rice and cucumbers, explaining it is authentic Malaysian food.  We ordered a large water with it and our bill came to a total of 35 myr = €7.43 / 3 People.  The satay was very good with a strong barbecue flavor and a rich sauce.

Beef & Chicken Satay - Satay Kajang HJ Samuri Food Stall
Beef & Chicken Satay – Satay Kajang HJ Samuri Food Stall

We stayed at the Hotel Rain Forest for 2 nights with a cost of €46, booked through booking.com. It was a very simple, but clean room with single beds, small tv, desk, and a separate room with toilet, sink and in toilet shower with hot water.

Simple Room in the Rain Forest Hotel - Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Simple Room in the Rain Forest Hotel

Very friendly staff, especially the young lady at the front desk. Included in price is free water and of course, internet. Bring adapters and be forewarned, electricity works with key only; if you leave, devices quit charging.  You may take gadgets to front desk while you are gone and they will charge them for you. The hotel is a perfect location for the bus station, food stalls, market & shopping. Hop On Hop Off bus picks up and stops around the corner at Hotel 5th Element.

Do not miss the crazy shopping at the Jalan Petaling Street Market where everything is for sale, bargaining is a must and food is your end reward!

Entrance to Jalan Petaling Street Market - Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Entrance to Jalan Petaling Street Market

Day 2 we bought a ticket for the Hop On Hop Off bus around the corner at the Hotel 5th Element for MYR 45 pp. In retrospect, perhaps we should have checked into booking a taxi driver for the tour? Make sure you check that and let us know! Unlike past experiences, the stops are long (sometimes 15 minutes), allowing people the time to hop off, run and take pictures and hop back on. There are 23 stops with supposedly 70+ attractions.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building - Kuala Lumpur
Sultan Abdul Samad Building

We stopped for lunch under the KL Tower, where assumedly the prices are higher as are the shops fancier. At the restaurant Fathima Food Corner, we ordered: 
– Teh 3 Layer 3.80 myr (iced coffee tea) yum
– Green Apple Juice 3.80 myr good
– Goreng Ayam 8.80 myr (chicken noodles wit fried chicken leg) yum
– Sup 8.80 myr (soup) ok
– Char Kuey Teow 6.50 myr (broad noodle with seafood) 🤢not so good
Total Cost: $29 myr for 2
Side note ladies: the toilets are standing toilets

Char Kuey Teow / Broad Noodles with Seafood - Kuala Lumpur
Char Kuey Teow / Broad Noodles with Seafood

For Dinner, we were recommended Kedai Makanan Lim Kee chinese restaurant with plastic stools, wooden tables, pots & bowls topped with chopsticks sanitized at the table and an open kitchen.
Food style: Chinese / Bakut Teh
Food we ate:
– Dumplings Fried (side) 4 myr
– Soy dumpling (side) 6 myr
– Soup 1.50 myr
– Butter Prawns 38 myr
– White rice 4.50 myr
– Sweet Potato leaf 15 myr
– Pork rib soup 32 myr
– Sides of fresh chopped garlic and hot green chilis
– 2 large Tiger beer 18 myr ea., 1 tiger radler 5 myr
Food for 3, too much leftover: 140.50 myr
Excellent Food!!!

Kitchen in Kedai Makanan Lim Kee Restaurant - Kuala Lumpur
Kitchen in Kedai Makanan Lim Kee Restaurant

Day 3 and already we are on our way out the door.  Quick stop at trusty McDonalds for:
– 1 spicy deluxe chicken burger 8.95 myr
– 1 Big Mac w/ fries & sprite 13.44 myr
and a Coke from the convenience store for rm1
Total: 23.39 myr

For Formula 1 fans, the F1 track is very close to airport KLIA and it is worth a quick stop for a look around. Entrance is free and there are often events going on.  While we were there, they were racing motorbikes.  Our Taxi from Chinatown to Airport KLIA was 90 myr + we offered an extra 30 myr to go to F1 track.

We at at the Airport: Dim Sum Restaurant
– Steamed Honey Glazed Chicken Bun rm8
– Steamed Vegetarian dumpling rm8
– Egg Noodle Won Ton Soup rm17

How to sum up Kuala Lumpur? Where old meets new, an Eclectic mix of fancy, trashy, rats and glamour. Definite must see!

Street Graffiti - Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Magnificent Street Graffiti

Costs (Euro/per person):
Flight from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur: €59.25 per person (pp)
Highway food: €2.47 pp
Lodging (Rainforest Hotel): €33 per night
Hop On Hop Off: €9.55 pp
Fathima Food Corner lunch: €3.08 pp
Kedai Makanan Lim Kee Restaurant: €9.95 pp
McDonalds: €2.50
Taxi to Airport KLIA: €19.12 + €6.37 for F1 Track
Airport Food: €4.35 pp
Total Cost per person for 2 nights: €84.02 plus the flight

Next Stop: Langkawi Island, Malaysia

Rainforest Hotel: Address: 122, Jalan Petaling, City Centre, 50000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Kedai Makanan Lim Kee Restaurant – No. 54, Lorong Haji Taib Satu, Jalan Raja Laut, 50350 Kuala Lumpur. Tel: 03-2692 6915

Kuala Lumpur Hop On Hop Off Map

Check out our other Asia Travels!

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