Malacca to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Leaving beautiful Malacca behind and bound for the bright city lights of Kuala Lumpur in Southern Malaysia – haven’t visited this city since 1989!

Getting there

The Malacca to Kuala Lumpur (KL) comfortable Delima bus takes 2 hours and drops you off at the Bersepadu Selatan bus station.

If you need a taxi when you arrive at the bus station, be careful not to take the blue “Business Taxis”. These are much more expensive than the usual taxis and drivers can be quite rude when you politely decline the ride.

Malacca, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Se Asia

Once in KL, the best way to get around the city is the Monorail and Light Rail. Both are relatively inexpensive and very efficient with only a wait of 5 to 10 minutes in any direction.

All major bus stations are accessible via the Light Rail.


Expect to see hectares of Palm Oil plantations on the trip from Malacca to KL and through most of the country.

This is extremely sad as all the natural vegetation and perhaps once jungle-like scenery has disappeared to this destructive crop, which leaves behind all its inhabitants orphaned or killed.

This is 2014. Having travelled to Malaysia back in 1989, I’ve seen many not-so-great changes on this trip, which I’ve written a post on: Modern Malaysia. The mighty dollar reaps everything in sight throughout SE Asia.


Wander the streets of KL in the sweltering heat and experience the many free sights, architecture, and museums.

Sultan Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia
Footpath business – Merdeka Square

As with many large cities, many paid sites are also on offer, if you have a lot of cash to spend. Although, when on the road for an extended time this is not always viable.

Merdeka Square

Wander through gorgeous Merdeka Square (Independence Square) for its opulent architecture and grandeur surrounds. With more of an Arabic flair, the architecture is very different to Asian architecture.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia
Sultan Abdul Samad Building

Colonial architecture merged with middle-eastern flavours produces stunning architecture.

Malaysian Tourism Building, Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia
Malaysian Tourism Building

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery

The Kuala Lumpur City Gallery (free entry) next to the square offers respite from the heat. Information on KL’s history and future development is detailed in the museum.

Kuala Lumpur City Gallery, Malaysia, SE Asia
Intricate model of Kuala Lumpur

A separate glassed-room at the museum houses many wood craftsmen, which painstakingly create model sculptures of just about anything.

Some of these workers have been crafting models in the museum for over 20 years…such dedication.

Spend a little money at the gift shop and take an unusual and original souvenir home, instead of the cheap souvenirs on offer at the markets and on from street stalls.

National Textiles Museum

Still in Merdeka Square, take a stroll and take delight in the World Costume Dolls exhibition and coolness of the National Textiles Museum (free entry) – also offers respite from the steamy outdoor ambience.

Doll Exhibition, National Textiles Museum, Merdeka Square, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia

One of KL’s significant heritage landmarks, the museum also houses exquisite traditional textiles and technology. The doll exhibition is an added bonus.

Bukit Bintang

Bukit Bintang is a great area for finding cheap eats and also, for taking intriguing photographs.

Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia
Bustling night stalls

The multi-cultural Little India and China Town are also in this District. A plethora of brightly-painted temples, shrines, coupled with a great bustling aromatic atmosphere that entices the senses, this area never disappoints.

China Town offers many budget accommodation options and backpacker gigs.

Jalan Petaling

The Jalan Petaling area is wonderful for street market stalls, which sell almost everything and bursting with locals and tourists.

You know when you have arrived to the street as there are two large Chinese arches on either end of the street welcoming you. As this is a pedestrianised, there’s not a worry of being mowed down by a vehicle, so you can shop or eat in comfort.

Haggling is expected here so don’t be shy and jump right in but keep it friendly and always smile. The stall owners love a good friendly barter and the smile helps to break the ice. Pick up many counterfeit clothing items and watches, if you so desire.

Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia
Shopper’s delight

As expected, the area hosts loads of food stalls and restaurants, which serves many delicious dishes such as the local Assam Laksa – one of my favourite spicy noodle soup dishes.

Petronis Towers

Of course, Petronis Towers is a must. This towering structure is an amazing and famous piece of architecture that seems to dwarf everything in KL and the landmark building is visible from many areas in the city.

Building of the towers commenced in 1994 with the grand opening finally in 1999.

It is expensive to go up to the Sky Bridge, which is perched between the two towers. This connecting bridge is 170 metres (558 feet) above the ground and just over 58 metres (192 feet) long, and weighs 750 tons.

Sadly, I haven’t too much to offer on sights in KL as not too much exploring in this cool city. Most of my time is spent indoors in bed with food poisoning, so sight-seeing isn’t high on the agenda.


The taxi ride from the Bersepadu Selatan bus station to the Ceria Hotel (Bukit Bintang) sets you back about RM25 plus an extra charge of RM2 for each bag. I’m not sure why there’s an extra charge for each bag – just the way it is in KL.

Both the Ceria Hotel and staff are excellent.

A very modern and clean hotel, fitted with IKEA furnishings, and stayed here twice for its location and service. I would definitely recommend this hotel as it’s great value-for-money.

Ceria Hotel, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia
Funky bathroom

The Ceria is a five-minute easy walk to the Imbi Monorail Station and a ten-minute walk to the Hang Tuah Monorial, which is a junction for the light rail. Both train systems are inexpensive, efficient, and you can travel everywhere.

Eating haunts

In addition to the excellent food stalls and restaurants available throughout the Jalan Petaling flea market area and as I was sick a lot of the time during my stay in KL, I only mention a couple of eating haunts.

Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia
Cheap food meets cheap imports

The Pavilion Shopping Centre

On 168 Bukit Bintang, the Pavillion is your best stop for great eating haunts in this massive mall. Hosting an excellent food court downstairs, enjoy cheap and very good Malay or regional Asian food at this mall. Western food (pizza, pasta, bread) is also on offer but more expensive, of course.

Frequent this food court several times times – savour the Hot Plate, Hot Pot, and vegetarian dishes, which are delicious and very reasonably priced.

Pavilion Centre, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, SE Asia
Tragic reminder…

Rasataura (Berjaya Times Square)

This restaurant offers the best ‘Set’ breakfast of Roti Canai Telur or Mee Goreng around.

Breakfast is served with a choice of coffee or tea. Very good service at this restaurant. Dinner meals are a little pricey.

Meal price tip

The ++ displayed on a menu is a 10% Service charge and 6% Government tax.

These charges are on top of the advertised meal’s price in the majority of restaurants and hotels throughout Malaysia, so keep this in mind when ordering your delicacy.

Leaving KL

Having heard so much about the beauty of the Cameron Highlands, it’s time to leave sweltering KL by bus. Heading inland for the coolness and greenness of the hills, but also to indulge in a little of the famous tea grown in the Cameron Highlands.

Visit my Nilla’s Photography Malaysia Gallery for more images. More blogs on Malaysia at Image Earth travel.

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20 responses to “Malacca to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia”

  1. LuLu B - Calabrisella Mia Avatar

    The mix of architectural styles is so cool to see – the past and present merging together is beautiful! The night market looks so inviting – love the lights!

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      The architecture is quite contrasting and it’s cool to see how influences of different peoples have left their mark on KL but throughout Malaysia.

  2. Monica Singh Avatar

    This post brings back memories of my trip in 2000. It was for the New Year celebration that a bunch of us decided to make Kuala Lumpur our base for a couple of days. The fun we had! I really miss those times. Our time in Kuala Lumpur was a blur because all we did was a shop and eat! Bukit Bintang was a bustling, heady mix of shops that offers a riot of colors and flavors. I loved my time in Kuala Lumpur.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Monica
      Thank you for the great comment!
      Sounds as though you had a fantastic time – Malacca and KL are wonderful places to explore. I don’t go to a destination to shop, I go to eat! 😉

  3. equinoxio21 Avatar

    Terima kasih for the tour. Never been to KL. Curious to go, A good friend of mine was stationed there for 3 years. Daughter #2 stayed there too a while. We only stopped at the airport from Singapore en route to Penang. Must be an interesting place. Cheers.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Makasih! Ahh, you should go it’s a load of fun and know that you’d enjoy it there…
      Penang is pretty cool and not at all like the rest of Malaysia. 😉
      Thanks for your comment Brian!

      1. equinoxio21 Avatar

        Selamat pagi Neela. (Morning for you guys)

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Pagi! I can hear the pronunciation… 🙂

      3. equinoxio21 Avatar


  4. gillmorris Avatar

    How my memories were stirred reading this. I love KL and have been 3 times, 2014 the last time. The very first time I was in this city was in 2008 on the home from Oz. I spent 3 glorious days there and stayed at the Equatorial Hotel, sadly no longer there. I couldnt get over how cheap it was. I did a bit of exploring then and also when I went in 2014, I went on a mad walking exploration out to the botanical gardens. I absolutely love this place!! I want to travel to Malaysia again and explore further afield including the Cameron Highlands, so I am looking forward to your next post! Thank you for sharing Nilla. Have a fab weekend xxxx

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hey Gill
      Thank you for the great feedback and your experience! Certainly sounds as though you had a great time in KL and fully understand why – it offers everything to the traveller and yes, it’s cheap (or was in 2014). Shame we didn’t cross paths then…
      Just finished Cameron Highlands so it’s offline until tomorrow morning as I’ve changed the URL 🙁 I’m updating my older posts to the new format, reducing photo sizes, adding a little more info and photos as the posts need a clean up. I’m procrastinating writing more on Indonesia as only half-way through my travel journal…
      Glad you enjoyed this post and sure you will enjoy the next one. 😉
      Have a wonderful weekend!
      Nilla xx

  5. wetanddustyroads Avatar

    That guy with the typewriter … I would just sit and watch him for the entire day!
    I’m surprised that you’ve still managed to write about delicious food and food stalls while you were most of the time close to a bed with food poisoning (I would probably just skipped the whole food story and describe the inside of the hotel room ☺️).

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Yes, he had an amazing face, but then, I love candid photography.
      Ha, ha, you made me laugh! We were both annoyed we alternated food poisoning bouts as the food there is so wonderful…just need to return. 😉

  6. Bon Repos Gites Avatar

    I imagine you noticed a lot of changes since your last visit!! Ha, KL taxi drivers are probably the worst of the region 😉

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Loads of changes and not always for the best. I’m always hesitant re-visiting a country as sometimes, it’s best to remember it how it was.
      Yeah well, taxi drivers around the world don’t have a great reputation. 😉
      Thank you for your comment – much apprciated.

      1. Bon Repos Gites Avatar

        You are very welcome!!! 🙂
        Haha, hmm maybe so but I never visited KL without some unpleasant taxi rip-off but perhaps I was just unlucky 😉

      2. Image Earth Travel Avatar

        Yeah, I usually walk, take a bus, and avoid taxis at all costs.
        Cambodia and Vietnam are not great for cabbies. 😉

      3. Bon Repos Gites Avatar
  7. Nina | Lemons and Luggage Avatar

    Malaysia must be really interesting with all the completely different types of architecture and cultures.

    1. Image Earth Travel Avatar

      Hi Nina, totally agree but also the food is amazing and so different in the various regions.
      Many thanks for your comment.

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