There’s more than meets the eye to the bustling capital of Kuala Lumpur

Bukit Bintang remains one of Kuala Lumpur’s strongest suits. Source: AsiaTravel/Shutterstock

KUALA LUMPUR is a city that never runs out of zest, surprising travelers at every juncture of their trip.

One of the best things about the Malaysian capital is that it brims with wonders and gems, whether in the form of an obscure noodle stall in a narrow alley, or a heritage store in Chinatown selling unique hand-woven baskets.

Despite all its touristy trappings, Bukit Bintang remains one of Kuala Lumpur’s strongest suits. If comparing with the shinier parts of KLCC, nothing quite comes close to the colors, sights, and sounds of Bukit Bintang and all of its kitsch.

While many locals argue that the district’s Jalan Alor is overrated, some restaurants do stand out. Avoid the many peddlers handing out menus to you as you walk along the many neon-lit restaurants, and instead, make a beeline for Wong Ah Wah.

The sprawling three-lot restaurant is known for its chicken wings – some of the best in the city and heavy on sweet-sticky marinade. The famous chooks are rubbed in a blend of soy sauce, ginger, and spices before rotated on spit till their skins turn glistening and charred.

Jalan Alor is immensely popular among tourists for street food. Source: Migel/Shutterstock

Jalan Alor is just as exciting during the day as it is when the sun goes down. Pin Chen Hainanese Chicken Rice is a long-standing establishment churning out plates of smooth, silky poached chicken while Uncle Lim Pan Mee is your best bet for chunky handmade noodles submerged in anchovy-based broth.

Outside of Bukit Bintang, attractions and sites abound. As many other tourists can attest to, Batu Caves is a must-stop for a first-timer. The limestone hill features 272 steps that lead to a beautiful Hindu cave temple. During the annual celebration of Thaipusam, Batu Caves draws hundreds of thousands of devotees.

An immensely popular landmark to score local souvenirs is Central Market, a covered shopping arcade featuring local items such as batik shirts, handmade bookmarks, traditional Malaysian kites, calligraphy pens, and intricate pottery. While you’re there, get a caricature artist to draw you, immerse in a fish spa session, or try your hand at batik art.

For the cultured traveler, the Islamic Arts Museum – arguably the best museum in the city – houses some of the most precious artefacts from the global Islamic world. Revel in the presence of intricate tapestries, sparkling jewelry, majestic carpets, and hand-written Korans.

Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve is the last remaining tropical forest in the city. Source: Shutterstock

After a whirlwind trip, the Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve is a welcome respite from the bustle. The reserve is the only remaining tropical rainforest in the city, and is home to nature trails that lead you to a diverse range of herbs, creepers, climbers, and giant bamboo grasses.

Whether you’re after food, art, or nature, Kuala Lumpur ticks every box. And despite the flurry of activity, it’s a city that carries on effortlessly with little or no sleep at all.

Where to stay

PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur is an excellent choice if you want to keep in the thick of the action. One of the best things about the property is its proximity to some of the city’s most popular tourist sites, including the popular entertainment district of Changkat Bukit Bintang.

The residence is also nearby Pavilion Kuala Lumpur, a premium shopping mall with a range of designer labels, as well as a three-minute walk to the GoKL bus station, where you can catch a free shuttle for a city loop on wheels from 6am to 11pm.

You can expect suites to have a well-stocked kitchenette with induction cooker and fridge, a living and dining room, as well as one or two bedroom suites for families or lone business travelers. The residence adopts a home-away-from-home concept to make you feel comfortable in a new place.

As a bonus, rooms are spacious and private – perfect if you’re sticking around for a while in Kuala Lumpur, or if entertaining business clients. While in-room dining is available, the breakfast menu is particularly handy on mornings where you’re rushing out the door. Choose from seven tempting dishes and have eggs your way at the a-la-minute egg station.

The property is currently offering Sweet Suite Deals and Weekend Special Offer that gives out discounted rate to stays in suites. If you’re in the city for a long-term stay, you can also make use of the Extended Stay Offer to enjoy special rate with more benefits.

Tempted? Book a stay at PARKROYAL Serviced Suites Kuala Lumpur now.