One day in Kuala Lumpur

The first time I stopped off for one day in Kuala Lumpur I was young and travelling long-haul alone for the first time and on a short layover. Having a hotel room to myself after weeks sharing with others was a massive novelty and I was hesitant about heading out alone. I didn’t really leave the (Malaysia Airlines provided) hotel room.

Layovers are a great way to see other places at no extra cost so the next time I had one day in Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, courtesy of a 9 hour layover between flights, I wanted to use it wisely.

Mike who I was travelling with only had around four months left on his passport before it expired and we were unsure he’d get through customs. I was determined to go regardless.

He got through.

We put our hand luggage in the airport’s storage facility before catching the KLIA Ekspres train into the city quite rapidly. From there we got some ridiculously cheap Uber rides around the city and spent around five hours ticking the boxes.

(If you’re a first time Uber user and want a free ride worth NZ$10, use my promo code sarahk1099).

Petronas Twin Towers

Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur

You need to buy tickets in advance in busy periods in order to go up the Petronas Twin Towers. With a flight we had to get to and the next available session being six hours later this it was not a possibility.

If anything you can get the famous shot for Instagram from the ground between the two towers.

The Suria KLCC mall below the towers was awesome for shopping and included my favourites Nike, Topshop as well as having an H&M just across the road.

The Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower

Kuala Lumpur Tower on layover

Hint: Don’t circle the block aimlessly looking at the tower trying to find a way in because you’ll be walking half the day.

There’s a free shuttle van from the gate on Jalan Puncak up to the Menara lobby where you can buy tickets to get up more or less immediately with no need to pre-book. We went straight up to the open deck 421 metres above ground level.

view one day in kuala lumpur from tower

The day we were in Kuala Lumpur was the day of the terrorism attack in Paris. While many of the world’s landmarks were lit up red, white and blue, the Menara  was green.

When we’d had enough we caught an Uber back to the airport for our flight to Auckland. I’m definitely keen to return to Malaysia soon to see more of the country.

quick stopover in Kuala Lumpur


  1. Adventures with Luda
    April 30, 2017 / 7:35 pm

    Sounds like an awesome layover! The view from the top of the Menara tower looks lovely, I had a look at their website and they even have a SkyBox. Going to save this post if I’m lucky enough to travel to Malaysia! 🙂

    • May 7, 2017 / 8:58 pm

      Thanks Luda – it was a pretty epic layover. Woah that SkyBox looks amazing! I hope you get to travel there and experience it.

  2. toni
    April 30, 2017 / 3:45 am

    How cool you managed to do so much on a layover! I haven’t been here yet, but its nice to know you can see a lot even when short on time.

    • April 30, 2017 / 9:11 am

      Thanks Toni! Where’s the best stopover destination you’ve been in the world?

  3. Amy
    April 29, 2017 / 9:49 pm

    KL! I visit a for a few days back in 2013. It’s such a hectic place and a mishmash of cultures! Thanks for sharing.

    • April 30, 2017 / 9:11 am

      I loved the mishmash of cultures, it seemed way less hectic to me having just left Hanoi – that place is insane !