Backpacking in Kuala Lumpur

 
A backpackers paradise, Chinatown

Backpacking in Kuala Lumpur is a special guest post by solo woman world traveler Nisha from www.lemonicks.com
 
What can I say about Kuala Lumpur? I had heard about Malaysia since a kid and I remember the quarrels we would get into while exchanging the beautiful stamps this country has published. Kuala Lumpur, KL as it is fondly called by the locals, or for that matter other parts of Malaysia, is not at the top of the list of preferred destinations for tourists, but for travelers yes it definitely is.

To be honest, it was not a love at first sight. Being a world citizen, my first impression of the city was not that great but slowly as I visited it again & again, I fell in love with this city. So much so, I must admit now-a-days that I am more at home in Kuala Lumpur than in cities of my own country. The place boasts of cultural diversity in terms of Chinese, Malay and Indian cultures. Backpacking is popular as the city has a very low crime rate and English is widely spoken.

KL employs every charm to lure a backpacker. Every city worth the name must have a Chinatown and KL is no different. Situated mainly on Petaling Street and neighboring areas, Chinatown is the most popular area for backpackers to stay in KL. 

A Chinese Temple at Petaling Street

Accommodation ranges from a simple bed-and-breakfast inn with communal bathrooms to air-conditioned one-star and two-star hotels and trust me, at times it is difficult to get a good place since they are almost always fully booked.

Another advantage of staying in Chinatown is its proximity to Puduraya bus station (which right now is undergoing a major renovation), the main centre for buses going to other cities in the country. Being within walking distance to the KL Monorail station and also the STAR LRT station near the Central Market also means no burning a hole in your pocket by traveling in taxis.

Various local mixed rice dishes at Jalan Petaling, Kuala Lumpur

You may have come here from a far off world with a different palate; but multi cuisines at very nominal price will never let you down. The place has one of the best cheap and hygienic food to satiate your taste buds. Roti canai, nasi lemak, tembikai jus or teh tarik, you decide the combination and have it for as little as RM6! Oh, not yet ready for experimentation? Walk down to 24 hours McDonald at Kota Raya or go to other similar established eating joints.

Chinatown is also a cultural hub, having Chinese and Hindu temples which attract hundreds of people everyday. Chinatown has made shopping a fun, must do on our list. The sales people from the small street shops woo you with handbags, watches, shades, shoes and clothes of every top brand of the world at throwaway prices. Eat local fruits, have a drink, buy Chinese made souvenirs or get a Thai massage done; the streets of Chinatown await you.

Much of KL’s beginning originated from these parts; so much so that I can not visualize Kuala Lumpur without Chinatown. And believe me, backpacker or not… nobody’s trip is ever complete without a visit to this place.
About the writer: Nisha is a solo woman backpacker from India where women generally do not venture out unaccompanied. So far she has been to 21 countries. Nothing excites her more than learning and relishing life’s simple little pleasures about new places, people and cultures. Travelling is both her strength and weakness. Her idea of traveling is counting number of memories, and not places.

Nisha’s travel blog  | Twitter: @cemonde | ‘Like’ her Facebook page

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