Planning a trip to Kuala Lumpur with family or by yourself? Kuala Lumpur is one of the most visited destinations in the ASEAN region and a great location for honeymooners, family travellers and backpackers. Pre-planning your trip can save plenty of time and advance bookings can bring in substantial savings as well. For many visitors, Kuala Lumpur is normally the starting point for exploring most of Malaysia. KL is a hub of budget airline operators like AirAsia and Firefly that provides easy access to most destinations across Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur has gained popularity with international tourist escaping winter cold in Europe as well as Middle-Easterns looking for family holidays.
Christmas season is the busiest part of the year to explore this amazing destination as this time of the year is the beginning of holiday season. A large number of overseas Pakistanis visiting their families from Europe tend to choose Malaysia as a one-week holiday destination because of its proximity and affordability. Kuala Lumpur is also the number one destination for honeymooners from Pakistan.
COVID-19 TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
Currently, COVID-19 restrictions are in place in Malaysia. Check online, before making any plans to travel. The government policies are reviewed regularly and the restrictions are expected to ease towards the end fo the year 2020.
The latest update for Malaysia as per 26th of September 2020
Malaysia's Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO) will be in place until 31 December 2020. While the RMCO is in effect, ‘social visit pass’ (tourist visa) holders, whose pass expired after 1 January 2020, will be permitted to leave Malaysia without incurring any penalty. This applies to foreign nationals whose social visit passes expired after 1 January 2020 only. To travel to Malaysia, you'll need a 'Letter of Undertaking and Indemnity' approved by your nearest Malaysian diplomatic mission (see 'Travel'). You're not allowed to travel to Malaysia as a tourist. If you're permitted to enter Malaysia, you must undertake mandatory 14-day quarantine at your own cost. Additional entry requirements, including COVID-19 testing and possible quarantine, are in place for travel from Sabah or Labuan to Sarawak.
Here are some reasons that I find Malaysia a great destination to travel from Pakistan:
- Malaysia is a predominantly Muslim culture with very moderate society
- Halal food is readily available
- Plenty of accommodation in all price ranges is available in all major cities
- Flights are very cheap from Lahore, Islamabad and Karachi
- You can book accommodation, tours and flights online
- Excellent transport network and intercity Freeway Network
- World-Class Restaurants and Bars
- Amazing attractions and theme Parks for children
- Great Shopping Malls
- Malaysia is a safe place to travel
- Well Developed Tourism Industry
With all these favourable options, Malaysia is definitely a great location for 5 days to a week travel getaway from Pakistan. Here is a suggested travel Itinerary for a 5 Nights.
5 Nights in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
You have just arrived from Pakitan and settled into the hotel of your choice. The normal check-in time of the hotels is around 12 pm. Make arrangments with your hotel before arriving if your flight is scheduled in the middle of the night or early hours of the day. Early morning flights are ideal as you can have a full day to yourself and catch up on sleep in the five-hour flight from Pakistan.
Not booking a hotel before arriving is definitely not the best thing to do as walk-in rates are very high and you will waste time looking for a hotel of your choice. Make your bookings online to get the best rates. I prefer HotelsCombined Network to make my hotel bookings. You can get up to 50% discount on 14-day advance purchase. Select a quality 3-4 Star hotel with good ratings and reviews on Agoda Review. A comfortable hotel will definitely add to your enjoyment during your stay in Kuala Lumpur.
- Make sure the hotel is booked with breakfast option. Also, the room must be equipped with safe locker for your belongings.
- Download and install the ridesharing application GRAB.
- Avoid catching taxi outside 5 Star hotels are prices are very inflated. Use a meter or fix a price with the driver before starting your trip.
Out of my years of travelling to Kuala Lumpur, I suggest booking a hotel in Bukit Bintang as the location is quite central with easy access to most places to interest. I have stayed at following establishments in Bukit Bintang and highly recommend these places for prices/comfort:
Getting a Hop-on-Hop-off Bus Ticket is a great option to visit most of the places of interest in one or two days. You can purchase the tickets online or at the bus stop.
First Day itinerary in Kuala Lumpur can include the following options:
1. Central Market (Pasar Sanai) is a historic building with plenty of interesting things to explore. You can purchase local batik, artwork, local crafts and other gift ideas or simply enjoy Nonya Cuisine at "Precious Old China Restaurant". I highly recommend this place to foodies.
Walk over Merdeka Square to take photos with Abus Samad Building. After that, you can catch a taxi to KL Bird Park ( Entry Fee RM 30) / KL Botanic Gardens / Islamic History Music / Butterfly Park depending on your interest and level of fitness as some places would require quite a bit of walk. Also, if the temperature is above 35c it can get quite humid in KL.
2. In the evening you can explore Petronas Tower and adjoining KLCC Park. If you are comfortable staying at 5 Star Hotels, I recommend booking one of the following hotels at walking distance to Petronas Towers:
KLCC (KUALA LUMPUR CITY CENTER) is the most uptown and trendy area with plenty of office buildings and expensive hotels. It is suited to business travellers. However, the benefit of staying here includes easy access to Petronas Towers, Menara KL and KLCC Park. This area is the heart of fine dining and you can explore plenty of trendy bars and clubs.
The popular Beach Club is also located in KLCC and a very popular place for party lovers. Plenty of trendy cafes and Halal BBQ places are located around the corner from Beach Club.
Useful tips for Pakistanis travelling to Malaysia
1. Make a copy of your passport and travel documents.
2. Share your travel plans with your family and friends.
3. In case of Emergency contact Pakistan Embassy at +60 3-2181 1419
4. Make sure to buy travel insurance for the entire period of your trip. If you plan to rent a car and drive, the insurance should cover the accident, theft and third-party insurance etc.
5. Book your hotels online and confirm the booking before departures. Most hotels are quick to respond to an email.
6. Carry a credit card for emergency funds. You will be required to present a credit card for renting a car.
7. Carry a money pouch or wallet to keep cash in case of emergency. A travel pouch is normally worn under clothes and is concealed.
8. When booking a hotel make sure that the hotel is in a busy location and has good reviews on Agoda, Trivago and Expedia etc.
9. The hotel room should have a locker for your valuables. This is a must. Documents, cash and value can also be left in the hotel locker. Make sure to obtain a receipt.
10. Carry cash for your daily expense. ATM transaction fee, local bank fee, exchange rate fee etc can add up to almost US7 per one withdrawal.
11. Money changers are available across KL. Best rates are available in Bukit Bintang, KL.
12. Be extra careful with your belongings in public areas. Pickpockets, theft and scams are common in all large cities. Avoid getting into discussions with perfect strangers approaching you to sell items or exchange currency.
13. Be careful around change rooms in clothing stores and keep your possessions in your sight all the time. Do not trust perfect strangers.
14. Do not consume food and drinks provided by strangers in public transport as well in bars.
Emergency Phone Numbers in Malaysia
|Police and Ambulance
|From mobile phone
Tourist Police Malaysia (open 24 hours)
Kuala Lumpur, 50250 Kuala Lumpur, Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia+60 3-2163 4422
Medication, Hospital and Health emergencies
Not all medications are available over the counter. Carry enough prescription medicines for your last for the duration of your holiday. Most pharmacies will sell medications only on prescription and you will be required to visit a qualified GP to get a prescription that can cost you RM 80 for visiting a doctor.
Carry common medications for headache, vomiting, indigestion and ointment for minor cuts etc.
Hospitalization can be quite expensive in Malaysia. Buy a quality health cover from Pakistan for your entire family when booking a holiday. Accidental surgery or hospital treatment can be extremely expensive.
If you suffer from a heart issue, hypertension or any other life-threatening health disorder, make sure you know your nearest hospital. Your hotel reception should be your first point of contact in case you do not have that information handy.
At night you are up for some good local food and make your way to Jalan Alor in Bukit Bintang. The place is full of activity and a wide range of local cuisines ranging from Thai seafood to grilled meats and Malay dishes. Iranian, Lebanese and Middle-Eastern joints are popular with Arab visitors and stay busy till the lake.
If you are very picky about your food and not used to Asian food, I suggest sticking to Continental Food. There are plenty of fast-food joints and cafes across the city.
Wind you day with a one-hour foot massage at Changkat St adjacent to Jalan Alor. This activity must be on your daily routine as after hours of walking you will be exhausted at the end of the day. Zen Spa is a quality establishment in the heart of Changkat.
Read more about Kuala Lumpur
2nd Day in Kuala Lumpur
Depending on your group size and interest here are some recommendations:
Book a day trip to either Genting Highlands , Melaka or Sunway Theme Park
Make sure that the tours are booked beforehand. Most hotels have their own tour desks and can provide you with a quote. This option can be an expensive one, as they charge per person and the prices can add up.
For Genting Highlands, the best opinion is to book a blue Premier Taxi for approximately RM 400 for a day. Most drivers are very experienced tour operators and they can provide you with very useful information about plenty of places to visit. You can request a business card from the driver along with the rate list for different tours.
Genting Highlands is a popular hill resort situated at 800m above sea level. The driving time from Kuala Lumpur to Genting Highlands is 1 hour which makes it ideal for a day trip. You can enjoy amazing Awana Cable Car (Ticket is RM 12 person for a return ticket to Ghotong Jaya), casinos, indoor theme parks (Skytropolis) and new outdoor theme park.
Alternatively, Melaka is a great option for a family holiday. You can plan a night stay if you really want to explore a bit of colonial history, enjoy amazing Nyonya food and shop at popular Dataran Phalawn shopping Mall. The hotels in Melaka are quite cheap as compared to Kuala Lumpur.
The third option is Sunway Theme Park which is a premier location full of amazing joyrides and theme parks along with 5-star hotel and shopping complex. Sunway Theme Park is definitely a great location for a day out with the family.
3rd Day in Kuala Lumpur
You definitely do not want to exhaust yourself with daily day trips around Kuala Lumpur. Therefore, keep a day to relax and rejuvenate. Retails therapy can be quite healing for people who love shopping. The options are endless.
Here are some of the must-visit Shopping Malls in Kuala Lumpur:
- Berjaya Times Square with indoor Theme Park on 5th Floor
- Pavilion, Fahrenheit88 - Fashion and Kids Clothing
- Sungei Wang - Great for mid-range Shopping
- Pavilion - Great restaurants and high-end shopping
- Low Yat Plaza, electronics Market in Bukit Bintang
- Mid-City Mall / Gardens Mall in Bangsar
4th Day in Kuala Lumpur
Time to visit the amazing city of Putrajaya for a half-day tour. This tour can be booked with a local taxi driver for around RM 200-250 for half-day. Putra Mosque, Moroccon Pavilion in Botanical Gardens or a Lake Cruise.
Alternatively, you can plan a day trip to Cameroon Highlands. The distance is around 230km which can take over 3 hours to travel. You will have to start early for this trip. Cameroon Highlands is a great place for outdoors with tropical rainforest and tea plantation. I recommend a one night stay in Cameroon Highlands because of its distance from Kuala Lumpur. One your way back you can explore the historic city of IPOH.
5th Day in Kuala Lumpur
This is time to buy some souvenirs and memorabilia for your amazing trip to Kuala Lumpur. Central Market, Bukit Bintang and Berjaya Times Square have plenty of places buy souvenirs.
A popular brand is Royal Selangor making amazing souvenirs in metals and wood. Check out the stores in all major shopping malls.
Make sure to keep an eye on flight timings are arrive on time. Do not confuse KLIA with KLIA2. Flights to Pakistan depart from KLIA.
Bus ticket from KL Sentral to KLIA is RM 10.
Train Ticket from KL Sentral is RM 56.
A Standard Taxi Cost RM 100 / Premier Taxi charge RM 140 to International Airport.
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