Wednesday, May 13, 2015

7 Things to do with kids in Kuala Lumpur

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kids in kuala lumpur, kuala lumpur with kids, crazy little family adventure
If you are an expat or a slow traveler, you will know that visa runs are a constant necessity. But what better way to experience them than with the kids, exploring the city you have to go to. It doesn´t have to be all about the Embassy and the airport and your hotel.  If you have time, you should stay a couple extra days to experience some of the culture and the food. Our last family trip for a visa run was to Kuala Lumpur. And I, particularly, loved it. I am a city mouse 100% and Kuala Lumpur sealed that fact with a big wax seal.

We stayed at the Sahabat Gueshouse in the Bukit
Bintang area of the city right in front of a Chinese Shrine that Small Kiddo absolutely loved. Some families don´t like staying here because it is a bit of party central at night, but during the day you simply don´t see that and you´re close to trains, malls, big avenues and the very nice Bukit Bintang Walk, an elevated air-conditioned walkway that takes you from Pavilion Mall to the KLCC Park, right behind the Petronas Towers.

The one most famous landmark of Kuala Lumpur is the Petronas Towers complex. It is the most photographed piece of architecture in the entire city and pretty much every visitor will go and see it.  Its not really surprising since The Petronas Towers are the tallest buildings in the city and the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center  (KLCC) has so much to offer. There really is something for everyone, you can spend an entire day there or even come back for more the next day, or the next.

The first things on the list are activities you can partake in and around KLCC and the Petronas Towers. We suggest your start at the Pavilion Mall in Bukit Bintang, easily the best shopping mall I´ve ever been too. The reason to start at Pavilion Mall is that the Bukit Bintang Walk starts there.  Along the walkway you can find other ways to join but Pavilion Mall is where it begins. And hey, there are so many options for eating at Pavilion Mall that you could even have breakfast there at the beginning of the day. On to the list...

Awesome watercolor of Paviliion Mall by traveling artist Cam Wilson.

1. Bukit Bintang Elevated Walkway

The Bukit Bingtang Walkway starts at the Back of the mall, you can find it with the direction signs or just  Its a kilometer and a half of air-conditioned magnificence, perfect for strollers or running toddlers. Our kids loved stopping at one point in the middle where they could see the demolition of an old construction, previous to the building of some new mega complex.
ask the information desk.

2. KL Aquarium

Towards the end of the walkway you reach KLCC, The Kuala Lumpur Convention Center and in the concourse level´you will find the KLCC Aquaria, shock full of saltwater and freshwater fish, sharks of all sizes and kinds, manta rays, giant groupers, arapaimas, a 90 m underwater walkthrough tunnel and glowing jellyfish. It´s rumored to be the largest indoor aquarium in the world at 5000 square feet. You can really spend a few hours here. The kids wanted to go there twice! 

3. Huge playground and wading pool

As you leave the Aquarium and the KLCC you arrive at a huge park that skirts the Petronas Towers.
Its only a short walk along a trail to the playground area. This is the largest playground I have seen in my entire life. The climbing castles with slides connect with each other to make a huge complex for the kids to explore for hours. There are games for teeny weeny kids and more complicated climbing walls for the bigger kids.

A little further down the path you will find what is easily the most amazing thing a public park could ever have; a really big wading pool that is no more than 50 cm at its deepest part, with fun walkways and waterfalls and no stairs. Even the crawling babies can enjoy this pool at its edges and sit and play with water toys. Whoever though of this is an absolute genius. Did I mention it is all absolutely free? We didn´t know we would find this when we went exploring so the kids splashed around in their underwear. They were not the only ones in that predicament.

4. The Petrosains Discovery Center.

After the playground and the wading pool there are more walkways along the part that take you to Suria KLCC, the Mall inside the Petronas Towers. The mall isn´t that great, it´s just another mall, but on the fourth floor you will find the Petrosains Discovery Center.  

A maze of discovery for the kids to explore and experience all things science related.  There´s even a big T-rex sculpture that sings a T-Rex song. We stayed in there for four hours!

5. The Petronas Towers Bridge Tour and viewpoint. 

The most famous part of the Petronas Towers is the Bridge that connects the two towers. You can do a tour of the towers that takes you on the bridge and around other places of the towers, including a really high viewpoint at the top of one of them. The ticket office is in the basement of the complex, down some escalators. This part of the trip, the kiddos did with dad while I relaxed back at the hotel, but they said they really liked it, specially the running across the bridge!

Kuala Lumpur is a big city, and even thought the Petronas Towers and the KLCC are a big tourist attraction is not all there is to do! Here are a couple other things you can do with the kids in Kuala Lumpur while you are there.

5. Go to Chinatown for tea

From Bukit Bintang To Chinatown you can take a taxi or walk if your kids can take it.  Every chinatown in every city is worth a visit. For tea, for food, for the temples. We were in KL on the week that the Chinese New Year ended so the streets were decorated with lamps and lights and all things Chinese New Year.

The kiddos love exploring chinatowns, so does G. There is always an endless maze of things to discover, each one with its own style mixed with the host country its in. 

Chinatowns are a must!

6. Coliseum Café to have scones

The Coliseum Café has been open for 92 years and is known as the oldest standing western colonial cafe in Kuala Lumpur. Coliseum is famous for its Scones and Jam for breakfast. Big Kiddo didn´t really like them so much but he enjoyed the ambiance. 

The place hasn´t changed in all the years its been open and is still visited by locals and foreigners alike. Last year they were awarded by the Malaysian Book of Records for being open in the same location for so long.

7. Ride the train from the airport into town or vice versa 

The KLIA Ekspres is the train that connects you to the airport from the city. The airport is pretty far from the busy areas of town. A taxi ride is long and in the end turns out to cost just as much as the train. 

But when you ask your kids if they would rather go by train or by taxi, of course they will say by train! We took the KLIA Ekspres from the airport and then changed trains to the monorail all the way to Bukit Bintang. Needless to say the kids loved it.

Do you love Kuala Lumpuar too? What are your favorite sights there? Im sure I missed plenty but we will be back, Big Kiddo has made me promise.