With just two full days in Kuala Lumpur, we decided a bit of downtime for the kids was in order before heading into our three-week Sri Lanka adventure. We stayed in a self-catering serviced apartment in the heart of the city. Our plan was to let the children play, catch up on our mass of laundry and relax by the pool.
Battling the cities traffic, our transfer from the airport took a good hour and a half, but soon relaxed after arriving at our apartment complex, where a small stream and stylish modern artwork guided you into the main lobby. Our ultra-chic and spacious one bed apartment was on the 31st floor, with stunning city views of the KL Tower and Petronas Tower. It was a home away from home and just what we needed. With three swimming pools of various sizes, a children’s playground, toddlers indoor soft play area and The Kitchen Project café serving up delicious cakes and takeaway meals, all located on the 5th floor, you could spend an entire stopover here.
We forced ourselves to venture out jumping on the free 12pm shuttle to the city centre, and were so glad we did. These are our top picks when travelling to Kuala Lumpur with kids.
- KLCC park: As its’ name suggests, the Kuala Lumpur City Centre park is in the heart of the city, surrounded by a towering backdrop of the city’s most famous buildings, including the impressive Petronas Towers. The park itself is a tropical oasis amid the heat and crowds of the city. Huge trees with enormous dangling roots line the edge of a pool adorned with fountains, one of which shoots water 40 feet into the sky, a sight that our kids absolutely loved. A series of pathways, steps and bridges then lead you through the park to a giant swimming pool, complete with splash park style sprinklers, fountains and a life-size whale sculpture, and, as far as our kids were concerned, the piece-de-la-residence, an enormous playground. Much like our breakfast buffet at the Berjaya resort in Langkawi, there was almost too much choice, and it took our kids about 5 minutes of flitting from climbing frame to tunnels to monkey bars before they settled down to some serious play, and then it was only snack based bribery that got them to leave.
- Petronas Towers: The towers themselves are great to see from the outside and offer some classic photo ops, particularly from the front as the giant Malaysian flags sway in the breeze. Inside is an enormous mall – more useful than enjoyable – with all your shopping needs contained in one easy place. There are two excellent supermarkets on the lower floor – ideal for food shopping if you are self-catering and for re-stocking on essential snacking items if you are continuing on your travels post KL. There are also very busy, but extremely good value and tasty food courts – a great option for a quick and easy lunch.
- Petrosains Discovery Centre: Within the Petronas Towers this interactive science exhibit is designed to get children engaged with and excited about science. We’d read up about this before hand and were keen to give it a try with our kids, but with all the outdoor fun and great weather we almost missed it. I’m so glad we didn’t because it was amazing. It’s what every other ‘interactive’ museum has promised to be but often failed. At times it was like walking around the set of Crystal Maze, as the space was divided into multiple zones, each displaying hands on activities, puzzles, games and demos for that particular scientific genre. The kids had an absolute blast and the whole thing was really well done and a bargain at just over £10 for the family (it may of course be more expensive with older children).
Our brief time in KL was up leaving us hungry for more and a second visit on the cards. If we’d had more time we would have taken the kids to the Botanical Gardens, and the plethora of play areas found here including one made entirely from bamboo, China Town, Little India and the Central Market.
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