Photography by Moritz Lips. Written by Oliver Lips.
The emerging city of Kuala Lumpur marked the beginning of our Malaysian journey. We spent two full days exploring the modern and booming city center around the Petronas Towers as well as the multi-cultural areas such as Chinatown and Little India.
While there we were staying at one of the most iconic hotels in town, the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. Apart from its central location - 10 walking minutes to the Petronas Towers, short cab rides to Chinatown and Little India - the hotel strikes with a luxurious interior, very helpful and friendly staff as well as a wide choice of restaurants.
Not only are the Petronas Towers in close proximity to the hotel, but also the Suria KLCC mall. Despite Singapore's vast shopping possibilities Moritz and I waited until Kuala Lumpur to splurge a little. KL has just as much to offer while being a lot cheaper and especially when it's pouring with rain the Suria KLCC or Pavilion mall are a great hideout for a few hours.
One thing I've always hated while traveling in cities you don't know that well are the endless negotiations with cab drivers and the fact that they are trying to rip you off. An easy way to avoid bargaining and overpaying is to use UBER. Luckily it was pointed out to us that it also exists in Kuala Lumpur and from then on we would only pay 1/3 of the price we'd pay for a normal taxi while the cars were mostly cleaner and the drivers friendlier.
Kuala Lumpur may sometimes still stand in the shadow of Singapore, but I think a trip to the capital of Malaysia is definitively worth it, as you see both the modern and progressing side as well as traditional and imperfect areas that give you the feeling of being in Asia.
Zipangu is one of five restaurants available at the Shangri-La Hotel, Kuala Lumpur and dedicates itself to the Japanese cuisine. The Zen-like ambience makes you feel like you're in Tokyo, especially with the open kitchen where you're able to observe the skills of Chef Hiroaki Karasawa's cooks while preparing fresh sushi or working the teppanyaki or tempura counters.
Already when entering the Shang Palace you feel like stepping into an imperial China. The interior design is held very traditionally and shades of deep red and peach dominate the room. Who wouldn't want to indulge in dumplings and other Cantonese dishes there?
This city not only offers a wide cultural range, but also all kinds of cuisines. From Malay to Indian to Chinese or European food – you’ll find everything. My personal favourites were Opium KL on Bukit Bintang that puts on a real show with live music, delicious Chinese dishes and awesome drinks (perhaps you remember my Snaps from that night?) and Fuego Bar. We met up at Fuego with KL-based fashion blogger Lexie Rodriguez for drinks and an awesome view of the Petronas Towers.
Other spots that are highly recommendable are Betel Leaf for those of you who enjoy traditional Indian food and Merchant’s Lane, which is a hipster café on Jalan Petaling in Chinatown with delicious local food and good coffee. And if you need a break from the Asian kitchen you might want to go to Acme Bar & Coffee. We met up there with the gorgeous KL-based Brazilian model Dani Maia for a quick lunch and coffee.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
15th & 16th April 2016
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