The three capital cities in this region all boast the best developed infrastructures in SE Asia. Singapore is at the extreme end of law-abiding order, to the point of feeling surgically sterile. Bangkok is at the other extreme: teeming hordes of singlet-wearing budget travelers, open prostitution, corrupt cops and violent locals.
Kuala Lumpur sits comfortably in between the two extremes – more flexible and accommodating than Singapore; safer and more wholesome than Bangkok.
Getting around the Bukit Bintang area
During our visit we stayed at the Hotel Soleil, a 3-star hotel with rooms that offer 5-star views of the city. Getting around from there was super simple – everything (shopping, eating and Monorail) within 10 minutes walking distance.
From Hotel Soleil, it was a pleasant 25-minute stroll to the Petronas Towers and around 15 minutes to the KL Tower. Count this as the only mega-city in SE Asia where the only times you’ll need a taxi is to and from the airport.
Mini-review of Petronas Towers
The walk from Hotel Soleil to the Petronas Towers takes around 25 minutes. It’s a pleasant stroll past gleaming banks, 5-star hotels, bars and parks that is stimulating and relaxing – well worth the effort.
However, the Petronas Towers themselves are a letdown. First, you can only go up to the viewing deck. Second, tickets are usually sold out – you need to book in advance.
The KL Tower offers the best views of the city
After you stroll round the Petronas Towers, mark it off as an easy day trip. The following day, head over to the KL Tower.
It’s an equally pleasant 15-minute stroll that will take you past lush hotels into a well-manicured park. It costs 99 Ringgit (USD $25) to get access to the outdoor viewing deck and indoor observation deck. It’s got amazing 360° views of Kuala Lumpur that will blow your mind.