Kuala Lumpur: Do-It-Yourself Walking Tour | Lady & her Sweet Escapes

Aug 22, 2019

Kuala Lumpur: Do-It-Yourself Walking Tour

It rained cats and dogs when we were about to start our do-it-yourself walking tour in Kuala Lumpur two years ago. Ed and I got stuck in Harrods Cafe (which is now permanently closed) in Suria KLCC. There's nothing a cup of teh tarik and a plate of scones can't fix, but I was plainly downhearted on that rainy afternoon. 

Fast forward to our return trip to KL this year, I made sure to settle our unfinished business! 

Old Kuala Lumpur DIY walking tour

Old Kuala Lumpur is a walkable area. There are several walking trails recommended online; one focused on heritage, others on nature and old neighborhoods. You can follow those trails or you can simply pick out the sights you want to see and plot your own trail in Google Maps just like what we did. 

Here are the places we visited during our Kuala Lumpur do-it-yourself walking tour:

1st stop: KL City Gallery    
KL City Gallery is previously the Government Printing Office. It is a Moghul-India inspired structure with a huge I Love KL sign at the entrance, hence it wasn't that hard to find when our Grab driver dropped us in the main road.

The heritage building is now a tourist information center sharing stories of Kuala Lumpur's humble beginnings and inspiring future plans. There are several art pieces for fun photo ops and a miniature model of the city in the second level. Entrance is free, so this attraction really shouldn't be missed.

Lady in KL City Gallery
I loooooove KL this much!
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
Getting in touch with Kuala Lumpur's past
Little India street pillars in KL
A mini version of Little India's street pillars
Parents in Kuala Lumpur
The parents and their wacky poses! :)
You can find more artworks like this behind them in the gallery's 2nd level.

2nd stop: National Textile Museum
Just a stone's throw from KL City Gallery is a magnificent building with a red and white facade. It is the National Textile Museum, previously a structure that houses the Federated Railway Station. If you're into fashion, you can learn more about the local textiles and Malaysia's fashion culture inside. 

the beautiful National Textile Museum
the beautiful National Textile Museum

3rd stop: Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Now, this is the building that caught my eye; the very reason why I wanted to do this walking tour. I mean, just look at those copper domes!

Sultan Abdul Samad Building is a remarkable structure that has become one of the icons of Malaysia. Built in the 19th century, it used to house the Federated Malay States administration, the High Court and the Supreme Court. This heritage site features a Moorish architecture with a soaring 41m clock tower, regal arched colonnades, and eye-catching Moghul-style domes.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building
Sultan Abdul Samad Building is such a splendid sight!
Lady in Sultan Abdul Samad Building
I felt so tiny in its courtyard! 

4th stop: The Historical Heart of KL
On our way to our lunch venue, we passed by one of the most important sites in Kuala Lumpur's history. The point where two rivers, Klang and Gombak,  meet is where the city was born. The junction of the two muddy rivers actually gave the city its name. Kuala Lumpur literally means "confluence of muddy rivers". 

It is just awe-inspiring to see this area surrounded by high-rise buildings; an indication on how Kuala Lumpur has grown to a booming city in Asia. Also in this site is a picturesque view of Masjid Jamek, one of the oldest mosques in KL. It sits right in between the two historical rivers and bounded by a manicured boulevard where locals and tourists can take a relaxing stroll. This is my favorite part of the city, I have to say. 

The Birthplace of KL
The Birthplace of Kuala Lumpur
family vacation in Kuala Lumpur
Probably the perfect spot to take a  family photo!

5th stop: Medan Pasar
Unlike our previous travels, we didn't deliberately plan our food stops in KL because we were traveling with our parents. We followed their pace; eat when they're hungry and walk when they still can. Hence, when they said it was time for lunch, we simply searched for the nearest restaurant. That's how we came around Medan Pasar. 

Medan Pasar, also known as Old Market Square, was once Kuala Lumpur's Chinatown. Old shophouses line the area and in the center stands a prominent clock tower built to commemorate the coronation of Englands' King George VI in 1937.

Old traditional cafe in Medan Pasar
Old traditional cafe in Medan Pasar
Medan Pasar's art deco clock tower
Medan Pasar's art deco clock tower

6th stop: Central Market
Our walking tour ended at the Central Market. It was built in 1888 as Kuala Lumpur's wet market. It was revamped into a cultural and shopping mall where tourists can purchase local handicrafts and souvenirs at a reasonable price.

Batik and other local handicrafts in KL Central Market
Batik and other local handicrafts in KL Central Market
Stall in KL Central Market that Sells Turkish goods
Some stalls also sell international goods like this Turkish souvenirs.

And that's how we explored the heart of Kuala Lumpur by foot. Below is our route plotted on Google Maps.

Planning to do a DIY walking tour? Here are other suggested attractions to include in your itinerary:

  • Merdeka Square
  • City Theater
  • Former Highcourt Building
  • St. Mary's Cathedral
  • Royal Selangor Club 
  • Kuala Lumpur City Library

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