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Living and teaching in Kuala Lumpur is the experience of a lifetime. Whilst the city may seem impenetrable at times due to constant clutter, construction, noise and traffic, scratch beneath the surface and you’ll discover a plethora of fun things to fill your weekends and evenings. Here are our Top Ten suggestions of things to do and places to see for the teacher living and working in KL.
1. Petronas Towers
Once the tallest in the world, this 88-story buildinofg is perhaps the most iconic building in Malaysia. Its twin towers are awesome and a sight to behold. At the base of the building you can find KLCC Mall and park, which are famous shopping and recreation centers. For those who don’t want to fork out the MYR80 admission fee of the Sky Deck but still want to get up close, head to the Pool Bar in nearby Trader’s Hotel for spectacular views.
2. Marini’s on 57
Located close to the Petronas Towers, Marini’s has one of the best views in Kuala Lumpur and deserves a separate mention. Wonderfully situated on the 57th floor of the “Third Tower” the bar and restaurant has awe inspiring views of The Petronas and is known for its delicious Italian cuisine. It’s a little on the pricey side by KL standards so maybe save it for a special occasion.
3. Jalan Alor
Jalan Alor, just north of Bukit Bintang, is KL’s biggest collection of roadside restaurants and a unique food destination in the heart of the city. During the day it’s relatively quiet, but when the sun goes down the street transforms into a continuous open-air restaurant where you can sample pretty much every South East Asian dish you can think of. The best way to experience the food street is to stroll along, see what takes your fancy, then dig in.
4. Chinatown
Chinatown is one of the most popular tourist spots in KL and is where backpackers tend to hang when stopping in KL. Based in and around Petaling Street, the area is deeply immersed in oriental culture and history. Its central location means it never seems to sleep and you can find all the best Chinese dishes here 24 hours a day. At night there’s a lively market filled with stalls offering all kinds of knick knacks and impostor items at rock bottom prices.
5. KL Bird Park and Butterfly Park
These two parks are handily close to each other and make up an afternoon well spent. The bird park has regular daily feedings sessions that visitors can get involved with – the birds will actually sit on your shoulder and pose for a picture! If that wildlife encounter is not close enough, take a leisurely stroll through the Butterfly Park gardens and soak up the peace and quiet.
6. Little India, Klang
The Little India enclave along Jalan Tengku Kelana, Klang is the biggest Indian street in Malaysia and an afternoon or evening here is quite an experience. Loud Bollywood music, Tamil chatter, street stalls, colourful saris, banana leaf stalls, and ornate jewellery shops pepper the streets. It can certainly feel like you are walking the streets of Chennai rather than a KL suburb. Find a spot to lounge and people watch, drink a cup of masala and soak up the atmosphere.
7. Fraser’s Hill
If you have a full day at your disposal, the highland resort Fraser’s Hill is worth checking out. Nestled among the mountains of Pahang, this holiday retreat is popular for its nature activities and its cool climate. A former British hill station, Fraser’s Hill is surrounded by some very picturesque cycling and walking trails.
Whilst you are there pick up some of the delicious local strawberries at the well-known Garden Centre. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a dip in the Jeriau waterfalls. Fraser’s Hill is about two hours from the city and can be reached easily by car.
8. Batu Caves
This Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Murugan, is one of the best-known tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur. Located about 10 kilometers north of the city, the shrine is known for its giant golden statue and the almost 300 steps to the top.
A word of caution though – be careful of the monkeys. They are not shy and tend to grab food items from guests Most KL locals go to catch the sunrise before the monkeys and throngs of tourists are out in full force.
9. Shopping
KL is packed with malls. Whatever your feelings on them, living in KL they are impossible to avoid. Malaysians take retail very seriously with a lot of the malls looking like futuristic, elaborate complexes with a variety of themes. You can shop, watch movies, go ice-skating, eat international cuisine and even sing karaoke in a Kuala Lumpur mall. If you are looking for something less hectic and with a more local flavour head to Bangsar Village I & II. These twin malls offer upmarket fashions, quirky gift shops and feature some beautiful clothing from fantastic local designers.
10. Ben’s The Grocer
If you are missing your food favourites from home or are looking for organic, upmarket brands, head to one of the three B.I.G’s located around the city. This supermarket is an expat’s dream. Along with getting your shopping done, you can eat samples galore, watch live cooking demonstrations, attend themed shopping nights and even attend cooking classes. Ben’s also contains a butchers, bakery, oyster bar, deli, greengrocer, chocolatier, florist, coffee roaster and organic section. Phew! Bring your credit card!
For information on our teaching positions in Kuala Lumpur, check out our  jobs page at: http://www.teachersforasia.com/jobs/.  For further details on teaching in Malaysia, visit our website link: http://www.teachersforasia.com/malaysia/.

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