Three Things I Love About You, Kuala Lumpur

Lion Dance CNY

Dearest Kuala Lumpur,

I think I know you well enough to call you KL by now. Somehow, I don’t give you enough credit for being one of the most fascinating and lovable cities in the world.

Yes, I do love Madrid, London and Cape Town. But they are not you, KL. You have to believe me when I say no matter where I travel to, you will always hold a place in my wandering heart.

Too cheesy? You’re still not convinced, are you, KL?

Oh. You heard me cursing about some potholes on some roads somewhere. And the horrendous peak-hour traffic. And the flash floods once in awhile. And…

Oh dear. I truly am sorry. I didn’t think you would be offended by my careless curses. Well, all I can do to convince you otherwise is to tell you three things I love about you.

Your endless array of shopping malls

I admit I have a love-hate relationship with shopping malls; the hate part being the traffic and crowd over weekends, public holidays and wedding fair weekend-madness.

However, thanks to these malls I am able to get my fill of bookstores, travel gear, tattoos, gadgets, coffee, Thai food, massages, organic ingredients, more coffee and all the movies a girl can watch. Plus a round of bowling, if I feel like it.

Coffee At Espresso LabI love me some coffee, especially this cup of delicious latte from Espresso Lab in Empire Gallery

I may question the need for a new shopping mall most of the time, and I know that I haven’t been to all the malls in the city.

Despite all that, I am grateful for Empire Gallery, Subang Parade, Bangsar Shopping Centre, Sunway Pyramid, Gardens Mall, Midvalley, 1 Utama, Publika and Bangsar Village.

That’s quite a number for someone who, prior to this post, didn’t like malls.

Your food. Oh, glorious food!

Nasi Lemak, Chilli Pan Mee, Chicken Rice, Maggi Goreng, Roti Canai, Cendol, Banana Leaf Rice and countless cuisines from the world over are available here. Add in durians and you’ve got yourself one very happy girl.

Chilli Pan MeeAt times, I do think that Chilli Pan Mee is my reason for living!

I can get all that in Singapore, you say? Well, why don’t we just get along with our neighbour and be happy for each other. No need for comparisons and all that unnecessary angst.

In other words, let’s just focus on you, KL. You will always be my ultimate food heaven.

Your cultural diversity

KL, I am grateful to you for opening your arms to various cultures and ethnicities.

Thanks to your kindness, we now have stunningly beautiful mosques, churches and temples dotted around the city; with numerous religious festivals and the accompanying public holidays to enjoy together.

Lion Dance CNYA traffic-stopping lion dance on Chinese New Year Eve

I can never tire of the Yee Sang dinners with friends before Chinese New Year, the murukku-eating madness of Deepavali (or Diwali), the Ramadhan bazaars during the holy fasting month and the hunt for the perfect rum-soaked puddings come Christmas season.

Food, festivities and culture all come together in glorious festivals year in, year out; celebrated with kindness, tolerance and loads of firecrackers!

I may curse from time to time, get angry, say things I might regret. Please know that it never stays that way for long.

As the next day comes along and I am driving about, I am reminded of the spirited, exciting, chaotic, mad and brilliant city that I have grown to love immensely.

I thank you, KL. Always remember that there will never be another city like you.


This piece was inspired by’s super fun contest for travel bloggers and vloggers with the theme “Three Things I Love About My Favourite City”. Wish me luck, peeps!

11 Replies to “Three Things I Love About You, Kuala Lumpur”

  1. Lovely post, K! (can I call you that? haha) I wish I could love my city the way you love yours, but while I admit it has its good parts, there are a lot of things that bother me. I hope you win the competition :D

    1. Of course you can call me K. Haha. Thanks so much, Vlad. There are the bad parts of KL, for sure. But I think I was focusing too much on that rather than the good bits, and I think I missed out a lot on exploring the city proper.

      Well, I don’t know about winning. But I sure had fun writing this piece. Either way, good luck to us both :)

  2. My husband and I went to Malaysia on honeymoon and spent a few days in KL before heading to Pangkor Laut. I loved the chinatown area of the city and the Petronas Towers but it was so hot! I couldn’t believe it – I’ve never felt that before!

    1. Hi Kate! Yes, the heat can be over-bearing at times. Hence, the beeline for the air-conditioned malls. Glad you came down to Malaysia. Hope you had a great time ;)

  3. OMG this post is amazing Kavitha!! If you don’t win the contest, than I don’t know who else will. Even though I am also taking part, I surely have to admit that you deserve the prize <3
    I wish you good luck!! :D

    1. Allane, thank you so much for your kind words. Coming from a wonderful writer as yourself, it truly means a lot. Your post on New York is excellent and I wish you the best of luck too :)

      1. It is my pleasure!! Thank you for the compliment too :D
        Fingers crossed for the result!!!

  4. I absolutely love this love letter of KL! It is totally your fault that I want to go back to KL and drag you with me to have that chilli pan mie :D

    1. Awww! Thanks, Aggy. Haha. And yes, I can’t wait to bring you around to all my favourite food spots around KL. And maybe even discover some new gems along the way ;)

  5. Shopping, culture and food … KL has stolen my heart as well! Can’t wait to go back…

    1. So glad you loved coming by KL, Larry :)

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