AUTHOR: Sarah Swank
Sarah is the twenty-something founder of Suitcase Six. Her life if a mix between working in juvenile justice and jet-setting around the world. She is fortunate enough to have five friends who too love traveling just as much as her, and play a huge inspiration in her life.
I am a huge fan of travel, whether solo, with a single travel partner, with a group – whatever. Every style has its benefits and drawbacks and my preference always depends on the location, my mood and objectives, my potential travel company, and even my budget.
I personally find solo travel to be invaluable yet challenging and one of the biggest challenges for me when I travel alone is being lonely. I’m certain I’m not alone in this.
However, I’ve taken several trips abroad with my best friend and I’m convinced some places are just better with friends.
I’m a bit on the shy side and while I try to stay in hostels and force myself to socialize, there are inevitably times where I just wish I had someone to share these experiences with. After all, one of the best parts of travel is the lifelong memories you get to carry with you and two people remember so many more details than one.
Most recently, I backpacked through S.E. Asia with one of my long-time best friends. While we had a blast everywhere we went, Kuala Lumpur was one place where I most strongly felt like I enjoyed my time more than I would have solo, because she was there with me.
So with that, here’s my official list of 6 things to do in Kuala Lumpur with friends.
#1 Visit the Kuala Lumpur Butterfly Park
The giant Butterfly Park is located near the Lake Gardens, Bird Park, and several other major tourist attractions, so if butterflies aren’t your thing this area is still worth a visit. You definitely want a friend here to help snap a photo of you if you can get a butterfly to land on you – everyone tries, but only the very still and patient succeed.
You’ll need a second set of hands to capture the moment if you’re up for the challenge (though it might help to have a backup camera person anyway as these beauties move fast and are hard to photograph!)
#2 Have a bottle of wine on the Heli Lounge Rooftop Bar
There are plenty of options for rooftop bars in Kuala Lumpur with beautiful city views. I can only vouch for the Heli Lounge as that’s where I went with my bestie, but we had an incredible time. I would recommend making reservations, but we were lucky enough to get an amazing seat on the edge of the roof at night, with the best views!
We bought the cheapest bottle of red wine on their list – you have to buy a bottle or some sort of drink to get seated if you aren’t eating – and enjoyed the wine and views while we debriefed on our trip to that point.
Many of these rooftop bars have pools that are accessible if you are staying in the hotels, though they’re on the pricier side. If budget isn’t an issue and you’re into rooftop bars with infinity pools and incredible views, then I would look into it before you book your trip. From all I could find, the pools are off limits to any other bar guests.
#3 Climb the Stairs at the Batu Caves
The Batu Caves are one of the great sites to see in Malaysia, with the iconic statue of the Hindu god of War and Victory, Lord Marugan. To see the caves and the temple inside, you have to climb 272 stairs (though there are no lines are queues, so you can take your time). We had several people try to scare us off the climb, but if you normally don’t have a problem with stairs, walking or hiking, or heights then you should be fine.
If you want a good photo of you and the statue, you might also need a photographer as it’s too big to capture well with a selfie.
We took a train to get to the caves, which drops you off almost right in front. The caves themselves are just outside of Kuala Lumpur, so it’s an easy half-day trip.
#4 Get Matching Henna with Your Bestie
Outside the Batu Caves, we saw several women who were selling their services as a henna tattoo artist. My friend and I sat at two tables, individually browsing a book of nearly 100 designs, and somehow managed to pick the same one without any consultation!
We thought this was awesome and loved having matching tattoos, but there are plenty of beautiful designs if you and your bestie would rather choose your own.
#5 Shop Till You Drop at the KWC Fashion Mall
The KWC Fashion Mall (KIS) is an enormous seven-story mall with over 800 shops. If you and your friend like to shop, then this is the place to go! It’s better with friends to help you hold your bags and give you opinions on anything you’re thinking about buying.
Beyond that, you’ll want someone to help you remember where your favorite stores are if you’re still shopping around for an item!
There were a few times that I had my eye on something but wanted to make sure there wasn’t a better option, but I’d forgotten where the store was entirely – (the shops look pretty similar after a while – it’s easier to do than you’d think!!!) Sometimes my bestie was able to help me, but sometimes even our combined effort was not enough.
#6 Dine at the Mall Food Courts
A whole separate component of the malls is the food courts, so great they require their own spot on the list!
If you are a foodie who loves to try out local cuisine, then bring a friend to the food court and share a few dishes. That way you can try a lot more food without the risk of buying a whole meal that you decide you don’t enjoy.
Do you prefer to travel solo or with a friend? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Be sure to check out Sarah’s blog and follow her adventures on social media: