It would have been nice to have a long layover in Kuala Lumpur during the day because at night – it’s puzzling to find what we’re going to do. We have a 16-hour layover in Kuala Lumpur due to a modification on our flight with Air Air Asia.
The Malaysian budget airline is fair enough to bring you to a destination on a low-priced, but you must be lucky if the flight does not cancel, delay, or change. We flown with Air Asia many times and never had any issue, it’s our first bad experience with the airline.
I book a flight from New Delhi India to Manila Philippines with a stopover in Brunei for a night. During the booking, I could select for a long layover in Kuala Lumpur, but I didn’t want to go out of the airport as we’ve been there already. Moreover, we don’t have a lot of time on this trip. I choose to fly straight to Manila with a two-hour stopover in Kuala Lumpur airport.
Three Months After The Booking
However, three months after the booking, I receive an email that our flight has changed – yet, we were able to reach our final destination on the same day, it was just a delaying of half-hour.
Additionally, after the first mail, a second email came that our flight to Manila has entirely canceled. Without any consent, they set us on a trip with a 16-hour overnight layover in Kuala Lumpur. It seems like we have no choice because we already arranged everything in Cebu.
I contacted the customer service of Air Asia, and never got any reply back. I sent emails several times, or maybe I’m on the wrong contact address. Whatever it is, I’ve tried everything – it’s a sucks airline with poor customer service! I have to adjust our itinerary due to the cancellation of the flight.
Our final destination on this trip is Cebu. Therefore, I booked a separate ticket with Cebu Pacific because Air Asia doesn’t fly to Cebu Mactan on the day we wing. Find out how to find cheap airline tickets.
With Air Asia’s impediment, I have to cancel our flight to Cebu. It wasn’t a big deal for me, as I booked that flight for 400 pesos only, but a non-refundable ticket. However, booking for a new trip with Cebu Pacific cost me six times more because it’s close to departure day.
16-Hour Overnight Layover In Kuala Lumpur City
We board this flight from Brunei, and during check-in at the airport, they only see our original itinerary with a two-hour stopover in Kuala Lumpur.
It seems the staff of Air Asia in Brunei wasn’t aware that our flight had changed. By following the airline’s policy, they printed out the boarding pass and tagged our luggage to Manila.
I explained that our flight was changed and there’s no flight to Manila. Thus I showed them the email I receive from Air Asia. This whole thing was so confusing why they’re not informed about the changes to our flight. It looks like communication in the airline company isn’t right.
Somehow, I’ve learned my lesson this time. I usually don’t book a flight far in advance with budget airlines.
However, our holiday falls during the Christmas season. Therefore, I reserve the flights far off in advance, knowing it the busiest time of the year.
As mentioned, we never had problems with Air Asia; it’s the first time that causes me stress. Everything I arrange beforehand was a complete muck up, including the car rental in Cebu. What a pity we go through some difficulties with the airline.
Arriving At KL airport – Visa And Passport Control
For many nationalities staying in Malaysia for less than 90 days, a tourist visa not required. But your passport must be valid for at least six months upon arrival in the country. And you need to have a return ticket or proof of a document to your next destination.
Whether you are crossing to another country with a train or any other form of transportation, book online – in our case, we have not asked for any document. For sure, print out your itinerary!
We traveled with Belgium passport and received a stamp for three months upon arrival. As for other nationalities, check with the embassy in your home country before the trip.
Otherwise, check the Malaysian e-visa website. Keep in mind, the passport control at Kuala Lumpur airport can take a while. We were queuing for about 45 minutes, arriving in the evening.
A Long Layover? And How To Get To The City Center
As mentioned, it can take up to one hour before you clear the immigration, the passport control in Kuala Lumpur is disorganized. If you have a layover with less than eight hours, I suggest staying at the airport to avoid any stress. There’s something to keep you busy during a long stopover at KLIA2 like shopping, dining, strolling the terminal, or browsing the internet. If you want to sleep, look for a remote spot to lie down.
Also, bear in mind that KL city is approximately 57 kilometers from the international airport and takes more than one hour in traffic. As well, two to three hours before departure, you must be at the airport. To reach the city center is pretty straightforward; there were different ways to get to Kuala Lumpur city.
Base on our experience (going back to the airport), it takes 45 minutes with a taxi in the morning without traffic and costs 17 euros. However, if you want to reach the city within 30-minutes, the best option is to take the train KLIA Ekspres which costs 12 euros per person. The cheapest alternative for 3 euros is the bus but takes longer.
What To Do In KL At Night?
Fairly to say, there aren’t many things you can do on a long layover at night in Kuala Lumpur. Shopping and bar hopping you can do, as some of them opened 24-hours.
We landed in Kuala Lumpur at 7:00 in the evening, and by the time we get out of the airport and get to the city, it was late. We book a hotel in Bukit Bintang to crash down, as our flight departs only at 11:00 in the morning.
However, for people who love partying, it shouldn’t be a problem. If you stay in Bukit Bintang, this place turns into a different world at night. These were like the Khao San Road of Bangkok, with a bustling nightlife.
We’re not a party type traveler, though a short visit to a pub we’ll do. Uh, and we coincidently went to a pub where there were no alcoholic drinks. We were looking for a place with big-screen telly my buddy wants to watch a soccer game. But later on, we realize that we’re in a Muslim pub, only carbonated beverages were available.
The Petronas Twin Tower By Night
The Petronas twin tower is opened daily until 9 pm, and these were the first thing we’ve done. I have seen all the tourist attractions in Kuala Lumpur and have been up to Petronas Tower before. This time I’d like to visit the observatory deck at night as I’m sure it’s a different glance than in day time.
However, when we get there, it was closed already. It was too beautiful that it provides a brilliant contrast at night. We were stopping on the way for photographs; therefore, we ended up in a closing door.
The tower is by far the most popular attraction in Kuala Lumpur and the iconic sign of versatile Malaysia. The imposing twin tower has a unique structure with a height of 452 meters, the tallest identical building in the world. Its something you can’t miss during your trip to Kuala Lumpur.
Good to know! If visiting the Observation Deck of Petronas, book the tickets online. The same as visiting the Burj Khalifa in Dubai UNITED ARAB OF EMIRATES, booking tickets in advance is advisable! As the number of visitors per day is limited.
Getting here: Coming from Jalan Bukit Bintang, we took the monorail (the green line). By foot is about 15 to 30-minutes walk.
The Street Food In Jalan Alor
I love strolling markets and street food during my trip; it’s for me a place to blend with local people. But on my trip to India, I haven’t tried anything from food stalls due to low sanitation, also too risky for Delhi belly.
The street food experience in KL just the same as other Southeast Asian countries, an excellent spot in the evening to watch the vendors preparing the food. The food stalls are increasingly resembling small restaurants. The best food that Malaysia has to offer and not in the overpriced restaurants.
You’ll find street food in different areas in Kuala Lumpur, but the most popular is Jalan Alor. The stalls may found on both sides of the road, and these have been the go-to place for street food in Kuala Lumpur for years. Jalan Alor has a lot to offer for both its residents and foreigners. Either going for food or take a stroll and be part of the ambiance.
Shopping Or Just Browsing
Through misunderstanding or lack of communication with the staff from Air Asia, our luggage tagged for Manila, and we can’t get to it. It’s a disaster! If I have known beforehand, I could take some stuff in my handbag, but we only knew it during check-in. They told us we’re not able to get our luggage in Kuala Lumpur.
We usually travel with a carry-on, but we bought some souvenirs in India that aren’t possible to carry onboard. That’s why we need to check-in our bags.
In some way, we’re in the right area. Bukit Bintang is the tourist center and the shopping district of Kuala Lumpur, a shoppers paradise. You can shop till you drop and some stores are open all night. So there’s something to keep you up.
The range is extensive from international luxury brands to famous Asian trademark. I love shopping, and I could go for a whole day browsing some stuff, but I didn’t have a suitcase with me and ended up only buying one dress.
Which Neighborhoods To Stay in KL
Probably one of the toughest decisions to make. Malaysia’s bustling capital Kuala Lumpur has grown into a metropolis with modern skyscrapers and countless neighborhoods with a different atmosphere.
I have been to Kuala Lumpur two times, and each trip, I stay for a couple of days. Therefore choosing areas to stay it played a significant rule in my opinion. According to my experience, as I’ve stayed in three different places in Kuala Lumpur, my favorite neighborhood is KLCC.
The Three Areas in KL
On my first visit to KL, I stay in KLCC – a district with a popular tourist attraction and various highlights. Best known for the stunning Petronas Twin Towers. KLCC is the city’s business center with many high-rise buildings and home to several luxury hotels in Kuala Lumpur.
My second time in KL, I stayed in China town – which has a different atmosphere, a great place to sample the local flavor of Kuala Lumpur. China town is a cheaper version of Bukit Bintang, where you find inexpensive accommodation, shopping malls, and the famous Petaling food street.
This time I abide in Bukit Bintang – the tourist center of Kuala Lumpur and the most popular area to stay for many travelers. You will find a mix of accommodations from luxury and median to budget-class hotels, especially around Changkat Bukit Bintang and Jalan Alor. Bukit Bintang is a long street with shopping malls, restaurants, bars, and the famous street food Jalan Alor.
A Basic Hotel In Bukit Bintang
When our flight itinerary changed, the first thing I’ve done is booking a hotel. It’s hard to stay awake the whole night, and we still have a long trip the next day. And guess what, for the first time we stayed in Bukit Bintang, I thought this could be great to experience.
We were staying at Bintang Warisan Hotel, located on the busiest street (Jalan street). The entertainment center of Kuala Lumpur, where you find everything. Once you step out the door, you’re right away on the shopping street, and the street food Jalan Alor only five minutes walk.
It’s my first time staying in Bukit Bintang, and I’m not going back to this neighborhood. The hotel itself was pretty good, but if you want some restful night– this isn’t the right place. We got a room on the 8th floor, and I could hear the music from bars nearby and ended up awake the whole night.