Having only one full day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on our first visit, and being on a budget was a fun family challenge. Kuala Lumpur made it easy! Because we are worldschooling our 12 and 13 year old daughters, we focus on finding educational activities that also have a good dose of fun.
Our favorite activity to get to know any new city is just walking around and getting lost. Walking a city with no clear destination in mind means you will inevitably stumble upon hidden treasures here and there, as well as get a glimpse into local life. We found some exciting street art in Kuala Lumpur in the Jalan Alor neighborhood
THEAN HOU TEMPLE
The Thean Hou Temple is a Chinese temple dedicated to the sea goddess Mazu, which overlooks the city. Not only are the views dazzling, but the temple itself is beautiful and full of so many details and history that you could easily spend an hour or more exploring the zodiac statues out front and the nooks and crannies inside the temple. Be sure to bring a scarf to cover up if you are wearing shorts!
KL FOREST ECO PARK
The most fun part of our day was spent inside the KL Forest Eco Park. The free park is a rainforest inside the city of Kuala Lumpur with impressive canopy walks throughout. The girls loved climbing up to each canopy walk and exploring from above. The park begins with an education welcome center, which actively engaged our tween and teen to learn about the local ecosystem, animal life and conservation efforts. If you have a QR reader on your phone, each display will have a code to learn more about each exhibit. This park is a nice break from the activity of the city, and it’s pretty wild to walk in the treetops while seeing skyscrapers next door! Bring your bug spray!
While our first visit to Kuala Lumpur was filled with the free activities above, we have since visited again to explore two other attractions. A visit to Kuala Lumpur wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the twin Petronas Towers. We visited with friends this time (two more tween girls) and it was a big hit! Full of fascinating information (it takes six months to clean all of the windows!) that kept the kids riveted, the views were as impressive as the education. The tour was about a half-hour long and takes you to the 86th floor of one of the towers.
Our last stop, and the cherry on top of our second visit, was Sunway Lagoon. This activity is not budget-friendly, but it was worth every penny and kept all four tween girls (and the parents) happy and active all day long. The park itself has over six different sections including a water park, amusement park, extreme park, wildlife park, and more. This park also boasts the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge!
Kuala Lumpur is one of our favorite destinations with tween and teen kids and has something to suit everyone’s needs and budget. Malaysia also has incredible food and is a very budget-friendly country! We, as parents, were just as engaged and had just as much fun as the kids! Kuala Lumpur is also a hub to easily jump to other SE Asian countries. The last bonus is that while we do learn a few phrases in the local language in our destinations, just about everyone in Malaysia speaks English, so it’s a very easy country to navigate.
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