I’ve been visiting cafes in Kuala Lumpur for as long as I can remember and to be honest, they’ve largely been mediocre. Crass copies of things that were going on in Australia a decade earlier — they felt old and nasty.
But I really should have been coming to this place all along because it’s now my favourite cafe in Kuala Lumpur. I might even go so far as to say it’s the best cafe in Kuala Lumpur. It’s been around a few years now and I just never got around to trying it.Located on a small road off Jalan Pudu, VCR is in an inconvenient and odd location. You have to go out of your way to visit it. And that’s why it wasn’t that busy when I visited. I mean, most tables were filled, but there was no waiting list or anything. And I’d kind of expect a waiting list at a place this good.
To get here, your best bet is to get off the monorail or train at Hang Tuah and then walking a couple of hundred metres or so.The coffees I had here were excellent (RM11). Silky smooth milk, a strong coffee flavour, great temperature.
I also had a bowl of granola with yoghurt, milk and fruit which was awesome (RM19). A little small for my liking, but actually a really good size for a normal meal. I probably just usually overeat when at cafes.The fitout is a good one with plenty of tables for singles and couples meaning you can easily set up a laptop here without feeling guilty. And the wifi is good!
I’m a big fan of VCR and I think most people will be too. Highly recommended if you’re into coffee and are in KL.
VCR 2 Jalan Galloway, Kuala Lumpur +60 3 2110 2330 Opening Hours: 08:30 – 23:00 Coffee: RM11 Granola: RM19
The vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur is one of the most popular destinations in the whole of Malaysia. People travel here from all over the world to browse for bargains in the city’s many malls and markets, dine on delicious cuisine and discover the city’s enchanting attractions. Firstly, if you’re looking for cheap flights click here for cheap flights to Malaysia JetAbroad.com.au and to view some of the exciting options that await you when you visit Malaysia.
Riding to the top of KL Tower is the perfect way to get a feel for this dynamic city. Visitors can take an elevator to the panoramic observation pod, where they will be treated to stunning views of the entire city and the surrounding area. Visitors are handed headsets that explain all of the attractions that can be seen from each of the windows in the pod, which makes it easy to plan what you want to see while spending time in Kuala Lumpur.
The Petronas Twin Towers are without a doubt the city’s most famous landmark and can be found in the Golden Triangle district. These mighty towers are connected by a sky bridge, where you can stand and gaze out at the city. Another great way to see the Petronas Towers without having to join the long queues to ride in the elevator to the observation centre is by booking a table at the elegant Skybar in the Trader’s Hotel. The Skybar features a number of cosy window table set around the edge of an enormous swimming pool. Many of these window tables look out onto the Petronas Towers, and it’s best to book a table for around 18:00 so that you can watch the sun sink behind the towers before the towers become lit by thousands of tiny twinkling lights.
If you want to do a spot of shopping, you should pay a visit to the world famous Petaling Market which can be found in the Chinatown district. There are dozens of market stalls that are piled high with copies of designer gear such as bags, belts and perfume. Aside from this great market, KL also features numerous modern malls with the Pavilion being just about the best.
Lovers of fine dining should check out the gourmet restaurants that can be found in the more upmarket Bangsar. However, eating out in Kuala Lumpur doesn’t have to break the bank as there are plenty of cheap and cheerful places where visitors can go to sample local cuisine. There are plenty of cheap eateries to be found in the Chinatown district, which serve authentic Cantonese cuisine as well as Malay dishes.
I really had no idea how I was going to get from Singapore into Malaysia before the day of departure. Was I going to take the train or bus were the main decisions to make first of all. Secondly, is it cheaper to catch a bus to Johor Bahru (Larkin terminal) first and then change to a Malaysian bus or get a bus straight through from Singapore to Kuala Lumpur? After finding out where the bus to Johor Bahru departed from, I decided to give this option a lash!
The bus from Singapore to Johor Bahru in Malaysia, just across the border, leaves from the Queen St Bus Terminal right next to Arab St and very close to Little India. Look it up on google maps for the exact location. From here, there are a number of bus options all taking you across the border to Johor Bahru. Firstly there is the public bus 170 which picks up passengers along the way as it travels to the border. It costs $1.60, there is no space to store luggage and many people stand up for the journey. Secondly there are a few private bus companies charging $2.40. These buses also have no space for luggage, but because the buses travel half empty, you can just plonk your bags on a spare seat. These buses do not stop before reaching customs/immigration at the border.
The border has two aspects to it. Firstly you must clear the Singapore exit requirements on the Singapore side of the causeway. Everyone exits the bus here and takes all of their luggage with them as you will not be catching the same bus on the other side. You go through the normal immigration/customs procedures and look for a bus that looks similar to the one you departed 15 minutes before.
Once on the bus, this will take you through the no man’s land to the Malaysian border post. Here you will be required to take all your luggage off the bus again, fill out an entry card and clear customs/immigration. Once you have completed this process, you head back downstairs and try and find another one of your buses. My experience was that the private buses come much less frequently on this side of the border than the public ones. Still, I only had to wait about 15 minutes for a bus to turn up to take me to the Larkin terminal. It is also possible at this point to simply walk into the centre of Johor Bahru if you want to spend the night there.
At the Larkin terminal in Johor Bahru there are buses to all over Malaysia. Everywhere. And the buses are cheap. My 4 hour bus journey to Kuala Lumpur cost just Rm31 — less than $10. There are a range of food stalls here and a market so you can get a cheap bite to eat without any problem. Buses to KL leave 6 times every hour with a range of companies. One piece of advice: don’t purchase a ticket from a tout as they are notorious scammers. Just head to a window and buy a ticket. Transnational have a good reputation, but cost a little more than the rest. My Transnational bus was only 3 seats wide meaning I had plenty of room.
Arrival in Kuala Lumpur
You arrive in the outer suburbs of Kuala Lumpur approximately 13km from the centre of town. This isn’t much of a problem as for 50c, you can catch the train towards Masjid Jamek. Every bone in my body wanted to catch the train away from Ampang, but in reality, you want to head in the Ampang direction to get to the centre of KL. Where you want to get off the train is up to you, but be warned that information at the bus terminal/train station is very poor.
So there you have it. It’s easy and cheap to simply catch a few buses and a train to get to central KL. Forget going direct from Singapore for $30 by bus and forget the train unless you’re a train buff. Bus to Johor Bahru, then bus to southern KL bus terminal and then train to central KL is the way to go!
We interrupt our Bali programming for a good old fashioned rant. The taxi services in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia are bad. Really bad. There’s two problems. First of all, the drivers are lazy. They very rarely can be bothered to drive you anywhere unless they are paid a lot for it. Secondly, they’re dishonest. I think they’re more lazy than dishonest, but dishonest they are! OK, so perhaps I shouldn’t lump all drivers in Kuala Lumpur into the same basket. It’s not fair to the 5 that are hard working honest men.
So this is how it goes down in Kuala Lumpur. You go to a taxi stand and are about to hop in the cab and the driver asks you where you’re going. When you state where, they quote a price. The law in Kuala Lumpur is that prices must be determined by the meter, but 90% of drivers refuse to use the meter when tourists get in the car. So what does this mean? You either pay about 4 times as much as the real fare or you just don’t travel by cab because it is too much of a hassle to constantly flag down cabs only for them to quote ridiculous prices. And they’re not even nice about it. My experience has generally been that not only are they incredibly shifty, they’re rude too — especially when you challenge them and insist on the meter.
One guy I challenged insisted that the meter doesn’t pay him enough. So instead, he rips tourists off. But not just by a little bit so he can make ends meet, by a factor of four just for good measure. In reality, if it’s not good enough pay, he should get a job doing something else.
So this is my message to the universe to say that Kuala Lumpur really needs to do something about the taxi situation because at the moment it is unworkable and makes travel around the city very difficult when you’re not near a train line.