Hopping on and off in Kuala Lumpur

Many places now have the Hop-On Hop-Off tourist buses.  The following is an experience that I had with the Kuala Lumpur bus.

The Hop-On Hop-Off bus costs RM38 per person, and that ticket is valid for twenty four hours, which does represent good value for a guided tour of the city. The bus does a circuit of Kuala Lumpur’s main attractions, being twenty-two stops in all. There is commentary in six languages via head phones that are attached to each seat. We didn’t choose to use the commentary, but most other passengers did.  We did almost a complete circuit, and that took two hours, which gave us a very good introduction to Kuala Lumpur, and also allowed us to get our bearings. As the ticket was valid for twenty four hours, we did use the bus for other sightseeing.

Kuala Lumpur is much like Canberra, the Capital of Australia, in that it is hilly, and all the roads are circular. For this reason, the CBD seems much bigger than it actually is, although the suburbs do seem to extend out a long way, particularly as it seems that Kuala Lumpur has many satellite communities that are separated by green belts. We later found out, that Kuala Lumpur has the most number of one way streets than any other capital city in the world.

One aspect Kuala Lumpur shares with Singapore is that the government seems to encourage innovative architecture, much of which has an Islamic flavour. Kuala Lumpur also resembles Singapore in that there is much lush vegetation throughout the city, however, this metropolis is much more chaotic than is orderly Singapore.  

The bus took us to Chinatown, Central Market, The National Palace, KL Sentral, National Museum, Parliament Building, Lake Garden, the Bird Park ,the National Monument, , the National Mosque, Merdeka Square, St Mary Church, Titiwangsa Lake and the Twin Towers. We alighted at the Tourism Malaysian head office, intending to get brochures with which to plan the rest of our holiday, but for that purpose they were absolutely hopeless as they had very few brochures in stock – but they did have free internet, which came in very handy.

We made sure that we used the bus a few times during the 24 hours that our ticket was valid, and thought that because of the use we got from the tickets, they represented good value.  The fact that we completed a whole circuit of the route meant that it was relatively easy to get our bearings, and once out tickets expired we were able to get around quite easily either on foot or by using public transport.

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