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Teenagers can be tough to please, especially on holiday. So, with a bit of nervousness, I booked a few days in Kuala Lumpur with my 15 and 17-year-olds.

Here are the highlights of Kuala Lumpur from my teens’ perspective:


Petaling Street Market and Chinatown

Who doesn’t love a good bargain? Wandering the markets at Petaling Street was a huge win. My son had a blast haggling with the street vendors and learned the art of walking away!

Petaling Street is in the lively Chinatown district. We took a stroll to Kwai Chai Hong, or ‘Little Demon Lane.’ This back alley, along with its heritage buildings, has been beautifully restored and now features stunning street art by local artists, depicting life in 1960s Chinatown.

A few more minutes’ walk brought us to the Four Points Hotel by Sheraton. It has a rooftop bar that overlooks the local streets, with the towering Merdeka 118 in the background. At 679 metres, it’s the world’s second tallest building and it definitely looks impressive from the rooftop. The kids were in awe!


Local Foods

The kids loved trying the local foods, especially at a banana leaf curry house. Their favourites were roti prata, dosa, fish head curry and of course, teh tarik.

Matt liked teh tarik so much that we had to bring some back to Australia! He quickly discovered it’s not quite the same at home.


The Petronas Towers and KLCC Mall

First-timers in Kuala Lumpur must visit the Petronas Towers. You can walk on the skybridge between the towers at 170 metres above ground. The skybridge is partially attached to the main buildings to allow for movement during high winds and storms, preventing it from breaking away.

Going up to the observation deck on level 86 provides 360-degree views of the city and distant hills.

At the base of the towers is the KLCC Mall, a huge shopping mall selling many high end brands. I’m afraid the teens were more interested in the mall than the towers, enjoying comparing the brands and prices with those in Australia. Unfortunately we missed out on the Malaysia Mega Sale which will run from June 15 to July 31 2024.

Batu Caves

Batu Caves have quite the reputation on social media, so both kids were keen to visit.

Guarded by the 43-metre statue of Hindu deity Lord Murugan, Batu Caves are a series of caves set in a limestone hill.

To reach the main Temple Cave, you must climb 272 colourful steps. The caves are large with high ceilings, some open to the sky, with limestone stalactites dripping from the walls.

Roosters strut around the temple, which is over a century old and still in use, making it free to enter.

The resident monkeys roamed the steps looking for food scraps. Despite their cute appearance, they could get aggressive if anyone got too close!


Discovering Shangri-La

The final highlight of our stay in Kuala Lumpur was the hotel and staying in a five-star property certainly enhanced the kids’ experience.

We stayed at the Shangri-La, which provided great food, a world-class gym (essential for the teen male) and a fantastic pool and spa area.


The Verdict?

Kuala Lumpur turned out to be a fantastic destination for teens, offering a mix of adventure, culture and relaxation. Everyone had a blast, came home happy and with great memories. The trip was a hit – well done, mum!