Kuala Lumpur sprawls in all directions away from the city centre, covering several municipalities and planned development areas. Here is what to expect and whether it’s worth visiting each of the satellite townships in Kuala Lumpur.
Petaling Jaya, or PJ to Malaysians, sits to the west of Kuala Lumpur in the heart of Klang Valley. Overcrowding in the 1950s saw shanty towns sprout up. Authorities later fenced parts of the neighbourhood off to prevent communist insurgencies. A few wooden houses remain in the ‘old town’. Rapid development saw PJ become Malaysia’s first planned city. While not technically one of the townships in Kuala Lumpur, the district does act as its sister city with a whopping 500,000 residents. Tourists won’t find much to see or do in the residential, business and commercial areas. But they will find shopping malls and plenty of choice for mid-range dining.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Subang Jaya, among the more affluent residential townships in Kuala Lumpur, lies approximately 24 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of the city centre. The former rubber estate transformed into a basic housing area in 1974. Today it’s a haven for the city’s middle and upper class. Highlights include Sunway Lagoon Resort Theme Park, Subang Ria Park’s lake, and both One City and Empire Shopping Gallery for shopaholic tourists. Some visitors on domestic flights might arrive at Subang Skypark.
Puchong is among the newer townships in Kuala Lumpur dating to the mid-1980s. With a modern-day population of 400,000, the township consists mostly of residential areas, industrial parks and commercial districts. Visitors won’t find much in Puchong apart from a few old mining ponds, a recreational park and late-night dining options.
Cyberjaya received a huge investment in the 1990s in the hope of becoming Malaysia’s tech hub. Located approximately 40 kilometres (25 miles) south of Kuala Lumpur, it’s just 20 minutes from the capital on the new expressway. In 1997, Cyberjaya was born on disused land from former oil plantations. But things didn’t take off as well as people hoped. More than 800 companies call the township home today, along with a total of nine universities and colleges and 85,000 permanent residents. Rapid development continues to this day in the hope it will become a haven for startups. Tourists can find more affordable accommodation, shopping malls, an active nightlife and the Cyberjaya Lake Garden with boardwalks and lookout towers.
While Putra Jaya isn’t a township of Kuala Lumpur, the Federal Administrative Centre deserves a special mention. The sister city of Cyberjaya houses government and official buildings as well as the Prime Minister’s Office (Perdana Putra). But unlike its neighbour, the area features approximately 40% green landscaped space as well as a botanical garden, giving an airier and less crowded feel. Stroll through the streets lined with 20th century almost European architecture and visit the pink-domed Putra Mosque. The three-tiered Putra Bridge and Putra Lake are highlights too.
Cheras 9 Miles
Small suburban Cheras sits 18 kilometres (11.2 miles) southeast of Kuala Lumpur City Centre. On first glance, the neighbourhood lacks an appeal to tourists apart from cheaper accommodation and easy access to Taman Connaught Night Market. But the biggest attraction lies in the hills hugging the north of the neighbourhood. Trails pass through the undulating rainforests as monkeys hang from trees to various viewpoints and waterfalls. Those looking to experience jungle trekking in the steamy rainforests without the hassle of travel should head to Cheras.
And last but not least Ampang Jaya, often called just Ampang, sits to the east of Kuala Lumpur. The township’s history dates back to the middle of the 19th century when it became one of the earliest parts of Klang Valley to open a tin mine. But much of the history is lost to time apart from a few old streets and one or two colonial-era buildings. Attractions include the National Zoo Malaysia, access to hiking trails in the hills and the Selangor Royal Family’s Palace (Istana Daerah Hulu Langat Palace). The region is also known for Lemang, a type of Malay-style sticky rice.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.