I'm starting a series guys! Every month, I'm going to tell you about my favorite places from every city I visit. I'm going to skip over the obvious tourist-y stops — for example, Kuala Lumpur's Petronas Towers and Batu Caves — and focus on under-the-radar places I've found and loved. In no particular order, here are some of my favorites from my month living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
The infinity pool at The FACE Suites On the 51st-floor Sky Deck of The FACE Suites, the pool stretches more than 124 feet with amazing panoramic views of the Petronas Towers, the KL Tower, and the rest of KL. The pool deck, surprisingly, wasn't crowded both times I visited in September, and the staff is pretty chill if you BYOB. Sadly, they were not as chill about our giant unicorn pool float.
Hammam spa I love a good massage. I also love a good scrub. I got the best of both at Hammam, a Moroccan-style spa in Bangsar Village. The lovely ladies here will scrub every last inch of you (just get naked and embrace it. Trust.) using an extremely effective volcanic scrub and exfoliating mitt. After they slough off several layers of your skin, they spend about about 15 minutes dumping buckets of water over you and oiling you down until you're awkwardly slipping and sliding all over the gorgeous mosaic tile. But don't worry, the awkward feeling goes away when you walk out and realize you're as smooth as a dolphin.
The world's tiniest rainforest Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve takes about five minutes to walk through and its free! It's also around the corner from the KL Tower, so when you need an escape from KL's traffic hell you can just slip in and zone out for a few minutes.
Lot 10 Hutong In the basement of one of Bukit Bintang's many, many malls, Lot 10 Hutong is home to more than two dozen of the Malaysia's best hawker stalls, all rounded up in one convenient, always-open, air-conditioned location. And lucky for me, my co-working space was a two-minute walk away, so I had the chance to sample most of the stalls. My favorites: Char Kway Teow with duck egg at Penang Famous Fried Koay Teow and the minced pork (topped with pork liver sausage) and noodles from Imbi Road (pictured above).
Boxes Cafe We stumbled on Boxes by accident and I'm so glad we did. It's a coffee shop housed in shipping containers and it's adorable. And there are swings! Downers: The Wi-Fi wasn't great and it's kind of expensive. But swings! So cute.
Heli Lounge Bar Heli Lounge Bar is a helicopter pad-turned-bar with ridiculously overpriced drinks and a strict dress code. Still, the amazing 360-degree views (and breezes!) are well worth the hassle. Tip: on weekends the line gets crazy, but when I stopped by around 6 p.m. on a weekday it was almost empty.
Templer Park Rainforest Retreat Only a 30-minute drive outside of KL, this three-acre jungle retreat seems worlds away from the chaos of KL. Our Remote Year team booked it for our farewell party, but if I had known about this place earlier I would've tried to spend the entire month holed up here. Besides the beautiful infinity pool, the property has multiple villas and a large house with a gorgeous open-air kitchen.