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Off-Track Activities – Malaysia Grand Prix

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Away from Sepang, Kuala Lumpur is a vibrant city with lots to offer visiting F1 fans. We tell you the best things to do away from the track on Malaysian Grand Prix weekend. This year’s race takes place on September 30 – October 2, 2016.

Be sure to plan at least a day or two either side of the race to experience the cosmopolitan capital of Malaysia with its great shopping, sightseeing and dining. The best place to stay is downtown near the Golden Triangle area, also known as KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre), which is the entertainment hub of the city and home to some of the city’s best known landmarks.

Petronas Twin Towers

At 452 metres and 88 stories each, the Petronas Twin Towers jointly held the title of the world’s tallest building between their completion in 1999 and the end of 2003. It used to be difficult to visit the skybridge (170 metres) and observation deck (360 metres) with no prebooking available and a limited number of tickets available each day, which always sold out. Luckily, it’s much easier now as tickets can be bought online up to a year in advance  – the number of tickets is still limited however, so don’t forget to buy your tickets well in advance. They cost 80 MYR ($23 USD) for adults and 25 RM for children and can be purchased for visiting times between 9am-9pm daily. Click here to buy your tickets.

KLCC

The Suria KLCC mall is a massive 6-level shopping centre at the base of the Petronas Twin Towers.  This is the place to go for designer brands and upmarket shopping in KL. You can also find one of the best food courts in the city, offering cuisines from all over the region plus Western fare. If you want to escape the crowds and traffic, the KL City Park is located right next to the Towers. The Aquaria KLCC and KL Convention Centre are also in the area.

Bukit Bintang

For the best street food, restaurants, cafes and bars in KL, head to the neon strip of Bukit Bintang, a great place to unwind after a long day at the track. Some of the best restaurants are on Chulan Square and Bintang Walk.  Good pubs and clubs are everywhere in Bukit Bintang, as well as nearby Bukit Ceylon and Jalan P. Ramlee. The area is also excellent for finding a bargain with two of the best shopping centres – Sungei Wang Plaza and Bukit Bintang – selling a vast array of cheap clothing and electronics.

Chinatown

Further afield, visit KL’s Chinatown district, a vibrant area day and night. Go for budget eats and haggle for a bargain at the night market on Petaling Street. Also nearby is the Central Market (Pasar Seni), a beautiful old building best for souvenir shopping and hawker food and the Little India district, which serves the best curries in the city. Admire the beautiful colonial buildings in this historic district of KL and visit Merdeka Sqaure, the site of Malaysian independence in 1957. Next door is the Royal Selangor Club, a well-known colonial member’s club.

Other things to do in Kuala Lumpur

  • Go to the Perdana Lake Gardens, a 90 hectare park which is home to several attractions including the Butterfly Park, the KL Bird Park and the National Museum
  • Visit the National Mosque, which is set in 13 acres of beautiful gardens and has a capacity of 15000 worshipers
  • Check out the view from the KL Tower: if you don’t manage get tickets for the Petronas Twin Towers, then the KL Tower is a worthy alternative. At 421 metres, it offers a great view of KL.

Holiday Ideas

Malaysia offers a wealth of travel destinations from tropical beach holidays to the rugged natural beauty of Borneo. It’s also an excellent hub from which to explore the fascinating region of South East Asia.

  • Make it a double-header and go to the Singapore Grand Prix, just 300km to the south and two weeks before the Malaysian race.
  • Visit Penang (pictured above), an island in the North of the country famous for its rich multicultural history, colonial architecture and wonderful food.
  • Spend a week on Langkawi.  A tropical archipelago of almost 100 islands just 30km off the coast of NW Malaysia, Langkawi offers luxurious resorts and great beaches.
  • Borneo is a large island which is partly administered by Malaysia and is over 800km to the East of Kuala Lumpur. Known for its unique wildlife and nature, Borneo is a must for those keen to get off the beaten track.
  • Use the Air Asia network from KL’s international airport to visit any number of destinations in the region, including Thailand, Indonesia, Cambodia and Vietnam.
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