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48 Hours In Kuala Lumpur

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I hadn’t planned to visit Malaysia let alone spend 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur. But I needed to get to Vietnam for my Qatar Golden Ticket flight ($628 roundtrip Business Class deal).

I found a decent priced Business Class flight on Japan Airlines from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur. It would give me a couple of days in Kuala Lumpur before heading to Singapore for the Singapore DO.

Then I’d spend a few days in Vietnam before my Qatar flight home. Instead of booking an award ticket to Vietnam and calling it a day, this trip turned into a 13-day trip to Southeast Asia. This is the first installment: 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur.

48 Hours in Kuala Lumpur

  • Introduction: 48 Hours in Kaula Lumpur
  • Tesloop San Diego to Los Angeles
  • Star Alliance Business Class Lounge LAX
  • ANA Business Class Los Angeles to Narita
  • Hilton Narita
  • Sakura First Class Lounge Narita
  • Japan Airlines Business Class Narita to Kuala Lumpur
  • Uber in Kuala Lumpur
  • KLIA Ekspres VIP Service
  • Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur
  • Hiring a Driver in Kuala Lumpur
  • National Palace
  • Batu Caves
  • Genting Highlands
  • Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong Memorial Hall
  • Chin Swee Caves Temple
  • Sky Avenue Mall
  • Zok Noodle House
  • Bukit Tinggi
  • Royal Selangor Pewter
  • Cameron Highlands
  • Tanah Rata
  • Sam Poh Buddhist Temple
  • Sikh Temple
  • Big Red Strawberry Farm
  • Bee Farm
  • Butterfly Garden
  • MHUpgrade
  • MAS Golden Lounge Kuala Lumpur

There’s so much to see and do and if you only have 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur, here’s how to make the most of it.

What to Do

Before my trip, I researched all the things to do and made a list of what I wanted to see. Then I mapped everything out in Google. (Yeah, I’m a little bit of a geek and planner…)

With just a little over two days, I skipped the organized tours and hired a driver. This allowed me to see more things at my own pace. I was able to see almost all the major attractions with the exception of Petronas Twin Tower (could see from my hotel) and the National Mosque. I could have visited both at night but it rained off and on during my visit after long days of touring sites, I opted to relax vs pack more things in.

Here’s what I saw in 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur:

  • National Palace
  • Batu Caves
  • Genting Highlands
  • Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong Memorial Hall
  • Chin Swee Caves Temple
  • Sky Avenue Mall
  • Zok Noodle House
  • Bukit Tinggi
  • Royal Selangor Pewter
  • Cameron Highlands
  • Tanah Rata
  • Sam Poh Buddhist Temple
  • Sikh Temple
  • Big Red Strawberry Farm
  • Bee Farm
  • Butterfly Garden

Airfare

ANA Business Class Los Angeles to Tokyo

ANA Business Class Los Angeles to Tokyo

Instead of using miles I paid for my flight to Kuala Lumpur. (gasp) Shocker, right?

Normally I would book an award ticket, but Japan Airlines had a good Business Class fare from Los Angeles to Kuala Lumpur. As an American Airlines Executive Platinum member, I would earn 26,390 elite qualifying miles and $2,466 elite qualifying dollars.

Japan Airlines Business Class Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur

Japan Airlines Business Class Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur

But you may have noticed I flew on ANA from Los Angeles to Tokyo. There was a change to my Japan Airlines flight and I got involuntarily rerouted on ANA. From Tokyo to Kuala Lumpur I flew on Japan Airlines.

The best part: I double dipped. I got original routing credit on JAL and earned my American Airlines miles and dollars while also earning United Airlines miles. 🙂

Using Miles

If you used miles, you’d pay 70,000 American Airlines miles for a one-way Business Class ticket on Japan Airlines. You’d pay 75,000 United miles to fly one-way on ANA in Business Class.

If you don’t have American miles, you can earn 50,000 miles from the Citi card after spending $2,500 in the first three months on purchases.

You can also transfer Starwood points from the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express (learn more) and the SPG Luxury card (learn more) on a 1:1 ratio for American Airlines.

You get a 5,000 point bonus for every 20,000 points you transfer. So 20,000 points becomes 25,000 miles.

Starpoints also transfer to United Airlines but at a 1:2 ratio. You’re better off transferring Chase Ultimate Rewards points from cards like the Chase Sapphire PreferredChase Sapphire Reserve, the Ink Business Preferred, or Ink Cash.

Hotels

Tokyo

Hilton Narita Airport hotel

Hilton Narita Airport hotel

I had an overnight layover in Tokyo on the way to Kuala Lumpur so booked a night at the Hilton Narita Airport.

The hotel room would have been free if I wasn’t rerouted from Japan Airlines to ANA. As it was, I booked a $98 rate.

Kuala Lumpur

Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur

So many people have raved about the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur. As a World of Hyatt Globalist with free access to the Grand Club, it made sense to stay there.

It was cheaper to book each night separately. Plus I was able to book one night on a double points rate. Which earned double points for all 3 nights. 🙂

Conclusion

In early January, I spent over 48 hours in Kuala Lumpur. I had to get to Southeast Asia for my $628 Qatar Golden Ticket Business Class flight later that month.

Because of a good Business Class deal on Japan Airlines, I was able to save my miles while earning both American and United miles. Gotta love those involuntary reroutes. 🙂

Stay tuned for the rest of the trip report.

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