Immerse yourself in Malay city life at Petaling Jaya, which offers terrific street food and day or night markets as well as temples and nature walks. Petaling Jaya was originally built as a satellite to Kuala Lumpur but is today a city in its own right. Stroll along its streets to find the Thai Chetawan Buddhist temple, the Hindu Sri Mahamariamman temple and the Secret Garden Utama, one of the largest rooftop gardens in the world, built atop Utama shopping centre.
Stop for a refreshing drink at one of the sidewalk Mamak stalls. Relax and chat with the welcoming locals late into the night. Foodies will love the Monday night market in SS2 district. Flavored fishballs, Taiwanese spiced fried chicken, fried rice cakes, laksa and Thai spring rolls are popular. It’s easiest to choose the best stalls by opting for the ones with the longest queues. Pick up a bargain at the flea market stalls.
Enjoy water rides, wildlife and a chilling horror house at the Sunway Lagoon theme park, which was built on an old tin mine. Wobble along the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge or try your skills on the surf simulator then find a spot to relax along the 1 mile (1.6 kilometer) manmade beach. Families with kids shouldn’t miss the Sunway Lagoon wildlife park, where you can pat and help feed many of the animals.
Take a hike at Bukit Gasing Forest Park, a patch of wilderness in the city. The forested walks will lead you to lookouts where you have a view over Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya. Keep your eyes peeled for monkeys. Breathe deeply at the Secret Garden Utama, atop the Utama shopping centre, where 500 exotic and rare plant species perfume the air.
Cross into Kuala Lumpur through the impressive arch that stands over the motorway. Alternatively, rail is a comfortable and reliable way of getting between the two cities. Cheap taxis are an easy way to get around Petaling Jaya’s sometimes confusing districts.