Date posted: 4/10/2019 5 min read

Kuala Lumpur: Play it cool

The 2019 Malaysian Institute of Accountants Annual Conference is on in Kuala Lumpur, so take some time to explore the city.

In Brief

  • Kuala Lumpur has an equatorial climate and October is the start of the north-east monsoon, so bring a light rain jacket and umbrella.
  • Asthmatics should be aware that the city occasionally gets shrouded in haze, so bring your medication and maybe think about a face mask.
  • Taxis are required by law to use the meter. If a driver refuses, take another cab or agree the fare in advance.

By Matthew Brace

The vibrant city of Kuala Lumpur (KL) offers a great blend of South-East Asia’s wonders and its own flavour of KL cool. Enjoy some of the tastiest street food in the world, shop ’til you drop and explore tropical forests and dramatic caves.

Where to eat in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur: Play it cool

Malaysians love good food and KL’s most memorable eating experiences are almost always at the night markets. Among the most popular night markets are Petaling Street in Chinatown (open daily), Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman in Chow Kit (open every Saturday night) and Kampung Baru near the Petronas Towers (also every Saturday night). The latter is one of the best places to try the national dish of nasi lemak and ikan bakar (grilled fish).

“Malaysians love good food and KL’s most memorable eating experiences are almost always at the night markets.”

As Islam is Malaysia’s main religion, many restaurants in KL are pork-free and a good number don’t serve alcohol.

As well as diving into KL’s local cuisine, treat yourself to the taste sensations at Parklife at The Sphere (Bangsar South). It’s run by a former apprentice of London-based Israeli celebrity chef Yotam Ottolenghi and the Middle Eastern influence is clear: delicious tabbouleh, hummus, chargrilled halloumi and more make up the mainly vegetarian and partially vegan menu.

If you want fine dining with a view to die for, on the 57th floor of Petronas Tower 3 (formerly the Carigali Tower) is Marini’s on 57, an Italian restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows framing views of the glittering twin Petronas Towers.

At the nearby Mandarin Oriental, Cantonese restaurant Lai Po Heen serves its famous dim sum, Peking duck and Musang King durian pancakes.

Where to sleep in Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur: Play it cool

It’s hard to go wrong with the big five-star hotels such as the Mandarin Oriental, The Ritz-Carlton and Shangri-La. But for something a bit funkier and more reasonably priced, check out the Kuala Lumpur Journal. It’s arty and boutiquey, with local street photography adorning the walls. There are small event spaces, which can be handy if you’re travelling with colleagues and fancy putting on a small event. There’s also a cosy lobby cafe that does a pretty good Mee Siam and a California retro-style rooftop pool and bar/club.

If you need to realign your chakras and get Zen after a hectic day of networking at the conference, maybe go for one of the 21 rooms and suites (some with gardens and plunge pools) at the small Villa Samadhi hotel. Chill out in the day-beds by the central pool, or let the hotel book you a tour to explore the Batu Caves, taste the culinary delights of KL, or meet the rescued elephants at the Kuala Gandah sanctuary.

If you prefer the extra independence of your own serviced apartment (and the use of an Olympic-size swimming pool), try the well-reviewed Lanson Place Bukit Ceylon.

Where to play in KL

The 452-metre Petronas Towers dominate the KL city skyline. You can buy a ticket for the observation deck but looking at the towers from a distance is arguably more impressive, especially at night.

Another must-do for KL visitors are the Batu Caves, just north of the city. This is the site of a Hindu temple dedicated to Murugan (or Kartikeya), the Hindu warrior god. There’s a towering statue of him at the base of the 272 steps up to the cave entrance. Visitors can catch a train (or bus) to the precinct.

For nature closer to the city centre, head for one of KL’s three urban jungles: KL Forest Eco-Park (formerly Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve), Bukit Sungai Putih or Bukit Sungai Besi. Or stroll through the Perdana Botanical Garden to see collections of orchids, ferns and hibiscus.

KL has a cool, burgeoning art scene, with loads of galleries and public art exhibits. The excellent artzine has useful info (theartling.com/en/artzine/). Continue the culture fix at the National Museum and then hit the shops. KL is a shopper’s paradise, with no fewer than 66 malls. One of them – Amcorp (close to the Taman Jaya LRT station) – has a weekend flea market that is a favourite with locals looking for vintage bargains.

Good to know

  • Kuala Lumpur has an equatorial climate and October is the start of the north-east monsoon, so bring a light rain jacket and umbrella.
  • Asthmatics should be aware that the city occasionally gets shrouded in haze, so bring your medication and maybe think about a face mask.
  • Taxis are required by law to use the meter. If a driver refuses, take another cab or agree the fare in advance.

Malaysian Institute of Accountants – Annual Conference 2019

The theme for this two-day conference in October is “Trust and sustainability in a digital economy”. Sessions will cover business sustainability, security and cybercrime, data analytics and data governance, transparency and accountability, and even how accountants can help save the planet.

Through all the conference topics runs the constant theme of technology, how it is revolutionising the world of accounting and how we can best harness it.

The CEO of the Malaysian Institute of Accountants, Dr Nurmazilah Dato’ Mahzan, says: “This conference, which is the biggest accountancy conference in Malaysia, is full of important and enlightening sessions and information about how today’s and tomorrow’s technologies will affect us in the profession.

“Lifelong learning and unceasing transformation are vital if accountants and finance professionals are to deliver relevant advice to their organisations and stakeholders.”

The conference also includes information on the latest developments, standards and frameworks in data governance. This is likely to focus on compliance and how to get maximum value from data.

One session will analyse a real case study to see how data analytics strategies can achieve business outcomes, and discuss how businesses should manage the mass of big data to boost performance.

Other sessions will cover how enhanced transparency and accountability in the finance function can improve trust, and what better and more innovative ways there are to measure intangibles such as intellectual capital.

Delegates can also learn how policies and tech-enabled sustainability strategies can lessen an organisation’s environmental footprint, and how accountants can be effective anti-plastic crusaders.

Read more:

Malaysian Institute of Accountants – Annual Conference 2019
“Trust and sustainability in a digital economy”
22-23 October 2019
Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
More details here