Malaysia and motorsports fans will get to experience something big come next year. This is because the Malaysian Formula 1 Grand Prix and the Moto GP will be held a week apart at the famed Sepang International Circuit (SIC) in October 2016.
As a primer, we were able to watch part of what would be the biggest week in motorsports - the Malaysian MotoGP.
Getting there is quite the challenge if you don’t rent a car or bus, there are only 2 options which is to take a cab or the high speed train to the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), once there a bus will be waiting to take you straight to SIC. Here’s the hard part, expect long queues for cabs going back to the city or the bus ride back to KLIA.
At SIC, a lot of eager fans from around the world, loud music, and tons of activities at the booths set up a festive environment despite the heat. The official SIC merchandise shop gets packed real quick so it’s advisable to go early or during Friday practice sessions if you want to buy some souvenirs. Refreshments are also available around the track but be prepared to walk a lot.
As for seating, if you’re on a budget the C2 Hillstand offers a spectacular view of the technical part of the circuit for $6.50 USD. On the other hand, the F Grandstand which is priced at $13 USD gives a good view of the back and main straight. The Main Grandstand gives you a view of the grid and the pit lane for $33 USD. It’s also the fastest part of the track so if you or have someone with you who can’t bear loud noise, make sure you bring a set of earplugs or mufflers. You won’t miss any of the action with large LED screens strategically placed for each grandstand. If you’d rather experience it yourself, the Premier Roving offers an all-access pass to all the spectator stands for $50 USD.
But while waiting for all that to happen, we stayed at the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur. It was there where we found most of the places on the list below. If you plan to walk or commute around the city, we strongly advise that you bring a bottle of water and to wear light comfortable clothing because of the humid temperature.
What better way to learn about the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, than to watch the longest running musical there, “Mud KL.” It’s about how Kuala Lumpur was founded and developed despite the many disasters that came their way. This very entertaining musical is fittingly staged at the 110 year-old theatre Panggung Bandaraya. For around $15 USD, you get to immerse yourself in this 60-minute interactive musical that runs twice everyday.
Another way to get learn about Kuala Lumpur besides its cultural tourist spots is through shopping. Strike a bargain at Central Market where local delicacies and handicrafts are sold. If shopping for upscale brands is your thing, you can head over to one of the several malls located at the Bukit Bintang District. The Mitsui Outlet Park which is just a few minutes away from Kuala Lumpur International Airport is another choice to go to get huge discounts.
Petronas Twin Towers
You can't go to Kuala Lumpur without visiting the iconic Petronas Twin Towers. These mega structures are a sight to behold from the bottom and a breathtaking bird's eye view from the top. And for around $21 USD, you get to go up 170 m to the Sky Bridge and to 282 m to the Observation Deck for a limited time. But do arrive early as tickets are limited and the line gets long quickly.
Kuala Lumpur City Gallery
If you're a fashionista or history buff, the Kuala Lumpur City Gallery is one spot that shouldn't miss. In it are a wide selection of clothing from different races and eras. There's also an archive of the people who help build Kuala Lumpur to what it is now and miniature models of the important infrastructures of KL. All these are topped of by a spectacular LED light show of the miniature model of KL accompanied by a music video.
The 3rd and latest expansion to Malaysia’s federal territory, Putrajaya, is host to tons of activities to do for tourists. One in particular for those who want a casual stroll is the Cruise Tasik. It’s a boat ride that costs $12 USD and cruise along the huge man made lake right in the center of Putrajaya. Sights include Putra Mosque, Seri Wawasan Bridge, and the Prime Minister’s office. Cruise Tasik rides start at 1:00 pm and end at 7:15 pm.
There are a lot more places to hit up in Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding areas. We’ll leave it up to you to find out about those hidden gems. After all, getting lost is always part of the adventure.