10 Off The Beaten Track Experiences In KL You Should Try On Airbnb
Do off the beaten track experiences stoke your flames, stir your senses and set your hearts a-flutter? Then, this list of top 10 on-the-wild-side experiences in Kuala Lumpur (KL) on Airbnb will surely get you going “wow, don’t-why, must-try”!
Today, Airbnb specialises in more than just vacation rentals and perfect places to stay at affordable prices. Airbnb is rapidly growing as the preferred choice to book experiences and restaurants with reviews from travellers who share their experiences.
Popular are the social impact experiences where 100% of the proceeds go to the charity the host supports. Better yet, this list has experiences that are affordably priced below RM100 to ensure your get the most bang for your buck.
1. Kuala Lumpur Street Kitchen
What better way to learn how to whip up a local Malaysian meal than to be part of a volunteer based soup kitchen in the heart of downtown KL. Why pay more to pick up culinary skills at a cookery class when you can do the same at a kitchen that makes a difference to the community.
Host, Farhan and coordinator, Quaratul are volunteers at the Kuala Lumpur Street KItchen since 2008. Guests who join this social impact experience will get an inside look of how such a kitchen is run, serve a hot meal to the urban poor of KL and understand the plight of the community away from the glossy streets of KL.
The 5-hour experience that includes 1 meal and transportation is conducted in English. The itinerary begins at 2pm at Kelab Bangsar Utama and typically involves meal preparation, cooking, sharing session among volunteers and guests, followed by serving session at Jalan Panggang.
The experience ends at 7pm with a brief tour of KL’s local heritage alleys filled with best kept secrets. Needless to say, all meals are halal making it the perfect meal to share with people of all races.
Rates: RM75 per person
Address: Kelab Bangsar Utama (next to Bangsar LRT), Jalan Bangsar Utama, 59000 Kuala Lumpur
2. Documenting Kuala Lumpur – Untold Narratives
Mystery, marvels and many unseen aspects of the city are revealed in this 3-hour arts experience around KL. The Untold Narratives as seen through the lens of lead photographer and host, Farhan showcases the many secrets, stories and experiences in KL that are untainted, unheard of and definitely unusual.
Be prepared to experience the seamless network of streets intertwined with the livelihood of people who live, work and survive on it. Unmistakably, Documenting KL is one of the most eye-opening experiences to uncover.
Rates: RM100 per person
Meeting Point: Central Market Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Hang Kasturi, CIty Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
3. Sundowner Walk – Speakeasy & Chinatown
Happy host, Manjeet Dhillon runs this fabulous Sundowner Walk which explores old KL like never experienced before. When the sun goes down, the adventure level steps up with Manjeet who takes guests on a 2-hour snack-filled walking tour that starts at the famous Central Market in KL.
Here, your effervescent host will guide guests through the cultural charms, heritage buildings and fabulous flavours of old KL from colonial architecture to scenic street art and sunset markets. The tour heads across to bustling Chinatown to explore its hidden gems followed by scintillating experiences at 2 speakeasies along the way.
When it’s time to rest those tired feet, head to a popular speakeasy to relax and rejuvenate the senses at the close of the tour. “My goal is to ensure each guest discovered the depths of the city like a local” says Manjeet.
Rates: RM80 per person
Meeting point: Central Market Kuala Lumpur, Jalan Hang Kasturi, CIty Centre, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
4. Live a day as a Local Batik Painter
Jadi Batek Gallery is the place to be when you want to experience a day as a local batik painter. Batik is a much loved Malaysian fabric hand painted in the traditional way to achieve its unique designs.
Organized by host, Colin Wong and his team, this 2-hour art class leads guests through the batik making process and history. Colin shares that waxing is the first step of batik painting where a special tool called “Canting” is used to draw the outline on the fabric. Next, designs are applied with a brush using shading and blending techniques. Finally the fabric is filled with colour to achieve the masterpiece.
WIth more than 15 years in the local batik industry and up to 8 batik artisans at the Gallery, guests take home not only a memorable experience, but a piece of heritage that’s uniquely Malaysian. As a family friendly class, even kids aged from 10 and up can join the batik experience.
Address: Jadi Batek Gallery, 30 Jalan Inai, Imbi, 55100 Kuala Lumpur
5. Magical Kampung Baru
Experience all the magic of the last Malay enclave in central KL with host, Fuad Fahmy who is a historian, foodie and culture vulture all in one. The 3-hour historical culture walk takes you through the little nooks and crannies of Kampung Baru where locals frequent for the best of everything.
The trail leads past impressive architecture, cultural sights, streetside snacks and kampung treats that you can’t get elsewhere, coupled with freshly brewed coffee or tea. Let Fuad share all his experiences of living in a kampung located right at the heart of the city.
Rates: RM90 per person
Meeting point: Kampung Baru LRT station, Kampung Baru 50300 Kuala Lumour
6. E-waste Jewellery Making
Reduce, reuse and upcycle Is the name of the game today. Host, Min Chia who runs a social enterprise named E-lluminate is the artisan behind this lifestyle experience.
Guests are taught how to make unique jewellery from electrical waste such as used cables. The workshop is facilitated by students in the refugee learning centre supported by E-lluminate, which provides quality teachers and vocational training in refugee learning centres.
What you get is an unforgettable social impact experience and deeper insights into the refugee situation in Malaysia. “Seeing students pick up skills and be able to coach other participants and come up with different designs has reminded me that no one is limited by their background but led by aspiration and potential” says Min Chia.
Rates: RM80 per person
Address: Cheras, Alam Damai, 56000 Kuala Lumpur
7. Gardening at Free Tree Society
Plant a tree and grow the future. Experiences at the Free Tree Society do just that. Hosted by Baida, the President of the Society, the hour-long session teaches guests how to grow an urban garden at a nursery nestled by the jungle. More than simply planting seeds, this outdoor adventure shares gardening tips, environment care and sustainability techniques such as rainwater harvesting and composting.
What’s best about this social impact experience is the suitability for all guests including kids aged 3 and onwards. Guests also get to sample the local tropical fruits and herbs while strolling through the lush gardens.
Rates: RM100 per person
Address: Free Tree Society, 91 Jalan Limau Purut, Bangsar Park 59000 Kuala Lumpur.
8. Guided Hike in the Heart of the CIty
Hiking in the city is brilliant. Even more brilliant is guided hiking in the heart of the city with trusted host, Yi Le who knows all the hiking trails in and around KL. Guests will join him in a 2-hour trek of Bukit Gasing, a 57-hectare forest reserve and be wowed by abundant flora and fauna in one of the city’s green lungs.
Promising to be an experience not to be missed, the guided hike covers a suspension bridge, pleasant walk to lookout tower and exploration of trees, flowers and creatures. Learn survival tips in a forest with your host. Don’t take anything from the forest except photos. No yelling of names or talking in too loud voices. Don’t go too far off the beaten trek. Beware of the “penunggu” or spooks that may be residing in the darkest parts of the forest.
Rates: RM40 per person
Meeting point: Bukit Gasing entrance, Pantai Hill Park, Kampung Kerinchi, 59200 Kuala Lumpur
9. Wanderlust A 100 Year Old Park
Wander with host, Eddie around a historic 100-year old park – KL’s famed Lake Gardens and explore a wide range of botanical wonders. The park is lush with trees, plants, wildlife, birds, insects, reptiles, wild fruits, herbs and flowers, making this a great outing for families with kids aged 5 and above.
The trail leads past a family deer colony and KL Bird Park with the world’s largest aviary. An enjoyable 2.5 hours stroll brings guests through the most amazing tropical forest in the heart of the city.
Rates: RM55 per person
Meeting point: Royal Lake Club lobby, Jalan Cenderamulia, Tasik Perdana, 50480 Kuala Lumpur
10. Discover TTDI’s Speakeasy Bars
After enjoying as many off the beaten track experiences as you can muster, it’s time to relax and unwind with good drinks and sparkling company. Discover Taman Tun Dr Ismail’s (TTDI) Speakeasy Bars hosted by John from Kakiseni, a non-profit organisation that promotes arts and culture in Malaysia.
The 3-hour tipple session explores 3 speakeasy bars with specialty cocktails to wet your palate. Get to know the neighbourhood, its history and community. Also a social impact experience, here’s a toast to one of the best KL nightlife experiences.
Rates: RM91 per person
Meeting point: Bowery Petit, 48 Persiaran Zahar, Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur
Extraordinary Experiences Priced Less
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Ready, set and go enjoy your experiences. Just be well prepared and follow the advice of your hosts to bring the necessary ranging from brollies, hats, sunscreen, walking shoes to other essentials. Don’t have them? Shop for all essentials on 11street and get up to 6% cashback.
Have more experiences to share? Tell us why KL is the city that shines bright as travellers’ top pick on Airbnb.
Featured image credit: Bas Leenders | Flickr
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