After the disappointment of a literally fruitless Perhentian Kecil island, I set off for Kapas Island well prepared:
I knew that arriving on Kapas Island on an August Friday afternoon – the peak of the holiday season – was a dangerous move, and after scouring the entire beach for the best beachfront accommodation Kapas Island could offer, I unfortunately ended up in the only place available: the 40 ringitt rooms in Mak Cik Gemuk’s backpacker ghetto.
I felt I hit the vegan jackpot when I started researching and making a list of all the vegan restaurant KL options. Unfortunately, I was only there for a week, so I curated a list of vegetarian food near me that I thought sounded the best among the lot to make things easier. Those were in my mind the restaurants the most worthy of a visit, and the ones that blew my mind the most. Here they are, in no particular order. Kuala Lumpur has an amazing vegan community and scene, and I’m excited to return in the near future to add to the guide. For now, here are my favourite vegan Kuala Lumpur spots. There are many Kuala Lumpur vegetarian spots, and as many vegan ones! There’s so much vegan food in Kuala Lumpur!
You are set to tick off Kuala Lumpur from your travel bucketlist before the year ends. Now what? Finding cheap flights to KL? That’s easy. Picking from one of the too many hostels Kuala Lumpur has to offer? That can be a bit annoying.
Being the capital city of Malaysia, navigating the grandeur of Kuala Lumpur is no easy task, especially when finding the best accommodation to settle in throughout your trip. There are boundless options to choose from the high-end hotels, guest houses, and hostels Kuala Lumpur has in store for you.
Spending time in KL after backpacking through the rest of South East Asia is comparatively expensive. Of course, nothing compares to Singapore, but food, accommodation and entertainment in the Malaysian capital are likely to leave a dent in your wallet if you are not careful. That is precisely what started to happen to me. I intended to spend only a few days in KL with a friend to try some vegan restaurants before moving on – but life had different plans for me and I found myself stranded in Kuala Lumpur for nearly three weeks with a rather empty bank account. I had to be crafty and come up with ways to make my stay cheaper. Turns out, it’s absolutely doable to stay in KL on the cheap! And turns out also, there’s a vibrant gay scene in Kuala Lumpur! Here are a few things I discovered.
1. THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS IS TOUCHING ME BEYOND WORDS AND HAS 100% RESTORED MY FAITH IN HUMANITY
I have not had to pay for accommodation in over a month and food has been provided for me along the way on several occasions. Whether it be friendly and generous Couchsurfing or Warmshowers hosts, friends met during or before the trip or people at private houses, police and gas stations or temples where I have clumsily asked permission to pitch my tent, the response has always been overwhelmingly positive. I am just blown away by the generosity of everyone that has crossed my path so far. Although I know this isn’t the reason why they are doing it, I cannot wait for the day I can pay it forward when I am in a situation to do so.
Last year, I wrote a vegan food guide to Malacca in light of a week spent in this charming UNESCO World Heritage city. Malaysia is one of the easiest places in South East Asia to find vegan and vegetarian food, and I was thrilled to be back in Malacca this year to see what I had missed the first time around. As it turns out, I missed a lot! Below is a new and revised, more complete guide including restaurants and self-catering options. There are still a few places I failed to visit, so who knows, maybe there will be a take-three next year!
I came to volunteer at a guesthouse in Malaysia as part of my rehabilitation into the single people club. I needed some time to pick up the pieces and to decide what my next move would be before starting to travel again. Things seemed like they were lining up for me without having to ask, so I took the opportunity that was presenting itself – all I had to do was to hit the reply button, say “I’m on my way”, pack my bags, and go start this brand new chapter of my adventure. Opportunities to volunteer at guesthouses like this are usually found through work exchange websites, but I was actually poached by a previous guesthouse owner where I had stayed a few months prior – so in my case it was just a matter of good timing. And as unable as I was to decide what was best for me – it was indeed the perfect timing.
Kuala Lumpur is one of those places where, in the midst of a meat-eating nation, you barely have to scratch the surface to unveil an exciting health-minded paradise ripe for exploration. This week is all about #CleanEatingKL! A few days ago, I was able to visit Simple Life, a little chain of vegetarian restaurants who has healthy eating as its core value and is making Kuala Lumpur all the more exciting for me to explore.
Since I have been blabbering about laksa non-stop for about a month straight, I thought it would be appropriate to provide you with a recipe. Laksa is a mix of Malay and Chinese cuisine, a noodle soup that is traditionally made with fish. It is widely available in Malaysia, Singapore and in some parts of Indonesia. We have sampled several variations on the laksa, most of them made with a creamy coconut broth, but my favorite was the sour broth variant we found on Penang Island: the Penang Asam laksa, a unique and complex blend of spicy, sweet and sour flavors.