So I am flying from Tokyo to Chiang Mai, and stopping at either Kuala Lumpur or Singapore for two nights on my way there (have to make a connection). I would like some opinions on which one of these two you would rather spend a few nights nights in.
#1 konnan101 has been a member since 31/3/2011. Posts: 18
I just came back from a long working weekend in KL and had a great time. Stayed at one of the many little boutique guesthouses they have in the Bukit Bingtang. I think for only two nights you could find the place nice - check out the Batu Caves and China Town - walk around the food spots. A lot of great food to be had in KL, and I thought the people were really friendly and diverse compared to what is happening around Shanghai these days.
I've never been to Singapore, but haven't had much of a pull to visit there - when described by friends who have it has always sounded a lot more sterile and thrumming with people who have places to go and people to see - more of a work atmosphere. That said, it isn't a short or cheap trip from the airport to KL center, so if Singapore has a more convenient airport that may be where you want to stop.
I wouldn't necessarily agree with moer2237 that Singapore is smaller and easier to cover.
Anyway, these two spots have some similarities and also some striking differences.
In common is the split into Little India, Chinatown etc (which I guess is common in a lot of Asian cities) and also the great food options.
Singapore is more expensive however and possibly a little less of a "real" SE Asian vibe as it resembles downtown Manhattan more than anywhere else at times.
I have been to both and if I had a choice of going back to one for a stopover I would go for KL - cheaper, more authentic, great shopping at the markets and a great nightlife.
#3 chinarocks has been a member since 17/6/2011. Posts: 740
* KL is much cheaper
* Singapore is more compact, easier to get around by public transport (though any savings will be cancelled out by its expensive accommodations!)
* Food is great in both, KL cheaper.
* Drinking / bars are expensive in both.
* Singapore is better for "sight-seeing". Its main attractions are 'man-made' ones like zoos, impressive architecture, Sentosa. Some interesting cultural areas like Chinatown and Little India.
* KL is better for exploring and soaking up the city's ambiance. People are friendlier and the city has more 'soul' than Singapore.