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Things to Do in Southeast Asia: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, & Jakarta

Exploring new places and learning more about different cultures are some of the things that we do to break the monotony of daily life. Among our neighbors, Southeast Asian cities are usually top of mind when looking for a quick escape.

After all, they offer quite a number of exciting and varied adventures for those traveling solo, with a special someone, friends, or family.

That being said, this region is one of the best ways to start your Southeast Asia travel adventure especially for those in the mood for multi-city traveling.

With Traveloka, travelers now have that convenient option to do so thanks to its multi-city booking feature. Check out the benefits of multi-destination traveling here and find out why it’s a must-try.

To get you started, we recommend the Manila-Singapore-Kuala Lumpur-Jakarta-Manila route. Here’s a list of highly recommended places to see these parts of the region.

Singapore

Singapore Landmark Daylight

Singapore may be a small country, but it offers tourists plenty of sights to see and attractions to check out. Aside from the Merlion Park, Gardens by the Bay, and Universal Studios, there are other tourist spots that can make your Lion City adventure memorable.

Haji Lane

Wall Art Haji Lane Singapore

Don’t ever leave Singapore without visiting one of the hippest neighborhoods in Southeast Asia, the Haji Lane. This SG original indie destination offers tourists everything they’re looking for, from trendy bars and restos to hole-in-the-wall shops. Those who are into wall art may find their tribe here. Not to be missed also is the Selfie Coffee, which started the selfie coffee art trend.

Things to Know:

  • Address: Downtown Singapore (The nearest MRT is Bugis Station)
  • Average spend: About SGD 45 per visit
  • Pro-tip: Avoid visiting the area earlier than 11 AM, as most boutiques are still closed.

Chinatown

Chinatown In Singapore At Night

Non-stop dining is one of the things that you visit Singapore for courtesy of the city’s numerous hawker centers. One of the most highly recommended food hubs is Chinatown. Here, you can find the cheapest Michelin-starred restaurant, Liao Fan Hawker Chan, serving their famous chicken rice.

Things to Know:

  • Address: Downtown Singapore (The nearest MRT is Chinatown Station on the North-East MRT Line)
  • Average spend: About SGD 60 per visit
  • Pro-tip: Turn your food tour into a food + walk tour by going inside museums and galleries. Chinatown is also home to various mosques as well as Buddhist and Taoist temples. 

Jewel Changi

Jewel Changi Singapore

The sprawling terminal is currently one of the hottest destinations in the Little Red Dot. This is especially thanks to the HSBC Rain Vortex, dubbed as the tallest indoor waterfall. The waterfall has been attracting tourists from far and wide as well as flooding IG feeds since it was shown to the world last April. It also helps that there are retail and food shops nearby to complement the whole experience.

Things to Know:

  • Address: Changi Airport
  • Average spend: Free
  • Pro-tip: The light shows start from 830PM to 930 PM; the East Trail’s viewing deck on level 2 offers an unobstructed view of the waterfall perfect for your IG feed.

Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur City

There are more to Kuala Lumpur than their iconic KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers. The city also beams with history, culture, and nature.

Merdeka Square

Merdeka Square Dusk

Merdeka Square is the site of Malaysia’s proclamation of merdeka or independence more than 60 years ago. Today, visitors come here to take photos of the sprawling green field, the tallest flagpole in the world (95m) waving the Malaysian flag, and the neo-Mughal and Moorish Revival architecture of the surrounding buildings. Formerly government offices, the colonial structures definitely make for the perfect backdrop for your drool-worthy IG photos.

Things to Know:

  • Address: Jalan Raja, City Centre Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur
  • Average spend: Free
  • Pro-tip: With the surrounding building’s soft, warm lights, evening photos at the square are sure to stand out.

Zoo Negara

Zoo Negara Kuala Lumpur

If you’re into chill and laidback tours, then Zoo Negara should be on your list. It features an array of rainforest wildlife, including two giant pandas originally from China. Don’t miss the Butterfly Garden as well as the Bird Aviary.

Things to Know:

  • Address: Jalan Raja, City Centre Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur
  • Ticket prices: MYR 61 (Adults) / MYR 33 (Kids aged 3-12 years)
  • Pro-tip: Bring your passport when purchasing your ticket, which already includes entry to the Panda Conservation Center.

Central Market

Central Market Scenery

Central Market is the place to be if you’re in the hunt for the most sought-after Malaysian gift items, souvenirs, and snacks. Here, you can find traditional batik prints and weaves as well as modern contemporary art pieces. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to watch cultural events in the area for free.

Things to Know:

  • Address: Jalan Hang Kasturi, City Centre Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan, Kuala Lumpur
  • Average spend: About MYR 120 per visit
  • Pro-tip: There are more than 300 shops here, so it’s best to pace your shopping. Bring bottled water, too.

Jakarta

Jakarta City

Travelers visiting Indonesia for leisure often head over to either Bali or Lombok, and understandably so. These two destinations are undeniably breathtaking. However, the capital city of Jakarta has hidden gems that will surely surprise even the most skeptic of travelers.

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

Taman Mini Indonesia Indah

Tourists who are interested to learn more about Indonesia’s heritage and culture may explore the fascinating Taman Mini Indonesia Indah. Contrary to its name, the park is actually huge (we’re talking about 250 acres here). There are themed pavilions inside, a comprehensive miniature of the Indonesian archipelago, and an IMAX cinema for total entertainment.

Things to Know:

  • Address: East Jakarta City, Jakarta (Nearest bus stop is Garuda Taman Mini Shelter)
  • Ticket price: The Complete Combo Package Ticket is roughly IDR 48,435 (PHP 180)
  • Pro-tip: To help you maximize your tour here, try the various types of transportation available in the sprawling complex: the Aeromovel fast train, a Skylift, and shuttle buses.

Thousand Islands

Thousand Islands Indonesia

Jakarta is not all about high-rise buildings and busy streets. In fact, there’s a group of islands north of Jakarta that is attracting both local and foreign tourists alike, the Thousand Islands. Here, you will find unique beach resorts with stunning views you can never find in the city.

Getting there from Jakarta is not as difficult as it may seem. Simply head over to Kali Adem Harbor in Muara Angke Port, North Jakarta where a ferry is waiting for visitors. The boat leaves at 8 and 9 AM. Travel time is about an hour if coming from Jakarta proper. You may also go to Ancol Marina Harbor, which might cost a few more Indonesian rupiahs as compared to the first one.

Things to Know:

  • Address: North of Jakarta’s Coast
  • Ticket prices: IDR 40,000 (PHP 150)/pax for the public ferry; IDR 200,000 (PHP 731) for a roundtrip ticket via speedboat
  • Pro-tip: Make sure to be back at the harbor by 2 or 3 PM to catch any of the speedboats heading back to Jakarta. Otherwise, you might need to stay the night as the next ferry back to Jakarta leaves at 10 AM the following day.

National Gallery

National Gallery Front Jakarta

Built back in 1999, the National Gallery features almost 1,800 art pieces made by local artists. If you’re looking to find your artsy side, include this in your itinerary. Even those who are not so fond of art will find this place worth the visit. The best thing about it is the admission’s free!

Things to Know:

  • Address: Jl. Medan Merdeka Tim. No.14, RT.6/RW.1, Gambir, Kecamatan Gambir, Kota Jakarta Pusat, Daerah Khusus Ibukota, Jakarta
  • Ticket price: Free
  • Pro-tip: The museum is closed on Mondays, so you might want to schedule your trip accordingly if you plan to drop by here. 

Ready to go on a Southeast Asian escapade? Check out Traveloka’s multi-city flight booking feature now!

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