When it comes to visiting our neighbouring Malaysia, we make full use of the weekends to scratch our holiday itch because of its low currency exchange rate and convenience of travelling over without the need for much planning.
Top on my travel itinerary to any parts of Malaysia is no doubt shopping and eating; maybe a bit of exploring if I find the time.
If you're finally venturing out of Johor Bahru and heading to Kuala Lumpur (KL) to spend the weekend, here are some malls you can visit besides which are not the usuals along Bukit Bintang street, such as Kuala Lumpur City Center (KLCC), Berjaya Times Square and Sungei Wang Plaza.
These malls are so popular that you don't need to go often to know these places. So if you want to stray away from the usual haunts, where you're bound to bump into many other Singaporeans, here are other malls that boast interesting themes and adventure parks.
IOI CITY MALL
Located slightly away from the city, IOI City Mall is the largest mall in Southern Klang Valley.
The mall is packed with eateries, fashion brands, cineplexes, an Olympic-size ice skating rink and an adventure park (District 21) for the young and young at heart.
Get your adrenaline rush at District 21, a post-apocalyptic theme park with obstacles ranging from easy to hard, including trampolines to two-storey free falling to walking on a rope bridge.
If you're looking to stay near the IOI City Mall, the Le Meridien Putrajaya is linked to the mall so you don't have to travel far.
Where: Management Office, Unit T2-3A-3 & Unit T2-3A-3A level 3A IOI City Tower Two, Lebuh IRC, Ioi Resort, 62502 Putrajaya, Malaysia
MYTOWN SHOPPING CENTRE
MyTown Shopping Centre prides itself from being more than just a shopping experience.
It is smacked right in the heart of KL and is linked to the largest Ikea outlet in Malaysia.
The mall is not just a furniture heaven, but a fashion heaven too with familiar brands such as Uniqlo; H&M; Love, Bonito; and more.
If shopping isn't your thing, head straight to Var Live on level two. It is the largest 4D virtual reality theme park in the country with 14 immersive rooms fitted with vibrating floors, haptic feedback and artificial wind to make your gaming experience hyperrealistic.
Where: No.6, Jalan Cochrane Cheras, Seksyen 90, 55100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Avenue K is located along Jalan Ampang, opposite KLCC, an alternative mall to consider while you're in the vicinity.
If you've visited Superpark in Singapore and enjoyed your time conquering all the stations, you'll want to visit the outlet at Avenue K.
It has an ice skating rink exclusive to this outlet, alongside 26 other stations. Ticket prices start from RM30 (S$9.91) and RM50 for the all-day pass. Very worth it as compared to Singapore's admission price that starts from $22.
Where: 156 Jalan Ampang, 50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Publika is one of the hippest malls in KL focusing on arts and fashion. It is also home to a gourmet market with plenty of good food to eat.
You don't want to miss out on trying a plate of Siew Yok (roast pork) Briyani, a twist on a classic Indian dish by Meat The Porkers.
There are also cafes within the mall and a couple of bars to chill out at when night falls.
Where: 1, Jalan Dutamas, Solaris Dutamas, 50480 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Reopened in early 2018, 1 Utama E is an extension to the old mall, currently housing the FlowRider and AirRider for sports junkies to experience indoor wakeboarding and skydiving.
The mall will also see a brand new Korean-themed retail space at the end of this year. Named 'District K', the Korean street will feature popular k-beauty brands taking residence in the mall.
K-pop fans can look forward to a meet and greet viewing gallery to get up-close with their favourite celebrities, and a performance and hologram theatre offering augmented entertainment.
Nature lovers will be pleased to know 1 Utama houses a tropical rainforest on its rooftop garden, complete with a suspension bridge, koi pond and over 500 species of local flora — which vaguely reminds us of Jewel Changi Airport.
Where: Lot S327, Bandar Utama City Centre No1, Lebuh Bandar Utama, Bandar Utama, 47800 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia
The Starling is a nature-inspired mall, or as it brands itself, 'the mall in a park'.
Be swept away by the tranquillity of nature and rejuvenate at two of its parks: The Chirp Park, featuring a brook and a bird nest sculpture situated at the entrance of the mall, and the Sky Park on level five boasting a panoramic view of the mall's surrounding.
The nature theme is brought indoors as well with verticle green walls and open spaces allowing natural light to flood into the mall.
Where: 6, Jalan SS 21/37, Damansara Utama, 47400 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia