Grittier than sanitised Singapore, the Malaysian capital crackles to life after dark offering some of Asia's best fashion and food.

Stay: Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur

Asian hotspot: what to see, do, and eat in Kuala Lumpur

Handily located in the Sentral region of the city, the LM channels a cool Scandi vibe that stands in stark contrast to the bustle of the city at its doorstep. The pool deck is one of the best in the city and with a humidity level higher than Lindsay Lohan at an open bar, you'll want to cool off. Also check out the unfortunately named, but delicious Gastro Sentral restaurant on site. Rooms from $130. lemeridienkualalumpur.com

Shop: The Pavillion

Asian hotspot: what to see, do, and eat in Kuala Lumpur

Far and away the best mall in the city and the equivalent of anything in Singapore, you'll find the likes of Fendi rubbing shoulders with Kate Spade, Bell & Ross and Marc Jacobs. Bonus: stores are open till 10pm every night and the basement food court is one of the best in town. pavilion-kl.com

Eat: Jalon Alar

Asian hotspot: what to see, do, and eat in Kuala Lumpur

By day, this is a sleepy nondescript street in the somewhat questionable Bukit Bintang district. By night, it explodes into life as a streetside dining hall rimmed by stores that usually specialise in a dish or two. Try the lala - the best stir-fried clams ever - but hold onto your purse.

Drink: Como by Pisco Bar

Asian hotspot: what to see, do, and eat in Kuala Lumpur

Bypass the McNightclub that is Zouk - very popular for well-heeled locals' sweet sixteen parties - and head to this bar in the pumping TREC development. Their mojito is perfection on a hot night. Suitably lubricated, shuffle down to Live House to catch the best local and international comedians in action or a kick-arse band. trec.com.my

Visit: The Islamic Arts Museum

Asian hotspot: what to see, do, and eat in Kuala Lumpur

Spanning metalwork, manuscripts, textiles and jewellery, this is a jaw-droppingly beautiful introduction to Muslim culture and its aesthetics. Allow yourself at least two hours and entrance will set you back a smidge over $3. iamm.org.my

Daytrip: Melaka

Asian hotspot: what to see, do, and eat in Kuala Lumpur

This picturesque town two hours out of KL was once colonised by the British, Portuguese and the Dutch. All left their mark but none more so than the local Malay culture and garnered recognition as a Unesco World Heritage Site. A day-trip tour costs around $40 per person.

Essential tip: While UberX is ridiculously cheap (you'll rarely pay more than $10 for a trip in the greater KL area) female travellers are advised not to travel alone.

Asian hotspot: what to see, do, and eat in Kuala Lumpur