If you are going to Kuala Lumpur check out this quick guide. I had the opportunity to spend a short but amazing four days in Kuala Lumpur and was able to do a lot of things. This city is great to explore since there are amazing shopping malls, mosques and markets!
Population: 1,700,000 million
Climate: Tropical rainforest climate
Currency: Malaysian Ringgit (MYR)
Official Language(s): Bahasa Malayian
Before you Arrive
Before you plan a visit to Kuala Lumpur check to see whether or not you will need a visa to enter. Most countries do not need a visa for stays ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months.
Make sure to have these things when you visit:
1. A passport valid for 6 months at the time of departure
2. An onward or return ticket
3. Sufficient funds
4. Proof of where you will be staying
The main airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), is located 50 km from the City Sentral. The best way to reach the city is by KLIA Ekspres which takes you to the city in about 28 mins. During peak hours the train runs every 15 mins, off-peak hours every 20 mins and after midnight every 30 mins . A single adult fare is 55 MYR ($18 CAD).
Another option is to take a bus. Depending on if you take a coach bus or a shuttle the arrival times vary. However, they are both the same price of 10 MYR to get to KL Sentral. The bus ride should take about an hour.
The other option is taking a taxi. Taxis here are quite cheap; they start at 3 MYR for the first KM, after that it 0.10 MYR is added every 115 m. However there is a 50% surcharge from 12-6 am. The taxi ride takes about 50 mins and costs around 59 MYR ($20 CAD).
Kuala Lumpur is HOT! I did a lot of walking in the city centre because I wanted to explore but the exhaustion and sweat was really not worth it. Take a bus, LRT, Monorail or a cab wherever you need to go. Transportation is cheap and very affordable to do each day.
The official language is Bahasa Malaysian however, you will hear a lot of English, Tamil, Chinese and other languages spoken.
Here are a few phrases to help you get by:
Hello- Apa Kabar
Goodbye- Se la mat jalan
Thank you- Terima kasih
What to See
Kuala Lumpur is a big city however there aren't a ton of things to do. They do have great shopping malls and markets to visit. Walking around different neighbourhoods is always fun, you tend to find random places to wander through.
The Menara Tower & Petronas Buildings are the most iconic landmarks in KL. If you want to go to the top of these they can be quite expensive. I suggest going up the Menara Tower because the view is better. The Batu Caves are the next big thing. Here you can visit a historical cave with so much cultural heritage and also see monkey's running wild. Make sure to hold on tight to your belongings! Also, check out the KL Bird Park. It is one of the only park's in the world that is free flight, meaning the birds are able to fly around freely.
What to Eat & Drink
KL is so diverse they have many dishes to try. I wanted to try the most famous dish which was 'Nasi Lemak', a fried chicken with rice, egg, cucumber and a spicy chili sauce. There are so many local foods to try so make sure you don't eat the typical Western food and try Malaysian. You can find a lot of cheap dishes at the Central Market food court.
Must try Dishes:
Nasi Lemak, Banana leaf, Nasi Dagang, Sanghar Noodles and more!
Other things to try:
Bubble tea and anything with durian!
Where to Stay
Kuala Lumpur actually had a great amount of 5 Star hotels for 3 star prices. However I still opted to stay in a hostel because I was alone and preferred to be around others my age. I stayed at a hostel called Reggae Mansion. This is actually the best hostel I have ever and probably will ever experience. They have so much to offer with their unbeatable prices, movie theater, rooftop bar, restaurant, library/lounge, amazing location and much more!
There are a ton of places near KL that a worth a visit.
Taman Negara--A national park and one of the oldest rainforests in the world, about 130 million years old. Here you can be one with nature. It's about 3 hours away from Kuala Lumpur.
Langkawi--Located north west off the Malaysian mainland, Langkawi is the largest Malaysian island. It is just as beautiful as the Thai Islands.
Penang--A thriving tourist destination, Penang is famed for its food by both Malaysians and foreigners.
Malacca--Known as the historic state, Malacca is 1148 km south of Kuala Lumpur. It is a popular destination among Singaporeans.