Kuala Lumpur. Secrets of a successful trip by yourself
August 2018 (updated: 17.03.2022) 30
Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia, the largest and most developed city in the country. Since our first visit, we fell in love with Kuala Lumpur and every time we are happy to stay here to stay. However, many tourists do not like KL. We reveal the secrets of how not to go wrong on your own trip to Kuala Lumpur.
The city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Date of foundation: 1857
- Population: 1 million 800 thousand people
- Time: 5 hours compared to Moscow time (UTC 8:00)
- Season: all year round
- Visa for Russians: not required, visa stamped for 30 days upon arrival
What are the mistakes most tourists make when they say they didn’t like it in Malaysia, it’s dirty, unsafe, their bags are torn, cab drivers cheat, etc.? We had a look at what guidebooks and tourist sites recommend. Among the main recommendations are the places we personally try to avoid – Bukit Bintang area, Jalan Alor and Petaling streets, Batu Caves. With this advice we would have hated KL too.
1. stay in a good neighborhood
Choose a neighborhood closer to the center and to the metro. That way you can be within walking distance of all the places of interest, but still be in a decent neighborhood. Avoid the touristy Bukit Bintang district and the Chinese and Indian districts. Otherwise you will see crowds of people, filthy, pushy cab drivers and other harassing characters who make money by swindling tourists and stealing.
Also do not recommend renting accommodation on the outskirts. Only the center of KL is clean and modern, and the sleeping areas are often dirty and crude.
Consider these options with great locations:
- Regalia Suites with a pool on the 37th floor
- THE FACE Suites with a pool on the 50th floor.
- Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur
- Summer Suites
2. Getting there from the airport
The Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide recommends taking the train or a cab. But these are the most expensive options to get to the center. In fact, there are at least 5 convenient ways to get from the airport:
- Bus is the most budget-friendly option, costing 12 ringgit ($3). The buses are comfortable, air-conditioned, and run every 20 minutes from the bottom floor of the airport almost around the clock (from 3 am to 0:30).
- The express train is the fastest option. 30 minutes and 55 ringgit ($14). Here you can buy a discounted ticket for 48 ringgit – Klook.com
- Cabs cost from 80 ringgit ($20). Grab taxi app is a little cheaper (from 65 MYR).
- Personal transfers are available by ordering online.
- You can rent a car at the counter at the airport or order online. There are no bikes available for rent at the airport.
What to see in KL
The first things you should see in KL are 1) the Petronas Towers, 2) Merdeka Square, and 3) the bird park. That’s a minimum. We don’t recommend Petaling and Jalan Alor streets. Unless you have never seen a market or tried street food in Asia. Batu Caves is also not the best place, there is dirt, crowds of Indians and a tiring road.
More on places of interest in the review – 20 attractions in Kuala Lumpur.
4. How to get around
On foot, by subway, by bus, or by Grab-taxi. These options will be cheap, convenient, and without nerves. What you shouldn’t do is get into a regular cab at the attractions where you are being hailed by cab drivers. Malaysians are the most honest and decent of Asians, but cab drivers in tourist spots are no different from other countries.
- Читайте: Транспорт в Куала-Лумпур: как передвигаться по городу >
Subway without a driver
5. Weather and Seasons
- The weather in Kuala Lumpur is about the same all year round.
- There is no distinct rainy season. It rains most days. But sometimes it rains for several days in a row. In any case, the rains are usually short-lived and do not interfere.
- The sky is mostly covered with clouds.
- The cloudiness creates a comfortable air temperature. There is no stuffiness and no high humidity. Sometimes in the evenings it can even be cool. It is optimal for outdoor walks, compared with the neighboring countries.
6. Where to eat
- Malay cuisine is not to your liking. Chinese and Indian is not everyone can eat either. Therefore, there can be difficulties with the food.
- If you’re not a fan of Asian food, go to the nearest mall. There are always decent eateries on the bottom floor where Malaysians who work in nearby offices eat.
- You can eat decent food at the chain restaurants Secret Recipe, Nandos, etc. Prices average 20 ringgit per dish ($5).
- KL has cheap and tasty fast food. McDonald’s, KFC, Pizza Hut, Subway are in all neighborhoods. Tasty.
- Coffee shops with sweets, cheesecakes and other pastries are especially popular, luring customers with delicious smells. In Malaysia, coffee shops make excellent coffee and very tasty cheesecakes.
7. Religion Islam.
Let me tell you right away – forget all the stereotypes that are imposed on us by TV and media about Islam. Muslims in Malaysia are not like in Egypt, Tunisia or Saudi Arabia. Everyone dresses brightly, smiles, and is easy to contact. You can wear whatever clothes you want and no one will look at you and judge you. Local Chinese women sometimes walk around in such short skirts.
Malaysia is one of the safest countries in Asia, almost like Singapore. Nevertheless, you should not forget the standard precautions. Don’t flash a wad of money or jewelry, carry your bag over your shoulder in crowded places, don’t leave valuables unattended, and don’t walk through dark alleys at night. If you fall ill, go to a clinic with insurance, the medicine in the country is at a good level.
- Читайте: Страховка в Малайзию: цены и где купить >
Kuala Lumpur reviews
Kuala Lumpur is two opposite faces. On the one hand, a developed and immersed in the green city with business centers, cozy streets, businessmen rushing on the well-groomed sidewalk. On the other side are dirty, unkempt neighborhoods where dogs bark, garbage rolls underfoot, and moldy apartment buildings, where every inch of the window is hung with clothes, look at you and do not understand why you are here. Such an ambiguous, contrasting, multifaceted, yet beloved city.
When you turn away from the lacquered neighborhood, where the tops of skyscrapers reach far into the sky and expensive perfume scents are wafted from shopping malls, you immediately find yourself in a neighborhood of low two-story houses with Indian music and a spicy smell of kari on your nose.
In Kuala Lumpur, you look at many things differently. You scrutinize people, tourists that you don’t see as often in other Asian countries as you do in the capital of Malaysia. You’re interested in different cultures, customs, ways of life. In English-language videos, you learn about the difficult and even dangerous lives of young people from Bangladesh and Pakistan who come to work. And in the end, you get a feeling for the Malays and notice how different everyone is in this world, but in some ways very similar.
Life in Kuala Lumpur is really exciting. You don’t have to go and travel all the time. It’s enough to get out of the house, walk around, go to new neighborhoods, pay attention to the little things, pay more attention to the details.
In this case, even a trivial trip to the store will be a small discovery, a source of learning. That’s exactly what happens with us. Every time we leave the apartment, we discuss something new, we share our observations, and in addition, we have new experiences.
Mont Chiara sleeping area
We believe that when you come to the capital of Malaysia, you need to dive into life itself, and not be fixated on the sights, which, incidentally, in Kuala, there are in large numbers. Parks, amusement rides, a zoo, museums, fountain shows, Chinese and Indian neighborhoods, a bird park, butterfly park, oceanarium, viewing platforms in panoramic restaurants, temples, mosques, and more. There are as many attractions in KL as in Bangkok and even more than in Phnom Penh, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.
In our opinion, Kuala Lumpur is a special, unique, colorful and convenient city for living, working, studying and development. Here you want to be with all its pros and cons.
Hotels in Kuala Lumpur
Choose a newer hotel closer to the center. You should pay for your hotel with cash or a bank card (you can pay in rubles). You are often asked to leave a cash deposit (50-100 ringgit). A tourist fee of 10 ringgit ($2.50) per day per room is an additional charge.
Kuala Lumpur means “muddy mouth” in Malay. The city, the capital of Malaysia, is located in the southwest of the Malacca peninsula at the mouth of the Klang and Gombak rivers, in a valley surrounded by mountains. The population is 1,809,699 (2009 data).
Kuala Lumpur was founded in 1857 on the site of a Chinese tin miners’ camp. From 1880 to 1978 Kuala Lumpur was the capital of the Principality of Selangor. In the 1930s the city had a population of 110 thousand people. From 1946 to 1957, Kuala Lumpur became the main city and administrative center of the British colony. When independence was established in 1957, Kuala Lumpur became the capital of the Federation of Malaya, and in 1983, the capital of the Malaysian state.
Today Kuala Lumpur is one of the most dynamically developing cities in Southeast Asia. The extraction of coal takes place near Kuala Lumpur. In the city there are many large banks, stock (since 1978) and commodity (since 1980) stock exchanges, boards of the most important government organizations, offices of various firms and enterprises. Tourism is an important source of income for the city. Kuala Lumpur has many tourist attractions: the National Museum, the National Mosque, five natural parks of various kinds, religious buildings (pagodas, mosques, temples and churches). Not so long ago, modern structures such as the television tower and the famous Petronas Twin Towers were successfully incorporated into the city’s image.
Founded: 1859 Area: 243 km 2 Population: 1,790,000 (2017) Currency: Ringgit Language: Malay Official website: http://www.kualalumpur.gov.my
Flight time: from Moscow – from 12 hours 5 min. (1-3 connections) from Saint-Petersburg – from 15 hours 55 min. (1-3 connections) from Kazan – from 17 hours 5 min. (1-2 connections) from Ekaterinburg – from 17 hours 10 min. (1-2 connections) from Novosibirsk – from 15 hours 40 min. (1-2 connections)
The city has two universities (“Malaya” and the Technological University), various research institutions, among which are unique – the Institute of Natural Rubber or the Institute of Tropical Medicine. Kuala Lumpur also has many cultural and art sites: museums, art galleries, folk craft centers. The Bukit Jalil sports complex with a stadium for 100 thousand seats (1998), the Merdeka Stadium (1957, 50 thousand seats), the Tun Razak hockey stadium (1982) and the Adilbek Pulpov Stadium (1982) are among the major sports and public venues. The hockey stadium named after Tun Razak (1982, 13 thousand seats), the Sports Palace Negara (1957, 20 thousand seats), etc.
How to get there
About how to get to Kuala Lumpur by air from Russian cities, we wrote in our article about Malaysia. You can read about airport of Kuala Lumpur here.
How to get to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore
If you need to get to Kuala Lumpur from Singapore, you have two ways.
The first is by plane, with SilkAir, AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and Tiger Airlines. The plane leaves from Changi International Airport. Travel time is about an hour.
The second way is by bus. For example, the Aeroline Coach Service bus leaves Singapore from the Harbour Front Centre bus terminal and travels to the Corus Hotel in downtown Kuala Lumpur. Buses run several times a day from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm. Journey time is about 5 hours. Check the Aeroline website for information, schedules and ticket prices.
How to get to Kuala Lumpur from Thailand
It is also possible to get to the capital of Malaysia from Thailand: a mass of regular flights and charters are operated from Bangkok to Kuala Lumpur. In addition, AirAsia flies from Phuket to the capital of Malaysia. The ticket price is about $50 one way. On the website of this airline you can ask for a special Go Holiday fare that includes a flight and hotel accommodation. The same AirAsia company flies to Kuala Lumpur from other Asian cities: Hong Kong, Denpasar, Jakara, etc.
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Showing transfers from Kuala Lumpur
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Climate and weather in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur has an equatorial tropical monsoon climate, with a relative humidity of 96% and lots of rainfall (2,427 mm per year). It’s warm and humid there all year long. It rains most in spring (February-May) and autumn (August-December). The average annual temperature in the city is 27 ° C, but the thermometer never rises above 37.2 ° C and never falls below 17.7 ° C. The average daily highs are 30-33 ° C and lows are 22-23 ° C.
Weather in Kuala Lumpur by Month
|Temperature during day, °C||Temperature at night, °C||Precipitation, mm|
Reviews by Month
Kuala Lumpur has an efficient public transport network that offers visitors low-cost and easy access to the city. It consists of buses, the elevated subway and the monorail. All transport (except the monorail) is part of the RapidKL system. Also popular in the city are the different types of cabs. Plus you have the opportunity to travel to neighboring Thailand or Singapore. You can read more about all this in our special material “Transport in Kuala Lumpur”.
Photos of Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Towers district.
This is the central area of the city, sprawling around the famous Petronas Twin Towers skyscrapers. This part of the city is also the center of business life of the capital, here are concentrated most of the offices of major companies. In the area of the towers has a lot of hotels – from luxurious to quite affordable, which attracts a lot of tourists. This area is considered the best place for shopping: several floors of the Towers are filled with high-end boutiques (Gucci, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel) and boutiques of lesser-known brands.
An area that has retained the authentic charm of real Malaysia, where descendants of the first tin miners still live. Its borders are the Jalan Bandar, Jalan Petaling and Jalan Sultan streets. A favorite tourist spot, replete with rows of shops, stalls and street stalls with all sorts of snacks, souvenirs and handicrafts, exotic fruits and animals, magical herbs and potions. The peak of activity in Chinatown is in the evening, when the central part of Jalan Petaling street fences off, turning into an open-air night market. At the end of this shopping street stands the Chan Si Shu Yuen Temple, built in 1906. It is decorated with images of dragons and deities, and is highly revered by the Chinese population of Kuala Lumpur.
Golden Triangle District
“The Golden Triangle” is the area between downtown (Pertronas Towers area) and the Bukit Bintang area, northeast of Chinatown. It is clearly bounded by Jalan Ampang, Jalan Raya Chulan, and Jalan Tun Razak streets. “The Golden Triangle is an upscale neighborhood of the latest high-rise buildings, luxury malls, and five-star hotels. It is known for its vibrant nightlife, which can satisfy the most discerning midnight tourist.
Bukit Bintang District
This is another central area that also has many hotels of different price categories and levels. To the east of the district, around Lake Taman Tasik Perdana, Kuala Lumpur’s main recreational areas and parks are spread over more than 90 hectares: Orchid Garden and Hibiscus Garden, Bird Park, Butterfly Park and Deer Park. All the major attractions are concentrated in the same area. In Bukit Bintang is the best place to buy souvenirs – the Central Market. Go shopping in the areas of Jolan Bukit Bintang and Tuanqu Abdul Rahman, Jalan Ampang and Jalan Tun Razak, Jalan Bandar and Petaling Street, where there are many shops selling textiles, souvenirs, handicrafts, clothes, shoes, bags and accessories.
Kuala Lumpur’s South District
In the south of the capital is the bustling Pudu district, home to the famous Pudu Plaza shopping complex, and on Jalan Putra, also in the south, is the Mall, known for exclusive brands of clothes and shoes, jewelry, watches and accessories. KLIA International Airport (Kuala-Lumpur International Airport) is also in the south of the city, 50 km from the center.
The northern part of the city
This part of the city is famous for the Batu Caves, the stalactite caves, without which it is impossible to imagine the attractions of the capital of Malaysia.