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The views expressed in this blog are those of the individual and do not necessarily represent any companies, entities or associations mentioned in this blog. This information is provided by way of general information only and should not be relied on without obtaining independent expert advice. These postings are provided "AS IS" with no warranties and confer no rights. You assume all risk for your use.

{MALAYSIA} Visiting Kuala Lumpur

We get these questions a lot from friends who are visiting Malaysia... where should we stay? what should we do? what should we eat? Here are some of our suggestions.


LANGUAGE, MONEY, TIPPING
Kuala Lumpur a.k.a. KL is the capital city of Malaysia. Most people in Malaysia speak English, Malay, Mandarin and Cantonese. As long as you can speak one of the above languages, you'll be fine.

Credit cards are widely used in shopping malls. However, you'll need to have cash for cabs, mamak stalls and smaller stores. So make sure you carry some cash with you. If you didn't exchange money before arriving to Malaysia, you can always get cash from ATM machines.



We do not tip in Malaysia, so there is no need to do that. Taxes are already included in prices of products, so what you see is what you pay.


It is very hot and humid in Malaysia, so definitely bring plenty of summer clothing. Malaysia is a tropical country. It is hot (think 90+ F or 30+ C) throughout the year with heavy rains (monsoon) between the months of October and January. The only time you'd need any sort of jackets/cold weather clothing is if you visited Genting Highlands.


ARRIVING AND GETTING AROUND KL

It is likely that you'll arrive in KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) if you're flying to Malaysia from abroad. We highly recommend that you don't rent a car if you're visiting Kuala Lumpur. Instead, use the public light rail transit (LRT) which are very extensive and convenient to get you around Kuala Lumpur.  LRT stations are usually located within walking distance to where you need to go. At most, you may need  a short cab ride if its not walkable.

An alternative airport you may arrive in would be the LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal). This is not in KLIA. It is a drive away from KLIA. This is the terminal you'll arrive in if youtravel via budget airlines.. usually, Air Asia - a top budget airline for Malaysia. They have ridiculously cheap flights both domestic and international (China, India, London, Australia etc...). You can also get to KL Sentral via high speed train from LCCT. It would cost you RM12.50 each way (~USD4). Another option is to take a bus from LCCT to downtown (KL Sentral). It should cost you about RM9. Here's another website showing other bus options.


When you get to KLIA, follow the signs or ask someone who will point you to the ticketing counter for the KLIA express train. It departs every 15 minutes. First train is at 5am and last train is at 12 midnight. It'll cost you RM35.00 ( approximately USD10) for a one way ticket. KLIA express will take you to KL Sentral Station in Kuala Lumpur in 28 minutes. It'll take almost an hour by car. Cab rides will cost you anywhere between RM60 to RM100+ depending on the cab you get and the amount of time it takes you to get downtown is unpredictable, so we highly recommend that you use KLIA Express train. Safe, easy, convenient and predictable. Go here for more information.


Once you arrive in KL Sentral, you can get tickets to almost anywhere you want to go using any of the transit light rail, trains etc... When booking your hotels in KL, make sure to ask them what LRT station is closest to them or what to tell the cab driver when you get to KL Sentral to take you to the hotel.


ACCOMMODATION IN KL

A good place to stay would be near Bukit Bintang (walking distance to Suria KLCC which is a shopping mall located within the Petronas Twin Towers - a MUST VISIT). Unfortunately, we haven't had a chance to take a good closeup picture of Petronas Twin Towers.

Here's one from a 2008 trip of the towers from afar:



Some hotels around the area (these are recs from friends. If you have other recommendations, do let me know):

   The Ritz Carlton Hotel                                  603-2142-8000‎
   Traders Hotel Kuala Lumpur                        6‎03-2332-9888‎
   Capitol hotel                                                 603-2143-7000
   The Royale Bintang Hotel Kuala Lumpur     603-2143-9898
   Hotel Nova                                                  603-2143-1818
   Berjaya Times Square Hotel                        603-2117-8000‎
   Prince Hotel                                                603-2170-8888‎
   Impiana KLCC Hotel                                  603-2147-1111
   Piccolo hotel                                               603-2303-8000
   Novotel Kuala Lumpur                               603-2147-0888

Recommendation from my friends in Malaysia is to stay at Hotel Nova (03-2143-1818). The street in front of this hotel is where you can get all the good food, apparently (I dont know since i havent stayed there before). Impiana KLCC is a newer hotel. Piccolo hotel is right in the heart of Bukit Bintang (lots of shopping) and Novotel is opposite a shopping mall called Pavilion.


You should be able to tell the cab drive to take you straight to the hotel or if not, just tell them to take you to Bukit Bintang (pronounced "boo-kate-bin-tongue") and then you can walk around the area and find a hotel that works for you. Walk in prices are usually the same as reserving over the phone.


THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO VISIT

Here are some of the attractions in KL that you should consider visiting:

1. Suria KLCC (Petronas Twin Towers) -- tourist area + shopping mall. You can get there

using LRT (take the LRT and stop at the "KLCC station".). If you live in Bukit Bintang,
you can take a cab or walk there too.
2. Petaling Street (Chinatown) -- good food and lots of fake stuff (definitely haggle!).
3. Jalan Alor (this is the street in front of Hotel Nova) -- good food.
4. Low Yat Plaza (Bukit Bintang area) -- gadgets, PCs, cellphones, software etc... at budget prices.
5. Sungei Wang Plaza (bukit bintang area) -- lots of shopping (cheap and crowded).
6. Berjaya Times Square (shopping)
7. Pavilion KL (this is the one in front of Novotel hotel) - shopping
8. Batu Caves (this is slightly further out) -- tourist area. Big cave, lots of steps to climb. This is where they have Thaipusam (indian) festivals.
9. EAT Durians!
10. Creamy butter crab - we love De Foodland in Kepong.
11. Eat at Mamak stalls and order roti canai.
12. If you're adventurous, try variations of the roti canai (e.g. roti bom, roti tissue etc...)
13. Nasi Kandar
14. Bak Kut Teh (Pork Rib Tea) - not tea as the name suggests. More a soupy dish.
15. See here for other attractions in KL.

There are so many other types of food that you can try. The above are just a small sample. Feel free to email us for more recommendations. We'll write posts specifically about food in Malaysia when we get a chance. Stay tuned!


NIGHTLIFE

KL never sleeps. There's plenty to do at night. Here are some recs from our friends in Malaysia.

KLCC nightlife:

Luna Bar
Zouk
Beach Club


For more information about nightlife, see here.

Here's another website that has a good/comprehensive guide/tips to visiting Kuala Lumpur:

Visiting Kuala Lumpur, a guide by Mindy Mcadams.


Enjoy KL!

1 comments:

diego.a said...

Thanks for posting this. Especially, the bus and terminal info.

Here are some money saving websites I've found in the past few months. They are easier to use because they are startups hungry for business:
* For hotel deals and hostels: agoda.com
* Air travel bookings from the US to Asia: adioso.com (Air Asia is prominent there) and hipmunk.com

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