Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, simply known as KL to the locals and frequent visitors, is the capital and the largest city of Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur is a cultural melting pot as well as the financial, business and economic centre of Malaysia. The national language is Bahasa Malaysia, though English is widely used together with different dialects of the Chinese language (Cantonese, Mandarin, Hakka), Tamil and other Indian languages. The uniqueness of Malaysia is that the people of different races, ethnic backgrounds and religions live together in harmony. The country is rich in many cultures and the people here are warm and friendly.

Kuala Lumpur City View Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

n the 19th century, Kuala Lumpur was an important settlement for the tin mining industry. Kuala Lumpur was founded 1857 at the confluence of the Gombak and Klang rivers. The words Kuala Lumpur literally mean 'Muddy Confluence'. The city got its name because it was founded near the place where the rivers Klang and Gombak intersect. Between 1931 and 1957 the city fell under the rule of British. During this period, the city developed rapidly with good road system, railroads and other infrastructures. Over the years Kuala Lumpur grew into an important Asian city. Malaysia is a multi-ethnic, multi-cultural and multi-lingual society and the many ethnic groups maintain separate cultural identities.

Thean Hou Temple Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Petronas Twin Tower Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur is a city full of surprises and has so much to offer. From world famous iconic landmark like Petronas Twin Towers to religious spots like Batu Caves.

Petronas Twin Towers is an iconic landmark in the heart of the city. Standing at 452 metres tall, the 88-storey chrome and steel towers are joined at 41st and 42nd floors by a 58 metres long double decker sky bridge. The sky bridge offers amazing views of the city. It is open for visitors on Tuesdays to Sundays from 9am to 9pm, last admission at 8.30pm. Tickets are priced at RM80 for adults and RM33 for child 3 – 12 years old. The towers are picturesque at night too when lit up. Do plan your trip to the towers where you can enjoy both day view and night views. A trip to the Twin Towers could include visiting Suria KLCC shopping mall at the foot of the towers. For family, you can take a tour to the Petrosains Discovery Centre and Aquaria, the massive oceanarium the city. If you’re in the mood, even a concert at the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra.

Petronas Twin Tower Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Suria KLCC Shopping Mall Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Aquaria KLCC Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

The Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Merdeka Square is a well-known recreation park or a historical place to visit. It was built in 1897 and was named after the reigning sultan of Selangor at the time which originally served as the secretariat for the colonial British administration and was the superior courts of Malaysia before they moved to Putrajaya. The surroundings of the Merdeka Square is well lit at night and the cool breeze makes it an exceptionally ideal place to relax.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Central Market also known as Pasar Seni is a Cultural heritage site with restored art deco facade offering shopping, eateries & an outdoor stage. If you are an antiques lover, this place is not to be missed. A short walking distance away, is the popular Chinatown (Petaling Street)

Central Market Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Petaling Street is a Chinatown located at the centre of Kuala Lumpur. It is a shopping and foodie paradise. There are dozens of restaurants and food stalls serving local cuisines such as Hokkien mee, ikan bakar, asam laksa and curry noodles. Petaling Street is also a well-known shopping district where it turns into a happening night market after dark. Haggling and bargaining is a common sight here and is usually crowded with locals and tourists.

China Town Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

The Batu Caves is a limestone hill that has a series of caves, home to the tallest Lord Murugan statue in the world and a sacred landmark for Hindu devotees. During the yearly Thaipusam celebration, Batu caves is crowded with devotees from all over the world.

Batu Caves Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Malaysia is a country rich with culture and food. Its cuisines reflect the multi-ethnic of its population and the food culture has the influences from the three larger ethnic groups Malay, Chinese, and Indian. Alor Street known as Jalan Alor is a famous food street in the centre of Kuala Lumpur. Most hawker stalls open after 6pm local time. This place is known for as haven for local foodies as well as tourists. Here you can find local favourites such as stir-fried seafood, BBQ chicken wings, Hainanese chicken rice, fish head noodles, curry mee, beef noodles, lok lok and satay. Another food haven is Hutong Food Court which is situated in Lot 10 Mall. The food court is made up of local famous street vendors who were selected to sell their authentic and delicious food such as oyster omelettes, fried noodles and noodles soups, dumplings, meatballs, and roasted meats.

alan Alor Street Food Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Sunway Lagoon theme park offers fun and enjoyable family time which is great for kids and adults. The theme park, water park and the extreme park is located on the same site. The complex includes theme park rides, interactive games, wave and surf pools, and a petting zoo. After a day of fun, do head to the shopping mall for dining and shopping options for those who want to grab some souvenirs.

Sunway Lagoon Water Park Photo Credit Tourism Malaysia

Royal Selangor Visitor Centre showcases the history, factory, and products of Royal Selangor since they began production in 1885. There are free guided tours that include a museum section with early samples of their work, historical photographs, and even period garb for visitors to try on, followed by a visit to the working Royal Selangor factory. You can even try your hand at fashioning some of the pewter pieces and there is a gift shop attached should you want to stock up on pewter jewellery and ornaments.

There are a few places in the world where you can experience watching the enchanting fireflies. Kuala Selangor is one of them. It is situated in the suburb area 90 minutes’ drive from Kuala Lumpur City Centre. This experience of witnessing these wonderful natural flickering lights at night is truly a magnificent sight that you will never forget.

Kuala Selangor Fireflies Photo Credit: Tourism Malaysia

Discover Kuala Lumpur's major landmarks on a Kuala Lumpur Hop-on Hop-off double decker bus. They offer 24 hours and 48 hours tickets. Ticket holders are allowed to hop-on and hop-off at any of our stop, with the choice of ticket validity of 24 or 48 hours. The tour let you experience every aspect of Kuala Lumpur. From the hi-rise building up to the skyscrapers, towards the historical places and the green scenery that amidst of this attractive and recreational tour. With 21 designated stops, you will get to know Kuala Lumpur like never before.

Kuala Lumpur Hop-on Hop-off double decker bus. Photo Credit Tourism Malaysia

There are two international airports in Kuala Lumpur; Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is the Main Terminal and KLIA2 is a low cost carrier terminal used by Air Asia, Tiger Airways and Cebu Pacific. They are only 2 km apart. The airports are about 50km south west of the city, in the Sepang district of Selangor which takes about 1-hour drive to city centre.

Airport transfer from KLIA

KLIA Ekspres trains takes only 28 minutes and KLIA Transit trains get to the airport in 36min and stop at Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya, and Bandar Tasik Selatan en route. At the peak hours (05:00-09:00 and 16:00-22:00), train is schedule every 15min; otherwise the train runs every 20min. From KL Sentral, the first train (a transit) leaves at 04:33; the last (also a transit) is at 01:03. From the airport, the first train (an express) leaves at 05:00; the last (a transit) leaves at 01:03. If taking an early morning or late night ekspres train from the airport, there may be no ticket sales available over the counter therefore you need to buy the ticket in advance in KL Sentral.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport Photo Credit: tourism Malaysia

Airport taxi is available but make sure you get the coupon from the ticket counter and not the drivers hanging around the airport. Any taxi can bring passengers to the KLIA including Kuala Lumpur's metered red-and-white taxis, although getting drivers to use the meter is hard work. If you fail in getting them to use the meter, make sure you agree on a price before setting off and should cost RM80 to RM100 in total and should include the airport surcharge (RM12) and expressway toll fees (which taxis get at half price).

Airport Coach runs an express bus every 30min between KL Sentral and KLIA 05:30-00:30 from KL Sentral, and 05:00-23:00 from KLIA that takes about 1h and costs MYR12 one way (October 2018), or MYR18 return.

Airport Transfer from KLIA2

KLIA2 is linked by the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit to KL Sentral Terminal in the city centre (33 mins by KLIA Ekspres and 39 mins by KLIA Transit). All trains stop at KLIA Main Terminal before continuing on towards KL Sentral or KLIA2. Transfers between the KLIA Main Terminal Building (MTB) and klia2 takes just under 3 minutes and costs RM2. The train station is on the 2nd floor of Gateway@klia2.

Taxi counters are in the Ground Transport Hub on the ground floor of Gateway@klia2 and any taxi can bring passengers to klia2, including Kuala Lumpur's metered red-and-white taxis.

SkyBus and Aerobus run direct services every half hour or so to and from KL Sentral. SkyBus can be prebooked with an AirAsia ticket during the initial flight booking for RM8.90 one way - but beware, that if you miss your flight or change your mind and decide not to travel it, the SkyBus fare, as well as other additional services on that booking, will not be refunded.

Getting Around

Kuala Lumpur's ambitious public transport system is sufficiently developed to be fairly efficient and convenient, but much room for improvement lies in its integration. The city, like many developing cities, suffers from paralysing traffic jams periodically throughout the day. In the rush hours, consider combining various methods of transport. For example: soar over traffic jams by monorail then finish the journey by taxi or Grabcar.

LRT/MRT & Monorail - run by RapidKL, which also runs the urban buses, it is the closest thing to a metro though it is mainly elevated on concrete pillars with only the most central stations underground. There are five lines: the Sri Petaling Line, Ampang line, the Kelana Jaya line, the Monorail line and the Sungai Buloh-Kajang line. The Monorail line is entirely elevated and loops through the Golden Triangle in a semicircle. Riding its whole length gives a good overview of the city centre.

Light Railway Transit Photo Credit: tourism Malaysia

KTM Komuter has two lines that meet in the city centre and run out to the suburbs, including the Batu Caves and Midvalley Mega Mall. Trains are not as frequent as on the LRT or Monorail. It would be prudent to plan your journeys around the official KTM Komuter timetables found on the KTMB website.

KTM Photo Credit: tourism Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Metro Map

If you're flying into KL and only staying for a day or two, then the best value card is the KL TravelPass (www.kliaekspres.com). Included in the cost of a single (RM70) or return (RM115) transfer on the KLIA Ekspres train with the international airport is two days of rides on the city's LRT, MRT and monorail lines. To buy a KL Travel Pass card, there are currently three main places where you can get them. The first being at the KLIA Express ticket counters at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport or KLIA level 1, when you arrive just before you get your baggage. The second place would be at the KLIA Express ticket counter at Gateway Mall in KLIA 2, where the budget airlines are located at. And the third location is at KL Sentral, where the main KLIA Express terminal is located, just visit the ticket counter to buy your KL Travel Pass from them.

The easiest but often also the most expensive way to travel within Kuala Lumpur is by taxi. Taxis are almost always available at every corner in the city center. The downside is that some taxi drivers do not want to turn on the meter if he notices that he is dealing with tourists. And it’s not feasible way to commute when the traffic is at a standstill at peak hours. However, traffic can also get bad during off peak hours and you can never expect it. This also applies to GRAB as they too will be caught in traffic.

Language

The languages in Malaysia are the result of the many races residing here. The three main races in Malaysia are the Malays, Chinese and Indians. There are also other indigenous groups residing in East Malaysia. The official language of Kuala Lumpur is Bahasa Malaysia. However, many residents are you should get by on speaking English without many problems. Cantonese and Mandarin languages are spoken by the Chinese population. Other languages are Tamil, Hindi, Punjabi, etc. spoken by the Indian minority and Minangkabau and Javanese spoken by the Indonesians.

Visa & Passport validity

A valid passport with 6 month validity is required. For holidays or vacation in Malaysia, most countries’ citizen does not need a visa to enter within 30 days’ stay. For more details, please do check with your country embassy prior to your trip.

Currency

Ringgit is the currency in Malaysia issue by Bank Negara. The available notes included Malaysia Ringgit RM 100, RM 50, RM 10, RM 5, RM 1 and 50 cent, 20 cent, 10 cent, 5 cent, (RM 1 equal to 100 cent). Moneychangers are widely available in local shopping areas offering more competitive rates than those in banks, hotels or the airport. Cash is essential in the night markets, Chinatown and hawker stalls, though it won’t be difficult to find an ATM nearby. Credit cards are widely accepted at department stores and restaurants.

Best Time To Visit

Kuala Lumpur is ideal for visit all year round. Due to tropical climate, Kuala Lumpur go through showers which scattered all around the year and experience random floods and heat waves. There are two major monsoon seasons yearly where certain areas experience more rainfall and thunderstorms. Between October and January the eastern side of the peninsula is affected and the city receives a lot of rain. Meanwhile, from March to April the western monsoon hits the city directly, bringing the most rain. April to July is the best time to visit KL as the humidity is lower and entire country goes through a dry season.

Weather & Climate

Kuala Lumpur remains warm and humid throughout the year. It is important to stay hydrated. Rainy seasons are from March to April and September to November. Rainy months are often chilly and can be more comfortable though It is advisable to carry an umbrella in any season. During the day, temperatures fluctuate between 29°C - 38°C, and 26°C - 29°C at night.

What To Wear

The weather in Kuala Lumpur is humid and making it very easy to sweat. It is recommended that you dress light clothing to stay cool. T-shirts or short sleeve shirts and shorts are likely to keep you comfortable all day. Hat or cap and sunglasses are good to provide some shield from sunlight. It’s always safe to bring an umbrella, in case of an unexpected rain.

Electricity and Sockets

Malaysia is using Type G socket with 220-240V. This is uncommon in non-Commonweal countries.

There is a high-level tolerance for foreign rules and etiquette in this multicultural city. The most important thing to avoid is public affection, which is frowned on between all couples whether they're dating or married. The only other item likely to elude Western travelers is the need to remove shoes before entering a temple or private residence.

Alcohol is frowned on in Muslim society but is still widely available as Malaysian culture welcomes people from all walks of life. Tipping is not routine when dining out in Kuala Lumpur though upscale restaurants may include a 10 percent service charge.

Most locals (especially conservative Muslims) refrain from showing excessive affection in public.

It is customary to remove your shoes before entering homes and religious places like temples and mosques.

Do not underestimate the time it takes to the airport due to unpredictable traffic condition. To avoid hassles such as missed flights and cancelled connections, it is advisable is to leave earlier to the airport or at least an hour travel time from the city centre.

Always have an umbrella with you due to unforeseeable rainfall.

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