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Kuala Lumpur

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Kuala Lumpur is a huge city with several district articles containing sightseeing, restaurant, nightlife and accommodation listings — have a look at each of them.

Kuala Lumpur (called simply KL by locals) is the federal capital and the largest city in Malaysia.

Literally meaning "muddy river confluence" in Malay, Kuala Lumpur has grown from a small sleepy Chinese tin-mining village to a bustling metropolis of 7 million (city-proper population- 1.8 million) in just 150 years. A cultural melting pot with some of the world's cheapest 5-star hotels, great shopping, even better food and some of nature's wonders in just an hour away, this dynamic city has much to offer for every visitor.


Kuala Lumpur is a sprawling city and its residential suburbs seem to go on forever. The city is a Federal Territory, and has an area of 243 km2 (94 sq mi) which consists of the city center and its surrounding urban areas, managed by the KL City Hall. It also merges with the adjacent satellite cities of Petaling Jaya, Subang Jaya, Shah Alam, Klang, Port Klang, Ampang, Selayang/Rawang, Kajang, Puchong, Sepang, and all in the state of Selangor, (except the new administrative city Putrajaya, also a federal territory) which enclaves KL, and all with their separate local authorities. Collectively they are called Greater Kuala Lumpur, more commonly Klang Valley. The combination of Old City Centre, Tuanku Abdul Rahman/Chow Kit and Brickfields, which has a rich history, is also known as the Kuala Lumpur/Diamond Triangle.

The city can be divided into the following areas, each of which offers a particular attraction or activity.

  • Old City Centre/Old Town (Chinatown) [not to be confused with Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (KLCC)] – This is the traditional core of KL where you’ll find the former colonial administrative center-the Merdeka Square, Sultan Abdul Samad Building and Selangor Club. It also includes Kuala Lumpur’s old Chinese commercial centre which everyone refers to now as Chinatown and wet market turned handicraft center - Central Market Kuala Lumpur.
  • Golden Triangle – KL's Central Business District (CBD), to the north-east of the old city center/old town. This is where you will find Bukit Bintang- KL's premier shopping district, five-star hotels, offices, nightlife, and the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
  • Tuanku Abdul Rahman / Chow Kit – This extension of the old city center/old town is fast regaining its old fame after a decade of slow growth. Located 500 m north of Chinatown and 500 m west to the Petronas Twin Towers, this is the traditional colorful shopping district of Kuala Lumpur north of the city center that moves into high gear when the festivals of Hari Raya Puasa (Eid ul-Fitr) and Deepavali approach. Located just beside the Golden Triangle (northern neighbor) with many popular budget accommodations. The gigantic Putra World Trade Centre & the traditional Kampung Baru food haven are among the most important landmarks.
  • Brickfields – This area, located south of the city centre, is Kuala Lumpur’s Little India, filled with saree shops and banana leaf rice restaurants. Kuala Lumpur’s new main railway station, KL Central, is located here.
  • Bangsar and Midvalley – Located south of the city, Bangsar is a popular upmarket dining & nightlife district while Midvalley is one of the city’s most popular shopping malls.
  • Damansara and Hartamas – Largely suburban, these two districts to the west of the city house some interesting pockets of restaurants and drinking areas. This district also merges into the northern part of Petaling Jaya.
  • Ampang – Located east of the city, Ampang is home to Kuala Lumpur’s Little Korea and most foreign embassies.
  • Northern suburbs – This huge area to the north of the city is home to several natural wonders attractions, such as the Batu Caves, the National Zoo and the Forest Research Institute of Malaysia.
  • Southern suburbs – This district may not interest travelers much, although Kuala Lumpur’s National Stadium and National Sports Complex Bukit Jalil and Putrajaya is located here.


Merdeka means that the offices of the Colonial Secretariat on the Selangor Club Padang (field) became the Sultan Abdul Samad Building on Dataran Mereka (Independence Square)

Prior to independence, Malaya was a British colony. When Malaya's independence, to be attained on 31 August 1957, was approved by the British Government in 1956, the first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman announced it to the public in Malacca at what is today Dataran Pahlawan. On the evening of 30 August 1957, crowds gathered at what was then known as the Selangor Club Padang (Green) to celebrate the historic event. As the clock on the State Secretariat Building (today's Sultan Abdul Samad Building) struck midnight, the crowds, led by Tunku Abdul Rahman, shouted "Merdeka" seven times. The Union Jack was lowered and the flag of the new country was raised to the strains of the national anthem, Negaraku. The Selangor Club Padang is today known as Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square). The next day, the official handing over of power by the British was held at Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium). The country was renamed Malaysia on September 16, 1963, when Singapore, Sabah, Sarawak and Malaya formed a new federation.

Founded only in 1857 as a tin mining outpost, Kuala Lumpur is fairly new as far as Malaysian cities go and lacks the rich history of George Town or Malacca. After rough early years marked by gang fighting, Kuala Lumpur started to prosper and was made capital of the Federated Malay States in 1896. Malaysia's independence was declared in 1957 in front of huge crowds at what was later named Stadium Merdeka (Independence Stadium), and Kuala Lumpur continued as the new nation's capital. The economic boom of the 1990s brought KL the standard trappings of a modern city, bristling with skyscrapers and modern transportation systems.


Climate Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
High (°C) 31.0 32.0 33.0 33.0 32.0 32.0 32.0 32.0 32.0 32.0 31.0 31.0
Low (°C) 22.0 22.0 22.0 23.0 23.0 23.0 22.0 22.0 22.0 23.0 22.0 22.0
Precipitation (cm) 14.70 13.70 21.80 26.40 20.90 13.00 14.10 15.40 19.00 26.80 27.80 23.20

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia - Weather forecast

Kuala Lumpur has a year-round tropical rainforest climate which is warm and sunny, along with abundant rainfall. It can even rain daily during the northeast monsoon season from October to March. Wettest month (with highest rainfall) is November (278mm). Driest month (with lowest rainfall) is June (130mm). Flooding is a frequent occurrence in Kuala Lumpur whenever there is a heavy downpour, especially in the city centre and downstream areas. Dust particles from forest fires from nearby Sumatra sometimes cast a haze over the region (especially between June and August). It is a major source of pollution in the city along with open burning, emission from vehicles and construction work.

Temperatures tend to remain constant throughout the year and hover between 31~33 °C (max. temperature) and 22~23 °C (min. temperature).

Get in[edit]

Malaysia's transportation systems are, by regional standards, pretty well functioning. Planes, trains, buses, and taxis are linked in a system conceived and constructed by, if not an order-loving architect, at least a dedicated amateur. The planners' aims are an ultra-modern, chic, european-style system that are a far cry from the city's humble beginnings.

A bewildering jumble of initials and acronyms assault any first time journey planner in KL and it will take at least a day to decipher the scheme of things.

By plane[edit]

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) - Main Terminal[edit]

Kuala Lumpur International Airport's Terminal

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (IATA: KUL) is about 50km south west of the city, in the Sepang district of Selangor. The USD2.5 billion glass and steel structure was inaugurated in 1998 and has been ranked as one of the world's top airports. It superseded the Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah International Airport in Subang, which is now only used for charter and turboprop flights.

If you are a visitor, your fingerprints will be taken on arrival at the airport.

Transfers by train[edit]
  • KLIA Trains link the Main Terminal with the KL Sentral transportation hub in Kuala Lumpur. Non-stop KLIA Ekspres trains (MYR55 one way from May 2014 on) complete the journey in 28min. At the busiest times (05:00-09:00 and 16:00-22:00), there is one train every 15min; otherwise they run every 20min. KLIA Transit trains (also MYR55 one way) get to the airport in 36min and stop at Salak Tinggi, Putrajaya, and Bandar Tasik Selatan en route. Infuriatingly, Transit and Ekspres tickets are not interchangeable and although the trains leave and arrive at the same ERL train station platform of KLIA & klia2 airport, but arrive or leave at different ERL stations at KL Sentral--make sure you don't get them mixed up.
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: buy the ticket when you arrive in KL Sentral.
The same trains also go to klia2, one stop after KLIA Main Terminal. Transfers between the KLIA Main Terminal and klia2 takes just under 3 minutes and costs MYR2.
The direct train between the airport and KL Sentral costs RM55, however there is a way to save over half by changing at Putrajaya. The total fare for the split journey is RM23.40 before any discounts. The total journey time is 66 minutes including connection at Putrajaya station. Purchase the separate tickets at each station.
If flying Malaysia, Cathay or Royal Brunei and taking the KLIA Express train to the airport, you can check in your baggage at the Kuala Lumpur City Air Terminal in KL Sentral. See "Get around" section below on how to get to/away from KL Sentral.
  • The KTM Komuter station Nilai (1h, MYR5 from KL) has frequent connecting buses to KLIA operated by Airport Coach and Sepang Omnibus (1.5h, MYR3.50). This is the cheapest option to the main terminal but takes much longer than the direct train or bus (allow 3h for the whole journey).
Transfers by bus[edit]
  • Airport Coach runs an express bus every 30min between KL Sentral and KLIA 05:30-00:30 from Sentral, and 05:00-23:00 from KLIA that takes about 1h and costs MYR12 one way(October 2018), or MYR18 return. Buses are comfortable with good leg room and air-con but the drivers are often sullen and uncommunicative.
  • Star Shuttle bus runs from KLIA to Kota Raya and Pudu Raya (both are near the Chinatown), MYR12 one way (Dec 2019). There is also a hotel transfer for an extra price that brings you from from KLIA or KLIA2 direct to any hotel in KL district. It costs MYR18 (Dec 2019) from airport to hotel but MYR20 for return hotel to airport rides. You may have to buy two tickets in order to get from airport to hotel - one for MYR12 to Pudu Raya from the bus counter at the airport, and another for MYR6 from the bus driver for the ride from Pudu Raya to your hotel. There are bus counters on the ground floor in KLIA2 and at the public bus terminal building in KLIA (link to the main airport terminal building is via a hard-to-find pedestrian bridge). Expect no customer service or information or friendliness at the public bus terminal's ticketing counter. The Star Shuttle coach will bring you to Pudu Raya where you will be transferred to a small van that will bring you to your hotel door. For the return ride from hotel to airport, pickups are best arranged by calling Star Shuttle pickup reservations line (ask driver for number if he has not handed you a card already) and agreeing the date and time. Drivers show up with their vans promptly at hotel door.
  • Sepang Omnibus runs local bus services directly to Seremban in Negeri Sembilan, Banting in Selangor and Sepang town where you can get connecting buses to/from Port Dickson, Negeri Sembilan. The buses may be a little basic and uncomfortable, and do not follow a timetable (at least, not one that is publicly known).
  • Free landside shuttle bus service is available for transferring between KLIA Main Terminal and KLIA2. This service is only available for connecting passengers with proof of flight details.
Transfers by taxi[edit]

Travellers are told to use the coupon taxi available at the exit point. The drivers that hang around the airport and KL Sentral will try and scam you. If anyone approaches you asking you where you want to go, do not trust them: they will be shameless in inflating the price for you and lying about the unavailability of other options. It is recommended for traveler to use Grab instead (a SE Asian mobile number from one of the countries Grab operates in, is required for registering your Grab app upon download).

  • From KLIA: Only Airport Limo limousines and budget taxis are allowed to pick up passengers at the airport. Buy coupons for these taxis at the Airport Limo counters just before you exit the international arrivals gate, or just outside the domestic arrivals gate. Insist on a budget taxi (fixed fare, RM74.80 to Kuala Lumpur), as the misnamed "premier" cars (RM100) are no better in quality. Given the price of the KLIA Trains, taxis are a reasonable option for anyone not travelling alone (so long as you don't let yourself get ripped off).
  • To KLIA: Any taxi can bring passengers to 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).
Transfers by road[edit]

If you have your own wheels, KLIA is well connected to Peninsular Malaysia's expressway network. The airport is directly linked with the North South Expressway Central Link (known by its Malay abbreviation "ELITE" of Expressway Lingkaran Tengah) about 70km or nearly 1h away from Kuala Lumpur city centre. Exit the expressway at KLIA interchange for both the Main Terminal and klia2.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) - klia2[edit]

A gigantic new USD1.3 billion low-cost carrier terminal named klia2 started operations in May 2014, replacing the former Low Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT). Located about 2km away from the KLIA Main Terminal Building (MTB), it is used by AirAsia, Tiger Airways, and Cebu Pacific.

Departing passengers should note the considerable (up to 20 minute brisk) walk between Immigration clearance, this procedure alone taking on occasion up 45 minutes due to processing slowness despite small traveller numbers, and the furthest gates.

Security check requirements are different if you are flying domestic and international. For international travelers, they are expected to dispose all liquid except 100ml (including drinking water) at security check. For domestic travellers, they are allowed to go through security even with a full 1.5l water bottle. Passengers arriving from 'high-risk' countries may face extra checks by customs.

There are a few water coolers for topping up your empty water bottles after the security check. If you are at the 'J' gates, there is only one outside the toilet near gate J6.

[email protected], a shopping mall with plenty of shopping and dining options, adjoins the actual terminal building. Ground transport to the city and elsewhere is in [email protected]

AirAsia fly-thru passengers at klia2 are to connect via the Transfer Hall (Gate L), located between the domestic & international gates. There is no airside transit between klia2 and the KLIA Main Terminal Building (MTB). Passengers transiting between airlines have to clear Immigration and Customs upon arrival at klia2 and collect their baggage, before proceeding to the KLIA Main Terminal Building (MTB) to re-check in for flights and vice versa.

Transfers by train[edit]

klia2 is linked by the KLIA Ekspres and KLIA Transit to KL Sentral Terminal in the city centre. Ticket from/to KL Sentral costs RM55 one way (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 [email protected]

Transfers by bus[edit]

Several bus operators run services to KL and other cities from the Ground Transport Hub on the ground floor of [email protected]

  • SkyBus [44] and Aerobus [45] run direct services (RM11) 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.
  • Star Shuttle [46] (Tel: +60-3-40438811) has direct buses (RM10) to the Pekeliling Bus Terminal, Chinatown in central KL, Batu 3 (3rd Mile) Jalan Ipoh in Kuala Lumpur and also direct connections to the Ipoh, Teluk Intan, Bidor and Sitiawan. They also serve direct line to several hotels in the city to klia2. Check its website for any changes of routes & schedules.

Free shuttle bus service is available for transferring between KLIA Main Terminal and klia2.

Transfers by taxi[edit]
  • From klia2: Taxi counters are in the Ground Transport Hub on the ground floor of [email protected]
  • To klia2: Like the KLIA Main Terminal, any taxi can bring passengers to klia2, including Kuala Lumpur's metered red-and-white taxis.
Transfers by road[edit]

klia2 is connected to the same expressways that connect KLIA Main Terminal to the city centre.

Subang Skypark Airport[edit]

The Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport (IATA: SZB) (ICAO: WMSA), more commonly referred to as the Subang Skypark Airport, was the country's main international airport until KLIA was opened in 1998. As it is much nearer to the city centre and less crowded than the newer KLIA, it can make a convenient entry point for those flying from Singapore, Batam (Indonesia) or other parts of Malaysia. (Majority of international flights are from Singapore.) After the opening of KLIA, it was designated for turboprop aircraft and is currently served by three airlines.

  • Firefly [47] a Malaysia Airlines subsidiary began operating from Subang in late 2007, flying initially to Penang twice daily but now serves a whole range of destinations with new ATR aircraft in Peninsular Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and to Ko Samui and Phuket in Thailand.
  • Malindo Air [48] is the latest player in the Malaysian market. Besides turboprop flights to domestic destinations in Peninsula Malaysia, the airline also offers jet aircraft services from KLIA.
  • Berjaya Air [49] flies daily to/from Tioman Island and Redang Island. It also has 2 flights weekly to/from Ko Samui in Thailand.
Transfers by train[edit]

KTM Subang Skylink [50] operates a Subang Skylink service between KL Sentral and the Skypark Terminal. The fare is RM15.00 one way, and it takes 28 minutes for the entire journey. This is a limited express service, so do check the schedule on the website.

Transfers by bus[edit]

Skypark Coaches Sdn. Bhd. [51] operates a shuttle bus service to/from Subang Terminal. As of June 2014, the route to Pudu Sentral [52] was already in operation, with hourly departures both from Pudu Sentral (7AM-9PM) and from the airport (8AM-10PM). The fare from the airport is RM8.20 to KL Sentral or to KTM KL (Old Railway Station), RM9.30 to Pudu Sentral; oddly enough, the fare from the city is cheaper (RM6.40/7.10, respectively).

Rapid KL bus 772 (destination Mah Sing and Pekan Subang) from the Sultan Mohd Bus Hub next to the Pasar Seni LRT station goes past the airport. The fare is RM3.00 one way and takes approximately 40 min in clear traffic. It can take nearly 1 hr and 30 min during peak rush hour.

Transfers by taxi[edit]

The airport is 25 km from the city centre and the best way to get there is by taxi.

By road[edit]

Most important roads in Peninsular Malaysia lead to/from Kuala Lumpur. The city lies about midway along the North-South Expressway (Motorway) (NSE; route numbers E1 and E2) which runs from the Malaysia-Thailand border at Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah to Johor Bahru in the south, on the Malaysian side of the Causeway to Singapore. The main expressway exits for Kuala Lumpur on the NSE are Jalan Duta (from the north) and Sungai Besi (from the south).

A view from Dataran Merdeka

The Karak Highway (E8), which later turns into the East Coast Expressway, links Kuala Lumpur with the East Coast states of Pahang, Terengganu and Kelantan. For those who do not want to pay toll, Kuala Lumpur is on Federal Route One (the "Trunk Road") which, like the NSE, runs through all West Coast states of Peninsular Malaysia from Bukit Kayu Hitam, Kedah to Johor Bahru. Those travelling along the West Coast Road (Federal Route Five) should leave the road at Klang and get to Kuala Lumpur via the Federal Highway.

By bus[edit]

Kuala Lumpur has several bus stations or terminals/terminuses/termini(Malay: stesen bas or hentian) which handle long distance express bus services; many destinations are served by more than one terminal. It is advised to arrive at the bus terminal 15 minutes before the departure time.

Generally speaking, most buses leave from Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS). Only a few buses leave from Pudu Sentral, and even fewer buses leave from Pekeliling Bus Terminal.

Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS, Southern Integrated Terminal)[edit]

The main place to almost all the main cities in Malaysia, for south-bound buses (i.e. towards Malacca, Johor Bharu and Singapore), north-bound buses (i.e. towards Penang/Butterworth, Kedah, Perlis and Perak), east-bound buses (i.e. towards Kelantan, Terengganu and Pahang) is the gigantic & ultra-modern building in Bandar Tasik Selatan Selangor. TBS is served by 3 train lines - ERL KLIA Transit, the KTM Komuter Seremban line, and the RapidKL Ampang line Sri Petaling bound.

To/from Singapore:

  • KKKL [53])☎,+603-2078 1899 is Malaysia's biggest private bus company. KKKL provides 6 to 8 departures daily (depending on weekend or weekday) to/from the Katong V Mall (Marine Parade) and Tanjong Katong Complex (Next to MRT interchange Payar Lebar Station).
  • Transnasional [54])☎, +60 3 20703300 is Malaysia's biggest long-distance government bus company. Economy class departures to Singapore's Beach Road Park Royal hotel at 08:45, 10:30, 13:30, 17:30, 22:30 & 23:59 - RM50 one-way and takes 5 hr.
  • Konsortium Bas Ekspres Semenanjung (KBES [55]) ☎ +60 3 20701321) has several buses daily to/from the Golden Mile complex in Singapore.

To/from Hat Yai, in Thailand:

  • Konsortium Bas Ekspres Semenanjung (KBES [56] ☎ +60 3 20313036) has departures at 10:30 & 24:00: RM60 one-way.
  • Alisan Golden Coach Express [57], Terminal Bersepadu Selatan, ☎ +60 3 62433337 have four buses every day which leave Kuala Lumpur to Hatyai, departure at 21:30, 22:00, 22:30, 23:59, ticket around RM70, 7 hr journey.

Pudu Sentral[edit]

Formerly the main express bus hub in KL, Pudu Sentral now only caters to a small amount of express buses to several destinations. The station has quite bad navigation, after arriving by escalator from main street you most likely end up at the floor with the access gates to the platforms. From there you need to take the well hidden escalators 2 floors above and you will reach very well hidden ticket counters. Especially on this floor you will meet very annoying ticket touts following you, and asking "where you go?", just ignore them, they are not dangerous, just annoying. The ticket touts usually sell you tickets for a surcharge to the ticket counters - they are prone to sell you a ticket for a bus which is most profitable to them, rather than most convenient to you. Access to platforms is from the main floor with escalators, doors to platforms are not automatic, you must press button, so don't wait for it. If you have problems with breathing polluted air it's worth considering bringing face mask, since you will wait then in bus for long time to depart in underground level full of air polluted with bus engines which can make you little bit dizzy (it's the worst air you will experience anywhere in Malaysia). The nearest LRT station is Plaza Rakyat (Ampang and Sri Petaling Lines).

Hentian Duta[edit]

Mainly north-bound express buses use this terminal which is located a distance to the west of the city centre on Jalan Duta. The only convenient access is by taxi.

Kuala Lumpur Old Railway Station[edit]

The impressive old station (now just a KTM Komuter stop) is also a bus terminal. Rapid KL City Shuttle bus Nos. 109, 115 as stop here. Plusliner luxury services (under the brand names "Nice" and "Platinum Service") are based here; destinations include Penang, Johor Bahru, Singapore and Hat Yai in Thailand.

Pekeliling Bus Terminal is on Jalan Tun Razak to the north of the city centre, and handles local bus services to some Pahang destinations like Genting Highlands, Bentong, Raub and Temerloh. Access: Titiwangsa station is within walking distance. Rapid KL City Shuttle No. B101, B102, B103, B104, B109.


Deluxe long-distance buses leave from all over the place:

  • KKKL [58])☎,+603-2078 1899 provides boarding point at Chinatown 5 Elements Hotel. KKKL provides 6 to 8 departures daily (depending on weekend or weekday) to/from the Katong V Mall (Marine Parade) and Tanjong Katong Complex (Next to MRT interchange Payar Lebar Station).
  • Aeroline [59] uses the Corus Hotel (on Jalan Ampang) serves as the terminal for express buses to/from Singapore, Johor Bahru, and Penang. Access: KLCC station is 300m away. Rapid KL City Shuttle No. B103, B104, B105, B106, B114. The company also runs the same service from various locations around Klang Valley.
  • First Coach [60] services to/from Singapore leave Bangsar LRT station, Subang Parade, and One Utama
  • Transtar [61] uses the shot lot just behind Berjaya Times Square and opposite to the Overseas Chinese Restaurant, a 5 min walk from Bukit Bintang.
  • Transnasional [62] Executive Coaches to Singapore and Penang leave from the Malaysian Tourist Information Complex (MATIC) on Jalan Ampang, between KLCC and Bukit Nanas.

By train[edit]

Kuala Lumpur Railway Station
East Asia -Train Travel Map

KTM's intercity and international trains arrive at KL Sentral [63] railway station: a large, modern transport hub located (despite the name) a fair distance to the south of the city centre. There are day and overnight trains to places as far flung as Singapore, Hat Yai in Thailand and Kota Bharu in Malaysia's north-east. Overnight trains are very reasonably priced and have two classes of sleeper accommodation (two-berth compartments and open sections, similar to Thai trains) both of which provide a comfortable night's sleep. Train services towards Thailand and Singapore have largely been superseded by the new Electric Train Service (ETS). However, the southern portion of the KTM tracks in Johor are not electrified, necessitating a transfer from ETS to conventional diesel train at Gemas station. Those who intend to take the KTM from Singapore to KL or vice-versa should be aware of this compulsory transfer. Timetables and seat availability information is available online. Online booking is available in the same website too.

The ETS to Ipoh also stops at Kuala Lumpur's architecturally impressive and more convenient old station, Kuala Lumpur Railway Station near Merdaka Square and Pasar Seni LRT station. The ETS extends from Padang Besar at the Thai border to Gemas station in Negeri Sembilan.

KL Sentral is on the Kelana Jaya LRT line and is also served by KTM Komuter trains. KL Sentral is also connected to the KL Monorail and MRT Sungai Buloh - Kajang Line. A RM10 taxi coupon should be enough to get to most destinations in the city centre by taxi from KL Sentral. Taxi drivers outside the station are unlikely to be honest. Various services are available at KL Sentral, including showers (RM5 for shower only, RM15 for shower plus towel and toiletries) and baggage check in for certain airlines' customers. Numerous hotels are also located around KL Sentral, from 5-star to budget options.

By boat[edit]

Kuala Lumpur is not located by the sea. However, there are ferry connections to/from Sumatra (Indonesia) at Port Klang, about 40 km west of Kuala Lumpur. See the Port Klang article for details on how to get there.


The Malaysia visa is valid for 3 months and citizens from eligible countries can enter Malaysia for periods of up to 30 days.

Get around[edit]

RapidKL Monorail line

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.

By train[edit]

Urban rail comes in four distinct flavours, which are not always fully connected:

  • LRT/MRT & Monorail [64] - 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.

Fares are cheap (from RM1). If it rains, you might get wet when transferring between lines. From 2012, connectivity between different LRT lines has improved a lot, passengers just need to purchase a single ticket for transferring between LRT and monorail lines or inside LRT system. A notable exception are the KTM Komuter lines, a separate ticket is still required for these lines. For buying LRT tickets you must use vending machine which takes maximum RM5 banknotes, worker in the booth will not sell you ticket, he will only change your banknotes to lower value and you have to use vending machine again, so be prepared with smaller denominations.

  • KTM Komuter [65] - 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: plan for a 20 min wait but 5-10 min is more likely. It would be prudent to plan your journeys around the official KTM Komuter timetables found on the KTMB website. To get in/out KTM Komuter lines you are supposed to use turnstiles, but during 6/2013 turnstiles were switched off at Kuala Lumpur and Batu Caves stations, so don't bother trying and just pass through.
  • ERL - trains run between KL Sentral and KL international airport (KLIA). Express trains run direct RM55 one-way. Another type Transit trains stop at Bandar Tasik Selatan, Putrajaya and Salak Tinggi en route. Express trains fare is expensive for between airport and KL Sentral, the cheap, fast and better solution is to buy a Transit trains ticket KLIA-Putrajaya and then Putrajaya-KL Sentral ticket at Putrajaya station. Total fare is RM23.40 instead of paying RM55.00 one-way for Express trains. Journey time is 66 minutes including 30 minutes connection at Putrajaya station.

The Touch 'n Go [66] card (RM10 at major stations) can be used on all lines. The card can be bought from the TNG Spot in KLIA2 or TNG Hub in KL Sentral. A full list of available places to purchase the card from is available here: [67]

Travellers spending a short stay in Kuala Lumpur may consider purchasing a KL TravelPass. The TravelPass offers 2-day unlimited rides on LRT, MRT and KL Monorail lines. It can also function as a Touch 'n Go card by adding stored value, to be used on RapidKL buses and KTM Komuter. It can be bought at KLIA Ekpress ticket counters at KLIA, KLIA2 or KL Sentral. Both TravelPass and conventional Touch 'n Go cards can be easily be topped up at a plethora of locations.

Some notable train stations:

Rail Map
  • Bukit Bintang (Monorail and SBK lines) - for shopping in the Golden Triangle
  • Bukit Nanas (Monorail line) - for clubbing at P. Ramlee, within walking distance of the Twin Towers
  • KLCC (Kelana Jaya line) - for the Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC Park and the Suria KLCC and Avenue K shopping malls
  • KL Sentral (Kelana Jaya line/Monorail line/KTM Komuter/KLIA Trains/ETS) / Muzium Negara (SBK line) - while not that central, it is a comprehensive hub with connections to buses and intercity trains. The Monorail line is about 400m walking distance via the Nu Sentral Mall to the main terminal containing Kelana Jaya line, KTM Komuter, KLIA Trains and ETS. The MRT SBK line is about 200m walking distance to the main terminal on the other direction and is named Muzium Negara. Also for access to Little India.
  • Masjid Jamek (Sri Petaling & Kelana Jaya lines) - Major LRT interchange between Sri Petaling line and Kelana Jaya line in the city centre
  • Plaza Rakyat (Sri Petaling line) - for access to Chinatown
  • Bandar Tasik Selatan (Sri Petaling line) - integrated with Terminal Bersepadu Selatan (TBS) for south and north-bound buses (to Penang, Ipoh, Singapore, and Johor). Interchange for KTM Komuter and the ERL's KLIA Transit trains.

A few quirks:

  1. The LRT lines have had various names in the past (Kelana Jaya line fka PUTRA line; Ampang line fka STAR line), don't be surprised to see signage different from the names listed here.
  2. Monorail line's "KL Sentral" station is not located inside KL Sentral main building but in front of Nu Sentral shopping mall about 400m walking distance.
  3. Trains usually follow a timetable, with the period between trains decreased to two/three minutes at peak hours. However, if the "driverless" trains of the Kelana Jaya line breakdown, services may be disrupted for two hours or more, although such breakdowns are few and far between.
  4. Despite the monorail/LRT/MRT integrated ticketing system, there are a couple of connecting stations where you would need to exit through the barriers and reenter at another barrier between two lines. Despite having paid a fare for the full journey, your token will not be returned for you to continue the journey. For these connections, do purchase two seperate journeys:
  • Between Dang Wangi (Kelana Jaya line) and Bukit Nanas (Monorail line)
  • Between Sultan Ismail (Sri Petaling line) and Medan Tuanku (Monorail line)
  • Between Bukit Bintang (Monorail line) and Bukit Bintang (SBK line)
  • Between any 2 lines in KL Sentral (Monorail line, Kelana Jaya line) or Muzium Negara (SBK line)

By bus[edit]

Double-decker KL Hop-on Hop-off [68] sightseeing tour buses serve 42 notable places. An information commentary is given through live commentary. Tickets (valid for 24 or 48hrs) give unlimited use during their validity. Children under 5 ride free. The buses are scheduled every half hour but waits may be as long as two hours due to traffic jams, so try to maximize use of the service outside rush hours.

The free bus service Go KL [69] started 1 September 2012 in the Central Business District (CBD) with two circular bus routes. The Purple Line starts at Pasar Seni and travels to the shopping area of Bukit Bintang, where it links up with the Green Line looping around KLCC. From 1 May 2014, two more routes have been added. The Red Line connects the North of CBD with the South, linking KL Sentral to Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman through the Chow Kit area. At Medan Mara it meets the Blue Line, which goes on from there to join the per-existing lines at Bukit Bintang. [70]

Bus Route

RapidKL [71] operates a cheap and comprehensive public bus network in and around Kuala Lumpur. Recent restructuring efforts to overhaul the bus system has lead to improved frequencies and signage along bus routes. The buses themselves have clear destination information; so if you happen upon one heading in the right direction, jump on board - though be prepared for cramped waits in rush hour traffic. For those (few) attractions best visited by bus, specific bus information is given at each place of interest on this page. If you do venture on board a RapidKL bus, it's worth nothing that these buses are broadly divided in three categories:

  • Bandar (B) routes are city centre shuttles,
  • Utama (U) buses travel to outlying suburbs
  • Tempatan (T) buses are feeder services for train stations.

For all three RapidKL routes, you can either buy zone-based single tickets (RM1 for Zone 1, up to RM3 for Zone 4) on board, or use a Touch 'n Go card (not sold on board). In addition, Ekspres (E) services use the highways and cost a flat RM3.80. Buses run from 6AM-11PM or so, with no night services.

MRT Bus Feeder routes are also available from selected stations along the SBK line. Frequencies for these feeder services are more reliable than ordinary RapidKL buses. The fare is a flat RM1 per ride and can be paid either by Touch 'n Go card or cash. Note that no change is given on board so do prepare exact change. The full list of MRT Bus Feeder routes can be found here: [72]

By taxi[edit]

Normal red and white taxis (RM3 first 1km, then RM1/km) and bright blue executive taxis (RM6 first 1km, then RM2/km) are good options if you can get them to use the meter. There are also various small surcharges for radio call (RM2), baggage (RM1 per piece), etc. It is recommended for travellers to use ride-sharing app Grab since it's cheaper than the regular taxis most of the time.

The city's rail coverage is good enough so that you shouldn't need a taxi to reach most hotels and tourist hotspots. But if you must take a taxi, expect many drivers to refuse to use the meter, particularly during rush hour or when it rains. Prices then become negotiable (before setting off) and inflated (2-10 times the meter price). Although this is illegal, your only realistic option is to walk away and find a different driver. A cab hailed off the street is more likely to use the meter than one that stalks tourist spots or parked.

If stuck with a driver who won't use the meter, negotiate hard: RM10 should cover most cross town trips of 15 min or so, even with traffic. If staying at an expensive hotel, hide your affluence and give a nearby shopping mall as your destination instead. If you have lots of bags, try not to let him see it during negotiations.

Avoid going to a taxi stand and bringing a sheet of paper with your destination written down with the intention of showing it to the driver; you will have four or five of the drivers congregate and pass around your written address. They are most certainly discussing the best way to charge you an inflated price. Have your destination memorised or, even better, hail a taxi and avoid taxi stands.

Midnight surcharge is applicable on pickups 00:01-05:59. This surcharge means meter prices are increased by 50% (e.g. at 01:00, if the meter shows RM12, you should pay RM12+6).

During rush hour it's generally best to combine public transport with taxis.

A few popular places (notably both airports, KL Sentral, Menara KL and Sunway Pyramid) enforce a prepaid coupon systems which is generally costlier than the meter but cheaper than bargaining. Taxis from Pavilion Shopping Mall's taxi counter cost the meter with a RM2 surcharge.

Some taxi drivers will hang around near hotels offering tours similar to those offered by established companies. Some of these drivers are quite knowledgeable and you may end up with a specially tailored, private tour for less than the cost of an official tour. Know the going rates before driving a bargain!

Many locals use the taxi app Grab (which was conceived in Malaysia) instead of trying to hail a cab. In most cases, it's cheaper and more reliable, and you get a transparent view of the fares before booking. Notice Uber is not available in Malaysia.

By car[edit]

Kuala Lumpur has good quality roads and a comprehensive expressway system, but driving in the city might be difficult at times due to traffic jams, a complicated web of expressways and road signage in the local language. If driving, be especially aware of sudden lane changes by cars, as well as scooters, which tend to erratically weave in and out of traffic.

Do not park at the road of busy districts such as Bangsar or Bukit Bintang because other cars might lock you in by parking next to you in the 2nd or 3rd lane. Use covered car parks or park a bit off the beaten path, and then walk back.

Renting a car is an option for travelling in Kuala Lumpur and other parts of Malaysia. The road system is quite complicated and road signage is in the local language, so it is highly recommended that all travelers rent GPS units from their car rental company - such units are widely available, and are usually offered at reasonable rates. Drivers may also use navigation apps such as Google Maps or Waze to get around.

Petrol and parking costs are generally low, contributing to the car-culture in Kuala Lumpur that exacerbates traffic congestion. However, it would be prudent to carry a loaded Touch 'n Go card as drivers may be required to pay for road tolls. Cash is not accepted at some toll plazas that have went fully electronic. Congestion charges are non-existent in Kuala Lumpur.

On foot[edit]

The old centre of Kuala Lumpur fairly compact and the old buildings in various state of repair are great for exploring on foot. Even plodding between the colonial area and the new glass and steel sector (see walking tour below) is enjoyable outside the hottest hours of 11:00-15:00.

Major roads are well lit, making evening strolling undaunting and pleasant. Signs are clear and well placed and pavements are wide and uncluttered, but slippery in the rain. Shady tree-lined walkways provide shade on some of the larger roads. Pedestrian crossings are common and are generally respected by drivers. Jaywalking is technically illegal but overlooked (on-the-spot fine: RM 20/30 for tourists/locals if unlucky).

This circular walking tour (2-3 hrs) starts in Chinatown and loops through the modern Golden Triangle, missing the historic buildings of the old centre:

  1. Start in Chinatown (Petaling Street)
  2. Head towards the vertically striped wedge of the Maybank building. Head along Jalan Pudu, passing to the left of Pudu Sentral bus station. After 800 m, turn on to Jalan Bukit Bintang at the Royale Bintang Hotel.
  3. Jalan Bukit Bintang is a major shopping street: stop for coffee at Bintang Walk, or check out the electronics mega-mall, Plaza Low Yat.
  4. When Bintang meets Jalan Sultan Ismail and the monorail, turn left, following the monorail.
  5. After 1km of Sultan Ismail, turn right on to Jalan P. Ramlee. This lead to the Petronas Twin Towers. Be amazed!
  6. Head back down Jalan P. Ramlee
  7. Merge onto Jalan Raja Chulan near the KL Tower and head back to the Maybank building and Chinatown.

If you're fortunate enough to do this walk on a typical Sunday afternoon you will find a calm and attractive city.

Disabled Travellers[edit]

Like many cities in SE Asia, KL presents a great challenge for travellers with mobility impairments. Pavements are often in disrepair, curbs are high and curb cuts are often missing or inadequate. Wheelchair users will frequently find their path of travel obstructed (poorly designed or narrow sidewalks, parked cars, motorcycles, fences, stairs, trees, etc), and will rarely be able to travel more than 50 metres without having to backtrack or divert to the road. In many areas of the city, it is virtually impossible to travel without an assistant. Crossing the road or having to wheel on the road (in case the pavement is obstructed) can be very dangerous, as many drivers neither expect nor yield to wheelchair users. You will occasionally find accessibility features like ramps or elevators obstructed or unserviceable. A notable exception are the the KLCC and Bukit Bintang areas, where shopping malls and pedestrian areas are built to modern accessibility standards. Public buildings, hotels and malls provide an adequate supply of handicap toillets. Much of the rail system is inaccessible, most notably the monorail (which is in the process of being fitted with stair lifts, but is currently off limits). Some buses are equipped with ramps, but they are assigned haphazardly and do not run on a fixed schedule. Many locals will not be used to seeing people in wheelchairs, but will be generally helpful.


As expected of Malaysia's capital, the national language, Bahasa Malaysia, is almost universally spoken and understood. English is widely spoken in major cities and towns in Malaysia.

However, Kuala Lumpur, as Malaysia's main economic centre, is also home to Malaysians of different backgrounds and ethnicities, so unsurprisingly, many other languages are commonly heard as well. The ethnic Chinese form a slight majority in KL (as they do in many of Malaysia's larger cities), and Cantonese serves as the lingua franca of KL's Chinese community. Other Chinese languages, such as Hokkien, Teochew and Hakka are also spoken by smaller numbers, but even native speakers of those languages usually speak Cantonese as well. Ethnic Indians, mostly of Tamil descent, are also plentiful, so how about ordering your delicious curry in their language?

In reality, despite (or perhaps because of) an official policy to learn Bahasa Malaysia on almost all levels in the primary & secondary education, many non-Malays aren't appreciative of speaking the language and get along with each other mainly in English, which is great for visitors. English is widely spoken in Kuala Lumpur, and foreigners will generally not have a problem getting by with English though some locals might have trouble understanding you if you speak in a heavy accent. Mandarin, while no-one's first language, is also widely taught and understood among the Chinese community.

See[edit][add listing]

KL Tower

KL hosts an amazing variety of architectural delights. The grandest old British colonial buildings lie in the city centre and include the former offices of the Colonial Secretariat (now the Sultan Abdul Samad Building) on Merdeka Square and the old Kuala Lumpur Railway station. They blend themes from the architecture of Britain and North Africa. On Merdeka Square's west side, looking like a rejected transplant straight from Stratford-upon-Avon is the Royal Selangor Club. Near Merdeka Square is Masjid Jamek, a charming Moorish-style mosque set at a confluence on the Klang River. The National Mosque, Masjid Negara, (1965) celebrates the bold ambitions of the newly independent Malaysia. The National Monument in the pretty Lake Gardens is inspired by the Iwo Jima Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. The ASEAN sculpture garden is nearby. Also in the lake gardens is Carcosa Seri Negara, the former residence of the British High Commissioner, which now houses an upmarket hotel and colonial-style tea rooms. While some buildings in the high-rise Golden Triangle, such as the KL Tower, are uninspired copies of other famous structures, the Petronas Twin Towers are truly marvelous.

Within the city centre is also the fascinating narrow streets of Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur's traditional commercial district, with its many Chinese shops and places to eat.

And if you are looking something more authentic, then head yourself to Kampong Bharu (commonly spelled as "Kampung Baru"), which is 1 of the last surviving traditional Malay villages in the middle of KL. Here, you will able to experience a glimpse of traditional Malay lifestyle and see many beautiful Kampung houses that are still well-preserved.

KL is hot, humid and sometimes crowded, so schedule some cooling off in air-conditioned shopping malls or restaurants. You may find that most attractions are only crowded on weekends and holidays and are otherwise deserted on weekdays.

See the respective district pages for more details.

  • Little India. Brickfield Street near by KL Sentral Station  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

KL is mainly known for its eating and shopping, which are adequately covered by the Eat and Buy sections.

Other activities include usual urban sports such as golfing, cycling, running, jogging and horse riding. If you’re into rock climbing, the Batu Caves in the Northern suburbs is popular. However given Malaysia's stunning terrain, you’re better off heading to other places for anything more strenuous or challenging.

Several good theatres and performance halls have emerged as part of Malaysia's drive to encourage greater cultural expression. These include the National Theatre (Istana Budaya) and the KL Performing Arts Centre (KLPac) in the northern part of the city, the KL Philharmonic in the Twin Towers, and the Actors Studio at Lot 10.

Leading museums in the city centre are the National Museum, which covers the region's history, and the well-regarded Islamic Arts Museum, which houses a small but captivating collection. Bank Negara Malaysia Museum and Art Gallery is a modern museum linked to the country's national bank with well-designed galleries on Malaysian economic development, Islamic finance, the history of the central bank, and the national's banks own art collection.

Pampering and spas can be found in several five-star hotels and independent centres in the Golden Triangle. There's also nail parlours and beauty salons, which are generally good value, there's also high-end ones offering similar services for a premium. Reflexology and foot massage places are everywhere, especially in Bukit Bintang in the Golden Triangle and in Chinatown.

Kuala Lumpur also has several theme parks around the city and in the surrounding cities. The most famous of these parks is Sunway Lagoon situated in the neighbouring city of Subang Jaya. The theme park has rides, a huge waterpark, an extreme park for adventure junkies, a scream park for those wanting a good scare, and a petting zoo for children. Sunway Lagoon is a 40 minute drive from central Kuala Lumpur in good traffic.

You can also watch the local football match at the KLFA Stadium in Cheras. Kuala Lumpur FA is a football team based in Kuala Lumpur and currently plays in the top divison of football in Malaysia. the Malaysia Super League. Match schedule and fixture can be seen at the KLFA website.

Skyscraper Gazing - glass and steel abound, but only one (rather a pair) shine. However, the view from the KL Tower is cheaper and better than that from the Twin Towers.

Experience of the history of KL city watching the the musical MUD.


Malaysia has an ambitious internationalization strategy when it comes to higher education. There are world class, high ranking universities in Kuala Lumpur and because of the country's colonial past, the educational tradition is modeled on the distinguished Oxbridge framework (Oxford and Cambridge universities in the United Kingdom). Thus, most of the courses in universities in Malaysia are taught in English.

Studying abroad in Kuala Lumpur has been increasingly popular since the 1990s. Universiti Putra Malaysia is one of the elite institutions in the capital city and caters to international students' needs both academically and in extracurricular activities.


While KL is more of a concrete jungle compared to other parts of the country, there are some natural gems that are accessible by public transport. Among them are:

  • FRIM Forest Reserve[73]: You can get to FRIM via KTM Komuter. Stop at Kepong or Kepong Sentral and grab a short taxi ride. Entry for RM5.30. The hikes are easy and you can go up a canopy walkway for RM10.60 to get a good view of KL on a clear day. There is a nice tea house in the FRIM compound where you can sample various types of local teas and snacks. Get there early as it is more likely to rain later in the day.
  • KL Forest Eco Park [74]: Formerly known as "Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve", this urban jungle is located close to KL Tower. The forest provides for an easy trek that you can enjoy on your own; but the many specimens are likely more appreciated through guided tours which are free and can be arranged from KL Tower.
  • Nature Escapes Malaysia [75] is a good website for more details on natural trails located within or a short drive away from KL.
  • KL Bird Park (free-flight walk-in aviary), 920, Jalan Cenderawasih, Taman Tasik Perdana (Next to Islamic Art Museum in the City Centre), +60 3 22721010, [1]. 9AM-6PM. Great semi-wild habitat for many different species of mostly Asian birds. The Bird Park allows you to approach quite close to the birds which are skittish but not fearful for some very nice photos. A bit pricey, but makes for a nice long day in a mostly shaded area. Feedings and shows throughout the day give something to see at any time, and the 20+ acres provide plenty of area to walk and explore. The photo booth offers a wide array of tamed birds that will happily sit on you and pose for photos for a small price (RM8 per person: your camera, 2 birds; RM25 per print: glossy printout of your group covered in birds). Concession stands are priced fairly and offer drinks, ice cream, etc. Price for locals RM27/13, hidden under "MyKad" label. Price for foreigners: RM67 (adult), RM45 (child).  edit
  • Near the KL Convention Centre is the Aquaria KLCC which contains some 5,000 varieties of tropical fish.


If you are taking an extended trip consider spending a week or more volunteering.

  • Nur Salam (Chow Kids), 24A-B Jalan Chow Kit, +60 3 4045 4021, [2]. Volunteer with the street kids of Chow Kit (KL) to "help improve the quality of life for the children of Chow Kit whose parents are usually former and current drug addicts & sex workers in Kuala Lumpur". Chow Kids offers training for volunteers who wish to spend any amount of time interacting and helping these deserving children.  edit
  • SPCA Selangor, Jalan Kerja Air Lama, 68000 Ampang, Selangor, +60 3 42565312/ +60 3 42535179, [3]. SPCA Selangor is an animal welfare organisation dedicated to protecting defenseless animals and to alleviate their suffering. Volunteer to help out at the animal shelter, SPCA's marketing and communication department or SPCA's outreach events.  edit
  • Zoo Negara, Hulu Kelang, Ampang, Selangor, +60 3 4108 22219 (), [4]. Love animals? Volunteer at the National Zoo - Zoo Negara outside the city. Simply fill out the Volunteer Form on the website and show up for a shift at the zoo in a variety of areas. Their volunteer website gives for more information.  edit
KL's symbol, the Petronas Twin Towers

Buy[edit][add listing]

Starhill Gallery KL
The Pavilion KL

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur is one of travel's greatest pleasures! Kuala Lumpur alone has 66 shopping malls and is considered one of the major shopping capitals of Asia. KL is also the retail and fashion hub for Malaysia. Goods are available in every price bracket.

Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia's premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers. Kuala Lumpur's premier shopping district, the Bukit Bintang area in the Golden Triangle, resembles Tokyo's Ginza, New York's Fifth Avenue and Singapore's Orchard Road and has the highest concentration of shopping outlets in Kuala Lumpur, which cater to varying budgets. Bukit Bintang, which is part of the Kuala Lumpur's Golden Triangle, spans over 3 roads, namely Jalan Bukit Bintang, Jalan Imbi and Jalan Sultan Ismail. It houses various cafes, alfresco (open air) dining outlets and shopping complexes such as Berjaya Plaza, Berjaya Times Square, Bukit Bintang Plaza, Imbi Plaza, Kuala Lumpur Plaza, Lot 10, Low Yat Plaza, Pavilion KL, Starhill Plaza and Sungei Wang Plaza.

Pavilion Kuala Lumpur is a recent addition to the cluster of shopping malls in this area and houses a wide range of international retail brands in an ultra-modern complex. Both Suria KLCC and Pavilion malls are connected to each other through an elevated, air-conditioned pedestrian bridge. Fans of electronic gadgets would delight in the multitude of choices at Low Yat Plaza, whilst shoppers hunting for the latest in affordable Asian style should definitely check out Berjaya Times Square and Bukit Bintang / Sungei Wang Plaza. It is also the location of the largest single department store in Malaysia, SOGO Kuala Lumpur which is located at a landmark site on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, one of the best known shopping streets for locals in Kuala Lumpur.

Several popular malls lie outside the Golden Triangle. The Bangsar and Midvalley areas are home to some of the best shopping malls in Kuala Lumpur, namely the MidValley Megamall and the adjacent upmarket The Gardens, the more cozy Bangsar Village and Bangsar Shopping Centre in Bangsar. The Damansara area north-west of Kuala Lumpur, though not in the city-proper, it is one of the high concentration of shopping outlets in Kuala Lumpur. It houses various shopping malls like The Curve, [email protected], Ikano Power Centre, IKEA, Cathay Multi Screen Cinemas, Courts Megastore, NiuXehSui Ara Damansara and 1 Utama (one of the top shopping centres in Malaysia).

There are also many shopping malls in the neighbouring cities of Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. Malls such as Sunway Pyramid [76] in Petaling Jaya and Empire Subang in Subang Jaya are very nicely designed, and it is worth making the trip down to have a look even if you don't plan to buy anything.

Despite the onslaught of malls, Kuala Lumpur still offers some Asian tradition with traditional shopping streets and markets. The best area for such shopping is Chinatown in the City Centre. This district is also the best place to hunt for souvenirs, especially in Central Market, a former produce market which has been converted into an art and craft market. It is also known as Pasar Seni in Malay.

The Little India near Jalan Masjid India offers various fabric for use. Most of the fabrics are imported from countries like Indonesia, India and China while some are locally produced. Indonesian traditional batik and songket are traditional fabric commonly found in Central Market. For greater satisfaction choose the hand made ones. You may be interested to buy ready made baju kurung or baju kebaya (the traditional Malay blouse). If you are looking for a high-quality, authentic Malaysian-made products, then the Kuala Lumpur Craft Complex which is located in Jalan Conlay would be a perfect place.

Since 2000, the Ministry of Tourism of Malaysia has kick-started the mega sale event for all shopping in Malaysia. The mega sale event is held thrice in a year—in March, May and December—where all shopping malls are encouraged to participate to boost Kuala Lumpur as a leading shopping destination.

Shopping Malls[edit]

Bukit Bintang

  • Berjaya Times Square [77] - Its currently the 13th biggest shopping mall in the world boasting 12 levels of retail with a total of 320,000 m² (3,5 million ft²). Although initially aimed at the upper-echelon of society. It is currently positioned as a middle-class shopping mall offering youth fashion targeted at the younger crowds. For entertainment, it has the largest indoor theme park in Malaysia located on the 7th floor of the building. It also offers an exciting cinematic experience with its 3D-Imax theatre located on the top floor of the retail podium.
  • Starhill Gallery - Starhill Gallery is probably the ritziest and luxurious mall in the whole of Kuala Lumpur alongside KLCC. A Louis Vuitton flagship outlet flank the exterior facade of this grand structure. Renowned fashion houses whether Gucci, Fendi, Valentino you name it. It can all be found here. There is a Food Galore on the Lower Ground floor which renders an excellent culinary experience in a cosy setting that exudes grandeur.
  • Pavillion KL [78] - Built in late 2007, it is targeted at the middle-upper segment of society. It offers a diverse tenant mix which makes it one of the most successful malls in Kuala Lumpur. Pavilion Kuala Lumpur contains over 450 retail shops that are spread across seven levels. Parkson Elite, Golden Screen Cinemas and Harvey Norman are the anchor tenants of this mammoth 7-storey retail podium. There are a number of double-storey flagship stores, of which some are street-front fashion boutiques which constitute the shopping mall, such as Burberry Prosum, Esprit (occupies four floors), Gucci, Hermès, Hugo Boss, Juicy Couture, Prada, Versace and others. There are several fashion and luxury goods boutiques that encompass a large portion of the mall's retail floor area. Labels such as Paul Frank, Juicy Couture, Kiehl's, Thomas Pink, YSL, Jean Paul Gaultier, Zegna, Dianie Von Furstenburg, Bebe and Shanghai Tang opened their first stores in Malaysia within this shopping mall. Several eateries and cafés also exist in the shopping mall like fast food restaurants, coffeehouse chains and a Food Republic food court.
  • Fahrenheit 88 - Renamed and refurbished, now again open for business but as of October 2010 still many unopened stores, previously the deteriorating KL Plaza. Poised to be the new hub for the hip and trendy of Kuala Lumpur, consisting of 300,000 square feet of lettable space spread over 5 levels of zoned shopping space. There are designated zones for Japanese and Korean fashion consisting of an entire floor each. It is widely speculated that Swedish-fashion chain H&M and Japanese Uniql and Muji will make their Malaysian open here late in 2011.
  • Lot 10 - When opened in 1991, it was considered the Harrods-equivalent of Malaysia housing designer outlets like Aigner and Versace. Over the span of 2 decades, time has however taken a toll on this unique landmark mall which boasts a green facade. Nowadays it is widely-reckoned as a middle-class retail destination as most outlets have shifted as a result of competition and degradation. Since 2016, the anchor tenant is the world's first Isetan The Japan Store, covering 6 floors with mainly higher-end Japanese brands. Its roof boasts a Garden in the City concept featuring concept restaurants and trendy bars, designer clubs and a Celebrity Fitness gym designed none-other than Yuhkichi Kawai of Super Potatoes. The lower ground floor plays host to Isetan The Japan Store's Food Hall, as well as Lot 10 Hutong, a cornucopia of Malaysia's best street food vendors in a comfortable air-conditioned food court.
  • Low Yat Plaza - Also another veteran on Bintang Walk it remains the ultimate one-stop centre when shopping for electronic gadgets. The ratio between IT outlets and F&B outlets are 70:30. Do not let its fading white-hues fool you as it has a wide range of electronic goods selling at bargain prices considering the ringgit's sub-par value. Do not always be fooled by the pricing as some unscrupulous sellers may have switched original components of devices with fakes. Verify before purchasing.
  • Sungei Wang Plaza - Despite being 30 years old, it remains popular, although visitors more towards the younger crowd. It features trendy fashion at low prices. Shirts/tops ranging from RM15 (US$5) and RM50(US15). The focal point of youthful, to some, outlandish self-expression, this is the place where goths and cross-dressers roam without looking out of place.
Jalan Ampang[edit]
  • Suria KLCC [79] - Suria KLCC is one of Malaysia's premier shopping destinations due to its location beneath the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur City Centre. It is on 6 floors, with anchor tenants Isetan, Parkson, Kinokuniya, Tanjong Golden Village, Signatures Food Court, Marks & Spencer, Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co. Suria is the native Malaysian word for Sunshine. It was opened on August 31, 1999. It houses mostly luxury and fashionable shops, as well as cafes, restaurants, a 12 screen cinema, a concert hall, an art gallery, and a Science Discovery Centre, over 6 floors. It is located directly underneath the Petronas Twin Towers, the ninth tallest building in the world (and the tallest twin towers). It is one of Malaysia's most popular tourist destinations. Suria KLCC is accessible via the KLCC LRT Station.
  • The Intermark [80] - The Intermark is a fairly new integrated development with an upscale retail podium, two office towers (namely Vista Tower and Integra Tower) as well as a Doubletree by Hilton hotel. A covered elevated walkway connects The Intermark with nearby Ampang Park Mall and the Ampang Park LRT Station. Companies such as BNP Paribas, J.P. Morgan and Michael Page International are tenants in office towers at the Intermark. You can also find The Embassy of Czech Republic and the Royal Norwegian Embassy at the Vista Tower here. A food court as well as an international grocer occupies the lowest floor of the retail podium.
  • Great Eastern Mall - Great Eastern Mall is located at Jalan Ampang which adjoined with the Menara Great Eastern. Great Eastern Mall Amidst the embassy community, Great Eastern Mall is primed to be the favourite neighbourhood mall that offers a 'fine lifestyle and relaxation' shopping experience. Alexis, the popular eatery cum jazz bar also has an outlet here.
  • Avenue K [81] - Avenue K is on Jalan Ampang, opposite Kuala Lumpur City Centre. With its bold tagline, "style has a new address", the complex is a hip shopping haven complimented by a classy, city-living address, "K Residence". Avenue K aims to create a "shopping culture, where lifestyle, aesthetic and social elements converge." It boasts internationally acclaimed fashion brands. Long suffering from below average occupancy, Avenue K has completed a facelift in October 2013. Avenue K is accessible from the KLCC Station in the Kelana Jaya LRT Line.
  • Bangsar Shopping Centre, Jalan Maarof - Better known as BSC, this high end shopping centre is a favourite among expats and the locals staying around the Bangsar & Damansara Heights neighbourhood. Plenty of cafes & restaurants - a good spot to meet up with friends. BSC also features speciality stores plus the Cold Storage Supermarket. Visit Burlington Tailor shop in BSC.
  • Bangsar Village, Jalan Ara - This is another favourite with those staying around Bangsar & Damansara Heights neighbourhood. Bangsar Village 2 is linked to the original Bangsar Village by a covered pedestrian bridge.

Eat[edit][add listing]

Street Food[edit]

Whilst Malaysian food may not be as popular as Thai or Vietnamese food, it is just as rich, diverse and delicious. Dishes such as Satay, Laksa and Nasi Lemak are some of Malaysia's most famous dishes, although the origins of these dishes are highly contested issues with its neighbours, Indonesia and Singapore. Most Malaysians take pride in their food, which reflects the rich local culture and history. Malay, Chinese, Indian and Eurasian food can be found in abundance, although sometimes it may take asking the right locals to get to.

K.L. is a good place for an introduction to Malaysian food as most people speak English and can explain to you what's in the dish. Most restaurants close by 10PM, but in the city centre there's always a few 24hr Kedai Mamak (curry houses) or fast food places if you get stuck. For beginners, start of with:

  • Roti canai, a type of flat bread served with curry and dhal that is cheap and tasty
  • Roti telur, similar to roti canai, but cooked with an egg
  • Roti pisang, similar to roti canai, but filled with bananas
  • Murtabak, a savoury flat bread stuffed with meat and onions
  • Mee goreng, fried instant noodles (add fried chicken and a fried egg on the side if you're feeling hungry)
  • Teh tarik, widely considered as Malaysia's national drink
  • Milo, also another classic drink in Malaysia

Each of these items cost less than 1 USD. If you're feeling adventurous, order a roti tissue - you won't regret it!

For other cheap street food, head to the ubiquitous roadside stalls or kedai kopi (literally coffee shop, but these are all about the food). These shops operate like a food court with many stalls selling a variety of food. Some coffee shops have tables and chairs by the roadside. Some areas with higher concentration of food are:

  • Chinatown (especially Jalan Sultan, Jalan Hang Lekir and Jalan Petaling) in the city centre and Jalan Alor in the Golden Triangle for authentic Chinese food. Try the succulent roasted chicken wings at Wong Ah War along Jalan Alor, Sek Yuan in Pudu for traditional and authentic Chinese dishes and Yut Kee for unique Hainanese food. Various hotels in the KL city centre also do excellent dim sum, a weekend staple for many Malaysian Chinese;
  • Kampung Baru, which is located a stone's throw away from the Petronas Twin Towers is a good place to get authentic Malay food. Jalan Raja Muda Musa is known as the food stretch of Kampung Baru, with several stalls lined up along the road. Look out for Nasi Lemak Antarabangsa for some nasi lemak with a variety of side dishes options and stalls selling ikan bakar (grilled fish) served with sambal;
  • Brickfields, which is within walking distance from KL's main transportation hub, KL Sentral, is known as the Little India of Kuala Lumpur, and is still where the local Indian population come to eat and shop. A Malaysian favourite is banana leaf rice, which is essentially rice served with a variety of curries, side dishes and poppadoms on a banana leaf. Popular places in Brickfields include Vishal Food and Catering and Moorthy's. A 10 minute drive away, vibrant neighbourhood Bangsar has also become a regular area for banana leaf rice, with local favourites being Nirwana's and Devi's Banana Leaf Corner, and shops such as Fierce Curry House do a mean briyani and naan.

Malaysians love a good tea time (and is one of the most obese countries in South East Asia), and during the day time, look out for popular snacks such as Pisang Goreng (banana fritters), Lekor (a type of Malay fish crackers), Vadai (a type of fried Indian snack) and Youtiao (a type of fried Chinese snack) along the streets.

Shopping malls' food courts provide cheap Malaysian food in more hygienic conditions, although the prices will be a little higher. Hutong is a food court in Lot 10 shopping mall in the Golden Triangle, which has a collection of 20 specially chosen street vendors who were invited to set a store in the food court. Another recommended place is the Malaysian Boleh! food court at the Four Seasons Place, which is located within walking distance to the Petronas Twin Towers.

Upscale Malaysian food[edit]

There has been an increase in upscale restaurants serving Malaysian food, using more innovative techniques and using locally sourced ingredients. Places such as Beta KL, Chocha Food Store, Shelley Yu's and Isabel serve Malaysian and South East Asian cuisine with a flair and in beautifully decorated surroundings. Located slightly out of Kuala Lumpur, Dewakan recently became the first Malaysian restaurant to be featured as Asia's 50 Best Restaurants.

International Cuisine[edit]

International cuisine Kuala Lumpur has had an influx of expats over the years, resulting in the city becoming increasingly metropolitan. Many high-end restaurants can be found the business district, such as Nobu KL. Headover to the Bangsar and Mont Kiara neighbourhood, which has many high-end restaurants and cafes offering Western food. For Korean food, head to Ampang Jaya or the Hartamas area. A lot of Arab and Middle Eastern restaurants have also mushroomed up in Bukit Bintang, Cyberjaya and Damai.

Drink[edit][add listing]

Jalan P.Ramlee
The Skybar KL

Kuala Lumpur has quite a vibrant night-life and the Golden Triangle is the epicentre of most of the partying which goes on in the city. Jalan P. Ramlee, just south of KLCC, is Kuala Lumpur's central clubbing area, while the action also spills onto Jalan Sultan Ismail, Jalan Ampang, Jalan Pinang and Jalan Perak. Nearby Bukit Bintang also throbs with action, and its neon-lit nightclubs, many of them with hostesses, certainly have a more Asian feel to them.

Changkat, in the Tuanku Abdul Rahman district, is arguably the most popular nightspot in Kuala Lumpur. The entire Changkat area, focused around Changkat Bukit Bintang, is a vibrant place and has over 40 eating and drinking venues. It is on Changkat Bukit Bintang just off Bukit Bintang. For the budgetary person, almost every bar has a happy hour, usually from 5-9pm. During Wednesdays they have "Ladies Night" at many venues and ladies will often drink for free for a limited time. On weekends the prices are a bit steeper, but cheaper options are still available. Every Thursday and Saturday there is a pubcrawl[82] in Changkat, which is a good way to save money and meet other travelers, locals and expats. Bangsar has long been one of the busiest places in Kuala Lumpur after the sun goes down. The action is around Jalan Telawi and its side streets, and is definitely the place to go for clubbing and deafening music.

Sri Hartamas and Mont Kiara in the Damansara and Hartamas district have popular pubs and some clubs as well as nice coffee places. You may be able to find live performances in some of the outlets.

After a tiring night out, Malaysians like to head to Mamak stalls - street side stalls or shops operated by Indian Muslims - which offer a range of non-alcoholic beverages like teh tarik (frothed tea) and light food. In fact, these stalls have also become night hangouts in their own right, and many outlets have installed wide-screen projectors and TV where they screen football matches. Most outlets are open 24 hours. They are found all over the city and are a wonderful part of the Malaysian night scene.

Another trend that has hit Malaysia is the kopitiam fad, a more upmarket version of the traditional Chinese coffee shop. These mostly open during the day and offer some of the best tea and coffee and light meals and snacks like nasi lemak (coconut flavoured rice with fried anchovies and peanut) and the ever popular toast with kaya (coconut curd, used as a spread). If you prefer Western style coffee, there are many coffee outlets in Kuala Lumpur: most of them are part of international and local chains like Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and San Francisco Coffee. Most of them can be found in shopping malls. A wave of hipster cafes are recently mushrooming in the nation, offering many opportunities for visitors to sample freshly brewed coffee at independent coffee houses.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

Budget accommodation can be found everywhere; dormitory beds can cost as little as MYR12 per night, though MYR20 and higher is common. Find the cheap ones online if cost is an issue. Increasingly, newer & better ones are opening in the Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman/Chow Kit and Jalan Ipoh areas, the so-called growth areas in the city centre. An example is the Tune Hotel - Downtown KL on Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman (Chow Kit area). If you are willing to take the 10 minute LRT to the main attractions, then hotels can be found for as little as USD16 per night with free Wi-Fi, air-con, and breakfast often included. If you are arriving on the overnight buses (arriving at 04:00) from the east coast islands, buses will stop at Hentian Putra in the Chow Kit area. Mid-range hotels are comparatively poor value in Kuala Lumpur, and it is worth it to spend a little extra (or look a little harder) for a true luxury hotel on the cheap. Kuala Lumpur is similar in price to Bangkok for 5 star luxury hotels, with rooms available for as little as MYR400 or even less (internet rate for single occupancy in the luxury 5 star "Traders Hotel" is around USD100. Other luxury hotels include The Hilton, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, Shangrila and JW Marriot. Prices will vary seasonally.

Please see the individual Kuala Lumpur district pages for a list of places to stay.


Internet cafés are quite plentiful in Kuala Lumpur and you can find them in most shopping centres. If you have your own laptop, Maxis' [83] WLAN service is the best deal around, a prepaid RM15 card gets you unlimited use for 2 weeks. Many hotels provide free internet access and connections. Free Wi-Fi is also available in many cafes, restaurants and shopping centres. A few examples:

  • Malaysia Tourism Centre (MTC), 109 Jalan Ampang (between KLCC and Dang Wangi), [84]. Formerly MATIC, this tourist information centre has a wealth of information on Malaysia, occasional cultural shows, surly staff and semi-crippled but free PCs for browsing the Net.
  • Most eateries in Malaysia offer free Wi-Fi. The password can be requested from restaurant staff or waiters. It is common courtesy to patronize the eatery whom WiFi access you intend to utilize.
  • Air Asia Counter in KL Sentral Several computers with internet access are available for you to check out the Air Asia website (and maybe glance at your e-mail or the news quickly)


Kuala Lumpur is ostensibly a liberal city and wearing revealing clothes will rarely cause major problems. However, avoiding overly revealing clothes goes a long way towards blending in. While its summer all year long in Kuala Lumpur, don't walk around the city with your shirts off.

Many mosques and temples require covering up, and you will get more respect from officialdom if you dress up a little. Many places of worship including all mosques will require you to take your shoes off before entering. You will also be required to take your shoes off before entering anyone's home.

If you can speak just a few words of the four main local languages, namely Bahasa Malaysia, Chinese (especially Cantonese), Tamil and English, it will ingratiate you a lot with the locals.

Also, while you may drink in pubs, restaurants and bars, public drunkenness is not tolerated. You will be more vulnerable to getting robbed or will find yourself in the back seat of a police car.

In Kuala Lumpur, scammers will often try to sell you something. If you refuse, they will invent stories about the hardship of their families. It is your decision to buy something, but important to bargain.

Stay healthy[edit]

Tap water in Kuala Lumpur is heavily chlorinated and thus safe, but unfortunately the pipes that carry it may not be. Most locals boil or filter it before use; alternatively, bottled water is cheap and ubiquitous. There is no malaria in the city, but dengue fever can be a problem at times, so take precautions against mosquitoes. Between May and October, Kuala Lumpur is occasionally shrouded in dense haze from forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo, which can be a health concern for asthmatics and pretty unpleasant for everybody. However, the haze comes and goes, and varies greatly from year to year: it was terrible in 2006, but non-existent in 2007, and had started again in 2008 and very clean after 2009 onward. However, in June 2013 the smog was so severe that a state of emergency was declared.

You can find specialist private doctors and clinics in Kuala Lumpur via [85], is a local and location based health care directory providing patients/consumers with the information that are required for them to make informed decisions on choosing their medical/healthcare service provider in Malaysia. Such information may include the doctor’s experience, ex-patients’ satisfaction, quality of the clinic and/or its facilities etc. But if you are in an emergency, please dial 999, the national emergency contact number.

Medical tourism including aesthetic medicine is flourishing in Malaysia due to its high standards of care, affordable pricing and accredited doctors. Premier Clinic [86] with its branches at Bangsar Baru, Puchong, Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) and Megan Avenue 1 nearby KLCC is a popular aesthetic clinic offering lasers, Botox, fillers, slimming procedures and more.

Stay safe[edit]

Crime is not rampant in Kuala Lumpur. The perception of crime is high, but in recent years the Malaysian police have managed to reduce crime significantly in and around urban Kuala Lumpur. Reports of violent crime against foreigners are uncommon but instances of pick pocketing and bag snatching have risen in recent years. Police presence, particularly around tourist areas and at night has increased in recent years. Kuala Lumpur is generally safe for travellers (it is locals who are often the targets of crime).

- Confidence Tricks

- People Pretending to Be Deaf Some dishonest people have discovered that if they create a little card or a piece of paper saying something about deaf people and supposedly showing a list of signatures and donations, people feel obliged to give them money. Of course, it's easy to pretend to be deaf because all you have to do is not speak and then you can go around collecting money. Unfortunately KL is infested with these people and even some foreigners are at it. Think about this - deaf people are perfectly capable of working and they can do almost any job that anyone else can do. They could work at a cafe, in an office or drive a taxi. They do not need to go around begging for money. These people dirty the reputation of real deaf people. Unfortunately the police don't seem to arrest these guys and they are all over the place in KL.
- Scratch and Win Scams are rampant in all over Malaysia. Victims are given reward tickets to scratch/tear/peel off on spot to see if they win prizes. In these cases, victims would be informed that they had won prizes in foreign lottery or lucky draws. The scammers would ask victims to make advance payment if they wanted to claim their prizes. They would even offer victims car rides to withdraw the large sums of money, reported a local news source. After which, victims would realise that the prizes never existed or were of lower value than previously promised.
- Poker Scams involving friendly locals. They normally target lone tourists in popular tourist places. It starts with a friendly approach and an invitation to their home to chat and learn about your country. Then comes poker, accumulated losses and the loss of your cash and jewellery. Such scams can also happen through couchsurfing.
- Bogus Cops, usually Middle-Easterners. You will be stopped by "plain-clothed police officers" on the pretext of checking your travel documents. You will be brought to a secluded area in the process and made to handover your wallet. Should you be stopped, you have the right to insist that you be taken to the nearest police station before saying/showing anything. While undercover policemen generally patrol the city center, they are mainly serving the vice department. A genuine police officer will be able to produce his or her police I.D. card, which is a combination of white and dark blue in color.

- Taxis

- Refusing to use meters. Taxis are generally safe, but they often refuse to use the meter and a few cabbies will gouge tourists mercilessly. It's generally better to use the Grab app or MyTaxi. If they refuse to use the meter, then take another taxi, as by law they are required to use the meter. However, if you are desperate to use that taxi, always agree on the fare in advance, and try to get an estimate of the cost from a local before you climb on board. If you are really desperate then just get in without talking about the price and make sure they pull up right to the door of your hotel next to a security guard. Then get out and hand them what they should have charged and if they argue tell them that if they want you can call the police and they can explain to them why they didn't put on the meter.

Many also pretend to not know your hotel and will bring you to their preferred hotels by saying that your hotel is in a bad area, closed or far. A good idea would be to buy a public transport map and get well acquainted with the locations of stations, train times, etc. If you can use a train or bus to get to a place, it would be cheaper and safer to do so. If you find a taxi driver is excessively "chatty" and asks you a lot of questions like "where are you from?", "first time in Malaysia?" then it's likely that they are trying to size you up to see if they would be able get away with ripping you off. Don't tell any taxi driver that it's your first time and don't be too friendly if they start to ask you these kinds of questions.

Most locals download the Grab app on their smartphones to hail cabs. It is convenient and you will have the driver's name, contact details and number plate available to you. An estimated fare will also be displayed on the app, and drivers rarely attempt to solicit more from passengers. Other taxi applications i.e. EzCab are also available.

- Airport Taxis. At the Airport, unscrupulous taxi drivers pretending to be customer service staff may try to steer tourists to much more expensive mini-buses or taxis and try to charge RM90 for them. It is recommended to purchase taxi coupons at the airport arrival halls.

- Counterfeit Currency

Counterfeit banknotes (such as RM50) may be given as change by a dishonest taxi-driver: the easiest way to tell being to hold it up to the light to see the continuous silver strip. If in doubt, avoid and refuse larger notes.

- Street Safety

- Walking in the city is usually fine but, as anywhere, caution must be exercised, especially if alone. Snatch thieves can be rather ruthless: women have been injured by purse-grabbers on motorcycles. If this happens to you, let go of the bag rather than be dragged several metres and risk injury. Hold your bag away from the street side and try not to appear flashy if possible. Be wary in alleyways or parking grounds that appear dark and deserted, petty thieves with knives or firearms might mug you.
- During the rains, pavements and streets become small rivers and crossing a street can be an adventure. Pavements become as slippery as ice so wear proper footwear.

- Local Laws

- Public drunkeness is illegal in Malaysia.
- Carry Your Passport. Malaysian law requires that visitors carry their passport at all times, and both police and "RELA" (civil volunteers) carry out spot checks for illegal immigrants. Failing to produce a passport will lead to an arrest until the documents can be inspected.

Locals are very friendly to the tourists, and many in Kuala Lumpur can speak decent English. Communication with the locals is almost as easy as it is in Singapore and significantly better than in Bangkok or many other Asian countries. Greet people with a warm smile and they will be happy to show you around. Be friendly: if you are lost, just ask anyone smartly dressed on the street.


Embassies and High Commissions[edit]

  • Ar-flag.png Argentina (General Mail: [email protected]), Suite 16-03, 16th floor Menara Keck Seng (203 Jalan Bukit Bintang 55100 Kuala Lumpur), +60-3-2144-1451. 9:00 - 17:00.  edit
  • As-flag.png Australia, 6 Jl. Yap Kwan Seng, +60 3 21465555, [5].  edit
  • At-flag.png Austria, Wisma Goldhill, Ste 10.10-01, Level 10, 67, Jl. Raja Chulan, +60 3 2057 8969, [6].  edit
  • Bg-flag.png Bangladesh, Blok 1, Lorong Damai 7, Jl. Damai, +60 3 2148 7940, +60 3 2142 3271, +60 3 2142 2505, [7].  edit
  • Be-flag.png Belgium, Suite 10-02, 10F, Menara Tan & Tan, Letter Box N 10-02 207, Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 2162 0025, [8].  edit
  • Br-flag.png Brazil, Ste 20-01, 20F, Menara Tan & Tan, 207 Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 2171 1420, [9].  edit
  • Bx-flag.png Brunei Darussalam, No. 19-01, Tingkat 19, Menara Tan & Tan, Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 2161 2800.  edit
  • Cb-flag.png Cambodia, 83/JKR 2809, Lingkungan U Thant, +60 3 4257 1150.  edit
  • Ca-flag.png Canada, 17F, Menara Tan & Tan, 207 Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 27183333, [10].  edit
  • Ch-flag.png China, 229, Jl. Ampang, +60 3 2163 6815 (ext 102~106), [11]. Also handles Hong Kong/Macau visas.  edit
  • Hr-flag.png Croatia, 3, Jalan Mengkuang, Off Jl. Ru, Off Jalan Ampangr, +60 3 42535340.  edit
  • Ez-flag.png Czech Republic, 32, Jalan Mesra, Off Jl. Damai, +60 3 2142 7185, +60 3 2141 3205, [12].  edit
  • Kn-flag.png Democratic People's Republic of Korea, 4, Persiaran Madge, Off Jl. U Thant, +60 3 4256 9913, +60 3 4251 6713.  edit
  • Da-flag.png Denmark, Wisma Denmark, Denmark House, 22F, 86 Jl. Ampang, +60 3 2032 2001, [13].  edit
  • Eg-flag.png Egypt, 28, Lingkungan U Thant Off Jalan U Thant, +60 3 4256 8184, [14].  edit
  • Fi-flag.png Finland, Wisma Chinese Chamber, 5F, 258 Jl. Ampang, +60 3 4257 7746, [15].  edit*
  • Fr-flag.png France, 192-196, Jl. Ampang, +60 3 2053 5561, [16].  edit
  • De-flag.png Germany, 26F, Menara Tan & Tan, 207 Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 2170 9666, [17].  edit
  • Gr-flag.png Greece, 33F 340-33-1, Vista Damai 340, Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 2775 2388 (, fax: +60 3 2775 2688).  edit
  • In-flag.png India, 2, Jl. Taman Duta, Off Jalan Duta, +60 3 2093 3510, [18].  edit
  • Id-flag.png Indonesia, 233, Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 2116 4000, [19].  edit
  • Ir-flag.png Iran, No. 1, Lorong U Thant Satu, +60 3 4251 5576.  edit
  • Ei-flag.png Ireland, Ireland House, The Amp Walk, 218 Jl. Ampang, +60 3 2161 2963, [20].  edit
  • It-flag.png Italy, 99, Jl. U Thant, +60 3 4256 5122, +60 3 4256 5228, [21].  edit
  • Ja-flag.png Japan, 11, Persiaran Stonor, Off Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 4256 5122, +60 3 2177 2600, [22].  edit
  • Ks-flag.png Republic of Korea, No. 9 and 11, Jl. Nipah, Off Jalan Ampang, +60 3 4251 2336, +60 3 4251 5797.  edit
  • Ku-flag.png Kuwait, 229, Jalan Tun Razak, +60 3 2142 1062.  edit
  • La-flag.png Laos, 25 Jalan Damai, Kampung Datok Keramat, Kuala Lumpur, Kuala Lumpur Wilayah Persekutuan, +60 3 4251 1118.  edit
  • Mt-flag.png Malta, 51-3, 2Fl, Feisco Ste, Kompleks Udarama, Jl. 2/64A, Off Jalan Ipoh, +60 3 4042 3618, [23].  edit
  • Mx-flag.png Mexico, Menara Tan & Tan, 22F, 207 Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 2164 6362, [24].  edit
  • Bm-flag.png Myanmar, 8c Jl. Ampang Hilir, +60 3 42516355.  edit
  • Np-flag.png Nepal, Ste 13A.01, 13 A Floor, Wisma MCA, 163 Jl. Ampang, +6 03 2164 5934, +60 3 2164 9656, [25].  edit
  • Nl-flag.png Netherlands, 7F, South Block, The Ampwalk, 218, Jl. Ampang, +60 3 2168 6200, [26].  edit
  • Nz-flag.png New Zealand, Level 21, Menara IMC, 8 Jl. Sultan Ismail, +60 3 2078 2533, [27].  edit
  • No-flag.png Norway, 53F, Empire Tower, Jl. Tun Razak, +60 3 2175 0300, [28].  edit
  • Pk-flag.png Pakistan, 132, v Ampang, +60 3 2161 8877, +60 3 2161 8878, +60 3 2161 8879.  edit
  • Rp-flag.png Philippines, 1, Changkat Kia Peng, +60 3 2148 9989, +60 3 2148 4233, +60 3 2148 4682, +60 3 2148 4654, +60 3 2142 1508, [29].  edit
  • Pl-flag.png Poland (Ambasada RP), 9, Lorong Damai 9 ((off Jl. Damai)), +60 3 2161 0780, +60 3 2161 0805.  edit
  • Ro-flag.png Romania, 114, Jalan Damai (Off Jalan Ampang), 55000 Kuala Lumpur, +60 3 2142 3172, +60 3 2148 2065, [30].  edit
  • Ru-flag.png Russia, 263, Jl. Ampang, +60 3 4256 0009, +60 3 4256 7252, [31].  edit
  • Sa-flag.png Saudi Arabia, 4F, Wisma Chinese Chamber, 258 Jl. Ampang, +60 3 4257 9831, +60 3 4257 9433, +60 3 4257 9825, [32].  edit
  • Sn-flag.png Singapore, Level 15, West Wing, The Icon, No.1, Jalan 1/68F, Jalan Tun Razak, 50400 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, +60 3 2161 6277 (, fax: +60 3 2161-6343), [33]. Mon - Fri : 8.30 am - 5.00 pm.  edit
  • Sf-flag.png South Africa, Ste 22,01 Level 22, Menara HLA, No. 3 Jl. Kia Peng, +60 3 2170 2400, +60 3 2168 8663, +60 3 2161 7629, [34].  edit
  • Sp-flag.png Spain, 200, Jl. Ampang, +60 3 2148 4868, +60 3 2148 4655, +60 3 2142 8776.  edit
  • Ce-flag.png Sri Lanka, 12 Jl. Keranji Dua, Off Jalan Kedondong, Ampang Hilir, +60 3 4256 8987, +60 3 4257 1394, [35].  edit
  • Sw-flag.png Sweden, Wisma Angkasa Raya, 6F, 123 Jl. Ampang, +60 3 2052 2550, [36].  edit
  • Sz-flag.png Switzerland, 16, Pesiaran Madge, +60 3 2148 0622, +60 3 2148 0751, +60 3 2148 0639, +60 3 2142 8766, [37].  edit
  • Th-flag.png Thailand, 206, Jl. Ampan, +60 3 214 88222, +60 3 2148 8350, +60 3 2148 8420, +60 3 2145 8004, [38].  edit
  • Tw-flag.PNG Taipei Economic and Cultural Office, Level 7, Menara Yayasan Tun Razak, 200 Jl. Bukit Bintang, +60 3 2161 4439, [39].  edit
  • Tu-flag.png Turkey, 118, Jl. U Thant, +60 3 4257 2225, +60 3 4257 2226.  edit
  • Ae-flag.png United Arab Emirates, 12, Jl. Kenanji 2, +60 3 4253 5221, +60 3 4253 5420.  edit
  • Uk-flag.png United Kingdom, 185, Jl. Ampang, +60 3 21702200, [40].  edit
  • Us-flag.png United States, 376, Jl. Tun Razak (10 minute walk or 3RM taxi ride from Ampang Park LRT station), +60 3 2168 5000, [41]. Mon - Fri: 9:00 am - 11:00 am walk in.  edit
  • Ve-flag.png Venezuela, Suite 20-05/06, 20th Floor, Menara Tan & Tan, 207 Jalan Tun Razak, +603 (, fax: +603 2163 6819), [42].  edit
  • Vm-flag.png Vietnam, 4, Persiaran Stonor, +60 3 2148 4036, +60 3 2141 4692, +60 3 2148 4534, [43].  edit

Get out[edit]

Day trips[edit]

  • Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre
  • Genting Highlands - 40 min by road on the East Coast Highway, has cooler weather, theme parks for the kids and a casino for the adults. Easily accessible by buses from KL Sentral. However the outdoor theme park has been announced that it will closed for 3 years for the reason of making way for Twentieth Century Fox Theme Park on 1st of September.
  • Putrajaya - Malaysia's megalomanic new federal administrative centre is 30 km to the south (20 min by KLIA Transit train).
  • Kuala Selangor - 1 hr north-west of Kuala Lumpur, is notable for its fireflies that flash in unison, and seafood restaurants.
  • Klang - former Royal city with a few interesting old buildings and restaurants.
  • Sungai Tekala Recreation Park - 40 min south of Kuala Lumpur (near Hulu Langat District's Semenyih Dam) is a favourite recreation park with comfortable jungle trekking in concrete steps and natural waterfalls suitable for families.
  • Pulau Ketam (Crab Island) - at the mouth of the River Klang and its Chinese fishing villages make for an interesting day trip. Take the train to Port Klang (RM5, 1h30) then the boat to the island (RM7, 45 min).

Further afield[edit]

  • Malacca - if you have more days to spend in Malaysia, a must-visit is the historical town of Malacca, which is one of the UNESCO's World Heritage sites. Steeped with history of its Dutch, Portuguese and British colonial period, you will find this town to be rich in culture and history.
  • Penang - George Town capital city of Penang, is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Site. It is famed for its authentic street food and dubbed "Malaysia's Food Paradise", Baba Nyonya Peranakan cuisine, and laksa, local to this part of Malaysia. Also not to be missed is their pristine beaches and smallest National Park in Malaysia.
  • Ipoh - 90 minutes by train for cuisine, a water theme park, hot springs, Rafflesia flower, caves and colonial buildings.
  • Cameron Highlands - about 200km from Kuala Lumpur or 85km from Ipoh, offers cooler weather and lovely highland landscapes. You will be able to visit tea plantations, vegetable farms, strawberry farms and nurseries, as well as soak in the colonial history of this plateau. Colonial cottages and bungalows as well as modern hotels, resorts and luxurious hilltop retreats can be found here. Bird-watching, jungle trekking and other outdoor activities are also available.
  • Taman Negara National Park - The largest national park on Peninsular Malaysia, known for its excellent jungle trekking and wide variety of birds and insects.
  • Port Dickson- The army town of Malaysia. It hosts several beach resorts which perfect for a weekend getaway.Create category

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