Kuala Lumpur

"A First-Hand Kuala Lumpur Guide"

View of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, ©iStockphoto.com/Tan Kian Khoon

"Kuala Lumpur Malaysia" was last updated on Feb 18, 2013
All information below is subject to change

What should you know about Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia (KL)?

It's just too damn good to be true. I thought I loved Bangkok, but I love Kuala Lumpur even more!

KL has got everything a backpacker needs and wants!

You're about to read why...

  • Cheap accommodation in Chinatown and lots of other affordable hotels in Kuala Lumpur
  • Have one of the best cuisines in the world, and it's ... cheap!
  • The largest malls I've ever seen in Southeast Asia
  • Friendly and accommodating local Malays. When we arrived in Chinatown for the first time, we asked a young man for directions to Backpacker's Travellers Inn.

He was smiling and said: "I follow you!"

  • ... and the cultural diversity of KL 

KL is a melting pot of Malay, Chinese, Indians and Filipinos. The cultural diversity is clearly represented in the arts, food, and shopping. You'll feel welcome the minute you step on Malay soil, that's for sure!

The really nice part of KL was when we walked around the city, it was just relaxing.

Yeah, local sellers will try to haul you in to their restaurants or small shop, but if you just say "no", they won't bother you anymore!

I just love Malaysia! :-)

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia:
What does it mean that Malaysia
is a Muslim country?

Building in Kuala Lumpur


  • Many women wear scarves on their heads, and elderly men wear white special Islamic hats in KL. And when it comes to names, many Malays don't have surnames. They add their father's name, which is an Arabic custom - Example: Mohammad bin Osman means: "Mohammad son of Osman."
  • You'll probably notice that some restaurant - and store signs have Arabic lettering... We were told that since Islam is the main religion in Malaysia, it's an obligation to learn enough Arabic to understand the Quran. But the Malay people don't speak Arabic on a daily basis...
  • Malaysia as a Muslim country attracts other Muslims from all around the world. When we walked around Chinatown, we noticed that Arabs are frequently tourists in Malaysia.

For more information on Malaysian Culture, click here!

Return to top

How to get to
Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

By air: The Kuala Lumpur International airport (KLIA) is located approximately 50 km from KL town.

Search for cheap flights to Kuala Lumpur:

From KLIA to KL:

  • Express Coach (bus) = RM 10 (adult price), takes one hour and departs every 30 minutes from 6.30 am to 12.30 am 

Where: The Express Coach is on ground floor, block C which is just three minutes walking distance from arrival hall exit. You can get your ticket at airport coach counter no 3.

Website: Airport Coach

  • Star Shuttle = RM 10 (to Puduraya) 

Website: Star Shuttle

Onboard KLIA Express in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia
  • KLIA Express (train) = RM 35

The train takes 28 minutes to reach KL downtown.

When: Every 15 minutes during peak hours (Monday to Friday: 06.00 to 09.00, 16:00 - 22:00)

Then every 20 minutes during off peak hours, in addition to Saturdays and Sundays. After midnight it runs every 30 minutes.

Where: After you've cleared out and arrived at the arrival hall, follow the signs to KLIA express and take the escalator to level 1.

In June 2009, we took the KLIA express to KL. It's efficient, clean and on-time - perfect if you're tired after a long flight trip :-)

Website: KLIA Express

From KLIA to LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal):

If you're not staying in KL and have an ongoing flight, and this flight is served by Air Asia, Tiger Airways, Cebu Pacific and Firefly, then you have to go to LCCT.

Here are bus companies serving the route between KLIA and LCCT:

  • Airport Liner = RM 2.50
  • City Liner = RM 1.50

From KL Central to Chinatown:

KL Central is the transfer point for major rail systems including KLIA Ekspress, KLIA Transit, KTM Intercity, KTM Komuter, Putra LRT and KL Monorail.

Chinatown is the district in KL where most travelers spend their days and nights.

From KL Central take the train to Pasar Seni to get to Chinatown (RM 1). Pasar Seni is only one stop from KL Central.

Map of Chinatown in KL:

A: Pasar Seni station
B: Jalan Petaling

If you're taking a taxi, get vouchers from the upper level to minimize the chance of getting scammed.

I've experienced a lot of great things when I traveled in Malaysia, but there's one ugly episode that I still remember up to this day.

We took a late flight from Tawau on Borneo to KL (June 2009), and we landed at KL Central after midnight. The only option at that time was taxis (we thought). There was nothing else running that late.

Touts were surrounding us and this Indian taxi driver approached us and asked if we needed a ride. We asked about the price.

Do you know what he said?

- RM 45 (that was only to Chinatown which was only a couple of minutes away)

We asked the other taxi drivers, but they were all quoting the same price!

I sensed the scam alarm and I got this bad feeling in the pit of my stomach (telling me that something was wrong), but we were kind of desperate since it was in the middle of the night and I just wanted to lay down and rest.

We asked why it was so expensive, and he replied: "It's after midnight"

So we drove with him to Chinatown. We gave him RM 50, and asked for the change.

But he just ignored the question.

Then my boyfriend started to get impatient, and said: "Where's our change?"

You could see that this driver was reluctant to give us back RM 5. But he did in the end.

One of the helpful staff workers at Reggae guesthouse 2 (we stayed there that evening) told us that we got scammed when he heard about what had happened.

He told us that it shouldn't have cost more than RM 20 to get from KL Central to Chinatown (even after midnight).

A tip from him: Ask the taxi drivers to use the taxi meters

Return to top

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia:
From KL to other cities in Malaysia

By bus:

There are four bus terminals in KL.

  • Puduraya Puduraya is the main bus terminal in KL east of Chinatown, and serves most routes in the country. Note: The Puduraya station re-opened Feb 2nd 2011!
  • Putra Bus Station This terminal caters buses to east coast of Malay peninsula. If you're going to the Perhentians, then you have to take the bus from Putra Bus terminal to Kuala Besut/Jerteh. More of this on my Perhentians article
  • Duta Bus Terminal If you're going north, buses leave Duta Bus Terminal. The hard thing about this terminal is its inaccessibility. There are no LRT station, and to get there you have to take a taxi (remember that Puduraya also serves northbound routes).
  • Pekeliling Bus Terminal Destinations: Northeast Malaysia like Jerantut (jumping off point for Taman Negara National Park), Kuala Lipis etc.

Return to top

Let's begin with important places to know about Kuala Lumpur Malaysia:

  • Tourist Police Phone nr: + 603-21406590
  • General Hospital on Jalan Pahang. Phone nr: +603-26155555
  • Medical Emergency Phone nr: 999
  • Pharmacies in Chinatown, Golden Triangle etc.
  • Immigration office on 24G, Pusat Pentadbiran Kerajaan Persekutuan, Putrajaya. Office hours:
    Monday to Friday: 9 am - 04.30. pm
  • Banks and ATMs are easy! You can find them around town, in Chinatown, Golden Triangle etc.
  • Post office (GPO) on Jalan Sultan Hishamuddin opposite Central Market (8 am-5 pm)
  • You can get internet access everywhere in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia, if not at your guesthouse. Price per hour: 3 RM

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia Articles

Room at Reggae Guesthouse no. 2 in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia:
Where to sleep

Don't know where to stay for the night in KL?

Here are reviews of the guesthouses we stayed at in the city! There are also some good hotels in Kuala Lumpur.

Click here to read about accommodation in Kuala Lumpur!

Fish ball soup in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia:
Where to eat

You HAVE to try the Malaysian food!

It's cheap, absolutely delicious and a great food experience!

Come in and join me for a delicious lunch in Kuala Lumpur!

Ticket to safe backpacking ebook

Map Your adventure and Asia Planners FAQ

Golden Triangle at night, Photo courtesy of kangkudo.gombui.net

Where to party

Don't know where to grab a drink?

Wondering about the prices of alcohol in Kuala Lumpur?

Ready for partying? Here are some choices for you!

Shopping in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Where to shop

KL has everything: Cheap shopping at the markets, huge malls and unique shops!

I've also gathered prices for various items!


Ready for shopping? Thought so! :-)

Kuala Lumpur activities, ©iStockphoto.com/CWLawrence

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia:
Sights & Attractions

Here are a couple of things to do in KL.

This article is based on my personal experiences of the attractions in KL.

Enjoy the Kuala Lumpur attractions and activities!

Sea horse tattoo from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Malaysian Tattoo

Compared to Bangkok, tattoo shops aren't exactly flourishing in Malaysia.

But I found three!

Read my review of City Art Tattoo in Chinatown, KL where I got this awesome sea horse tattoo!

Click here to get a Malaysian tattoo!

Massage, ©iStockphoto.com

Kuala Lumpur Massage

KL has too many massage parlors!

We tried one and went back twice, so we loved it :-)

Read more about our review.

Welcome to the Massage Corner

Having trouble on where to travel in Malaysia? How to set up an itinerary?

You won't have a problem creating an itinerary after you've read this eBook. Learn how to create a good itinerary for Malaysia.

Like this page?

Search this site

Return to top of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur Recommendations, Tips and Stories

Did you enjoy your travels in KL? Got any recommendations for which places to visit? A good party? Tips on where to sleep? A good KL restaurant you liked?

Or maybe you own a guesthouse in KL and want to promote it?

Share your story, tip or review right here! We'd love to hear about it!

PS: I reserve the right to delete a submission if it's not original, duplicate content, or if it's too short (less than 300 words).

Enter Your Title

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page. You can also comment the submissions.

Kuala Lumpur Nightlife and Pubcrawls Not rated yet
PUBCRAWL!! Also known as barcrawling or bar hopping, if you haven't tried it yet you really are missing out!! To give you some background on how it …

Click here to write your own.

Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Comment this page:

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.