A Quick Guide to Kuala Lumpur

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If you’re looking for a quick guide to Kuala Lumpur, you’ve come to the right place. After a recent short (but incredibly sweet) trip to KL, I quickly fell in love with this cities’ people and unbeatable love for food (only Singaporeans rival the Malays for that title!) The city is a great chance to splurge on cheap shopping and some of the cheapest rates for luxury hotels in the world.

Kuala Lumpur Botanical Gardens

Population: 1.589 million +
City Motto: Garden City of Lights
Climate: Tropical Rainforest Climate

A Quick Guide to Kuala Lumpur

Prior to Arrival

Many passport holders do not require a visa for entry into Malaysia as a tourist and there aren’t even landing cards on arrival, making it a very seamless arrival process. Australian, New Zealand, UK, USA, Canadian, French, German, Irish, Japanese, Lebanese, Polish, South African, Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, UAE, Saudi Arabian and Yemen passport holders do not require a visa for stays of up to 90 days.

Central Market Kuala Lumpur

On Arrival

The main airport, Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is located 50 km outside of the city centre. The fastest way to the city is by non-stop express train (MYR35 one way – around $10) and will get you to the city in 28 minutes. Trains run every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 20 minutes at all other times.

If arriving on a budget airline (such as Air Asia), you will arrive at a different airport; KLIA2. Transport to the city is very similar, with a fast train reaching the city in 33 minutes at the same price of MYR35 one way.

Getting Around

Kuala Lumpur is very susceptible to traffic jams, making public transport by trains (LRT & monorail) your best option. To get your city bearings, there is a hop-on-hop-off bus that visits the touristic sites with free wi-fi on board.

Getting By

Bahasa Malaysian is the official language spoken, however English is very widely spoken. Here are some quick phrases to help you get by or just to impress a local!

Hello: Hello

Excuse Me, Sorry: Masfkan saya

Thank You: Terima kasih

Bye: Bye

Petronas Tower Kuala Lumpur

What to See

Kuala Lumpur falls surprisingly short on must see attractions, as the real joy of the city lies in exploring at leisure and fumbling across local food markets, shopping markets,  impressive shopping malls, and great local food to try from street vendors.

The Petronas Towers are the cities’ most recognised attraction, whilst Batu Caves are also a popular stop for travellers. China town is a thriving part of town with great food to try on every corner.

Banana Fritter

What to Eat & Drink

Malaysian cuisine is an incredible multiethnic blend between Malay, Chinese, and Indian cuisines. There are many great local foods to try and the best part of all? They’re super cheap and easy to find! Street vendors offer many of the local classics, but be sure to seek out Malay sweets as well – you’re in for a real treat!

Dishes to try:

Roti canai, Curry laksa, Asam laksa, Nasi goreng, Satay, Chilli crab and oh so much more!

Sweets to try:

Ais Kacang, Apam balik, Bahulu, Bingka Ubi, Dodol, Angku (Mung Bean), Lapis Selatan, Kuih Ketayap, Kuih lapis, Ondeh ondeh, Pisang goreng, Seri muka, and Koswee.

Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Where to Stay

Kuala Lumpur is a great chance to splurge on accommodation as it has some of the lowest prices for luxury accommodation in the world! For my stay I checked in to the Colonial-style Majestic Hotel for an incredible few days. The hotel offers a complimentary shuttle service around the city, making it easy to get around the city if you’re short on time.

Get Out

From Kuala Lumpur there are a great range of destinations in Malaysia to explore!

Cameron Highlands – Located just a three hour drive from Kuala Lumpur, Cameron Highlands is a great insight into Malaysia’s tea plantations and strawberry fields.

Langkawi – Malaysia’s premier resort destination with pristine beaches and lush forests.

Gaya Islands – Crystal clear waters perfect for snorkelling and incredible seafood.

Pangkor Laut – Another great resort destination on the coastline of Malaysia.

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    kathleen khalid
    March 6, 2016 at 12:41 pm

    Hi,i am from Kuala Lumpur.
    If you are a food lover,these are the great places you must visit.
    Kampung Baru,Kuala Lumpur.
    Kota Bharu,Kelantan
    Pulau Pinang
    Johor Bahru,Johor.

    February 6, 2016 at 10:08 am

    Great post!
    I have been to Kuala Lumpur several times and I love this city. You should visit and explore Penang and the Perhentian Islands, they are awesome places in Malaysia. Good luck with your travels.

    February 6, 2016 at 6:20 am

    There again, a place I never had the chance to stop by, it’s incredible how many beautiful places there is in this small little world of ours.

    Kenza from

    February 3, 2016 at 6:58 am

    Kuala Lumper is a great starting point before heading south to Batu Pahat and Singapore. Can’t wait to try some of the sweets when I get there!

    February 3, 2016 at 5:06 am

    I also was surprised to find how how little “sights” KL has, however it is a nice place though. I wrote a post on Langkawi – which is a little piece of heaven. Feel free to check it out and get inspired :))

    February 3, 2016 at 2:45 am

    Hi, Brooke! Saw on your Twitter not long ago about visiting Malaysia and really couldn’t wait to see this post up since then. Btw, it’s Bahasa Malaysia instead of Bahasa Malaysian and Idk if it’s a typo there but it’s maafkan instead of mafskan…anyway, great to know part of my country is revealed through you! Thanks 🙂

    p/s did you make it to North Borneo?

    Dressed To Kill
    February 3, 2016 at 12:45 am

    Wow, I’m in love with this post!!! Wonderful ❤ ❤

    Visit our blogger platform ✿

    February 2, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    This is such an inspiring post, thank you so much for sharing!

    Sophie |

    February 2, 2016 at 6:37 pm

    Malaysia def does Malay cuisine better than Singapore! It’s been a Long time since I’ve visited KL. This makes me wanna hop on a plane (or bus) and explore the area!!

    X Carina

    Gabi @ Books & Trips
    February 2, 2016 at 6:32 pm

    This is such a great guide! I love your page, Brooke, so much to learn and so many places you make me ant to visit! 🙂

    Jack Guan
    February 2, 2016 at 2:49 pm

    Speaking of Malaysian food, the northern state of Penang is the food haven. You would probably like to plan a visit to this maritime state one day. 🙂

    Here is my website if you wish to get more information. 🙂

    Or just drop me a mail at penangfoodforthought@gmail. com. 🙂

    Marjel C.
    February 2, 2016 at 1:56 pm

    Hi Brooke, I’ve been following your posts for months now. I also noticed you’ve been into Asia for quite some time. Hopefully, you find time to visit the Philippines, too! With the recent Miss Universe event last year, there’s no reason not to visit us and see our culture too! I’ll be waiting for this to happen. Even if you can Google anytime, if you need questions about my country, please feel free to email me. Have a safe travel! And stay beautiful! – Marjel C.