In this Destination Guide you will find information for : Kuala Lumpur
♦Capital: Kuala Lumpur
♦Currency: Ringgit (RM) (MYR)
♦Zone: +8 (GMT)
♦Phone Code: +60
♦Best time to visit: Dec-Feb
♦Must eat: Nasi lemak
♦Must drink: Tehtarik
♦Don't miss: Petrona Towers
♦Number of times visited: 2
Getting there and transportation: Malaysia is highly accessible by air because it's one of the most visited countries by foreigners thanks to its climate, beautiful beaches and scenery and for its shopping haven. The flag carrier of the country is Malaysia Airlines, which over the years has decreased it's presence due to some unfortunate air accidents which saw it loose two aircraft. However it's reputation and service are excellent and stands out with its legendary service and hospitality.
There are numerous other airlines, both from Europe and the Gulf, offering direct services to its capital Kuala Lumpur. As well there are frequent services to its popular holiday resort, Penang and Lang Kawi, with at least one stop if coming from Europe.
Another option is to travel to Malaysia from other Asian cities doing a tour of the region as many tend to do. For this the reason low cost airlines are the best to travel with, as they offer frequent fights at good prices. Air Asia, is a dominant player in the market. But you can find many more other low cost airlines as well as legacy carriers.
Lastly, you can travel also by train from Thailand or by road, however there is a ferry crossing so you can't make it direct. Travelling by road will take in excess of 18 hours at least from Bangkok. You can travel however to Singapore by road, which is direct and takes about 9 hours.
Within the country, it's popular to travel by air as the distances are quite long and tourists often don't have much time so the air transport is effective and not expensive thanks to the amount of competition there is. (specially with Low cost airlines).
Public transport is well developed in the country and specially in Kuala Lumpur there is an excellent service of metro and busses, air conditioned, giving frequent and affordable service for locals and visitors alike.
Weather and temperature: Being located on the equator, the climate is very even throughout the year, specially the weather will be always hot and humid with temperatures around 30C. However there are different seasons . The best season to travel is the cool season when the sun is less direct and at night it can get cooler. (December to February). On the other side the Hot season (March to June), weather is drier and still very hot. The rainy season (July to September) has cloudy and muggy days but can be hot as well so always carry water around with you. By the beach it's not as hot as the inland but the sun is very strong so always take some protection if you're skin is sensitive to burn.
What to eat and drink: Malaysia is a great place to taste a multitude of cuisines, an interesting fusion of European, Chinese and Indian flavours can be found in markets and restaurants alike. The national cuisine shares similarities with Thai and Indonesian food, but Malaysian cooking has its own unique specialities, based on exotic spices, chilli, ginger, lemongrass, lime leaves, coconut milk and peanuts. Many dishes are extremely spicy, but rice is served with almost everything.
Although Malaysia is predominantly Islamic, bars and restaurants in larger cities serve beer, wine and spirits to cater for the tourists.
Specialities which can be found are: Nasi lemak, rice steamed with coconut milk, served with dried anchovies, sambal, peanuts and eggs, the national dish.Char KwayTeow, thick rice noodles stir fried with soy sauce and meat or fish. Nasi goreng, Malay-style fried rice, a favourite at street stalls and night markets.Roti canai, fried flat bread with curry sauce, a delicious and cheap snack served everywhere. Rendang daging, slow-cooked beef with lemongrass and coconut.Rojak, a spicy fruit or vegetable salad, plus other ingredients such as fried tofu and youtiao (Chinese cruellers). Laksa, a hot and sour seafood soup with coconut milk.Nasi kandar, mamak-style steamed rice with curries and vegetable side dishes. Aiskacang, a Malay desert of shaved ice, fruits, beans, sweetcorn, grass jelly, condensed or evaporated milk and fruit syrups.Rojak, a spicy fruit or vegetable salad, plus other ingredients such as fried tofu and youtiao (Chinese cruellers). Laksa, a hot and sour seafood soup with coconut milk.Nasi kandar, mamak-style steamed rice with curries and vegetable side dishes. Aiskacang, a Malay desert of shaved ice, fruits, beans, sweetcorn, grass jelly, condensed or evaporated milk and fruit syrups.
As for drinks: Tehtarik, it's like ‘pulled’ tea, made with sweet condensed milk and poured between two jugs to aerate the mix.
Transportation: From the airport there are several options to get into the city. The cheapest is to go by Bus to the main city centre terminal. Where you can link with other trains and metro. The are several companies operating from the airport to the city centre, KL Sentral, for 10RM one way.
Once in the city, KL is very well prepared with air conditioned underground, monorail and busses. The transportation system uses an integrated card called myrapid. For more info check this link:Myrapid
Tip: KL is trying to incentive the use of public transport in recent years, therefore you will find some lines which offer free transportation within the city. These busses are "GOKL", 4 routes designated by colours, offering reliable free transport in modern busses and fully air condinioned. They go nearby key points of the city to visit so you can save on public transaport within the city even! To view the routes and timetables please check this link: GOKL
What to see and do?: The city is a mecca for those shopping-lovers, mega arcades and Shopping Malls that spread for miles where you can find everything you can think of. During the day it's perhaps a good idea to stay inside places, but you can also explore by the official tourist bus the sights of the city. The city is home to British colonial-era landmarks such as the Kuala Lumpur Railway Station and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building.It's a modern metropolis where you will see many sky-crappers, including the landmark of the city The Petrona Towers.
The highlights of the city are:
Accomodation: KL is very affordable for the budget traveller. As mentioned earlier, the city offers all range of quality establishments from top 5 star Hotels to budget Hotels and Hostels. It's worth staying a little further from the centre to take advantage of cheaper prices, but still good quality Hotels and in walking distance to transport. You can find these Hotels for €25 a night. (Some places only 30min walk from the Petrona Towers)
Accommodation is safe and reliable in the city. However if you are staying in shared hostels don't expose valuables and lock your luggage when leaving.
One recommended Hotel is Tune Hotel, an affordable, comfortable and very clean Hotel, offering Free WiFi, elegant rooms, tours from the Hotel and very friendly staff. It's located next to the Monorail and Freebus line. You can reach the Petrona towers, walking within 30min.
Recommended duration: KL offers a lot for the visitor to see and do, it can be a busy city to keep active but also relaxing if you just wanna chill and go out at night. To see the most important points of the city, enjoy some night scene and relax you can do all this within 4 nights comfortably.