Arriving in Malaysia was a breeze. No visa is required for travelers from 80% of the countries around the world. In fact Malayisa has one of the most flexible and accommodating visa policies of any country. However if you happen to have be an Israeli passport holder or have an Israeli stamp in your passport, you are forbidden to enter the country.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is new and easy to navigate. Of course the first thing you must be aware of is to purchase an official teksi (taxi) ticket from the Airport Limo counter instead of trying to haggle with the taxis out front of the airport. The will easily charge you twice as much, if not more, and are notorious for not turning their meters on. Signs in the airport even warn of the “teksi touts” out front.
Friends of mine arrived a couple days after me but their flight landed at the other KLIA terminal, LCCT, instead of the main terminal. Unaware of the viciousness of the teksi touts they were charged RM90 ($30USD) just to get from one terminal to another — a mere 15-minute ride! The official airport shuttle costs only RM2.50. That is nearly 40x the normal price!
Traveling solo? Depending on your comfort level and familiarity with traveling to new countries, purchasing a train or bus ticket into the city is also an option — they cost only a fraction of what a taxi will. However if you are part of a group then splitting the taxi fare is the cheapest route.
The KLIA Ekspres Train
The express train is by far the fastest way to get from KLIA airport into the heart of Kuala Lumpur, KL Sentral station. It takes only 28 minutes and costs RM35 ($12USD). There is also the normal KL Sentral transit train, which takes 35 minutes because makes a few stops along the way. The price is the same.
The KLIA Airport Coach
A cheaper alternative to the train is the Airport Coach bus line. Tickets cost only RM10 ($3USD) but transit time can take an hour or more, depending upon traffic. Buses depart from the airport every 30 minutes, 365 days a year.
Once in the capital city you will quickly be amazed by the architecture and seamless blending of Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese cultures. I would highly recommend spending a day or two just walking around with a camera and a healthy appetite 😉
I’m looking forward to exploring more of Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia, so expect more posts soon. In closing if I had to summarize my initial impressions of this country in quick, simple sentence it would be this: “Malaysia is like a rich Indonesia.”
Want more? Check out the other posts in my new First Impressions series.
19 thoughts on “First Impressions & Photo Gallery: Malaysia And Its Capital, Kuala Lumpur”
Welcome to Malaysia, Derek! It’s good to have you here. What a good write-up. Hopefully, the information you shared will benefit other travellers too.
Thanks Erika, glad to be here! I’m having an amazing time in this country and am very much looking forward to exploring more of it over the upcoming weeks. It was great to finally meet face-to-face as well 🙂 Don’t stop blogging!
Thanks for the encouragement, Derek. You bet I won’t stop blogging and travelling. Next stop, Cambodia! 😉 Can’t wait to have you back here in 2-3 months time. See you then!
A great article Derek. Have been to Malaysia 3 times, and always feel it is under-rated as a tourist destination. Found it friendly, cheap,and safe. Lots to see and do around the country. Have you been to MalaysIan Borneo? If not, would suggest you take the side-trip if possible.
Nope, I have not been to Malaysian Borneo…not yet at least 😉 I have only been in the country a short period and have barely begun to scratch the surface. Luckily I have 90 days to do that before I need to worry about getting a visa or having to leave the country. Thanks for the tip Sue, and thanks for reading! 🙂
Welcome to Malaysia! I know there is lots to see and do in KL, but I hope you get to go to the East Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah. And, of course, Penang.
Glad to be here! The people are friendly and the food is amazing — and I haven’t even gotten to Penang yet. Cannot imagine what it is like there! I have already heard many great culinary tales hehehe 🙂 I also plan to make it out to the east as well. Haven’t done any research yet but I’ll be sure to look into Sarawak and Sabah now. Thanks for the tips! 🙂
Wonderful post, Derek! Sooo, did you consume mass quantities of bacon?
I most definitely did! Unhealthy amounts in fact 😉
Looks like an exciting, if rather brash, city. And I must say that bacon does look good!!
It is definitely an interesting city. Everyone is so friendly. Cannot wait to explore more of the country! And eat some more bacon hehehe 😉
I’m pretty sure you will enjoy your stay in KL (try the nasir lemak and roti canai …well you should find easily in several mamak stalls spread over the city …).
I’m looking forward to read your journey through Malaysia..
Thanks John, I most definitely am enjoying my time in Malaysia! Sucks that a change of plans means I now have to rush my trip and get back to Indonesia later this month. Will be sure to plan a return trip here and stay the full 90 days then.
I loved KL. I only have good experiences there. Like you said, it’s better to hire a taxi from the taxi counter inside the airport. For us it cost like RM90 from the airport to our hotel in KL city center.
I have always wanted to go to KL!! That bacon looks like reason enough!
OMG! I love the photo from Little India, Kuala Lumpur. Last time I was the capital I stayed in a hotel over there. It was so much fun.
As a lover of Asia and of course Asian ladies, Malaysia is a must, bur it’s now my least favour Asian country probably due to how my Chinese and Indian friends are treated. In terms of beauty Malaysia has it, but its more strict in an Islamic sense than Indonesia. Great food, awful climate like Singapore, but some great architecture, I love pewter, so the Selangor factory was a must, personally alI prefer Philippines and Vietnam, but its just I’m not a big fan of Malaysian cuisine, prefer Vietnamese or the seafood choices in the Philippines.
Wow! Malaysia is a nice country but a bit strict because of the religion. I enjoyed my stay in KL with family. But rather than exploring the city, I prefer going to the beaches. Oh please try the east part. We had scuba diving in Sipadan – part of the Coral Triangle. It was a surreal experience. Yea, the video that I showed you before diving with the sharks was taken there. Shame on me because I don’t think I can liveaboard dive boats for Tubbataha Reef dive in the Philippines for couple of days… Ugh…
Just followed u on twitter and now I am hooked up to your site. Hehe. I love KL. No matter how dirty some parts may be, still lovin’ it. Penang is a food heaven and you must must go to East Malaysia. I went there last July and it was like visiting a different country!