First Impressions & Photo Gallery: Malaysia And Its Capital, Kuala Lumpur

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.

View Outside Of KLIA
The view from the taxi bay outside of KLIA

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

KL Skyline, Malaysia
The Kuala Lumpur skyline

Old Train Station, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Built in 1911, the old KL train station closed in 2001 after the new KL Sentral station opened.

Chinatown, Kuala Lumpur
Jalan Petaling — Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown

Little India, Kuala Lumpur
The start of Little India, Kuala Lumpur

Little India, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Walking through Little India

MY Rapid Artwork
Escalator artwork at the MY Rapid Masjid Jamek station

Eat Good Food
In other words, it’s better to eat healthy, real food instead of fast “food”

Indecent Behavior Forbidden, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
My favorite — and least favorite — sign in Malaysia. Found in the KL Komuter train

After four months in Indonesia without bacon I nearly peed my pants when I saw this!

KL At Night
Kuala Lumpur at night. The Twin Towers are on the left and the KL Tower on the right.

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.

Have You Ever Been To Malaysia?

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About Derek Freal

"Some people eat, others try therapy. I travel." ย  Cultural enthusiast. Adrenaline junkie. Eater of strange foods. Chasing unique and offbeat adventures around the world since 2008. Derek loves going to new destinations where he does not speak a word of the local language and must communicate with hand gestures, or places where he is forced to squat awkwardly to poo -- supposedly its healthier and more efficient. For more information (about Derek, not squat pooing) including popular posts and videos, check out his bio.

19 thoughts on “First Impressions & Photo Gallery: Malaysia And Its Capital, Kuala Lumpur”

    • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t stop blogging!

      • Thanks for the encouragement, Derek. You bet I won’t stop blogging and travelling. Next stop, Cambodia! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Can’t wait to have you back here in 2-3 months time. See you then!

  1. 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. Hi Derek,

    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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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…

  6. 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!


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