Kuala Lumpur prides itself on it’s multicultural demographic. So, naturally, the city celebrates and welcomes visitors from anywhere in the world. There is no shortage of cultural attractions, fine restaurants, boutique shopping or natural beauty in this exotic region. Those visiting Kuala Lumpur for the first time should be aware of these facts and customs before their arrival.
Bahasa Malaysia is the national language; however, English is widely spoken in Kuala Lumpur. Those traveling to small villages should come prepared with a translation dictionary or a helpful phone application.
The city is warm year round. Frequent humidity can make it seem warmer. Spring travelers should carry an umbrella or a waterproof.
Public transportation is the norm. Taxis, light rail and buses are available. The city’s transit network is considered one of the best in the region.
The KLIA Ekspres can get you from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) to the city center within about 30 minutes.
Check the KTM schedule for a slightly-longer ride on the train from the airport. A handy phone application of train arrival and departure times is available at kltransit.my.
Visitors should check the ETS timetable for high-speed rail throughout the region.
Travelers with disabilities may have challenges in Southeast Asia. Paths and sidewalks are often in disrepair or inadequate for wheelchairs. Those with mobility impairments should not visit the city without a travel companion.
Kuala Lumpur is divided into nine areas:
1. Old City Centre/Old Town
2. Golden Triangle
3. Tuanku Abdul Rahman / Chow Kit
5. Bangsar and Midvalley
6. Damansara and Hartamas
8. Northern suburbs
9. Southern suburbs
Credit cards are not widely accepted in Kuala Lumpur, except in international restaurants and large businesses. Visitors will need to exchange currency for the Malaysian ringgit (MYR). Exchange currency at banks, airports and hotels for a fee.
Tipping is not customary; however, some restaurants may add a 10 percent service change to your bill.
Although the area is welcoming to all nationalities, visitors should be aware of that locals frown on public displays of affection, even between two married people.
Although alcohol is available at most restaurants, drinking is frowned upon.
It is custom for those visiting temples and residences to remove their shoes before entering.
Visitors are sure to find Kuala Lumpur a charming and welcoming region. The best tip of all is to be polite. Friendliness and understanding is the key to any successful trip abroad.