Kuala Lumpur: An astonishing non-expensive Asian capital that you must visit

Kuala Lumpur is suitable for both family and couple vacation. It is safe for kids city, with numerous attractions for them, the parents and the couples.

We will try to prepare you the best we can for your trip to Kuala Lumpur. This guide contains everything you need to know before you go.

Do not forget though, the juice, which is in our “10 things to do in Kuala Lumpur” post!

Let’s go to Malaysia!

It was the first time that we visited an Asian country apart from India together and we didn’t know what to expect. Malaysia is widely known mostly for its coastal line and the islands.

Malaysia numbers 878 islands. Langkawi, Perhentians, Penang are some of the most famous having exotic beaches and amazing fish to eat. However, at the time we decided to visit the area was a period of monsoons and is better to explore the mainland rather than the beaches.

We decided to visit Kuala Lumpur (“Muddy Confluence” as the original translation is) for our in a ten days trip that would conclude 5 nights staying in the capital of Malaysia and 4 nights in Singapore during the Christmas and New Year’s Eve vacation.

General information for Kuala Lumpur

The official language in Malaysia is Malay, from the Austronesian family, and you will meet it in ten different dialects across the country. We didn’t meet somebody who doesn’t speak English so everything was smooth regarding communication.

Kuala Lumpur is located in the Selangor state on the west coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The population is 1.6 million while Malaysia as a country has more or less 32 million. The currency is Malaysian Ringgit and at the time of our visit was equal to €0.22 ($0.25).

Usually the elderly prepare the most delicious food. Here was not an exception!
Usually the elderly prepare the most delicious food. Here was not an exception!
You can have updated currency rates from our website’s widget or by downloading application into your mobile.

There is nightlife with clubs and pubs to visit and while it is not like Thessaloniki in Greece in that sector still there are decent options that will keep you satisfied. 🙂

How to get to Kuala Lumpur

By plane

Kuala Lumpur as a popular business and vacation destination has 2 international terminals, KLIA1 and KLIA2. The international airport of Kuala Lumpur is in the Sepang District of Selangor and is around 45 kilometers from the center of the town.

We were staying in the center and took us 40 minutes to arrive at the hotel. This is, of course, subject to change depending on the traffic.

The entrance to the country was easy and fast. One thing that we liked was at the time of taking our luggage. One polite woman from the airport security politely asked us to see our ticket in order to confirm that we took the correct bag. The first time we saw that and we approve. 🙂

Book your transfer to the city center and skip the taxi queue lines!

By train and bus

There are routes available, both with bus and train, connecting Bangkok – Kuala Lumpur – Singapore. The prices differ from time to time but as a general rule, you will need around €40 from Bangkok and €20 from Singapore.

We did the trip Kuala Lumpur to Singapore by bus. Do not to do the same mistake. We booked the 8:30 am a bus which after no picking up calls came at 10:30 (be away especially from “Star Qistna Express”) and the total time to arrive in the center of Singapore raised to 12 hours.

The airplane ticket will save you an entire day from your vacation and if you early book it may cost only 30€ ($33).

Transportation around the city

What we enjoyed in Kuala Lumpur was that the cost of transportation was very low. Before you even visit the city, download the Grab application on your mobile. It is equivalent to Uber and has a similar way of use.

We didn’t use anything else than Grab and our total budget per day was around 20 RM (€4.36, $4.91). It is easy and safe to use. The expenses got even less when we decided to walk through the city as this way and by bicycle are the only ways to learn a city.

You have the option of a subway but is costing almost the same for two people and will not get you exactly where you want to go.

At your arrival to Kuala Lumpur’s airport it would be good idea to buy a sim card. We didn’t we regret it ?
A nice idea to get a first taste of Kuala Lumpur is to buy a seat on KL Hop on-Hop off tour!
A nice idea to get a first taste of Kuala Lumpur is to buy a seat on KL Hop on-Hop off tour!

What surprised us!

As we mentioned at the beginning of the article we decided to visit Malaysia during Christmas. A common question from our friends was “How was the Christmas atmosphere?”.

It was a good question because of the high percentage of Muslim population BUT. The atmosphere was more into Christmas than even of some European cities. It was a great example that people with different religions and cultural backgrounds can enjoy others’ festivals and celebrations.

We saw everything. From Christmas trees and songs to Santa Claus making photos with the kids.

Christmas tree in Pavilion mall in Kuala Lumpur, KL, Malaysia
We never saw so many Christmas trees altogether. This was only one side!

What is Kuala Lumpur famous for?

Kuala Lumpur is famous for the Petronas Towers, the skyline around them, the tasty and cheap food and for us should be for the incredible cleanliness along with the thousand trees inside the city.

The cleanliness is at higher levels even compared to Singapore and littering in some areas is highly penalized. What impressed us that it was even difficult to find a trash bin and you couldn’t see anything in the street.

What and where to eat in Kuala Lumpur?

Many people are choosing Kuala Lumpur for vacation for culinary tourism. In Kuala Lumpur, you can try anything from anywhere.

Bukit Bitang

Street food is absolutely safe and the choices are unlimited while at the same time is really cheap. You will be able to find all kinds of cuisine around the city.

Street food and restaurants in Bukit Bitang

Street food in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia
Do not afraid to taste the delicious street food. Except if you do not like spicy!

There is even an area called Bukit Bintang looking like Tsivili in Zante. Has pubs with televisions showing, mostly, Premier league football (soccer for the USA). In that area, you may find mostly western fast food and some international restaurants like Halab.

We must mention that we are lovers of Arabic cuisine and there we found the place to enjoy it. It is called Halab and their plates are both amazing and really cheap.

Sweets and coffee!

Don’t leave Kuala Lumpur before you taste the Kuih Lapis. It is a nine-layer cake maiden from coconut milk and tapioca flour. You can find it everywhere in the city. We bought ours from Central Market. Twice?

Is 2 times better when it is warm. Yes like tsoureki!
A desert that already we miss. Try it – Bring us!!

For coffee and patisserie shops there is a great place in the center called Molten Chocolate. Is exactly what they say. They expertise on chocolate fondue and in general in melting sins. Accompany your choice with ice cream!

Molten Chocolate patisserie in Kuala Lumpur. Delicious Chocolate Lava Cake with ice-cream!
That was heaven!! Chocolate Lava Cake! Order it exactly like this! Maybe with an extra ice cream ball.

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur – Accommodation?

The accommodation in Kuala Lumpur is cheap and the value for money is very high.

There are Airbnb apartments from (€9, $) to (€25, $) and some of them have nothing to jealous of 3 and 4-star hotels. Many of them are in skyscrapers with a swimming pool, gyms and even breakfast meals.

4* Red By Sirocco Hotel

However, as we were not aware of the culture and people, we chose to stay in a 4-star hotel Red by Sirocco. The price was 207 MYR (€45, $51) per night for the Christmas period including breakfast.

We booked one of the biggest rooms in Kuala Lumpur in Red by Scirocco
We honored more than once per day the espresso machine in our room

The room was 45 square meters (booking.com was claiming that it was one of the biggest rooms in Kuala Lumpur) with a king-size bed. It had all the necessary facilities plus a good wi-fi connection, a Cafés Richard machine with free capsules every morning and an amazing view to enjoy.

We didn’t enjoy though the breakfast which maybe had many options in general, but not European cuisine. We like tasting new flavors but having noodles, spring rolls and fish at 9 o’clock in the morning was too much.

Nasi Lemak is Malay’s traditional breakfast which is rice cooked with coconut milk. The highlight of the breakfast was a small rolling runway around the tables which apart of the other Asian choices had also this tasty rice in big amounts.

On the ground floor, there was an amazing bakery, with friendly staff and many choices that maybe were new to us but they were more than tasty.

Luxury accommodation in Kuala Lumpur

There are luxury options for staying in Kuala Lumpur but again will not cost as much as in other cities. You can book Grand Hayat or Hilton hotel for 550 MR (€120, $135) per night, depending, of course, the season.

Probably on our next vacation in Kuala Lumpur we are going to choose some luxury apartment that it may cost us the same more or less.

6 things to be aware before you go to Malaysia

  1. Do not shake hands with the opposite gender except if someone offers
  2. Do not cuddle (a lot) in public. Go to Paris for that.
  3. Do not be afraid to taste street food
  4. Always use Grab a taxi app for your transportation
  5. Remove your shoes when you enter a home or in a holy place
  6. It may still rain even if it is sunny (something like London)

If you ask us if we would go again to Malaysia… We have our luggage ready!!!

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