Kuala Lumpur, or KL, is the centre of culture and finance and Malaysia’s capital city. If you have a taste for a bustling mix of colourful culture, rich flavours, and a vibrant economy, then moving to Kuala Lumpur might be the big change you need.
If you’ve thought of living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but don’t know where to start, here are six uncomplicated pieces of advice to help you make a decision. We’re counting the pros and cons of living in Kuala Lumpur, the best ways to travel and enjoy your time, the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, and so much more.
1. Take Note Of These Facts About Living In Kuala Lumpur To Better Prepare For The Move
As with any other city, there are pros and cons, but do the pros outweigh the cons if you ever move to Kuala Lumpur? Let’s see:
Kuala Lumpur Is A Great Mix Of Culture And Modernity
As the capital city of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is the fastest-growing region and thus offers a lot of employment opportunities, modern shops and services, as well as a very reliable transportation system. However, within all that modernity and progress, the city’s cultural heritage is still very much part of life in Kuala Lumpur, as festivals and holidays are regularly observed and celebrated.
The Food Will Keep You Wanting More
The food in Kuala Lumpur is excellent. Considered to be a gastronomic destination, a variety of cuisines can be found in Kuala Lumpur, such as the local Malay, neighbouring Chinese, Indian, Thai, Indonesian and more.
As a literal melting pot of cultures, you’ll be able to enjoy the different local delights whether you go to fancy restaurants or opt for the cheaper choices in street food. The food in Kuala Lumpur is noted to be affordable without compromising taste and flavour.
Kuala Lumpur Is A Safe Place To Stay
Kuala Lumpur has low petty crime rates, and violent crime is virtually never heard of in the city. The city has excellent public transport, so you don’t have to worry about getting lost, and the locals tend to be very friendly and helpful. Kuala Lumpur is one of the most visited Asian cities, so expect to see a lot of foreigners as well.
The Days Can Get Hot And Very Humid
This doesn’t automatically have to be a bad thing. In fact, it’s great if you’ve acclimated or are used to the more humid weather. But if you are used to a colder climate, this change might need some getting used to.
The hot season lasts about three months, and temperatures run between 23 and 33 °C with very high humidity. So, if you’re not a fan of the heat, it’s better to stay indoors and take advantage of the many shopping malls’ air conditioning.
Walking In Kuala Lumpur Might Get Difficult
The heat is the biggest factor in making Kuala Lumpur not walker-friendly. The days can get pretty hot and humid. Add to that congested traffic during rush hour, and you might find yourself sweating through your clothes.
However, don’t get too discouraged; the city is working on developing better walkways. A prime example is the River of Life which has become an iconic waterfront pathway that connects popular travel destinations.
2. Research Places To Stay In Kuala Lumpur That Meet Your Lifestyle And Needs
Kuala Lumpur is a highly developed city with lots of job opportunities in large companies in tall skyscrapers. If this is your target situation, staying in the Kuala Lumpur City Centre is a perfect choice. The city centre has numerous condominiums and apartments that offer services that any young professional is sure to enjoy. Add to that the proximity to shopping malls, restaurants, and the Golden Triangle entertainment district that’s perfect for a night out, and you are all set.
If you have a little more cash to spare, the Damansara Heights and Sri Hartamas are excellent choices. Highly sought after and more for the upscale crowd, these places have rental properties that offer you personal space. Still, they are just a few minutes away from the city centre if you want to go out.
Other great choices for living in Kuala Lumpur are Bangsar, Ampang, and Mont Kiara, offering a variety of properties to rent, such as condos, apartments, and bungalows. These neighbourhoods have become popular for expats, so adjusting to these communities won’t be too hard. You’ll probably make new friends with your neighbours in no time.
3. Check Out These Fun Activities To Do When In KL
There’s a lot to do in Kuala Lumpur for adventure seekers and those who just want a relaxing day. At the top of a to-do list will probably be to visit the Petronas Twin Towers. Once the tallest building in the world, some tours are available to give you a birds-eye view of the city way up high in the sky.
Once you’ve had enough of the sky-high view, you can go to the many shopping malls in the city. Kuala Lumpur is a shopping destination in Southeast Asia, especially in the Golden Triangle. Find the latest fashions from designer brands, shopping centres, and local boutiques, electronics devices and merchandise, as well as crafts and art products in the many stores and malls that line Bukit Bintang.
Suppose you’ve shopped the day away, head on to the bars and pubs in Changkat. As the sun sets, the lights begin to glow, and the nightlife of Kuala Lumpur begins to stir with the music. Here you can dance away your worries in a rooftop bar and enjoy the music, drinks, and party with your friends. Another option for a fun weekend getaway is to pay a visit to Singapore which is only a few hours away by bus from Kuala Lumpur.
If you’ve had enough of the city life and want to relax, you can spend an afternoon in the many parks such as Perdana botanical garden, Taman Tasik Permaisuri, Shah Alam Lake Gardens, and Bukit Kiara Park. For expats, there’s always the chance to join groups that are made specifically for expat life and you can socialise with people from other countries.
4. Learn The Cost Of Living In Kuala Lumpur
The currency in Malaysia is called the Malaysian ringgit, and rent in Kuala Lumpur varies depending on the location and type of residence.
For a single person, monthly expenses will be about 2,188.07 RM (497.47 USD) before rent. If you are closer to the city centre, a single-bedroom apartment will fetch between 1,200 to 3,000 RM (272 to 682 USD) monthly. Outside the city, the monthly rent becomes cheaper at 800 to 2,000 RM (181 to 454 USD).
For a family of four, the average monthly expenses will average to 7,837.89 RM (1782 USD). Similarly, the rent will vary depending on how close you live to the city centre. Prices start at 1,600 RM (363.77 USD) for a three-bedroom apartment outside the city centre and go as high as 6,000 RM (1,364 USD) as you go closer in.
Other costs you need to take note of when living in Kuala Lumpur will be the basic utilities and internet, which will be between 350 to 600 RM (68 to 136 USD). Health insurance is also another thing to keep in mind. The good thing is that there are grocery stores for food and public transportation that are quite cheap.
5. Get To Know The Most In-demand Industries And Average Salaries
Kuala Lumpur has a highly developed infrastructure, with high-rise buildings, reliable utilities, and excellent transportation systems. Hence, it is no surprise that many multinational companies have set up regional offices in the city.
Due to this, the job market in Kuala Lumpur is very much alive and is full of opportunities for many job seekers. Companies such as Citi, HSBC, IBM, Accenture, Dell, DXC, KPMG, and Oracle have established facilities in the city. It’s no wonder why Kuala Lumpur has become a destination not only for locals to find employment but for foreigners as well.
On average, the salary of someone working in Kuala Lumpur will be between 1,800 RM to 31,800 RM (409 to 7,229 USD), averaging about 7,130 RM (1,621 USD) a month. If you are looking for a job, the Computer Science, Healthcare, Education, Finance and Insurance, and Information Technology industries are some of the best choices.
6. Familiarise Yourself With Public Transport
Kuala Lumpur has a very modernised transportation system. Starting at the heart of the city’s transport system lies the bustling KL Sentral station. You can get a ride from the many rail systems that serve the city, starting with the rapid Light Rail Transit (LRT), which is the most commonly used by locals who want to beat traffic jams.
There’s also a Mass Rail Transit Train running through 31 stations. For longer travels, you can catch a ride with the KTM Komuter train, which services over 79 stations. There’s also the KL Monorail which services 11 stations throughout the city.
Buses are also a common choice for people living in Kuala Lumpur as they are extremely cheap. However, buses can be a bit of a challenge as they do become a bit crowded, so always be careful if it’s your first time. The good news, though, is that the government is finding ways to alleviate the problem of congestion, such as diverting long-haul buses from KL Sentral to a different station.
Taxis are also a common scene in Kuala Lumpur, as in many cities. However, they tend to be the “last choice” as they can become expensive due to traffic jams and congestion, not to mention some drivers have been known to charge higher or not use a meter when dealing with tourists. This might be a great time to mention that ride-sharing services such as Uber and Grab are available in Kuala Lumpur to save you from taxi drivers that might not be too honest.
Conclusion On Moving To Kuala Lumpur
Living abroad might get intimidating but there are a lot of things to love about Kuala Lumpur. The culture, the food, the fast-paced city life, everything that you might need and more can be found within this amazing city.
If you’re ready to say yes and move internationally to Kuala Lumpur, don’t hesitate to get in touch with Sanelo and reduce any stress that moving might cause. With Sanelo’s shipment protection, you get to enjoy your new adventure worry-free.
Frequently Asked Questions About Moving To Kuala Lumpur
What To Prepare When Moving To Kuala Lumpur?
When going to Malaysia, check if you are from a country that, within a certain period of time, is allowed to enter the country without having to get a visa. However, if you plan to stay in the country long term, you will need a Malaysian Employment Pass. The Expatriate Committee (EC) or another authority will have to approve the position you hold in your company before applying for a pass.
Best Food In Kuala Lumpur?
There are so many choices when it comes to food but must-trys include Nasi Lemak, Banana Leaf Rice, Ikan Bakar, Rendang, Yung Tao foo, and Roti Canai. But the truth is, you should try as much food as you can. The food in Kuala Lumpur is bursting with both international and local flavours.
Is Kuala Lumpur Safe For Foreigners?
Yes, Kuala Lumpur is a relatively safe city. Petty crimes are very low, but you will still need to be careful. Since the city is a destination for tourists and expats, there are some scams to watch out for, so always be vigilant. Still, many expats have found a wonderful and peaceful life in Kuala Lumpur.
How Much Does Transportation Cost In Kuala Lumpur?
If you are going to regularly use public transport, it is best to go for cashless payments and buy a Touch ‘n Go card for 10 RM (2.27 USD). These can be bought anywhere from petrol stations, 7-eleven shops, and other local stores. You can reload the card, making it easier for you to pay without having to find exact change. LRT tickets can start at 2.4 RM (0.55 USD), whereas a monthly pass can fetch you around 100 RM (22.74 USD).