Airport and taxis
Arriving at Kuala Lumpur international airport might be overwhelming at first. You get off your plane, and it seems like nobody knows where to go. Find your way to the airport metro and you´re one step closer to your luggage. After that, finding a taxi is the next challenge. On this airport there are two different kinds of taxis – fixed price taxis and metered taxis. My recommendation – don´t take either of them. Download the “GRAB” app – you will need and love it! Grab is more common than Uber all over Asia. Put your location and your destination and it will tell you, how long it takes until your taxi driver arrives and how much it will cost. No discussions on where you wanna go, no misunderstandings, no hidden costs. I personally swear on grab. You can also connect it to paypal, so you don’t even need cash. Another great feature of GRAB is the food delivery service, which I will describe later in this blog.
Accommodation and Air Conditioning
Some might call me a diva, but honestly I can only highly recommend getting an apartment/ room with air-conditioning. I have never experienced such a stifling heat like the one in Kuala Lumpur in March. When moving, you can feel the heat on your skin, 5 seconds after leaving your room you will be sweaty and sticky. Sorry for TMI but the struggle is real. If you attach importance to good night sleep and being well-rested – trust me get a room with AC.
We chose Expressionz Professionals Suites by MyKey Global Global.
Lovely interior, enough space, clean, AC, 33rd floor with a great view to the Twin towers and on the other side to a nice little lake. The pool in the 8th floor is for free, the rooftop pool and gym in the 43rd floor costs RM10 (2 Euros)/ day/person. A nice little coffee bar/ restaurant is located in the 8th floor as well, offering a breakfast buffet for RM25/ person. It has a great variety from freshly made eggs and omelettes, fruits, cakes, toasts, cereals, curries and stir fried vegetables. The iced cappuccino there is delic! There is no supermarket or restaurant close by, but grab taxis are cheap so you can either go to any place you wish for lunch or dinner, or just order with Grab Food – works fantastic.
Is Kuala Lumpur safe?
You might wonder “is Kuala Lumpur safe, especially for a female traveller”?
In my opinion Kuala Lumpur is a very welcoming city with the nicest people. What helps a lot to warm up with locals is, that almost everyone is fluent in english no matter where you are, you will be able to have a conversation. There hasn’t been any situation where I felt unsafe or insecure. However I informed myself before I headed out to discover the city and there are a few common scams in KL
The Taxi Scam
I would highly recommend using Grab, as it will display all the needed information. Normal taxis might refuse to use the taximeter and will insist on a fixed price, which is usually much higher than the real cost or the taxi driver will use a much longer or busier route to pull the money out of your pocket.
Packed areas, like in any other big city, are the mecca for pickpockets. I haven’t experienced any attempt of theft myself, but I have heard that “Snatch theft”, is a thing, where motorcyclist are trying to steal bags from people walking by the roadside. Always make sure that you carry your valuables close to your body .
Fake Donation Seekers
If anybody approaches you on busy streets, even if it is a monk, asking for donations, I would recommend to politely decline and walk away as they might be very persistent.
Transportation in Kuala Lumpur
I personally skip public transport within big cities most of the time. Time is short and public transport is often pretty complicated and time consuming. Here again I would recommend “Grab”. From our place to the city center ( around 10-15 minutes ride) it costed us between RM5-7 (1 Euro to 1,50). From our place to Batu caves (around 30 minutes ride) it was around RM20. My recommendation for Batu caves, ask your driver to come back after 1-1.5 hours. Nowhere near that place is WIFI so we had to take a metered taxi which costed around RM50. Not big of a eal, but when you travel for a longer time period, it adds up.
From Kuala Lumpur to Butterworth, to take the ferry to Penang, we went by train and booked via KTMB website.
We payed around RM80 (13 Euros) for the 4 hour train ride. If you want WIFI on the train, you gotta go business class.