Pros and Cons of Living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Pros of Living in Kuala Lumpur
Affordable to live
Warm all year round
Good air quality on average
Nomad List members liked going here
Many Nomad List members here all year round
Spacious and not crowded
Very easy to make friends
Very easy to do business
High quality of education
People can speak basic English
Not many people smoke tobacco
Cons of Living in Kuala Lumpur
No freedom of speech
Not much to do
Very sweaty and humid now
Roads are very dangerous
Not safe for women
Not family friendly
Hostile towards LGBTQ+
It's funny how 15-20 years ago KL was almost devoid of travelers - presumably because "Muslim country", 9/11, whatever. THAT was actually a time when not only was everything ridiculously cheap; the locals were happy, friendly, courteous, always giving you a huge smile. I have so many happy memories of back then. Fast-forward to 2019: Yes, KL is now "on the map". Yet the cost of living is exploding; much of the city's heritage has been bulldozed away; a high-rise is going up at every corner; and more and more people are visibly stressed, frustrated, hostile. As a foreigner, I encounter silent treatment every day; have people shut the elevator door in my face; rarely get a Please or Thank You or even Excuse Me; the little annoyances just keep mushrooming. But all in all, and especially for those who never experienced the fun and relaxed KL of yesteryear, it's still a relatively safe and affordable place. Nowhere near as pricey as Singapore, and also not as prone to power cuts and violent crime and accidents as Thailand or Philippines. I see private doctors, and they are excellent, London/Cambridge-trained and yet affordable. Also, phone apps work quite well when it comes to payments, booking a Grab car or ordering food / groceries. And of course, the sky is blue and the sun is shining all year round.
It’s hard to love Kuala Lumpur. Because everything here is average. Malaysia’s food is marketed as a mix of all cultures’ cuisines that’s nice and all but that mix of the same cultures is tastier in any food court in Singapore. Because in KL the food is average. Malaysians are also far behind in cafes, you’ll see Starbucks rated 5 stars, while arisanal boutique cafes are rated 2 stars on Foursquare. Why? Because they have a prehistoric obsession with big brands and consumerism. The coffee in the few artisanal cafes is outstanding. Everywhere else? Average. A day in KL means you’ll be going from mall to mall. Chinatown still has some remnants of local street authenticity, but even that’s starting to be bulldozed by malls its edge. Admittedly Kuala Lumpur has come far since a decade ago, its citizens are getting close to middle class (that is if you're not one of the millions of illegal immigrants). But where Kuala Lumpur now thrives in money, it still lacks in class. And that makes it, well, average.
I am confused why anyone wants to visit Kuala Lumpur it’s a dirty, messy and crime infested city.
You can settle for a few months in the two Jaya areas (burbs) where modern conveniences are around (food deliveries malls, nature parks, etc). Cyberjaya is a more youthful Jaya with college students, 24 hour bookstore, etc. You can still find families around though. It's rather quiet and "boring" to some though. It's good for relaxing, working out at the infinity pool gyms, and taking a travel rest.
Mostly great weather year round and some of the best food in the world at cheap prices. Probably the best standard of living for the cost in an international city. Good but not excellent public transport. Some questionable reviews being left here by people who possibly never visited
Putrajaya is the only place I would recommend due to its close proximity to the airport. The Shaftsbury Hotel is modern with two convenience stores pharmacy, restaurants, dental, and more in the actual building. There is a rain fountain in "mall" of the building that would be Putrajaya's attempt at Singapore's airport one. The location is also literally right across from the bigger mall that has restaurants, international grocery store, movie theater, bowling, electronics, etc. It's a safe area if you're going to be in Malaysia for a week or two.
Fantastic internet pretty good co-working spaces, ridiculously affordable especially considering such a large city with all of the modern amenities, and all of the fun and nightlife you can ask for. I can see KL being one of my standard go-to places.
First time I was in KL was in 2015 as a backpacking student. I stayed for 2 weeks at an airbnb in Bangsar South and I loved it. Met up with Uni friends made new friends and I really like the relaxed atmosphere, despite being in a huge city. Fast forward, 3 years later, I went by myself to KL for a 3 days stay on a visa run from Chiang Mai. I stayed in a hotel near Bukit Bintang. I actually really didn't like it - I think because I was by myself, in a fairly wild part of the city and got so used to all the conveniences of Chaing Mai prior to coming here. I couldn't wait to leave this hell hole.... Ironically, as a student, I loved the crazier parts of the city, but maybe as we get older, that changes. But then, 6 months later, I decided to give it another go, coming from Penang. This time with my girlfriend and back to the area where I first got to know KL back in 2015. We booked an apartment in Bangsar South. Swimming pool, gym, 1gbps internet connection, walking distance to supermarket, convenience store and metro to go exploring. Was an absolutely great month and ended up extending our stay by another 15 days until our visas expired. Cannot wait to go back after corona.
Kuala Lumpur is one of the dirtiest and dodgies cities we've ever been. Everything looks broken down messy or unmaintained. It seems completely mismanaged (or not governed at all) by the city government. It's relatively unsafe, with high crime, and especially if you're a woman, you'll get followed and harassed if you're out in the evening or night. To top all that off, it's boring with not many reasons to go here except shopping in malls.
Been Many times and it it wow. And if you have been anywhere in Asia you will know what I mean when I say - its modern. I didn't know why so I asked - they have oil off their shore - thus have $$$. And is still affordable - I like it more than Singapore even. Great hotels great food, great taxi service and great internet.
KL was a great place when I went. Affordable (and quality) apartments good and affordable food (although spicy), and especially, very, very welcoming people. I will certainly come again!
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@heavypanda370 9/11 have been really hard on Muslim country tourism.
Whanted to write a review wrote about 200 words than pressed the arrow key and left the page and the review was gone. Fix this shit. You obviously don't give a rats ass about UX
It's hot and always cloudy lack of good & delicious food good co-working spaces are available with good internet if grab doesn't work for you use gocar
I think KL will be the next hub for nomads. It's affordable safe, convenient, has decent Internet and has decent weather. (Yes it's hot during the summer but it gives you a good reason to be inside and get your work done) Mostly it's quite chill, not as hectic and messy as other major SEA cities like Bangkok, Hanoi and Jakarta. There's not that much to do, but Malaysia has wonderful nature and getaway places, accessible with cheap AirAsia tickets from KL.
I hope less people will come to KL so i have more of the city to myself LOL. Where else can you get fresh made roti canai with teh terek for less than US1.00 for breakfast? Where else can you stay at a 5star hotel for 1/3 the cost of overpriced Singapore. Please tourist, stay away and leave KL to expats who appreciate the good side of a typical crowded Asian city.
An Islamic consumerist utopia. Boring dangerous, and overall average. Alright for a week or two if you're a couple or male. Hell on earth if you're female (DO NOT GO OUTSIDE ALONE AFTER 8PM IF YOU'RE MORE THAN 2KMs FROM THE CBD).
Great city. I got a lot of work done. Luxury residences are overbuilt so the key to reserving sight unseen is determining how many units they have open (more=bad) and how many people aren't paying their maintenance (which you can determine from requesting a photo of their elevator interior which posts the debts.) Empty buildings with lots of debtors mean poor maintenance and perks like restaurants and pools being in disrepair or closed.
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