Be it on a business trip, on-site assignment, leisure trip or study trip, Kuala Lumpur has been a warm and welcoming host to its numerous visitors since years now. But like any other trip to a place, there are a few things you must know about this place to make your trip hassle free and memorable one (good memories, of course)
1. Airport terminals:
At the very beginning, let me be clear on the terminal that you will be arriving at. If you are travelling via an AirAsia flight, you will be arriving at the KLIA2 terminal. This is Kuala Lumpur’s low cost terminal dedicated to AirAsia flights only (as of now). For any other flights, the terminal will be KLIA.
The two terminals are less than 2 kms apart and there are quite a few inter terminal transfer options. Details can be found on their website: http://www.klia2.info/rail-train-services#inter-terminal-transfer
2. Airport transfer to main city:
One of the first things that comes to mind after landing is the transfer options to the main city. Unless you have pre-booked your transportation, both KLIA and KLIA2 terminals offer quite a few transfer options to the main city. Buses operate to and from KL Sentral. Taxi and car rentals are also available readily.
Please keep in mind, there are three types of taxi services available here:
- Metered taxi: where you pay RM 2 at the taxi counter and pay what is shown in the meter and toll charges (if any) directly to the driver
- Prepaid taxi or coupon taxi: where you tell your destination at the counter and make upfront payment. This included the toll charges (if any)
- Premier or executive taxi: these are the more expensive blue coloured taxis who’s the fare goes almost double
If you are arriving at KLIA, buses to KL Sentral or some major tourist areas around it like Pasar Seni, Bukit Bintang, etc. can be booked from the ground floor. Some of the bus operators even provide hotel transfers as well, you can check directly with them on the availability of the same for your hotel. Coupon taxis are available at:
- International Arrival Hall (just after Customs, before the public arrival area)
- Domestic Arrival Hall (public area after Domestic Baggage Clearance)
- Domestic Baggage Reclaim, Arrival Level
Metered taxi services are available at levels 1 and 3 of the Main Terminal Building.
Car rental services available at the same floor as the arrival hall.
If you are arriving at KLIA2, just as you exit from the customs clearance, to your right-hand side will be prepaid taxi booth. Other than that, you can go to the transportation hub (Level 1), where you will find a lot of options for prepaid taxi, metered taxi, buses and car rentals.
A faster transport alternative is the train services like KLIA Ekspres, KLIA transit and KTM Komuter. For more information on train services, check out the websites:
- For KLIA: http://www.klia.com.my/index.php?m=airport&c=getting_around&id=4&aid=1
- For KLIA2: http://www.klia2.info/rail-train-services
3. International Domestic transfer:
Have a connecting domestic or international flight soon? The arrival and departure halls (Domestic and international both) for Kuala Lumpur airport are in same building, making the transition easy.
For KLIA, arrival hall is at level 3 and departure at level 5.
For KLIA2, arrival hall is at level 2 and departure at level 3.
4. Driving in Malaysia:
In Malaysia, it is left side driving
5. Public transport in Kuala Lumpur:
Kuala Lumpur is well connected via rail network. There are three types of major rail services operating in Kuala Lumpur – the KTM Kommuter, the LRT and the Monorail. Most of the major attractions in and around Kuala Lumpur are accessible by the railways.
Although buses operate along various routes, their frequency is very low and at times irregular, hence, non-reliable.
Taxi services are also very good in Kuala Lumpur, although you must take a note on the colour of the taxi – the blue ones are the executive ones, thus more expensive than the regular ones. The brown coloured taxis with TEKSI1M written are spacious taxis which are cheaper than the blue ones but slightly higher priced than the budget ones. The red, green and yellow coloured taxis are the cheapest ones.
Hop on hop off bus service also covers major attractions in Kuala Lumpur, although personally, I would any day prefer taking the public transport. For more details on hop on hop off, you might want to check out their website: https://www.myhoponhopoff.com/kl/visitor.php
Tips: Try to take the contact of taxi drivers from your hotel or the taxis that you have hired already. This comes handy if you get stranded somewhere with less to no transportation options.
6. When selecting hotels:
Bukit Bintang, the hub of night life in Kuala Lumpur, is host to many hotels with varied price range suiting your budget needs. Bukit Bintang is within walking distance from the many of the shopping and night life attractions in Kuala Lumpur. This area has transportation access via monorail, station Bukit Bintang and taxis, which are readily available, although you might need to haggle sometimes for prices.
KL Sentral area provides a good staying alternative, being the central transportation hub of Kuala Lumpur. All the three major rail lines have station in KL Sentral, making it very much easier to navigate. Many long and short distance buses start from KL Sentral and NU Sentral mall (opposite KL Sentral). Also, there is prepaid taxi counter as well as taxi stand. It has the added advantage of multiple transportation options to and from KLIA and KLIA2 (see point 2).
7. Local favourite foods:
Here is a list consisting of a few of them: Local favorite food
8. Shopping spree in Kuala Lumpur – Where to go:
Here is a list of places that includes both branded and non branded shopping destinations in Kuala Lumpur:
9. Shopping spree in Kuala Lumpur – What to buy:
Here is a list of items that you can look out for when visiting Kuala Lumpur. The list contains quite a few important ones but not all the shopping items that this place has to offer. Hope you enjoy:
10. Some quick Malay words:
Finally, I would like to conclude this article with a few Malay words that you might want to know:
- Terima Kasih – For my Indian friends out there, this is not any abuse, but Thank You in Malay
- Keluar – Exit
- Satu – One
- Duo – Two
- Tiga – Three (I won’t go much further with the numbering, haha)
- Sama sama – Same, alternately, also used as welcome in reply to thank you
- Selamat Datang – Welcome (to somewhere)
- Pagi – Morning
- Pasar – Market
- Malam – Night
- Berapa – How much / How many / What number
- Panas – Hot
- Minum / Minuman – drinks
- Makan / Makanan – food