While compiling the 8 top travel tips you need to know for your first visit to Kuala Lumpur for my friends’ daughter, it helped her so much that I have decided to post it as a blog.
I have been to Kuala Lumpur several times over the years. Therefore, have many handy tips that I can share with you. So that you can avoid being ripped off and save time.
So let’s get straight into it.
Firstly, lets start with money! Have some Ringgits (RM) cash to pay for taxi upon arrival. Best rates are always in the country of destination.
Below are the currency rate comparisons between AUD and MYR (Australian dollar to the Malyasian Ringgit) on 18 Nov 2013. I know that these rates are from years ago but it gives you an indication how the rates are always best when you change in the city centre of your destination. Plus its hard to keep up with daily changing exchange rates on a blog!
Location of money changer
Travelex (Perth airport or suburban stores)
LCCT airport, before Immigration
LCCT airport, after Immigration
2.95 – 3.00
city centre money changers (money changers on Jalan Bukit Bintang had the better rates)
After you have selected your taxi service at the taxi payment counter, exit through Door 4 and then stand in the correct queue to wait for your taxi. Average travel time to city centre is 50min.
On the other hand, what about in the opposite direction? Taxis are fairly cheap in Kuala Lumpur. From the hotel back to the airport, there are two types of taxis:
All prices are including luggage and airport fee. Allow 1.5hrs for the journey, due to traffic jams.
In addition, you can try the cheaper options below, such as the bus or train to KL Sentral (the central city station). Both safe and easy to use.
TG Tip: Do avoid taxi drivers at the KL Sentral Station bus drop off as they will try to scam a higher fare compared to the pre-paid taxi booth upstairs.
For short inner city taxi rides, you shouldn’t pay more than RM10 – 15 (including to Sentral station). It’s better to ask for the driver to put the meter on because it's much cheaper than negotiate a price.
Jalan Sultan Ismail and Jalan Bukit Bintang are the central crossroads for the main shopping and dining area of K.L - Bukit Bintang. The streets are very busy and noisy and contain a lot of sidewalk bars/cafes. A lot of the hotels and shopping centres are concentrated in this area.
Following are some hotel tips for you if you want to stay close to all the major shopping centres.
Along Jalan Bukit Bintang which is literally a step away from Pavilion, Fahrenheit 88 and Star Gallery shopping centres:
Around the corner on Jalan Sultan Ismail is: Parkroyal. It's located next door to Lot 10 shopping centre and across the road from Sungai Wang Plaza. Plus its a 5 minute walk to Berjaya Times Square in one direction and 5 minutes in the other direction to the other shopping centres in Jalan Bukit Bintang. Therefore, this hotel is in a great central location.
Hotel Istana is an excellent location for walking distance to Pavilion, skybridge walk to KLCC-Suria (Petronas Towers) and to restaurants along Jalan Alor (Hawkers Row) and Jalan Ceylon.
To find other hotels in Kuala Lumpur, check Booking.com – it includes descriptions, maps, photos and hotel reviews.
While western type restaurants abound in the city, on your first visit to Kuala Lumpur, don’t be afraid to explore Malaysia’s delicious cuisine.
Cafes and bars are located on the sidewalks of the main shopping streets of Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail.
Western type restaurants and bars can also be found alongside the Pavilion shopping centre in an open air street mall. I highly recommend the Din Tai Fung, located on level 6 in Pavilion Shopping Centre. Delicious local cuisine at very affordable prices.
Hawkers Food Row – on Jalan Alor, one block down from Jalan Bukit Bintang. It's one street lined with outdoor Asian restaurants.
Jalan Ceylon, which runs down from Hawkers Food Row, is lined with more upmarket little restaurants serving mainly western food.
For those who love the nightlife then go to Jalan Ram Lee, which is known as the clubbing street. It's lined with large bars and loud music. Some offer food. Not worth going to unless you want to drink and party.
Trishna is an Indian restaurant located at Hotel Istana. The tastiest curry house I’ve been to.
Because I've already written a blog about shopping in Kuala Lumpur, I won't expand on it here.
Finally, make sure your first visit to Kuala Lumpur won’t be all about shopping only. Do some sightseeing too. Below are a couple of my favourites.
Very hard to see them, but we eventually found a rep dressed in purple standing beside his Hop On/Hop Off stand that is placed opposite the Grand Millennium on Jalan Bukit Bintang.The Rep is there during working hours only and then he takes the stand away.
Pay directly on the bus. Ticket valid for a full 24 hours (RM50) or 48 hours (RM90). It takes about 2.5 hours to do the complete circuit without disembarking.
The ticket booth, on Concourse Level, opens at 8.30am. People start lining up from 6am, especially during weekends and holidays. We arrived at 8.30am and we were number 300 in the queue.
Limited number of tickets available for each specific time slot during the day, about every half hour. By the time we reached the counter, we got tickets for the 4.15pm time slot. Two thirds of the time slots were already full.
Mid 2012, they introduced online ticketing. Much more convenient than lining up and at times you can purchase up to two weeks in advance:
It’s a half hour tour with 15 minutes on the Sky Bridge on the 41st floor and then 15 minutes on the Observation Deck on the 86th floor. Great views. Its quite normal to get hazy days during March as Sumatra does its forest burning during this time of year.
In conclusion, the above pointers should now have your fully prepared for your first visit to Kuala Lumpur. Comment below if there is anything else you want to know or if you have a handy travel tip to share with other travel groovers.
AVOID BEING CAUGHT OUT
Book your own holiday online using the most trusted travel websites.
Download the "Best Travel Websites Guide" today.
A travel gypsy by heart, having already been to over 70 countries and still counting. Founder of Travel Groove, to share travel tips, tricks and knowledge with other travellers.
Please log in again. The login page will open in a new tab. After logging in you can close it and return to this page.