As a requirement of my 6 month multiple entry visa I need to do a border run every 3 months. This time it was border run number two! I really wanted to see Kuala Lumpur so I went ahead and booked 2 flights to KL. Upon arrival the immigration process at the KLIA (Kuala Lumpur International Airport) was a breeze and my passport was stamped with a 90 day visa on arrival.
From the airport we caught the KLIA Express train to our hotel in Bangsar in the city. The tickets cost 55 Ringit each for the 35 minute trip which I thought was quite expensive. We found out later it would have been cheaper to catch a taxi for approximately 70 ringit. So if you’re a solo traveler the train is cheaper and a little faster, and it has free WIFI, however if you’re traveling in a group of 2 or more Grab Taxi would be the cheapest option.
Buying a Sim Card
For getting around KL I would say a sim card with phone calls and data is a necessity for two reasons.
Reason 1.) Google maps, great for not getting lost.
Reason 2.) Grab Taxi , super cheap form of transport in KL, but you will need a phone number as the Taxi driver will call you, and obviously you will need data as Grab Taxi is an App which relies on having an internet connection.
I had never used Grab Taxi before but I wanted to give it a go and I have to say a really love it. One night we were out late in Bukit Bintang enjoying dinner and drinks and to my surprise I discovered that the trains stop running at about midnight, DOH! Well, time for a Grab Taxi! What I like about Grab taxi is you can see exactly what the fare will be before you book the ride and it’s so quick. Within 5 minutes of booking the ride the driver had arrived. It works with GPS on your phone so the driver knows exactly where you are, which is great because I had no idea where we were. In a city as big as KL, it seems there are 10 drivers close to you ready to pick you up where ever you are, at any time.
I got a CELCOM sim card for 10 ringit. Complete with phone calls and data for 3 days. When you get a sim card you will need your passport with for the registration process. You can buy a sim card from the airport or from phone stores in any shopping center. The internet was quite fast and was perfect for Google maps and other apps like Grab Taxi.
Getting To Know Kuala Lumpur
English is widely spoken in KL so there isn’t really much of a language barrier. For a modern metropolis like Kuala Lumpur, the cost of food and short-term accommodation is very affordable. For our 3 night stay in a 5 star Pullman Hotel cost 450 ringit ($139 AUD). A quick search on Air BNB or Booking.com will reveal the average rate between $20 and $50 a night.
You can spend as little or as much on food as you like, for example you can find a nice curry or Mi Goreng Noodles with chicken for 5 ringgit ($1.55 AUD) from a street side vendor. I found deep fried bananas for 4 ringgit. Or if you want to go to an upscale restaurant like Quivo in Bukit Bintang, the meals here cost 25 – 45 ringgit ($7.76 – $14 AUD). I think we paid 19 ringgit ($5.90 AUD) for a large beer from Quivo.
The best thing about food in Kuala Lumpur is the variety and availability of all kinds of food. It’s incredible the amount of big food brands that have opened up here (from Carl’s Junior to Nandos to KFC to Subway to Pizza Hut) and the local joints are great also.
The MRT train system was great for getting around the city, and very cheap. All of our trips around the city cost less than 6 ringgit ($1.86 AUD).
We definitely took the opportunity to explore what the city has to offer on day 2 and found the Petronas Twin Towers. There is a beautiful park close to the towers, the atmosphere was so nice we spent the afternoon chilling out.
After a relaxing afternoon we went for dinner at Limoncello, a nice restaurant with a great view of the park and the twin towers.
Awesome atmosphere relaxing in this park yesterday. I love it!
Posted by Joel Walters on Thursday, December 8, 2016
I had high expectations when I came to KL. After spending 3 days there I really loved it. The people were friendly, food was great, and accommodation was cheap. I was very attracted to the overall feel of the place. I want to go back there again and spend more time in the city. 3 days wasn’t long enough.