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Kuala Lumpur - an overview - Part 1 - Orlando / Florida Guide

Florida Guide > Places to Visit

KL is frequently ignored as a transit stop only but the Malaysian Airlines’ hub city is well worth taking the time to explore for a day or even longer.

The Location

After catching sight of the glossy steel and glass skyscrapers of Kuala Lumpur’s (KL) business district from the plane, you’ll be left in no doubt that this city has come a long way since it was the rough and ready haunt of tin miners and rubber tappers. It was these people that christened it with the rather critical name of Kuala Lumpur, which means ‘muddy estuary’ in the local tongue. KLites of all races are proud of their thriving city. The so-called Malay Bumiputera, which translates to ‘sons of the soil’, make up the majority of the population. However large communities of Chinese and Indians add their own mix of spice to this melting pot. This is a predominantly Muslim city, but while it would be disrespectful to dress as if you’re in a beach town, there are no real restrictions. Most locals also speak at least a little English, but a few phrases of Malay are always appreciated. The city is developing rapidly, but take time to soak up the charm of the old quarters, both colonial and cultural rather than just concentrating on the malls and nightlife.


KL International Airport has two terminals (KLIA and LCCT2), linking over 100 destinations. Both are about 60km from the city centre, and KLIA has improved enormously in recent years, with quick immigration processing and fast baggage-handling. This will mean that you can be out on the streets in very quickly after your touchdown. There are ATMs located just as you leave the baggage hall if you need cash and you can also buy a local SIM there but you will need to show your passport to register. Pre-booked taxi kiosks are to be found before you exit Arrivals, but can be pricey. It is normally better to follow the ‘Taxi’ signs to the lowest floor and head to the kiosk that the locals use for the best deal.

Travelling around the city.

Typically ordinary taxis are relatively inexpensive here. It can cost less for two people to take a taxi to the city centre, MYR100, than to take the KLIA Express Train at MYR55 per person. If you’re on a serious budget then the bus will only cost you just MYR10. However typical taxi drivers demand a 20% surcharge at night. The journey into the city takes about 40 minutes. Stay alert, but only to see the many sights on the way. As the city comes into view the sight of the Petronas Towers will always give you an iconic view.

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