Like most large Asian cities, Kuala Lumpur suffers from crippling traffic, which can grind the city to a halt. However, there are also several options for getting around the city's roads including three light rail transit systems and even by foot, if you're going a short distance.
Taxi drivers should always turn on the meter, but many – especially those who hang around the tourist haunts – are often unwilling, as they can quote much higher prices without. Red and white taxis are the cheapest, and offer a great way to get around the city outside of rush hours.
Kuala Lumpur's rapid transit network consists of eight lines, with significant coverage of the city. Hop off at Bukit Bintang to head to the Golden Triangle, KLCC will drop you off at the Twin Towers and Bukit Nanas is the station for those who want to check out KL's nightlife.
Driving in KL is not for the faint-of-heart, but if you think you can brave the traffic jams, parking difficulties, confusing road signs and weaving motorcycles, then the roads are in great condition. Just don't say we didn't warn you!
Kuala Lumpur makes a great all-year-round destination. Its equatorial climate means it tends to be hot, humid and wet throughout much of the year. May, June and July can be wet, but are considered the driest months of the year, while monsoon season runs from September to April. Whatever time of year you travel, bring cool clothing and an umbrella!
Malaysia is a fairly safe destination for travellers, though the usual advice about pickpockets and personal safety apply, for instance it's recommended to never sit in the front of the taxi when travelling alone. Most travellers' main health concerns are staying hydrated and avoiding tummy upsets brought on by a change of diet and spicy foods.
Tipping isn't considered essential in Malaysia, but it's always appreciated – especially by low-earning porters, waiters and cab drivers. Higher end hotels and restaurants catering for the tourist market will add a 10 percent service charge. When travelling by taxi, a tip of around RM5 – 10 per journey will be adequate.
Most Malaysians in Kuala Lumpur speak excellent English, though the official language is Bahasa Malaysia, which is also known as Malay English. It's considered an easy language to pick up, and is also spoken in Indonesia, Brunei and Singapore.
From Perth: From Perth there are two to three flights per day jetting straight to Kuala Lumpur. Flights take around five and a half hours with Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia.
From Brisbane: Each week, Malaysia Airlines offers five direct flights between Brisbane and KL, taking around eight and a half hours.
From Melbourne: Four direct flights per day land in Kuala Lumpur from Melbourne. Flights take around eight hours and are operated by Emirates, Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines.
From Sydney: There are two direct flights a day to Kuala Lumpur from Sydney, taking around eight and a half hours on Malaysia Airlines.
Stopovers in Singapore and Jakarta are common for flights between Australia and New Zealand and Malaysia. Both cities make an exciting trip, with Singapore offering a taste of an efficient Asian city or Jakarta, offering chaos, colour and an edge of unpredictability.
Many of the city's high-end hotels offer airport transfers for an extra charge; these often include being met at arrivals, help with your luggage and a swanky ride to your hotel. However, there are many other companies offering transfers from the airport, which can be arranged ahead of schedule or on arrival.
Beware private drivers scouting for business in the arrival halls as they tend to charge much more than the requisite rate into KL and don't have Public Service Vehicle licenses (which are registered and insured). Instead take the official Airport Taxi service that travels into most parts of Kuala Lumpur and offers budget through to luxury and family services. Booking counters are located in the international and domestic arrival halls.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport Ekspres is a non-stop train that whips from the airport to KL city centre at around 160km/p, taking just 28 minutes to complete the journey. Trains run every 15–20 minutes and are well-equipped with toilets, entertainments and comfy seats.
KL can be an intimidating city to get to know. Do yourself a favour and purchase a ticket for the KL Hop-On-Hop-Off city tour, a double-decker bus with recorded headsets offering an in-depth guide to the city. As the name implies, you can do the whole tour, or simply hop off wherever takes your fancy.
Add a few exotic dishes to your repertoire with a Malaysian cooking class. Better tours will offer market visits and a choice of menus that include the choice of classic Malaysian dishes, such as Sambal Tumis Udang (prawn in sambal sauce), or Malaysian/ Indian and Malaysian/ Chinese cuisine. Not only will you learn a new skill, you'll fill your belly and meet like-minded travellers to boot.
A couple of hours out of the city is Kuala Gandah Elephant Conservation Centre, in the Krau Game Reserve. Its aim is to relocate elephants that have been causing problems due to the continued destruction of their habitat. The centre offers plenty of interaction with the animals, including elephant rides, feeding, grooming and bathing.
Take an afternoon to visit the Batu Cave Indian Temple, a limestone hill peppered with caves and cave temples. After a lengthy 272-step climb, you'll reach the temple, decorated with Batik design and Hindu deities. As well as worshipping Hindus, you'll often find some cheeky visitors too – monkeys who hang in the trees around the caves.
Feast on Malay cuisine at its five star best in Enak KL. Serving up dishes cooked according to family tradition, you can expect gado-gado, botok-botok and sambal tumis udang that looks every bit as appealing as it tastes.
Cantonese dishes, including an exhaustive list of soups, rice and noodle dishes are served up at inflated prices. But, with a decor that includes red lanterns and antique furniture that conjure up Old Peking, a show kitchen and cuisine worthy of its five star location, it's well-worth the blow-out.
Decades of delicious food and reasonable prices has ensured Yut Kee has a dedicated local following. This traditional Chinese coffee house serves up fusion food with influence from Chinese, English and Malaysian dishes. Its most famous offering is roast pork with chips and apple sauce, but if you want to taste it, you'll have to get there early before it sells out.
Awarded best restaurant in Malaysia by Malaysian Tatler for five consecutive years, Top Hat is one of the city's best-known fine dining spots. Its pretty bungalow setting and location a stone throw from Kuala Lumpur City Centre and Petronas Twin Towers give it an exclusive air, which is complemented by an impressive selection of international and local dishes.
Make reservations at Traders Hotel in order to experience the spectacular views of KL's skyline, including unrivalled views of the Petronas Towers. The bar is as sleek, modern and expensive as you'd imagine, serving up a dazzling range of cocktails and wines to a crowd of well-to-do business types and socialites.
Come and have a go if you think you're cool enough. One of KL's coolest bars, the cocktails are fabulous, the decor is a chic mix of chrome, glass and wood and the DJs spin up-to-the-minute electronic tracks. See and be seen at 7 Ate Nine; this is KL at its most fashionable.
While Kuala Lumpur has more that its fair share of swanky bars, there is also the flip-side, which is fun to explore. A favourite with the expat crowd, Coliseum Cafe has been open since 1921, and offers a glimpse into colonial life. Serving up draft beers with western and Asian dishes, it's a cheap, fun way to experience a little slice of KL history.
Despite Frangipani's luxe interior and its exclusive Golden Triangle location, it still feels like an inclusive and fun spot to wile away the evenings. A staple for any KL resident, it's packed out every night.
Get to know the city with a spot of sightseeing. A bus tour is a great way to get to know your way around. Hop off at China Town for an afternoon's shopping, eating from food stalls and excellent photo opportunities. Stay into the night for an equally hectic nightlife scene.
Batu Caves are a must-see when visiting KL. Book a tour and head out of the city early for a morning of culture and nature (monkeys hang around near the Hindu temples). Back in KL, enjoy some relaxing evening dining on Malaysia's fabulous food; follow the locals if you want to taste authentic cuisine.
Sign up for a cooking class. It's a great way to experience the history and diversity of Malaysia, as dishes nod to Thai, Indian and Chinese cuisine. After chowing down your creations, head to the Golden Triangle for an afternoon of shopping and sightseeing followed by an evening of drinking in some of KL's most exclusive spots.
Head to Petronas Towers to experience the most incredible views the city has to offer. After enjoying the city's high life, go to extremes and explore Little India. Offering up some of the city's best food, among crowds of Indians selling weird and wonderful wares in a cloud of spice-scented air; this is truly Asia.
Expedia Holidays > Kuala Lumpur Holidays