Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s capital, is filled with historic monuments, beautiful parks, shopping malls, busy street markets, and skyscrapers like the famous Petronas Twin Towers. KL is the cultural and economic center of Malaysia, and it has hosted many sporting, political, and cultural events like the 1998 Commonwealth Games. The principal tourist attractions in KL are the Petronas Twin Tower, the Bukit Bintang shopping district, the Kuala Lumpur Tower, Chinatown (Petaling Street), the House of Parliament, the National Palace, Batu Caves, and the National Museum among others.  

SAFETY INDEX

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Warnings & Dangers

Mid Priority-96 OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM

Overall, Kuala Lumpur is a safe city. However, it is important to exercise common sense and remain vigilant for suspicious behaviour as you would in any other country.

Mid Priority-96 PICKPOCKETS RISK : HIGH

Pickpocket and bag and purse snatching are common in tourist locations and can become violent. Remain vigilant for thieves that use different strategies to rob you.

Mid Priority-96 MUGGING RISK : HIGH

There have been reports of muggings in Kuala Lumpur, particularly during after-hours and in rural areas of city.

Mid Priority-96 SCAMS RISK : HIGH

As in any other country, taxi drivers will try to take advantage of travelers by overcharging them. Some taxis do not use their meters, so be prepared to negotiate your fare before you get in the taxi or ask your driver to use it. Scams at busy shopping centers are common. People may approach you with stories of distress or warnings with the purpose of separating you from your valuables. Credit card fraud is also a growing issue. If you must use your card, only do so at established businesses.

Mid Priority-96 TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM

Book your taxi by phone or use the taxi desk instead of hailing one on the street, especially after dark.  

Mid Priority-96 NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : MEDIUM

Flooding is common during the rainy season, especially in the city centre and downstream areas. From June to October, during the dry season, smoke haze is usual in the city, so always make sure to monitor the Malaysian Department of the Environment website or the Air Pollutant Index Management System (APIMS).

Mid Priority-96 TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM

Terrorist attacks are likely throughout Malaysia. Remain vigilant and take advice from authorities, hotels and tour operators. It is important to follow the news on television and radio closely.

Mid Priority-96 WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : MEDIUM

Many women travel safely without any issues in KL. However, it is always important to exercise particular care in crowds, on public transportation, in rural areas, and in isolated sections. Avoid isolated locations and traveling alone after dark. Women may get some unwanted attention from men. Wear clothes that cover your arms, legs, and chest in order to blend in.

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WHAT TO DO?

Kuala Lumpur is, overall, a safe city. However, it is important to take standard precautions as you would in any other city. Remain vigilant, keep an eye on your belongings at all times as petty crime, particularly purse snatching and pick-pocketing, is high in tourist areas. Make sure to follow the media closely and take advice from the authorities. English is the second language, so there should not be any problem communicating with most locals.

City Centre/Old Town

This is the traditional heart of Kuala Lumpur where you can find the former colonial administrative centre. It is the most popular tourist spot for pictures and to explore. Chinatown is also located in this district. The City Centre hosts many international offices and shops, art galleries, science museums, and a philharmonic hall.

Golden Triangle

The Golden Triangle is the equivalent of the Central Business District. It is located in the north-eastern area of the old city centre. Most shopping malls, luxurious hotels, and the Petronas Twin Towers are found here. As the entertainment and commercial hub of the city, this is also a great spot to get food anf fin numerous entertainment avenues.

Chow Kit

Located in the northern part of Tuankku Abdul Rahman (extension of the old city centre), Chow Kit is well known for bargain shopping and food. The Malay traditional medicine is also found here as well as the Jalan Haji Hussein street market, which is similar to Chinatown’s Petaling street.

Useful Information

Visitors must have a passport valid for at least six months beyond the date of entry into the country. Most countries will need to have a visa to enter Malaysia, which is given on arrival. Full details of visa regulations are found at www.kln.gov.my. www.doyouneedvisa.com is a useful website that can help you know if you need a visa or not based on your nationality and the country you’re visiting.
The currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). Cash machines are common throughout the country. Credit cards are widely accepted, but be careful of possible scamming and never leave your card out of sight.
Malaysia mostly has a tropical weather with no extremely high temperatures. Expect humidity and cool nights. The average temperature throughout the year ranges from 20°C to 30°C. The rainy season in the east runs between November and February. The wettest period in the west coast is in August.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KUL) is Malaysia’s busiest airport, and it is the main international gateway of the country. Kota Kinabalu International Airport and Penang International Airport are other important airports. If you’re looking for cheap flight deals, you can find some on JetRadar
As in any country, we advise travelers to get a travel insurance that covers not only medical problems but also theft and loss of personal items. Learn more on our travel insurance page