Kuala Lumpur FAQs

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Area geography

Malaysia’s most populous city covers an area of 243 square kilometres (94 square miles) and has a population of approximately 7.2 million (2012). Its geography is characterized by a huge valley known as Klang Valley and is situated at the confluence of the Klang and Gombak Rivers. It is no wonder then that Kuala Lumpur literally translates to ‘muddy estuary’. KL is bordered by the Titiwangsa Mountains in the East, several minor ranges in the North and the South and the Strait of Malacca in the West.

Notes currencies cards

Ringgit (MYR, Symbol RM) often referred to as the Malaysian Dollar is the official currency of Malaysia. While notes are in denominations of RM 100, 50, 10, 5 and 1, coins are in denominations of 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 sen. MasterCard, Visa and American Express are widely accepted in KL. Diners Club is accepted at shopping centres, departmental stores and some posh restaurants and hotels. ATMs can be found throughout KL and most accept international credit cards like Visa, MasterCard and others. Travellers cheques are accepted by all banks, hotels and departmental stores. If you are looking to exchange your currency, the best currency for exchange is the Pound Sterling, although US Dollars are also widely accepted. One can exchange foreign currency from all commercial banks in the city.

Cellular service for tourists

The most popular prepaid services include Celcom, Maxis, DiGi, Maxis and Telekom Cellular. Celcom service providers sell a local pre-paid SIM that can be used with international cellular phones. All incoming calls are free of charge, and outgoing calls are charged on peak and off-peak rates.

Wifi internet

WiFi hotspots can be found throughout KL - hotels, airports and coffee shops. Internet cafes can also be found around town, but don’t forget to check with your concierge or local tourist information centre about the best places close by. The usual charges are about RM 5 to RM 10 per hour.

Drinking laws

The legal age for alcohol consumption and purchase is 18 years. Liquor is available in pubs, supermarkets and provision stores. While most nightspots shut at 1 am, there are some places that stay open till later.

Tipping

Tipping is not mandatory in Kuala Lumpur. A 10 per cent service charge is added to your bill at most restaurants. You can tip the porter 1 or 2 RM per bag at the hotel.

Custom visa

A visa is required to travel to Malaysia. Get in touch with your Malaysian consulate to apply for a visa. The processing time generally varies depending on the city where you are applying from. Passports should be valid for at least six months after the date of arrival in Malaysia.

There is no limit to the amount of foreign currency notes or travellers cheques that one can bring into the country. However, amounts exceeding RM 10,000 or its equivalent in foreign currency must be declared. Travellers can carry up to 1 litre of alcohol and 1 carton of cigarettes without paying duty; amounts above that will be subject to local taxes. Malaysia has a very strict drug-abuse policy, including death sentence for convicted drug traffickers.

Safety

While the crime rate is low, the problem of pickpocketing persists in the city. Be wary of 'snatch thieves' who are known to ride on motorcycles through the busy areas in KL. Women should keep a close watch on their handbags. It is advisable to put away your passport, flight tickets, extra cash and travellers cheques, along with any extra credit or ATM cards into the safe the minute you check-in to the hotel. Keep a close watch on personal belongings when travelling on overnight trains and buses.

General information

Languages spoken

Bahasa Melayu, English, Indian (mainly Tamil) and Chinese (mainly Cantonese) dialects

Time zones

IST + 2.5 hours

Major religions

Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism.

Domestic international calling codes

(0) 3 (area code) / + 60 (country code)

Electricity standards

240 V/ 50 Hz. UK-style three-pin plugs are used.

Common greetings

Hello- Hello

Good Morning- Selamat Pagi

Good Evening- Selamat Petang

Goodbye- Selamat Jalan / Selamat Tinggal

Thank you- Terima Kasih

Sorry- Minta maaf

Do you speak English?- adakah anda bercakap bahasa Inggeris

I do not understand- i tidak faham

No- tidak

Yes- ya

I don’t know- saya tidak tahu

How are you?- Apa khabar?

What is your name?- Nama kau apa

My name is _____- Nama saya (your name)

Where is the washroom?- Tandas / Bilik Air

Is this vegetarian? (point to a dish in a menu card)- ini adalah vegetarian

Where is this? (point to a monument, amenity on a paper/map)- di mana

How much does this cost?- Berapa harga?

Too expensive!- terlalu mahal

A little cheaper- sedikit lebih murah

more

Emergency numbers

Police: 999 ,

Ambulance: 991,

Fire Department: 994,

Malaysia Tourist Office, KL: +60 (0)3 2615 8188 or www.tourism.gov.my