Arriving in Malaysia was a breeze. No visa is required for travelers from 80% of the countries around the world. In fact Malayisa has one of the most flexible and accommodating visa policies of any country. However if you happen to have be an Israeli passport holder or have an Israeli stamp in your passport, you are forbidden to enter the country.
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) is new and easy to navigate. Of course the first thing you must be aware of is to purchase an official teksi (taxi) ticket from the Airport Limo counter instead of trying to haggle with the taxis out front of the airport. The will easily charge you twice as much, if not more, and are notorious for not turning their meters on. Signs in the airport even warn of the “teksi touts” out front.
Friends of mine arrived a couple days after me but their flight landed at the other KLIA terminal, LCCT, instead of the main terminal. Unaware of the viciousness of the teksi touts they were charged RM90 ($30USD) just to get from one terminal to another — a mere 15-minute ride! The official airport shuttle costs only RM2.50. That is nearly 40x the normal price!
Traveling solo? Depending on your comfort level and familiarity with traveling to new countries, purchasing a train or bus ticket into the city is also an option — they cost only a fraction of what a taxi will. However if you are part of a group then splitting the taxi fare is the cheapest route.
The KLIA Ekspres Train
The express train is by far the fastest way to get from KLIA airport into the heart of Kuala Lumpur, KL Sentral station. It takes only 28 minutes and costs RM35 ($12USD). There is also the normal KL Sentral transit train, which takes 35 minutes because makes a few stops along the way. The price is the same.
The KLIA Airport Coach
A cheaper alternative to the train is the Airport Coach bus line. Tickets cost only RM10 ($3USD) but transit time can take an hour or more, depending upon traffic. Buses depart from the airport every 30 minutes, 365 days a year.
Once in the capital city you will quickly be amazed by the architecture and seamless blending of Malaysian, Indian, and Chinese cultures. I would highly recommend spending a day or two just walking around with a camera and a healthy appetite 😉
I’m looking forward to exploring more of Kuala Lumpur and the rest of Malaysia, so expect more posts soon. In closing if I had to summarize my initial impressions of this country in quick, simple sentence it would be this: “Malaysia is like a rich Indonesia.”
Want more? Check out the other posts in my new First Impressions series.