Wherever you go becomes a part of you somehow. In Melbourne, I lived in a cosy 70 m2 one -bedroom flat in one of the most liveable suburbs for $2000 AUD per month (approx. Monthly rent costs: $619 per month. KLIA Ekspres: Advantages and disadvantages - See 10,543 traveler reviews, 1,344 candid photos, and great deals for Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at Tripadvisor. The rental will vary depending on the geographical area, the type of accommodation (on-campus living in a hall of residence; or off-campus living in an apartment, condominium, single-storey house, double-storey house, etc. Really, it is understandable why. Coffee costs: $2.48. A tax rate of 30% applies to capital gains from operations with real estate owned by foreigners if the property was sold within four years from the date of purchase. Malaysia is ideal for those who are tired of cold slushy winters and who want to have a western world lifestyle without paying much for it. While Kuala Lumpur only rates 84th out of 230 cities in the Mercer quality of living survey 2015, there is a well-developed infrastructure for expats living in Kuala Lumpur. You probably won’t be living there anyway and the suburbs offer a better quality of life. I would love to know if there is anything you can add to this list! From litter on the beaches and beside roads, trash in the ocean and floating down rivers, and bathrooms that would horrify even Freddy Krueger , it takes some time to adjust. It becomes a real problem when you need to wear a suit to your work and spend a lot of time away from AC. There are so many things I love about life in Kuala Lumpur, and a few things I’m less fond of… like anywhere in the world, living here isn’t always peaches and cream. There are many places that “look” nice but don’t deliver. You can also find cheaper accommodation. Disadvantages: Fairly segregated (heterogenic), locals live segregated (Indians, Chinese and Bumiputera). By the way, Malaysia is a Muslim country, so all supermarkets have a halal department. Caleb, I am so happy to hear you have been reading me for that long, yay! For comparison, the average salary of local residents is 4,000 ringgit ($957 or €870). Whilst statistical data doesn’t tell you everything, like how you’ll feel in a place or how your personal experiences will pan out, it is a good indicator into potential liveability. Opening hours of KL Monorail are from 6:00 am to 11:30 or 12 pm, depending on the station. We personally were using Uber. A friend who relocated to KL here before I did described life in the city as ‘expat living for dummies’ because it’s so easy. All Rights Reserved. I couldn’t imagine having the same in London or Melbourne compared to what we have here, unless we were on a 6 figure salary, and even then it would be a struggle. Kuala Lumpur is a city of contrasts, based on the architectural, climatic, financial as well as on a social point of view. The reasons for that are serious traffic jams on the city streets, they are always crowded, there is no information in English, and the information about the routes is too confusing. One thing I do cherish about living here is access to 365 pool days per year and 30°C + average temperatures. In my experience on Malaysia piece I wrote some approximate figures regarding the cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, I'm not really aware of the living costs in other student oriented cities in Malaysia but they are certainly cheaper than Kuala Lumpur. The Sailor and I probably ate our weight in Pho over the past year and we’ve eaten some of the best Indian and Modern Asian food of our lives – in fact, I take that back. Sticky shorts and sweat streams through the body may not be of your concern if you are spending time in any tropical country, including Malaysia, as a traveler. But most of them are located on the outskirts or outside the city and you would need to have some type of vehicle to travel to those destinations. Tickets and tokens must be kept during the trip: they will be required to exit the station! Another of my favourites is in the expat suburb of Desa Park (below), which comes complete with cafes overlooking the lake. In comparison to KL, I live in a 120 m2 three-bedroom flat in one of the most exclusive expat neighbourhoods for 2’300 RM per month (approx. (Without bragging) I’ve been kitesurfing in Koh Phangan and to Cambodia, where I nearly kitesurfed (for the lack of wind). Snatch theft, motor vehicle theft, pickpocketing, and scams are the most common crimes in the city. Rice with chicken in a street cafe will cost 5-7 ringgit (€1.1-1.5 or $1.2-1.7). Unlike Bangkok, which generally lacks any form of flora, KL is pleasantly greener. ha. For me, the biggest downside is accountability and customer support. There are so many good reasons to live in KL. And if you do get to test the waters beforehand, try not to spend all of your time in KLCC. Thanks for amazing article Anya! Hours of operation of the LRT in Kuala Lumpur are from 6:00 am to 11:30 or 12 pm, depending on the station. It’s worth bearing in mind that travelling within Malaysia is generally more expensive than other places in SE Asia, but it’s still not on par with the Western world. As well as being genuinely friendly, humble and kind, local KL-ites have made me feel really welcome as an expat in their country. Economy: Kuala Lumpur is the cultural and economic centre of Malaysia. Brace for the Heat and Noise in Malaysia. We’ve been there and know how it feels. Almost all apartment complexes have a gym, pool, barbecue area, cool common lounge, security desk, and office. Highways, byways and regular roads in and around KL are in excellent condition. The Disadvantages of Being an Expat in Malaysia It’s often the case that some of the disadvantages aren’t realized until you settled down in your new country. As it turned out, contemporary architecture and tall buildings are very common even on the outskirts of this city. What we personally like is how many cute cafes that serve delicious breakfast and coffee Kuala Lumpur has. There will also be a swimming pool, gym and relaxation area but nothing extraordinary. Being in the Klang Valley, it means lots … Someone on a budget can easily check out quite a few of them. And rather than going to feed the ducks, you go to feed the turtles, which you can find in many lakes. TIP: The apartment lease must be stamped at a special real estate agency. It’s still full of concrete and condos, but from virtually every peak you can see the jungle that surrounds the city and there are large pockets to explore within. Most metro stations are aboveground and only a few are underground. Cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia vs Istanbul, Turkey. Due to Malaysia’s colonial past, English remains an important language in the business world and in secondary education. Despite being the second most expensive country in the region after Singapore (but still HEAPS more affordable) the savings potential in Malaysia is really good. This is a new hobby I picked up as my condo sits in front of Bukit Kiara and I don’t have a park nearby. However, the only problem with cheaper housing is the neighbors. KTM trains leave every 10-15 minutes. I'm going to mention the disadvantages of studying in Malaysia in my own opinion. As most of you know I am living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and working here. Two KTM lines connect the central, northern and southern parts of Kuala Lumpur with suburban areas. My Bahasa Malaysia has been slow on the uptake because most KL-ites speak English pretty well. A single traveler costs: $1,306 per month. Time does fly when you’re having fun! For some who have never lived in Southeast Asia before, then the initial culture shock or adjustment period may be greater than I experienced. Reply BG Lim on March 15, 2020 at … There’s a reason why Malaysia has the biggest obesity rates in Asia. I thought anywhere else would be a hard act to follow, but as it turns out, in many ways KL has given the Sailor and I a better standard of living. . Standards are much more Western than other places in the region and the language barriers are few. This means that there’s always some form of celebration going on in the city, as well as many Bank Holidays to accommodate them (always a bonus.). Mark and I were trying to stick to home-cooked meals and only occasionally dined out. After living in Malaysia for a while now and travelling around I thought I would think of some pros and cons of living in Malaysia. Inflation: -1.7% for Malaysia as at November 2020. Income tax is calculated on a regressive scale. One of the most frequent complaints from those living here is that Malaysia can be a bit gritty. How old you are, color of your eyes, the shape of your ears and your gender matters. More and more apartment complexes are built each year, so finding a home is never a problem. Cars clog up the roads every day between 7am and 9am and again from 4pm to 7pm. Firstly, instead of dogs running around (who are either not allowed in, or must be on a leash due to Muslim laws) there are monkeys playing on the lawn. Even better than Melbourne, and I don’t say that lightly. Thanks for sharing, I found this really helpful. For me though and thousands of other expats in KL, the perks of living here largely outweigh any potential difficulties. And trust me, you won’t be having time and desire to do sightseeing on a regular basis. You guys I want to remind you all that, these are all strictly my personal opinions , based on my years of living and studying here, nothing else, so please do take everything else in consideration too. I spent a year in Melbourne before venturing to KL, a metropolis crowned as being the ‘the most liveable city in the world’ by Mercer for 7 years running. Even though we’re saving a lot whilst in KL (the Sailor is better than I am at putting funds aside!) Summary about cost of living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Family of four estimated monthly costs are 1,808.99$ (7,320.98RM) without rent (using our estimator). When it’s raining (what happens often) or is simply too hot (what happens even more often), you’ll want to stay inside with AC round the clock. KTM opening hours in Kuala Lumpur are from 5:30 to 0:00. For singles or couples you’d typically expect to pay from 3’000 in the expat suburbs, and most will come with at least a pool and a gym. As I already had two years under my belt in Thailand, KL in comparison is a doddle. Imported Items are Expensive. I’ve visited Sri Lanka, Langkawi & Koh Lipe over Christmas, took my first visit to Vietnam and chilled in the Perhentian Islands – to name a few. Have you lived in Kuala Lumpur? A typical health cover in Kuala Lumpur costs about $100-500 a year for one person, depending on the types of services offered. Oh my, we have even found a huge food court offering Russian dumplings and lesser-known Ukrainian foods. Traffic, as in any other large city, is horrendous, but taking a cab or a bus doesn’t mean you will be avoiding it. The people here are friendly and always ready to help. For example my rent has more than halved. At night, the rate goes up slightly. Ever wondered how a normal day in my life looks like? I know it will sound cliche but let me say it. Ugh. Events and things going on in the city are often limited and advertised late, so we’ve learnt to keep our ears close to the ground to find out about them and make our own fun. when I did, I had to pull myself away so I didn’t develop an uncomfortable muffin top! When it comes to taxis in Kuala Lumpur, there are a few things to remember. This lifestyle is very prominent in Kuala Lumpur. Some others have a public patio, garden, and even its own grocery store. And then during our time there, we learned that those expats who move to the capital of Malaysia usually have the same reasons. For all of those other days, KL is generously filled with pretty much every world cuisine. I like how you wrote with a perspective of the disadvantages and advantages of daily life in the city instead of only showing the tourist’s point-of-view. With a stable temperature above +30ºС, the humidity accompanying rain is simply unbearable. I thought I was qualified enough to apply. You’ve probably heard about Kuala Lumpur’s vibrant economy, low cost of living and hospitable local people who make you feel at home right after arrival. Generally, everyday life is convenient and easy, particularly compared to other Asian countries. Groceries in Kuala Lumpur are quite inexpensive, and you should have no problem eating exceptionally well for under $200 a month. And that’s true. When driving “in traffic jams” (which are quite frequent in Kuala Lumpur), payment is 3 ringgit (0.60 euros) for the first three minutes, then 0.30 ringgit (0.06 euros) for each minute. Because local people treat representatives of other cultures with respect and without strict requirements for a dress code. During rush hour, long lines near machines are possible. Lively music, freshly squeezed juice and cool vibes at the rooftop bar help to refresh the energy. But there are several more stations where you can make a transfer. No one will ever be hungry there. we still have a really good standard of living. City buses in Kuala Lumpur, by far, are the weakest link in the city’s public transport network, despite many routes and low fares. The fare on LRT, depending on the number of stations, varies from about 1 ringgit to 3 ringgit (0.20-0.60 euros). You’d be surprised at how many Europeans, Australians and Americans call KL home. When we were thinking to move and live in Kuala Lumpur, we were asking the same question. With the hundreds of thousands expats who call this city home, it’s not just us that feel this way. Expect shopping malls, cinemas, hangouts with your peers at the pool or bar to become part of your life. Expats have higher salaries because all of them are mainly highly qualified specialists. It’s a refreshing retreat from car fumes and hi-rises, and I go in religiously each week for a run or walk. In our opinion, yes and no, and should depend on your budget. As a former British colony and being a melting pot of cultures and languages, aside from Bahasa, English is commonly the medium in which people communicate. Malaysia is ideal for those who are tired of cold slushy winters and who want to have a western world lifestyle without paying much for it. Upon writing this post, I’m still amazed to have been living in Kuala Lumpur for a year and a half already. There is a lot to choose from and prices range between 15-35 ringgit for breakfast and 8-12 ringgit for a coffee drink. Some expats will say that you don’t need a car in Kuala Lumpur since public transportation is modern and convenient. List of prices in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) for food, housing, transportation, going out, and more on Jan 2021. Park-life here is a bit different to back home, in an endearing way. Another excellent way to enjoy the city is in the jungle. Before our trip to Kuala Lumpur, we’ve heard that skyscrapers were ruling the sky. But in our experience, none of it was nearly as good as back home. Now for the Disadvantages of Living in Penang Island Time. Most expats live in condos that have all of the extra facilities, like swimming pools and jacuzzis. Still expect language barriers, but on the whole for English speakers, this makes living here a lot easier. The monthly cost for groceries. - CON: Heavy traffic on a daily basis. In general, the cost of living is 42.72% lower than living in the U.S. Housing Costs for Expats in Malaysia. Less developed … However, this is the salary of auditors, web developers, and programmers. As a foodie, I admit to being a tad disappointed with offerings when I first arrived to Kuala Lumpur. It’s so easy to fly for a weekend in Bali, for a coffee break in Vietnam or one of the beaches in the Philippines. Monthly tickets and LRT tokens are sold at ticket offices and special machines at stations. They are everywhere and it feels like people are living in them. The Malaysian government has encouraged foreigners to retire in Malaysia, as a fixed income can go a long way here. To me, KL in some way reminds Doha in Qatar. A bottle in a supermarket starts at 60 ringgit. It was in a great location with a lovely park nearby, and came with a small garden. Love it or hate it, but it is part of life in Kuala Lumpur. As a rule, the first station will cost 1 ringgit (0.20 euros), and the next ones – up to 0.30 ringgit (0.06 euros) for each. Additionally, you pay for Wifi to the landlord or set it up by yourself. There’s also usually a random iguana happily basking…you can see all of this fauna specifically at TTDI park. Kuala Lumpur: Kuala Lumpur (KL) is the capital and largest city of Malaysia. The Sailor and I have also both been working full-time on expat salaries. The choice of the English language, among others, is available. How To Get To Koh Phangan from Bangkok & Kuala Lumpur, An Insiders Guide to: The Best Areas to Live in Kuala Lumpur, Jungle Hiking in Kuala Lumpur – Bukit Kiara Trail Guide, 10 Things To See & Do in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2020). Dairy products are not common and are pricey too. I believe it should be a number one point for anyone who is considering to live in Kuala Lumpur as an expat. Enjoying warm sunny days is one thing, but being able to tolerate waves of heat and humidity is a totally different story. Only last year (2017), Kuala Lumpur was named ‘the most expat friendly city in Asia’ by Internations and ‘the second most liveable city in Southeast Asia’ according to Mercer. And it very much is. The cost is minimal and the compartments are clean and air-conditioned. Renting a home in Kuala Lumpur is easy and quick. We would like to travel to Malaysia one day . It includes KTM commuter trains, LRT metro rail, KL Monorail monorail, KLIA Airport trains, city buses, and taxis. Your email address will not be published. No doubt, Kuala Lumpur has some parks, gardens and even hiking trails to offer to nature lovers. Malaysia is often described as being one of the most diverse countries in Asia and when we were living in Kuala Lumpur, it was easy to see why. What is it like to live in Kuala Lumpur as an expat? Buildings of different styles and eras stand next to each other, it can be unbearably hot and cloudy at the same time, and the population consists of more than ten different nationalities. Awful. On this blog, her main goal is to inspire others to travel to under-the-radar-places and discover the world while working remotely. Even whilst saving, I’ve managed 10 getaways. Cost of Living in Kuala Lumpur Price of an Apartment for Rent in Kuala Lumpur A lot of workers from different countries head to the capital of Malaysia with a goal to create a better life, get exposed to new opportunities or just experience something totally new. There are no swamps or alligators, but the same palm trees and extreme humidity. Living in a tropical climate is definitely not for everyone. It costs about 72% less to rent in Kuala Lumpur than it does to rent or own a home in the United States. In general, Kuala Lumpur reminds me of Istanbul when it comes to religion. Most public transport in Kuala Lumpur is owned by the government company RapidKL. If you are in those areas, feel free to hop on them too. Just make sure you are comfortable with some aspects and can find a job where every person matters. Many expats I’ve known renew their contracts and stay for longer, and some never leave. You should estimate about RM300-600 (US$94-188)for your accommodation per month. We were like that too. Malaysia is ethnically diverse and being a member of a given ethnic group confers advantages and disadvantages… Kuala Lumpur is 71% cheaper than New York City. 1. The main station where the KTM lines intersect with the LRT metro lines is KL Sentral. If you are coming to Kuala Lumpur as a digital nomad or with a goal to find a job and live as an expat, most likely you will be renting an apartment in a multi-store condominium. If you are flying there for the first time, I have a post about the tips on how to transfer from Kuala Lumpur airport to the city. The cost of renting an apartment here starts from 1300 ringgit (€282 or $310) and 560 ringgit (€121.5 or $136) for a room. LRT rail has three lines that connect almost all of Kuala Lumpur. Although the sun comes out extremely rare and almost always the sky is covered by dense gray clouds, it does not make the weather any better. For instance, a very nice studio in a simpler house will cost around 1700-1800 ringgit. Some of the expats we met were saying that the food scene was one of the reasons they have been enjoying life in Kuala Lumpur. Housing in Kuala Lumpur, unlike a lot of other metropolises, has a large selection and affordable prices. Just in the beginning, after landing in Kuala Lumpur after three long months in Vietnam we took advantage of local culinary masterwork. My lifestyle changed a lot when I moved here and I adapted to new hobbies & ways to spend my time. Have you ever visited? Each Malaysian is proud of the region of his origin and will surely tell you what to try in his hometown. Since leaving London it’s been hard to keep me in one place for longer than 12 months, but KL’s liveability is proving greater than most other cities I’ve called home. Here are my favourite local eats in the city! And prices don’t bite as in nearby Singapore for instance. Everyone probably knows what Hop on Hop off buses are. Sure, on some weekends you may be visiting museums or walking around the mosques, but overall your life in Kuala Lumpur is going to be all about the shiny bodies of glass. Those who want something more interesting can find a lot of other different Asian foods: Thai, Indonesian, Indian, Chinese, Japanese, etc. Almost all condominiums have pools (although not on the rooftop), gyms, private parking and security. From experience, the people who live in your new place of residence can really make or break your time there. Download our free guide on legitimate ways to make money online in 2020. I have family currently living in Kuala Lumpur, so it’s familiar to me. You need to pay it every six months and it’s about 100-150 ringgit. I came across your website a year or two ago and have been reading your amazing blog ever since. On a cold day, it might drop to 26/27 after a storm. Here are my top 5 1 For singles there is a very big and active nightlife in several parts of the city if you like to party it has good clubs and bars. - Kuala Lumpur became established as a town in the mid-1850s, founded … Kuala Lumpur is an ordinary Asian metropolis with not many special attractions. The quality of life vs cost and ease of living make it so. Chillaxing moments near the pool help to escape the heat. The EPF system also attracts a generous 6.9% interest, as of 2017. Also sprawled over town are many well-maintained parks for strolling on those lazy Sundays, which were largely formed during the colonial days. Public transport plays an important role in Kuala Lumpur and by all means, is developed quite well. Being based in SE Asia of course has cut the costs of living coming from Melbourne. It’s a living in Penang pro and con. For example, if you put in the minimum 11% of your salary, then your employer has to match that with an additional 12% minimum. If I compare that to my holiday (singular) in Melbourne, KL wins hands down. You may think it’s the same as in America but in reality on a way larger scale. Kuala Lumpur strives to become second Singapore in organizing urban development, business development and economic growth. Local food in Kuala Lumpur is usually rice with chicken in different variations or noodles with chicken. Our favourite Mediterranean & French haunts looked after us well for our fix of Western fare. local sitting right here Check out my post on top eats in KL). Whilst it took me time to adjust my palate to all varieties of local flavours (ikan bilis, I’m looking at you!) Located within 4.1 miles of Thean Hou Temple and 6 miles of Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia, Urban Living Residence provides rooms in Kuala Lumpur. Featuring family rooms, this property also provides guests with a terrace. And to be able to spend a year or two in one of the safest countries in Asia as expats while exploring the Southeast Asia continent. They often feel like holiday resorts with long-term residents and it’s a great set-up for hosting out-of-town guests. In this Expat Interview, Claire shares her expat life in this city, so you can have a general view about living in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.. About Kuala Lumpur. These dishes will cost a bit more but still very reasonable prices, especially for someone who comes from the western world country. If there was such a definition as food heaven then Kuala Lumpur would be that city. Or, during the weekends when your heart desires to head to the beach or tea plantations. Yes? Usually, the realtor does it but you need to double-check on that. Not clear in which direction the country will head politically. You put on, be ready to sweat once you go becomes a real problem when you need to a... 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