Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia

I’ve been at Kuala Lumpur for 2 times before. And it’s only for transit at LCCT International Airport. This time, it’s also for transit to Bangkok.

Everytime before I go back to Indonesia, I will took 1 to 2 days to explore Kuala Lumpur.
This city was okay (for me, different people will have a different imprestion), and I don’t think I will spend special time go to this city to travelling. 🙂

Kuala Lumpur (called simply KL by locals) is the federal capital and the largest city in Malaysia. In Chinese, it is called 吉隆坡 (Ji Long Po). Kuala Lumpur is a sprawling city and its residential suburbs seem to go on forever.

Kuala Lumpur’s ambitious public transport system is sufficiently developed to be fairly efficient and convenient, but much room for improvement lies in its integration. The city, like many developing cities, suffers from paralysing traffic jams periodically throughout the day. In the rush hours, consider combining various methods of transport.

– http://wikitravel.org/en/Kuala_Lumpur
– http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuala_Lumpur

Public transport at Kuala Lumpur:

Train — Urban rail train comes in four distinct flavours, which are not always fully connected:
LRT – run by RapidKL, which also runs the urban buses, it is the closest thing to a metro though it is mainly elevated on concrete pillars with only the most central stations underground. There are three lines: the Ampang line, the Sri Petaling line and the Kelana Jaya line. At some stations, different lines run on the same platform, which may be a bit confusing. Also LRT map with all lines is very rare at stations so don’t forget to print it or save it in your mobile/phone in advance, there are also (almost) no trashbins in LRT system so prepare to carry your trash until leaving system. (http://www.myrapid.com.my/)

KL Monorail – entirely elevated and loops through the Golden Triangle in a semicircle. Riding its whole length gives a good overview of the city centre. (http://www.monorail.com.my/)

KTM Komuter – two lines that meet in the city centre and run out to the suburbs, including the Batu Caves and Midvalley Mega Mall. Trains are not as frequent as on the LRT or Monorail: plan for a 20 min wait but 5-10 min is more likely. To get in/out KTM Komuter lines you are supposed to use turnstiles, but during 6/2013 turnstiles were switched off at Kuala Lumpur and Batu Caves stations, so don’t bother trying and just pass through. (http://www.ktmb.com.my/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=57%3Aktm-komuter&catid=42%3Asbu&Itemid=55)

KLIA – trains run between KL Sentral and KL international airport. Express trains run direct. Transit trains stop at Putrajaya and Salak Tinggi en route.

Bus — 
Double-decker KL Hop-on Hop-off sightseeing tour buses serve 42 notable places. There is free Wi-Fi on board. An information commentary is given through headphones. Tickets (valid for 24 or 48hrs) give unlimited use during their validity. Children under 5 ride free. The buses are scheduled every half hour but waits may be as long as two hours due to traffic jams, so try to maximize use of the service outside rush hours. (http://www.myhoponhopoff.com/)

Two new FREE bus services (i.e. GOKL City Bus)started 1st September 2012. The purple bus service starts at Pasar Seni and travels to the shopping area of Bukit Bintang where it links up with the green bus service that loops around KLCC. (http://www.spad.gov.my/news-events/announcements/2012/go-kl-free-bus-service-routes)

Taxi —
Normal red and white taxis (RM3 first 1km, then RM1/km) and bright blue executive taxis (RM6 first 1km, then RM2/km) are good options if you can get them to use the meter. There are also various small surcharges for radio call (RM2), baggage (RM1 per piece), etc.

The city’s rail coverage is good enough so that you shouldn’t take a taxi to most hotels and tourist hotspots. But, if you must take a taxi, expect many drivers to refuse to use the meter, particularly during rush hour or when it rains. Prices then become negotiable (before setting off) and inflated (2-10 times the meter price). Although this is illegal, the only realistic thing you can do is walk away and find a different driver. A cab hailed off the street is more likely to use the meter than one that stalks tourist spots or parked.
If stuck with a driver that won’t use the meter, negotiate hard: RM10 should cover most cross town trips of 15 min or so, even with traffic. If staying in an expensive hotel, hide your affluence and give a nearby shopping mall as your destination instead. If you have lots of bags, try not to let him see it during negotiations. Malay drivers are generally more inclined to use the meter than Chinese or Indian ones.

Avoid going to a taxi stand and bringing a sheet of paper with your destination written down with the intention of showing it to the driver; you will have four or five of the drivers congregate and pass around your written address. They are most certainly discussing the best way to charge you an inflated price. Have your destination memorised or, even better, hail a taxi and avoid taxi stands.

Midnight surcharge is applicable on pickups 00:01-05:59. This surcharge means meter prices are increased by 50% (e.g. at 01:00, if the meter shows RM12, you should pay RM12+6).

During rush hour it’s generally best to combine public transport with taxis.


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