Hi everyone! I’m considering moving to Kuala Lumpur for about a year or so (mainly because it’s a great getaway to SE Asia islands). I was wondering what’s it like as a travel base? It would be great to hear the opinions of those of you who lived there! Thanks so much in advance!
I haven’t lived there, I stayed there for about 2 months. As you say KL is amazing as a gateway. The airport is probably in every mayor route for any place in Asia so that is a plus. Regarding the city itself I haven’t found it super interesting, but that doesn’t mean it is not a nice city. It will really depends of what type of job you are doing and what are your intentions. If you are choosing KL only because of the airport, I think you can find better options in Asia.
Thanks very much for a reply! I’m not dead set on KL - I spent a couple of days and liked it but I’m open to other places too Thank you again!!
KL is a nice option, although I’d choose Singapore if it wasn’t because it’s pretty damn expensive. Then you have Jakarta as well but it’s such a crazy city. So it’s not easy to find a perfect place. If you do, let me know!
If you ever do come around Kuala Lumpur, drop me a line and I’ll be happy to bring you around and show you what KL has to offer. It’s an exciting city, albeit a little chaotic. It’s also advanced enough for any digital nomad to operate in. It’s not as cheap as some people would like to believe, but compared to places like Australia, it’s still affordable.
It’s difficult to describe Malaysia. It’s a mix of numerous cultures in one. In one corner you feel like you’re in India (Brickfields) and in another Hong Kong (Chinatown). And then there are tonnes of expats in hip and happening Bangsar … KL is just very different.
Most people speak good English here, and there’s a number of co-working spaces too.
Hope to see you here. We need more nomads down here!
You can contact me via e-mail at liztaiwrites AT gmail.com
I live in KL and it is a good place ( KL is trying to be Silicon Valley of SEA) so if you are particularly interested in Startup, it is a good place to be in. I am not sure about Digital Nomad community here yet.
To me it is a good travel base and you have options to choose your co working space.
If you need any specific suggestion, kindly let me know
Wish you all the best
Haha I know, it’s so hard to choose! I’m torn between a big city and somewhere more relaxed, like Ubud! I may just have to do both…
Thanks SO much for your help Liz!! I will be sure to get in touch if I do end up in KL! I visited a few years back but only for a couple of days - I had a great time and I really liked the mix between the modernity and culture/traditions. The food was amazing too!
thank you Taj! Interesting to now about the startups - this may be helpful when looking for new clients as I always enjoy working with new companies and brands.
May I suggest good old Bangkok as an alternative? It’s well connected to Thai islands and everywhere else in SEA. It’s the most diverse city, I can think of.
Ofc in KL you have Air Asia’s home airport, so you can’t beat those airfare prices. But Bangkok has lower costs of living than KL, so it might all equal out.
You should also have a look at Visa policies, before you make a decision.
Thanks Florian, I was considering Bangkok but I was a bit worried it mat get t too crazy and hectic! What’s your opinion? Yes, I’m definitely looking into visa policies, thanks!
I’m live in Malaysia but currently working in Singapore.
KL is not bad for gateway to others countries and islands. As I know most of the people love the beaches in Malaysia. But you might get difficult time to have internet in islands. If you don’t need then it will be great to enjoy there.
The main airport is in KL. If you are plan to stay awhile in Malaysia before going to other SEA countries, you can go to Penang and have a look. Penang island is like a Malaysia version of Singapore (but not that advance like them ). As I know there is some startups going there and it is awesome. Peoples there more friendly and not very busy life like in KL.
Is your choice now haha. Let us know more here if you end up in KL and what you feel in Malaysia. Enjoy!
Yes, do keep in touch. It’ll be cool to meet a new friend!
Penang was one of my options! I’ll look into it a bit more…Thanks so much and sorry for a late reply Tbh, my ideal choice is Bali but since my partner is coming with me and he’s not nomadic, he may struggle finding a job there…
Ive been staying in KL the last year, but not as a digital nomad. KL is a great getaway to SEA! The good thing is that most foreigners can get a 3 month visa on arrival!
Living costs in KL are quite cheap, and the standards are good. You can find a shared flat from as low as 650-1500 RM. But be aware the deposits are quite high - about 3,5 month rent. Cool areas are Bukit bintang (near Changkat) or Bangsar.
There are many international departures from KL airport, and with airasia its quite cheap. Airasia also has a cool ASEAN pass promotion: http://www.airasia.com/ot/en/book-with-us/asean-pass.page
There are plenty of coworking spaces in KL, but I think there are mainly locals hanging out there. Plenty of nice chic cafes to work from as well. There are also monthly events for entrepreneurs and expats so it will be easy to meet new people. You can for example check out the event called “Drinkentrepreneurs” to meet entrepreneurs, or you can meet other expats through internations or couchsurfing events…
I have been to KL previously and now I am back using it as a base for SEA. The city is nice, not as crazy and chaotic as Bangkok and people speak very good English. Its not as beautiful and culturally active as Singapore but its also a lot cheaper.
If you are in KL at the moment and wanna meet up for a beer at Changkat, drop me a line!
Bangkok can be anything you want it to be. Most places along the river are the very opposite of crazy and hectic.
If you like the Huzz and Buzz of a metropolis, crazy traffic, huge shopping malls and a modern city, stay in New Bangkok (Silom or Sukhumvit).
If you like it traditional and slow with temples, canals and wooden houses and all the crazyness just a half hour bus ride away, stay in the historic center (Rattanakosin and Thonburi).
I prefer the latter
I live in kl so if you have any questions feel free to contact me via my website at elizabethtai.com. Always happy to help nomads in town though my schedule has been really hectic so I may not be able to take you guys around town. Would love to though!
Nomad Capitalist’s Andrew Henderson is based out of Malaysia although I think he’s found a smaller city around KL’s orbit that serves his needs and is even cheaper. He’s written a good article about KL though here.
Any neighborhoods in or around KL of interest to DN?