Traveling is an incredible experience, one that you should always take advantage of when you get the opportunity. Take Malaysia. It’s a beautiful country with amazing and varied sights and attractions, delicious food, and fantastic people. The capital city alone, Kuala Lumpur, is a maze of things to do and see.
But, you can read about what you must do in KL on any blog or website. With almost fourteen million visitors each year, there are tons of them! However, it’s the stuff you can’t or shouldn’t do that will limit the awkward interactions and make you feel like less of a tourist. In a strange and far-flung city, there are lots of small gestures that can lead you with egg on your face.
Thankfully, you don’t have to make a mistake to learn from it. Instead, you can continue reading to find out more about the stuff you shouldn’t do in Kuala Lumpur.
Don’t Stay In The Central KL
Don’t worry because Kuala Lumpur is safe. Like the rest of Southeast Asia, and the world, there are a few bad places you want to avoid, yet you will be unlucky if you wander into trouble at night or during the day. No, the reason you shouldn’t stay in central KL is the lack of space to maneuver.
With nearly eight million people living in the metro area, KL is a megalopolis that can be tight, crowded, and hot and sweaty. It’s fine for a few hours during the day when you want to see the sights, such as the colonial railway station or the Petronas Towers, yet you don’t want to be in the middle of the action 24-7. Whether you choose a condo in Bangsar South or Palm Spring, the suburbs have plenty to offer.
And, with excellent transport links, you won’t find it too hard to get into the center of the city.
Don’t Get Into A Taxi With No Meter
Kuala Lumpur is a big place, and the taxis can be a lifesaver when you want to get to a certain district in a hurry. However, it’s easy to spot tourists in KL – we stick out like sore thumbs – so some operators aren’t above trying to make a quick buck or two by taking advantage of your lack of knowledge.
They might refuse even if you insist on using the meter, which used to be a problem. Now, with the likes of MyTeksi and EzCab, you can hail cabs knowing that you’ll pay the local price, and not a hyped up charge. Of course, this relies on having an internet connection. If there is no WiFi, try buying data bolt-ons.
Alternatively, the airport and bus station (Sentral) sell taxi coupons at the counter.
Don’t Forget A Jacket Or Umbrella
Malaysia is stiflingly hot for most of the year, which is why it’s tempting to assume you won’t get caught out in a thunderstorm. Guess again. When the rainy season hits, the water pours down like you wouldn’t believe, and it does it on and off for the entire season. If you aren’t wearing the proper attire, you’ll be cold and wet.
The weather in Kuala Lumpur is no joke in the rainy season, so it’s always smart to pack a bag and fill it with essentials, such as waterproof layers or an umbrella. The thunderstorms tend to hit the city throughout the months of March and April, sometimes starting a little before and continuing a little after. If you’re out and about during these months, remember to be prepared.
It’s tempting to trust your instincts. However, KL can be very deceiving, so tread lightly!
Don’t Overlook Its Muslim Culture
Malaysia is a Muslim country. You can’t tell this by turning up in KL and looking around because it’s a metropolitan place with a wide range of influences. Still, it’s there, and it’s at the heart of the nation. You shouldn’t gloss over this fact since there are different customs in Muslim countries compared to Christian or Jewish ones.
For instance, public displays of affection are best avoided. Leave the smooching for a private place. Also, entering some of the sights, such as mosques or holy places, requires a specific dress code. It’s offensive to go in without it, and you don’t want to miss them, so make sure you cover up bare skin.
Other than that, Kuala Lumpur is very inclusive and welcomes guests with open arms. You’re going to have a blast! Enjoy!