Life In Malaysia: Expat favourite places in Kuala Lumpur

6 min read|Last Updated: September 13, 2023|
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Kuala Lumpur is often the first stop for tourists and expats upon arriving in Malaysia. As the country’s capital and prominent business hub offering abundant career prospects, the city is a magnet for expatriates.

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Whether you’re seeking the best vacation spots or aiming to uncover the top places to work, Malaysia has it all. Enhance your expat experience by embarking on weekend getaways to the most captivating key areas of this diverse country. If you stay in the mentioned areas or anywhere else in Malaysia, make the most out of your life in Malaysia as an expat by visiting these recommended spots during your weekends!

1) Day & Night time Fun Areas in Kuala Lumpur

All of the places listed below are commutable via the LRT Kelana Jaya Line.

  • Kuala Lumpur City Centre (KLCC)

    From 1998 to 2004, KLCC proudly held the title of the world’s tallest building, making it an iconic landmark that graces Kuala Lumpur’s skyline. Beyond its impressive height, KLCC offers an experience for shopping especially for designer goods.

    For families, KLCC boasts attractions like the Petronas Science Centre, where education meets excitement, Aquaria, an underwater world that fascinates all ages, and the Petronas Gallery for art enthusiasts.

    As the sun sets, the KLCC Lake Symphony Light and Sound Water Fountain take the stage, with captivating shows at 8 pm, 9 pm, and 10 pm daily. If you’re in the mood for a tranquil nighttime experience, consider strolling along the Saloma Bridge, where the city’s shimmering lights create an enchanting ambience.

  • Bukit Bintang

    For a multitude of shopping avenues and an array of delectable cuisines, Bukit Bintang stands as the ultimate hotspot in Kuala Lumpur. From the Pavillion Mall for those who enjoy luxury goods to Sungei Wang for thrifting enthusiasts, Bukit Bintang has a lot to offer.

    As the sun dips below the horizon, Jalan Bukit Bintang transforms into a playground of entertainment. You’ll find a medley of resto-bars that come alive with music and vibrant energy as the night unfolds. Whether you’re a shopaholic on a quest for the latest fashion trends or a food enthusiast seeking an adventure for your taste buds, Bukit Bintang promises an experience that resonates with the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s nightlife.

  • Pasar Seni

    Pasar Seni, literally translated as “Art Market” is a must-go for all expats. It is famous for flower shops, cafes, bars and all things artsy.

    Nestled at the heart of Kuala Lumpur, the Central Market of Pasar Seni is a vibrant hub that beckons visitors to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of Malaysian culture. Brimming with an array of souvenir shops, this bustling marketplace presents an opportunity to take home a piece of the country’s heritage. As one traverses the lanes of Central Market, an enchanting world of craftsmanship unfolds. Intricately carved trinkets, colourful batik textiles, and finely woven baskets are among the treasures that line the shelves. The market isn’t just a shopping destination, but a journey through the craftsmanship and artistry that define Malaysia’s diverse traditions.

    Upon further walking, you can find yourself in Chinatown for cheap eats, and even further walking can bring you to Masjid Jamek, where Dataran Merdeka (Merdeka Square) which has a special place in the country’s history of achieving independence.

  • Dang Wangi

    Dang Wangi is a favourite among expatriates looking for a quiet haven to relax and enjoy leisurely moments.

    For the early birds, Dang Wangi boasts a selection of charming cafes that serve up delectable brunch options. These cute cafes create a cosy atmosphere, making them the perfect spots to start your day with a delightful meal and a cup of your favourite brew.

    As the day unfolds and the sun begins to set, Dang Wangi’s appeal transforms. The neighbourhood embraces a diverse range of bars that proudly showcase the cultures and flavours of different countries. Whether you’re in the mood for exotic cocktails, international beers, or simply a place to unwind with friends, you’ll find an array of options to suit your preferences.

2) Cultural Places in Kuala Lumpur

  • National Art Gallery

    The National Art Gallery of Malaysia, known as “Balai Seni Negara” in Malay, stands as a vibrant testament to the nation’s artistic expression and cultural heritage. Situated along Jalan Tun Razak, at the northern periphery of central Kuala Lumpur, this public art gallery occupies a significant space in the heart of Malaysia’s capital city. It is accessible by the Rapid KL Bus (route 402), or MRT Putrajaya line, at the Hospital Kuala Lumpur Station.

    Adjacent to the iconic Istana Budaya, the nation’s premier venue for a diverse array of theatrical performances, the National Art Gallery finds itself nestled within a rich cultural enclave. Here, the worlds of visual and performing arts converge, creating an immersive space that celebrates both traditional and contemporary creative expressions.

  • National Museum

    The National Museum of Malaysia, or “Muzium Negara” in Malay, stands as a timeless repository of the nation’s history and cultural heritage. Positioned in close proximity to the tranquil Perdana Lake Gardens, the museum becomes an integral part of a scenic and educational journey. This architectural fusion serves as a visual representation of the museum’s core mission: to bridge the gap between Malaysia’s historical roots and its modern identity.

    The museum’s galleries unfold as a journey through time, offering insights into different eras of Malaysia’s past – the Prehistoric Gallery, Malay Kingdoms Gallery, Colonial Era Gallery, and Malaysia Today.
    rience that resonates with the heart of Kuala Lumpur’s nightlife.

  • Masjid Negara

    Masjid Negara, also known as the National Mosque, is a remarkable place of worship located in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. This mosque boasts several standout features that make it special. One of the mosque’s standout elements is its impressive minarets, which reach a towering height of 73 meters. These tall structures add a sense of grandeur to the mosque’s design. Another eye-catching feature is the main roof, shaped like a 16-pointed star made of concrete. This unique design holds special meaning. The design of the main roof draws inspiration from the concept of an open umbrella, providing shade and protection. On the other hand, the minarets resemble folded umbrellas. This thoughtful design brings both functionality and symbolism to the mosque’s architecture. The concrete main roof showcases an ingenious use of folding plates. This clever design technique creates a larger space in the main gathering hall, where worshippers come together for prayers and community activities.

    Close to the mosque is the Makam Pahlawan, which translates to the Heroes’ Mausoleum. This sacred ground serves as the final resting place for several esteemed Malaysian Muslim leaders.

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What are some other noteworthy attractions or activities for expats in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia?2023-09-13T09:12:19+08:00

In addition to the mentioned areas, expatriates can explore Malaysia’s diverse culture by attending festivals, trying local cuisine, and visiting historical sites like Batu Caves and Malacca. Outdoor enthusiasts can explore the country’s natural beauty in places like Langkawi, Cameron Highlands, and the rainforests of Borneo. Malaysia offers a rich blend of experiences for expatriates to enjoy during their stay.

Are there transportation options to reach these recommended areas in Kuala Lumpur?2023-09-13T09:11:29+08:00

Yes, Kuala Lumpur offers convenient transportation options. The LRT Kelana Jaya Line connects many of these areas. Additionally, you can use Rapid KL buses or the MRT Putrajaya line to reach certain destinations, such as the National Art Gallery.

How can expatriates obtain a Malaysia Employment Pass for working in the country?2023-09-13T09:10:51+08:00

You can apply for a Malaysia Employment Pass through the relevant authorities. For assistance with the application process, you can seek services from organisations that specialise in helping expatriates obtain Employment Passes in Malaysia. Make sure to check the latest requirements and procedures for Employment Pass applications.

Where can expatriates immerse themselves in Malaysian culture in Kuala Lumpur?2023-09-13T09:09:56+08:00

To experience Malaysian culture, expats can visit:

  • National Art Gallery (Balai Seni Negara): Located along Jalan Tun Razak, it celebrates visual and performing arts, showcasing traditional and contemporary creative expressions.
  • National Museum (Muzium Negara): A repository of Malaysia’s history, offering insights into different eras, from prehistoric times to the present.
  • Masjid Negara (National Mosque): A remarkable place of worship with unique architecture, impressive minarets, and a roof resembling an open umbrella. Nearby is the Heroes’ Mausoleum.
What are some popular day and night time fun areas in Kuala Lumpur that expatriates should visit?2023-09-13T09:08:40+08:00

Expats in Kuala Lumpur can explore various exciting areas, including:

  • KLCC (Kuala Lumpur City Centre): Known for its iconic Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC offers shopping, family attractions like the Petronas Science Centre and Aquaria, and mesmerizing light and water fountain shows at night.
  • Bukit Bintang: A hotspot for shopping and diverse cuisine, it comes alive at night with lively resto-bars and vibrant entertainment.
  • Pasar Seni (Central Market): A cultural hub with souvenir shops, crafts, and artistry. Nearby, Chinatown and Masjid Jamek offer more experiences.
  • Dang Wangi: A quiet haven with charming cafes for brunch and a diverse range of bars for evening relaxation.

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