Welcome to Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur / Malaysia / Travel

We’ve been in Kuala Lumpur for almost 3 weeks now and we love it! We never thought we’d say that about a big city because we don’t like concrete jungles, smog, and places where people are too busy to talk to you. But we’ve also never been in a city like Kuala Lumpur, and it has some really great things going for it. In fact, we could probably see ourselves settling here happily for quite some time.

Perhaps part of why we’re enjoying it here so much is because we decided to splurge on a nice apartment with views overlooking some greenery on one side, and the cityscape on another side, including the famous Petronas Towers. We’ve found that having nice views, large windows, and nature close by help us feel more relaxed, reflective, and elevated, so it’s worth the expense to us. We’re paying RM 6,900 (roughly $2,220 USD) for one month in this 2 bedroom, 1800 sq ft apartment, which includes furniture, all utilities and Internet, cleaning service twice a week, and amenities like a swimming pool, gym, and playground. It’s also just a 10 minute walk to the train station and the Mid Valley Megamall with hundreds of shops, restaurants, and activities to choose from. Of course, this would be much cheaper if we committed to a year lease, and maybe we’ll come back and do just that. Here’s the view from our master bedroom.

And the night view out our bathroom window.

Yeah, we’re enjoying it.

The only thing our apartment lacks is decent kitchenware. We have the basics: an oven, a microwave and a small refrigerator/freezer. But we only have four plates and four cups, no blender, and not much in the way of pots and pans, beaters and other utensils. So we still haven’t been doing much cooking. We’ve been buying a lot of fruit, though, and we try to at least eat breakfast at home because most places here don’t open until 10am anyway. Fortunately, we also found that we can order food in from a variety of restaurants via http://roomservice.com.my. It’s been great for those days when we don’t feel like going out, but don’t really want to cook either. Who needs a private chef?

Our first few days here were just spent looking for a place to live, and our first week here, the girls were involved in a fun technology day camp where they made computer animations, stop-motion video, and learned the basics of engineering with legos.

Kuala Lumpur doesn’t feel as hot as Penang. That’s probably because it’s much less humid, being further from the ocean. But it’s still hot when the sun is out. As for traffic, despite rumors we’d heard, we found the drivers to be quite courteous, at least compared to Costa Rica and Penang. But the roads themselves are often crowded with cars, and because of how they’re laid out, it can take a long time to go short distances. Fortunately, Kuala Lumpur has an excellent train system every bit as developed as the one in Japan (although not quite as expansive — it’s just for getting around the city). We haven’t tried the buses yet, but we hear they’re nice as well, and very cheap.

One of the major attractions here that surprised us has been the shopping malls. Wait, malls? Seriously? Yeah, we’ve never really enjoyed malls or shopping, and certainly wouldn’t think to go there just for “fun.” But these malls are different. First, they’re massive! Usually at least 5 stories high, and with hundreds of shops each, selling lots of unique items we’ve never seen before, restaurants with every type of food you can imagine, and even activities like ice skating, laser tag, bowling, and movie theaters. One of the more spectacular malls, Sunway Pyramid, follows an Egyptian theme with a giant pyramid and sphinx out front, and even has a ferris wheel inside!

Maybe we wouldn’t think the malls were so cool if we hadn’t arrived during the celebration of Chinese New Year, when the malls are decked to the hilt with red lanterns and golden dragons, and when there are regular free performances of Chinese acrobats, cultural dances, and musical artists to liven up the air. On the night of Chinese New Year, we also got treated to the most spectacular fireworks displays I’ve ever seen, and at eye level from our apartment window. It’s an amazing time to be here in Kuala Lumpur.

Unfortunately, the prices on everything are much higher than Penang, but I guess that’s what you get in a bigger city. Still, it’s very reasonable and probably cheaper than most other major cities in the world, especially the food prices.

Next post I’ll be writing about some of our outings around KL. Until then, enjoy the pictures and video below. This video includes some cool acrobatics and dance performances, fireworks, and lots of baby Aysia footage, as requested. :)

Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in each moment.


  1. Jennifer Pearce Says: January 25, 2012 at 5:46 am

    I love the Aysia footage. :) Okay, so those Chinese performances were pretty cool too. Now we just have to get Aysia’s fish face on tape. The fireworks were amazing. So glad we could be here for that. Such a fun city!

  2. Those Chinese dancers/acrobats did not look human. I cannot believe that the human body can bend like that! It’s incredible! And those decorations are all very beautiful.

    Aysia May! I miss her so much! I am so glad you posted video footage of her. She is so happy and beautiful. What a sweet little girl :)

    Great video and pictures!

  3. Oh, thank you thank you! I love this description of your life in Kuala Lumpur, and especially the video. I felt myself getting emotional launching those Chinese dancers and acrobats. Just such a beautiful form of artistic expression and amazing use of the human body.

    I really want to be there with you next Chinese new year! What a great view of fireworks and the rest of the city. Such a vibrant, colorful, energizing place. But what does not as hot as Penang mean? :-)

    Baby Aysia footage was fabulous – as well as Marie’s and takes to entertain her. Brandon, Aysia still looks so much like you did as a baby and it’s so fun to be able to see her grow up, even from a distance. Hopefully will be together again soon, though.

    The malls are amazing. I’m not a mall person myself – in fact the time I went to Mall of America in Minneapolis I wanted to shoot myself. But these look pretty amazing and interesting. It will be interesting to see if they still hold the appeal for you once Chinese new year is over… If they still offer cultural performances, etc. I assume there are other holidays they can decorate for.

    Now we just need Emily and Marie to update their blogs with some fun video of them :-)

  4. the acrobats were amazing. I think I broke a hip just watching. What a beautiful city. I really like sharing your adventures so I don’t have to fly. Life is good, Cheers!

  5. What a great adventure! It is so fun that you have that great view right in time for the fireworks. I would have enjoyed seeing that.

    The acrobats were really quite amazing! Just thinking of bending over like that make my back hurt. :)

    Do you ever feeling intimidated, heading out into the big city when it’s so new and you don’t know your way around? Or do you map it all out each day so you know just where you are going?

    I loved Aysia’s dancing. She’s such a sweetie.

    • I used to spend a lot of time planning and I still map things out if there’s somewhere we want to go, but now we’re also comfortable just venturing out and figure things out as we go and asking directions when we get lost. It makes for fun adventures and sometimes we’ll even stumble onto things that aren’t on any travel map.

  6. Wow, such an interesting city. I’m struck by how colorful everything is, and the view of the city from your window is beautiful! Both daytime and nighttime. I think I would have “splurged” for it as well!

    Your talk of the malls reminds me of the West Edmonton mall near where my sister lives in Edmonton. It to is a “destination” type mall with ice rinks and roller coasters and aquariums – even a submarine ride as I recall. Those types of malls are for way more than shopping.

  7. Hi Brandon,
    checked out your adventures and i really enjoyed them. Great to know that you love Malaysia. It is an awesome harmonious country.

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