The currency: The currency of Malaysia is the Malaysian ringgit noted RM.
1 Malaysian ringgit is around 0.245 U.S dollars and 0.218 Euros.
1 ringgit = 100 sen
There are 1 ,5,10,20,50,100 bank-notes and 5, 10, 20, 50 coins.
Money exchange: You are not required to bring Malaysian Ringgit from your home country, as it’s better to exchange money in Kuala Lumpur. Except perhaps for small amount for the day of arrival to save some time. The exchange booths charge no fees and they are available everywhere. You can encounter money changers that offer better rates, but be careful from scam. It’s recommended to exchange money at the safest place.
Also, avoid exchanging money at hotels, they offer poor exchange rates.
ATMs and credit cards: ATMs are widely available in Kuala Lumpur. It’s an easy and safe way to get cash but check with your bank for the fees.
The majority of international credit cards are accepted in Malaysia: Visa, MasterCard, Alliance platinum … but small restaurants or shops may not accept payment with any card. Also do not expose your card and be careful from credit card scam and theft as it’s common in Kuala Lumpur.
Money saving tips:
- Try the local street food and local coffee shops. They offer delicious and very cheap food and beverages.
- The shops generally offer fixed price, but it’s always better to bargain with them especially in souks and traditional markets.
- Many restaurants charge tourists more than locals. Ask for the price before ordering.
- Don’t buy brand items from street vendors or souks. It’s common to sell fake name-brand items like jewels, sunglasses, bags and perfume.
When to go?
Kuala Lumpur is situated close to the equator. The weather is hot, rainy humid throughout the year. The average temperatures are between 26°C to 34° C.
The peak tourist season is the summer (June, July, August) as those are the driest months.
It’s your best time if you hate the rain and adore street festivals. However, you should keep in mind that hotel rates increase and the weather is hotter. So you should stay well hydrated and plan visits to air-conditioned places during the day like shopping malls and entertainment centers.
The rainfall is higher between October to April.
It’s your best time to visit, if you can’t bear the very hot weather but the rain can prevent you from doing some outdoor activities.
- The high humidity of Kuala Lumpur will make you sweat so don’t forget to bring breathable clothes.
- You can expect some rain falls any time so you better be equipped with an umbrella and rain gear.
- You should pack conservative clothes (scarfs for women) if you want to visit the mosques.
- The plug in Malaysia is the same in England. Don’t forget the plug adapter, if you need one.
- The skybridge (the Petronas Towers): If you are planning to visit the Skybridge. Go as early as possible. The tickets are limited and issued on a first come, first served basis. Selling the tickets start from 8:30 am. You can also purchase your tickets in advance from their official website.
- Batu Caves: Be careful from the monkeys there. They can steal your bottle of water or smartphone or they can even attack you.
- Hostels: If you are staying in a budget hotel or hostels, you are recommended to buy your toiletries from pharmacy or supermarkets.
- Tipping: Normally tipping isn’t necessary in Malaysia. It all depends on your generosity. Most restaurants and hotels impose a service charge of 10% that cover the tipping.
- Regulations: You should always carry your ID with you. To avoid problems with locals, do not show disrespect to any religious activity.
- Taxi is the easiest way of transport in Kuala Lumpur as the bus system is not well developed and the changing lines between light rail is confusing. But you should avoid taking it during rush hours.
- Taxi scams is common in Kuala Lumpur. Not all taxis are metered and drivers may charge tourists more. Always check the distance, ask a local about the approximate cost for you destination and negotiate price with the driver. It’s better to take a metered taxi or use an application like Uber.
- From the airport: The taxis costs around 80 -100 MR from to the city center. If you are with a group of people, it’s more economical to take a taxi then the express train.
- More details about taxis and public transport in Kuala Lumpur.
Time: UTC +8
- The banks open from 9:15 am to 4 :00 pm on weekdays and from 11 :00 am to 2 :00 pm on Saturdays .
- Pharmacies are open until late night and some are open 24h to treat emergencies.
- Most shops are open from 8am to 9 pm and some until later hours. Shops close on Sundays.
The voltage used in Malaysia is 230/240 volts , 50 Hz
Electrical sockets in Malaysia are the “Type G ” British BS-1363 type.
Internet is available in coffee shops, restaurants and shops (PappaRich ,Old Town White Coffee, Starbucks, McDonald’s..)
But be careful, as some of them offer free internet for limited time, then they add the fees to your bill.
You can also use smartphones applications to help you find hotspots.
The majority of hotels and hostels offer free Wifi for their guests but paid wifi for visitors. Their rates are higher than the internet shops, that charge 3 RM/hour.
Some public spaces especially in Kuala Lumpur, offer free access to internet for limited time.
Roaming service is generally too costly. You can buy prepaid cards. Celcom and other operators offer a traveler SIM with a package of special functionalities for only RM40.
If you want to buy a smartphone, ask if it works only for Southeast Asian SIM cards.