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LivKL Oct 24th 2011 10:56 am

Planning a move to KL - top tips?
Hi! I've just joined this forum and am only just finding my way round it so forgive me if this question is already being answered elsewhere...

My husband and I are moving to KL in February, so we're right at the start of planning our move (looking on the web at areas of KL that could be good, thinking about shipping and renting out our flat back in London etc). He'll be working in Sentral, so we're thinking maybe northern part of Bangsar might be a good bet (?) and as yet I have no idea how I'll be filling my time... and that's about all we know!

I would love your advice re what we'd do well to think about/organise early on, and any helpful tips on what activities I could look into for while I'm in KL and not employed...

Thanks :D

bakedbean Oct 24th 2011 11:04 am

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?
Hi, just to say welcome to BE :) So many folks moving to KL these days. As you can see, I'm quite a bit further north, so cannot help you too much with your questions. Some KL folks will be along soon I've no doubt.

In the meantime, take a look through the different threads. There's quite a lot of info on KL living.

Happy planning :thumbsup:

joamelie Oct 25th 2011 2:17 am

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?
Hi LivKl,
We moved out about a year ago and have been thoroughly enjoying it. If your husbands working near Sentral then Bangsar and Bangsar south would be good areas, also Taman Seputeh. Damansara is also popular with expats (along with many other areas) but a bit further away.
We used Palshipping to bring stuff out to KL. They were very well priced and everything arrived in good time and in good condition. I must say I was very worried during the process as we had moved from the address we had originally given them, but it was all fine.
People don't seem to have to much trouble keeping busy out here, there are plenty of community groups you can join to meet people. Don't know if you have kids, but schools are also very good at helping people settle in.
Good luck with the organising. Feel free to drop me an email with any questions.

Cpt_Jack Oct 25th 2011 2:03 pm

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?
Well, I hope you enjoy your new life in KL, I think we all do :-D

Anyway things to organize early:

- transport; unless you're happy like me to use public transport then you'll need a car. If he's working in Sentral then he'll be near the public transport and KL Sentral station (if you want let me know the details, the public transport network here is engraved into my mind). That said in all probability you'll want to get a car anyway as using public transport can be a pain if you use it for everything.

- internet and phone; it can be a pain not being able to contact anyone without trekking to the nearest wifi spot. Both the big providers, Maxis and Celcom do phone packages that will sign you up on the spot, so do DiGi and Yes. Get yourself either a Maxis or Celcom SIM card and a 3G dongle for internet. SIM should be about 10RM and the dongle will need a 100RM deposit then it's about 40RM a month.

Later on, you'll settle with a different provider based on needs so don't fuss over it now. I personally use Celcom's Xpax as it gives me a good rate on favorite numbers and also have a Celcom 3G dongle for my internet. However, I got through 4 different numbers during my time here already and you'll probably switch a few times as well. Trouble is that calling/SMSing between networks tends to be more expensive so most people have at least two phones anyway. And once you move into more permanent accommodation you'll probably pay for a fixed line anyway.

- find your local clinic; chances are you'll be asked to go for a health check as part of the visa process anyway. It's important you know where the nearest clinic is in case something goes wrong and have a file with them etc. I wouldn't bother with the public hospitals; yes they are free or charge a few RM but they are meant for poorer parts of the population so you'll have to wait a long time. Plus since you can afford the 60RM a private clinic will charge then you probably should be clogging up the government's limited resources :-D

- stuff to do; KL does have it all really. Just depends what you like doing really... your first few weeks/months should be just exploring with a knowledgeable expat or local.

- finally, get used to the food; it's all very very nice trust us :-D However, at least get to know the names of some dishes you like so you can order them at other places.:)

Hope that helps a little, anything more, just ask


bakedbean Oct 25th 2011 3:11 pm

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?
Good info Jack tho' have to say that I've had same mobile number for 2+ years since before we moved. Don't know if Internet is same in KL as Penang but we got advice to check with others in condo you are living in to see who's got best coverage.... And if you're high up, some dongles won't work eg Digi so ask around. Just my 2 ringgits worth

LivKL Oct 25th 2011 4:22 pm

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?
Hi Jo, Jack and bakedbean, thanks for the info!

No kids in tow which makes life much simpler re organising things... and glad to hear it isn't just mums who have access to a sense of community as one rather dour person in London warned me would happen! Will check out Palshipping...

So... Taman = Park, Bitang = Hill... and Baru = New...?! Is that right?! I'm creating myself a quickref dictionary of words! :lol:

Jack - thanks for the v practical help (interesting re the 2 phones - so different from UK!) I think my other half's work gives us a list of clinics they'll contribute to if and when we need to visit, and I agree with the health service point. Re a car... sounds like your voice re not getting one is in the minority! I'm really hoping we won't need to, partly re cost and also partly because if the traffic in KL is so bad surely we'd just be contributing to it...? Perhaps we can try life without a car and see if we can make it work by making sure we live close to public transport etc...

Food... mmm yes we're big foodies and actually the prospect of Malaysian food was one of the deciding factors re moving! We spent a couple of weeks holidaying in Malaysia a few years back and adored the food (Georgetown left me reeling - it is so beautiful!). Only got 2 days in KL though so the memory is effectively useless for practical purposes now!

bakedbean Oct 26th 2011 5:25 am

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?
FWIW, have friends living in Petaling Jaya. They both drive but said recently that they've taken to getting the train into the centre of town now as it's so much easier. We stayed with them for a couple of days last month and every time we went out with them in their car, we were sitting in traffic for ages... even in the evening :rolleyes:

Cpt_Jack Oct 26th 2011 6:13 am

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?

Originally Posted by bakedbean (Post 9695960)
FWIW, have friends living in Petaling Jaya. They both drive but said recently that they've taken to getting the train into the centre of town now as it's so much easier. We stayed with them for a couple of days last month and every time we went out with them in their car, we were sitting in traffic for ages... even in the evening :rolleyes:

Yep, that's the same as me. There is a Park and Ride at the LRT station here anyway, lots of people use that. As I said, the 10RM parking plus hours in traffic is just not worth it when you have the train. Every morning I get get to see the traffic crawling pass my window from about 8AM onwards. As you said, even late in the evening it can be terrible.

The buses though are... well... let's just say the timetables are little more than recommendations as to when a bus might just possibly maybe probably not turn up. In fact, echoing Douglas Adams, the time printed on the timetable is the only possible time that a bus won't be there. Oh and if you want a joyride take a Metrobus. The drivers all look about 16 and love to race traffic in their 30 year old clankers with rap music blaring.


Cpt_Jack Oct 26th 2011 6:14 am

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?
For some reasons this all got mixed up, so sorry for the double post.

Glad I could help.

Yes, phones... if you're in Klang Valley or any of the other populated areas, Celcom says it will have coverage and I've found that they tend to work very well pretty much everywhere (even underground on the train). Maxis I've always had problems with but then you'll run into someone who says the same about Celcom...

I say grab the cheapest SIM and dongle you see to start you off so you can keep contact. You can always return them to get the deposit back if it doesn't suit or you get a better deal. I'll also add that Yes is very expensive for heavy users as it's a pay as you go rather than unlimited but quota like the others (Celcom/Maxis/DiG cut your bandwith down once you go over a limit but don't block you, Yes just charge you per usage) but with the 'advantage' of being faster and with more buttons. Not worth it in my opinion.

The two phones thing is more for cheapskates like me who like to save a few sen per SMS over different networks. Each carrier has it's own prefixes, Ceclom is "013" and "019", Maxis "012" and "017" etc and to SMS from a 013 to 013 will cost you about 3-6 cen less than 013 to a 012. Trust me, you'll see the look on locals faces when they find you have a different carrier to them and the complaints that 'sms to you is expensive la'! So yes, not vital but count the pennies ;-) I do question the logic of those who buy two, three or even four phones (I've seen it) to be 'on' all networks to make 'savings' but whatever keeps 'em happy.

For cars, I think that your idea is best. I certainly found that I can survive without a car and frankly to get into KL on the train is cheaper and more convenient for me when you factor in parking and traffic. For me, it costs 2ish RM each way to get into KL, parking alone will be 10RM minimum. See how you manage it, personally its never been an issue but I'm like that. Most people don't like using the public transport which is one of the reasons the roads are so bad. You'll also quickly learn the peak times to avoid. Oh, and enjoy the public holidays like today, I could walk across the LPD Highway this morning it was that empty!

And for your reference, some common area names for your list:

Kampung = village (e.g. Kampug Baru = New Village)
Masjid = Mosque (e.g. Masjid Negara = National Mosque)
Jalan = Road (e.g. Jelan Kerak = Kerak Road)
Lebua = Street (e.g. Lebuh Campbell = Campbell Street)

You'll find that, as with most places, towns are named after things they were built on. Kula Lumpa means 'muddy confluence', you can see the actual 'Kula Lumpa' at Masjid Jamak which is built in between the very muddy rivers.

The names of places can be complex. The general 'ethnicity' of areas will also be something you pick up fast. 'Malay areas' and especially 'Malay' villages tend to be named after Islamic items/concepts/people or Malay words. 'Chinese' tend to keep the old 'colonial' names to their things or have a strange obscure Chinese name that only Chinese people know. 'Indian' will, of course, have Tamil names. However, these 'names' tend to only be used by people of that certain ethnic group so it can get confusing. Luckily, most places do have one common name that everyone calls it but you'll be caught out occasionally. You just learn it eventually.

Also, the prefix 'SS' is used to denote section/street numbers (e.g. SS9/24) which often appear alongside the given name for streets. It can be quite alarming at first, especially for history students ;-)

All the best, will raise you a teh tarik once you get over ;-D


ajw Oct 31st 2011 11:00 am

Re: Planning a move to KL - top tips?
I am one of those who could not survive without my car here :-)

It will also make a huge difference as to choices of where to live. Ie. You wont need to be within five mins walk of a train station or close to a main road in order to pick up a taxi each time you need to go out.

On a purely practical level, how would you get your shopping home without one? Do you really want to shlep on buses and taxis? *shudder* ;-)

There are some nice condos in the Sentral area. Look at Suasana Loft. There is a lot on construction going on in that area though, so dont expect much in the way of peace.

I live in Bangsar (5 mins from Sentral) and love it!

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