Living and working in Malaysia?

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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby fairhsa » 20 Mar 2012, 09:41

I lived in Malaysia for 2 years about 15 years ago and travel for business regularly now. At the time I HATED it with a passion, I would probably cope better these days.

The hot, humid all year round weather is awful, but if you are acclimatized then you might cope better. The food is great - agree with that. Agree with the other posters though, it really is BORING. Shopping malls and eating .... we really struggled for stuff to do (we like hiking for example, and the hiking in Malaysia is pretty poor except for in Sabah and it's far too hot).

In terms of conservatism, KL is fine. Some of the other provinces are not. The inter-racial stuff is not that bad to be honest. But the whole place and the people have a veneer which is hard to penetrate - they are friendly on the surface but hard to read underneath. I find that (being Australian and pretty blunt) to be depressing.

The infrastructure is much better now than it used to be, but it's still quite bad. You'd need a car, for example. Most stuff is built shiny and new but then never maintained well, so it decays and breaks down much more often than you would expect!
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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby Zla'od » 25 Jul 2012, 07:32

How can Malaysia be boring when this guy lives there?

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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby crimpster » 23 Jun 2013, 22:18

Aero7 wrote: AVOID public transport at all cost, they're incompetent and expensive.


I've been to KL before but never used the public transport system. Soon I am looking at taking a short term posting there, how does the public transport compare to say, Taipei?

If you had a car and were based somewhere around KL Sentral, are you guaranteed to be stuck in traffic when you want to go anywhere, or are there freeways that will let you get out of the downtown area without too much hassle?

Not much on the topic on KL forums!
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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby Xeno » 23 Jun 2013, 22:43

Traffic in KL is awful. Transit is also a mess. Compared to Taipei it's a nightmare.
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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby Mucha Man » 24 Jun 2013, 00:18

Traffic is not that bad unless there has been some really heavy rain and it's very civilized compared to Taipei. Don't bother with public transport in the downtown area as taxis are very cheap. KL's system is nothing like the easy efficient MRT. I've ridden the LRT and commuter rails and found them okay, but a bit seedy in feel.

KL has myriad overpasses and expressways so it's easy to get in and out. Depends where you are based but I wouldn't drive into the centre, just use taxis. Cars are great for getting around as there are lots of beautiful areas within an hour but no public buses.

My girlfriend has a place in the hills that's 15 minutes from downtown to her work by taxi. The city is not that big and like Taipei it is surrounded by mountains.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby crimpster » 24 Jun 2013, 11:05

Muzha Man wrote:Traffic is not that bad unless there has been some really heavy rain and it's very civilized compared to Taipei. Don't bother with public transport in the downtown area as taxis are very cheap. KL's system is nothing like the easy efficient MRT. I've ridden the LRT and commuter rails and found them okay, but a bit seedy in feel.

KL has myriad overpasses and expressways so it's easy to get in and out. Depends where you are based but I wouldn't drive into the centre, just use taxis. Cars are great for getting around as there are lots of beautiful areas within an hour but no public buses.

My girlfriend has a place in the hills that's 15 minutes from downtown to her work by taxi. The city is not that big and like Taipei it is surrounded by mountains.


Thanks for the tip. Any other broad comparisons you can make about KL with Taipei? I see many people say that KL is a boring city, boring as in not a bar on every corner? Mountains and beaches nearby then being in the tropics ticks alot of the boxes for me. :thumbsup:
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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby Indiana » 24 Jun 2013, 11:29

crimpster wrote: Any other broad comparisons you can make about KL with Taipei? I see many people say that KL is a boring city, boring as in not a bar on every corner? Mountains and beaches nearby then being in the tropics ticks alot of the boxes for me. :thumbsup:


I think that KL is fairly characterless, that's why I would call it a 'boring' city. It's also very expensive compared to cities in neighbouring countries. Having said that, it's a great starting point for some awesome travel, which is one awesome thing about it!
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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby Mucha Man » 24 Jun 2013, 12:22

Yeah, it characterless is many ways, though it's great how just behind modern highrises are still wide streets with little kampungs and neighborhoods of colonial buildings.

Travel: yes, Air Asia has incredible deals. Last fall we were looking at flying to Laos for NT$2000. Within Malaysia you can get deals for a few hundred.

The new cross island highway makes driving to the east coast islands much faster now. Lots of old roads for biking. Like I said, hiking around KL is excellent.

I like KL for daily living as it is so much easier to get all the food I like in one place (unlike Taipei where I have to go to several places and still can't get things). So many expats in KL now that even obscure items are easy to find. Lots of organic produce now too.

I also love the natural element of the city. At least on the outskirts where we are. Our place is backed by a nature reserve and we overlook forest and a bit of the city. Monkeys and a variety of tropical birds play in our garden (yes, we have a lawn and garden - take that Taipei). Sometimes when we walk down to the bakery-cafe at the bottom of the hill we see wild pigs. In general we can just hang out having coffee looking out on a really lovely and ever changing environment.

The air is way better, even with the haze from burnign in Indonesia at this time of year.

Taipei is a much more vibrant city though and I love how you can walk for hours across the city now (can't do that in KL as it is broken into sections). KL has more seedy areas, areas with lots of muggings (is anywhere in Taipei like that) and also much dirtier. Taipei has made enormous progress these past years but KL is still like Taipei 15 years ago.

I find Malaysia a lot like Taiwan 15 years ago. People are just beginning to find time for leisure (you see Malays on the hiking trails now, something you never did 10 years ago). There is growing concern for the environment. The opposition actually won the popular vote last election so change is in the air. Yes, parts of the country are still very conservative and Muslim but the cities tend to more liberal and also more Chinese and Indian.

Anyway, I plan to enjoy KL for the beauty and convenience of my daily life and travel to more interesting locales when I have time.
“Everywhere else in the world is also really old” said Prof. Liu, a renowned historian at Beijing University. “We always learn that China has 5000 years of cultural heritage, and that therefore we are very special. It appears that other places also have some of this heritage stuff. And are also old. Like, really old.”

http://hikingintaiwan.blogspot.com/
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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby crimpster » 24 Jun 2013, 14:43

Muzha Man wrote:Yeah, it characterless is many ways, though it's great how just behind modern highrises are still wide streets with little kampungs and neighborhoods of colonial buildings.

Travel: yes, Air Asia has incredible deals. Last fall we were looking at flying to Laos for NT$2000. Within Malaysia you can get deals for a few hundred.

The new cross island highway makes driving to the east coast islands much faster now. Lots of old roads for biking. Like I said, hiking around KL is excellent.

I like KL for daily living as it is so much easier to get all the food I like in one place (unlike Taipei where I have to go to several places and still can't get things). So many expats in KL now that even obscure items are easy to find. Lots of organic produce now too.

I also love the natural element of the city. At least on the outskirts where we are. Our place is backed by a nature reserve and we overlook forest and a bit of the city. Monkeys and a variety of tropical birds play in our garden (yes, we have a lawn and garden - take that Taipei). Sometimes when we walk down to the bakery-cafe at the bottom of the hill we see wild pigs. In general we can just hang out having coffee looking out on a really lovely and ever changing environment.

The air is way better, even with the haze from burnign in Indonesia at this time of year.

Taipei is a much more vibrant city though and I love how you can walk for hours across the city now (can't do that in KL as it is broken into sections). KL has more seedy areas, areas with lots of muggings (is anywhere in Taipei like that) and also much dirtier. Taipei has made enormous progress these past years but KL is still like Taipei 15 years ago.

I find Malaysia a lot like Taiwan 15 years ago. People are just beginning to find time for leisure (you see Malays on the hiking trails now, something you never did 10 years ago). There is growing concern for the environment. The opposition actually won the popular vote last election so change is in the air. Yes, parts of the country are still very conservative and Muslim but the cities tend to more liberal and also more Chinese and Indian.

Anyway, I plan to enjoy KL for the beauty and convenience of my daily life and travel to more interesting locales when I have time.



Wow, thanks for the detailed description. I'm looking at moving there for a job where I would be more or less 50/50 in Singapore and Malaysia. Still figuring out which is the best place to live having already spent a fair bit of time in SG and not much in KL. Sounds like KL is much cheaper and has everything one would need in an Asian city, so next step is to go there and check it out. MM are you there FT or just a regular visitor?
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Re: Living and working in Malaysia?

Postby Baas Babelaas » 24 Jun 2013, 18:27

Still haven't been. Plan to go there this September.

Lazy bastard I am.
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