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World Travel Guide > Guides > Asia > Malaysia > Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur Weather

35°C

Local time Kuala Lumpur

Currency

RM

Getting around Kuala Lumpur

Public transport

Kuala Lumpur has an efficient and inexpensive public transport system of buses and trains, overseen by Rapid KL (tel: +60 3 7885 2585; www.myrapid.com.my). Integrated tickets and passes are available on all trains and buses that come under the scheme. MyRapid Card is a reloadable smartcard, which deducts the fare each time you travel. However, the interchanges between the various commuter train lines can be confusing, and it can take a while to get used to the system. Fortunately, English is almost universally spoken, so communication is never a problem.

Rapid KL operates two cross-city Light Railway Transit (LRT) lines. The Kelana Jaya Line runs between Kelana Jaya and Gombak via KL Sentral. The Ampang Line links Sentul Timur with Ampang on one branch and Sri Petaling on the other. For easy access to the main tourist spots in the centre, Rapid KL also operates the KL Monorail, which zips between Titiwangsa and a stop close to, but not inside, Kuala Lumpur's Sentral Station.

As well as Rapid KL services, KTM (tel: +60 3 2267 1200, in Malaysia only; www.ktmb.com.my) provides trains to the suburbs using long-distance railway lines. The two lines, Tanjung Malim-Sungai Gadut and Batu Caves-Pelabuhan Klang, intersect at KL Sentral.

Buses run by Rapid KL and Metro Bus (tel: +60 3 5635 3070) supplement the train network, connecting the various stations and running along most major streets. However, most visitors stick to the trains, as the routes and the complex system of bus classes and fares can be confusing.

Taxis

Taxi ranks are found in fixed locations throughout the city, and taxis can also be flagged down in the street, though drivers may only pull in if they can do so without losing their place in the traffic queue. Officially, fares should be on the meter. In practice, most drivers demand a fixed fare. Be prepared to haggle, and don’t be surprised if drivers flatly refuse to go to certain locations during rush hour. Public Cab (tel: +60 3 6259 2029) and Sunlight Taxi (tel: +60 3 9200 1166, in Malaysia only) offer pre-booked cabs.

Driving

Roads are generally of good standard, but the one-way system and the tangle of flyovers, underpasses and tunnels can be confusing. Traffic slows to a snail's pace during rush hour; travel by commuter train at this time if at all possible. The ubiquitous scooters are a constant hazard in the city, and not just to their own riders.

Car parks are mainly located at large hotels and city-centre shopping malls. Free public parking, on the other hand, is non-existent in the centre.

Car hire

There are plenty of international car hire companies, and vehicles are well maintained. Companies include Avis (tel: 1800 882 487; www.avis.com.my) and Hertz (tel: 0330 365 3001; www.hertz.com.my). Drivers must usually be at least 23 years old and have held a full driving licence for two years. It is advisable to hold an International Driving Permit.

Bicycle hire

With its perilous traffic and bewildering road system, Kuala Lumpur is not a town to negotiate by bicycle.

Featured Hotels

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Villa Samadhi

Set behind bamboo-clad gates in the leafy embassy district, this intimate hideaway is one of the city's finest boutique offerings. The 21 rooms and suites are wonderfully spacious and decorated in exotic artefacts collected from across Asia. Guests can enjoy private hot tubs and romantic balconies that overlook a tear-shaped pool surrounded by cabanas and tropical foliage. The restaurant serves all-day dishes and an indulgent breakfast come daybreak.

MiCasa All Suite Hotels

For a home-from-home experience, this design hotel has accommodation in the form of elegant, well priced one to three bedroom suites with kitchens. There's also a palm-shaded pool, a restaurant and a bar. The hotel is situated in the central business district, opposite the Petronas Towers and near the shopping centres of KLCC.

The Majestic

This lovely heritage hotel retains the refined air of its pre-war days, but recent restorations have added a modern 15-storey Tower Wing. The contrast between old and new plays out in the bedrooms, with those in the colonial quarter boasting wood panelling and claw tubs, while the new wing entices with four-poster beds and sleek glass fittings. The hotel's parlours, smoking lounge and orchid-filled conservatory add further allure.

Mandarin Oriental

Located in the cosy Back Bay, the Mandarin Oriental combines comfort and style to produce one of Boston's most luxurious and trendy hotels. Rooms resonate with classic oriental styles with a modern flare and boast beautiful views of the Back Bay cityscape. After a long day of touring and shopping, enjoy a soak in the oversized Jacuzzi baths or indulge in a massage at the Mandarin Oriental's five-star spa. Perfect for a business retreat or a relaxing holiday, the Mandarin Oriental will not disappoint.

Tune Hotel

Taking the budget airline concept and applying it to hotel rooms, the brightly-coloured Tune Hotel offers limited service at low cost. Its tidy and compact singles, doubles and twins are good value but add a surcharge for air-con, Internet access and other extras. The flagship hotel is located downtown, a short stroll from Medan Tuanku Monorail station, but a new sister establishment has opened in Jalan Putra.

Hotel Capitol

Regular promotions and online booking deals bring down prices at this towering business-type hotel set in the midst of the Golden Triangle. Rooms are neat and functional rather than opulent, but the staff are friendly and the location is excellent, with the Jalan Bukit Bintang shopping strip right on your doorstep. Guest have access to an upscale restaurant, a kitchen-bar and 24hr concierge service.