Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

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Malaysia's Modern Marvel: Kuala Lumpur

Reviewed by Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen is the Live and Invest Overseas Founding Publisher. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience traveling, living, and buying property around the world.


The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is a bustling, modern metropolis with a population of more than 7 million. It’s also one of the world’s most affordable, exotic, and, at the same time, fully appointed and comfortable places to retire.

As the central hub for business, government, and commerce in Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is also an attractive area for investment.

In Kuala Lumpur modern, air-conditioned malls flourish, selling everything from beautifully handcrafted batik clothing to genuine Rolex watches and Tiffany jewelry. The shining stainless steel Petronas Towers, two of the tallest skyscrapers in the world, anchor a startlingly beautiful skyline that is unique to this city.

In the shadows of these ultra-modern buildings, the ancient Malay village of Kampung Baru thrives, with free-roaming roosters and a slow pace of life typical of the country’s most rural of villages.

Less than a 20-minute walk from the city center, you can find yourself conversing with monkeys in the city-jungle surrounding one of the highest telecommunications towers in the world.

A walk of less than 30 minutes leads you to Chinatown and Little India, where merchants offer their wares, foods, and culture in happy neighborhoods that showcase the amazing diversity of the city.

Unlike so many places in Asia, foreigners are genuinely welcomed in Kuala Lumpur.

Language isn’t a problem–almost everyone speaks adequate English. It is taught in the schools and is the primary spoken language for many Malaysians.

Life is different here than in the West. When you go to your neighborhood shop, take your time and converse with the owner, ask about his family as he asks you about yours. By your second or third visit, you’ll be recognized and waved to when you enter. You may even be invited to dinner, or at least to share a cup of deliciouskopior thetarik.

Cost Of Living In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, the heart of the Malaysian Peninsula, is a city of contrasts. It’s one of the world’s most exotic, and, at the same time, fully appointed and comfortable places to retire. Unsurprisingly the capital is the most expensive place in Malaysia to make a home, yet Kuala Lumpur still qualifies as one of the best places in the world to live well—what can qualify as a luxury lifestyle—on even a modest budget (of 5,402 Malaysian ringgit per month.)

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One of the highlights of life in Malaysia is the variety and quality of affordable cuisine. Eating street food in Malaysia makes for a cheap and delicious night out—even restaurant meals will seldom cost more than US$15.

With a host of low-cost airlines flying into KLIA airport Malaysia is an economical choice for expats with a passion for travel. Locally, the public transport system, which comprises trains and light rail, is a very efficient and inexpensive way to get around.

Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
RentRM 2,389
GasRM 35Used for cooking.
ElectricityRM 342Air conditioning used most days and at night.
WaterRM 35
TelephoneRM 86Prepaid cellphone, 60-minute overseas call per month plus local calls.
InternetRM 120Unlimited access.
Cable TVRM 136
GroceriesRM 987
EntertainmentRM 1,025
TotalRM 5,155

Click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.

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Get Your Free​ ​Overseas Information Report Today!
 

​Learn more about ​MALAYSIA​ ​​​and other countries in our free, daily Overseas Opportunity Letter​​​​​​​​​. Simply enter your email address below and we’ll send you our FREE REPORT – ​​The 10 Best Places To Retire In