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Kuala Lumpur Questions

Kuala Lumpur Questions

Old Jul 8, 19, 4:51 pm
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Kuala Lumpur Questions

Hi, I'm going to KL for a conference in a few weeks and I had a few questions about the city:

1. I read that you are supposed to carry your passport at all times. Would there be any issue with leaving it in the hotel safe and carrying a photocopy or picture on my phone?

2. What is credit card acceptance like, I tend to avoid cash unless I have to.

3. If I need cash, is there a suggestion as to which ATMs don't charge fees (I have a Capital One 360 account so there will be no fee on that end).

4. Any suggestions for places to check out for food? I'll be traveling by myself and free most evenings. Staying in the JW Marrott near the convention center.

Thanks.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 4:54 pm
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  1. Been there a lot, never ever carried my P/P...
  2. It's fine. A few places will not take Amex (same as many other parts of the world).

Not enough recent travel there to help you with the others.
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Old Jul 8, 19, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by swiftaw View Post
Hi, I'm going to KL for a conference in a few weeks and I had a few questions about the city:
4. Any suggestions for places to check out for food? I'll be traveling by myself and free most evenings. Staying in the JW Marrott near the convention center.
Mostly foreigner places near the Marriott. I personally like the Bricklands area, but then I like Indian. Travelfish, my goto resource, says this. Recently I ate the Betel Leaf, a solid recommendation if you like authentic Indian approachable to foreigners. Still good, but less approachable is Vishal (Indian) or Yaal (Sri Lankan). These latter places are cash and friendly, but less used to foreigners. You can search YouTube for "Mark Wiens Kuala Lumpur" for some videos.

Close to you and a don't miss if it's not raining is the Heli Lounge, even if you don't drink alcohol. Spectacular 360 view.

You don't need to carry your passport. Watch it as a pedestrian crossing streets, even if the light's green. Take Grab (like Uber) if you don't want to deal with the monorail/LRT, but it's pretty painless.

Last edited by rjh; Jul 9, 19 at 9:27 am Reason: oops
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Old Jul 8, 19, 5:27 pm
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If you want local street food, Jalan Alor is good.

https://theculturetrip.com/asia/mala...-kuala-lumpur/
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Old Jul 8, 19, 10:52 pm
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Originally Posted by swiftaw View Post
Hi, I'm going to KL for a conference in a few weeks and I had a few questions about the city:

1. I read that you are supposed to carry your passport at all times. Would there be any issue with leaving it in the hotel safe and carrying a photocopy or picture on my phone?

2. What is credit card acceptance like, I tend to avoid cash unless I have to.

3. If I need cash, is there a suggestion as to which ATMs don't charge fees (I have a Capital One 360 account so there will be no fee on that end).

4. Any suggestions for places to check out for food? I'll be traveling by myself and free most evenings. Staying in the JW Marrott near the convention center.

Thanks.
1. Maybe supposed to but I doubt any tourist carry their passport in KL/Malaysia all the time. I never even carry one when I travel - losing a passport in a foreign country is a bigger nightmare than unable to provide an identity. Malaysians are supposed to carry their ID card with them at all times but I have never been stopped for an ID check.

2.Depends where you go. Most mom/pop/local shops (especially street stuff) don't accept credit cards unless it's a pretty big establishment or in a shopping centre. Some have minimum purchase while others don't.

3. Can't help you with that but if you bring your USD, you can change them at any money changer in town (avoid banks as they have a rather huge spread). ATMs are abundant (plenty of ATMs and banks around).

4.Depends on how adventurous you are Malaysia is famous for its street food. But if you want comfortable street food (i.e. in an air conditioned place), Lot 10 Hutong (basement of Lot 10 shopping complex, further down on the same road as the JW Marriott) and Malaysia Boleh food court at the Four Seasons Shoppes (next to the Petronas Twin Towers) provide pretty authentic local street food.

Chinatown has some good food as well. Plenty of speakeasy bars as well as nice coffeeshops around there and KL. If you want to try nasi lemak (coconut rice with spicy chili paste and fried chicken), Park Village in Damansara Uptown is famous (quite a schlep to get there and very long wait during lunch hour) but I've been told a small chain - Ali, Muthu, and Ah Hock does the same nasi lemak as well (a few around including one in Chinatown). Soong Kee Beef Noodles is great too (close to Chinatown).

If you like Indian, there are quite a few amazing Indian restaurants in Brickfields (near KL Sentral). The best banana leaf rice IMO, is Sri Nirwana Maju in Bangsar (expat area, close-ish to your hotel but avoid rush hours and take Grab there). If you visit on a Sunday late afternoon/early evening, you can even partake in the local night market close by

Originally Posted by salfcl View Post
If you want local street food, Jalan Alor is good.

https://theculturetrip.com/asia/mala...-kuala-lumpur/
A lot of restaurants in Jalan Alor are for tourists But having that said, WAW Restaurant (Wong Ah Wah) at the end of Jalan Alor, furthest away from Lot 10/Starhill area, has great local food
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Old Jul 10, 19, 10:09 pm
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As other said:
- No need to carry passport
- No problem paying with credit card at most malls, but some small shops inside might add 2-3% processing fee
- HSBC in the airport and in the city does not charge for cash withdrawals. Local CIMB does not charge as well
- With street food you will need cash, but not much. Average street food meal would not cost more than RM10, that $2.5. If if you take equivalent of USD $20, it would be more than enough to eat out for several days
- Use Grab for getting from place to place - download and install app and add your credit card, you won't need cash. DO NOT use local taxis.
- Fastest way to get to/from the KUL is via KLIA express, especially during traffic.
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Old Jul 11, 19, 12:02 pm
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Originally Posted by salfcl View Post
If you want local street food, Jalan Alor is good.

https://theculturetrip.com/asia/mala...-kuala-lumpur/
Disagree, but everyone has their opinion. I thought the food was average and the prices were sky high. It was interesting from a tourist point-of-view, meaning that you go there once to see it and experience it, and then that's it. I'm sure I would have had a better time if a local took me to the good spots.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 7:57 pm
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Jalan Alor is a generally mediocre place - IME there are far better spots for local food. Yes, you get the street atmosphere but that's about it.

If I were you, for reasons of convenience and quality I'd just walk across the street to either Grandmama's or the food court in the basement of the Pavillion.
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Old Jul 16, 19, 4:39 pm
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Just take a "Grab" over to Changkat Bukit Bintang ...everything in this part of KL is geared to the foreign tourist anyway...so you might as well join in. Very hard these days to find authentic Malaysian. A lot of the cooking is "fusion" because a lot of the cafes/restaurants/food courts hire imports from Thailand Cambodia etc because they can get 'em for cheap and locals don't care as long as their Nasi is cheap. I tend to stay away from this area just for this reason...but...there's the food court in basement of LOT10 and another in Sungi Wang upstairs which I frequent in a pinch.
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Old Jul 18, 19, 11:30 am
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Let me jump in and ask where would you send someone for local and/or street food? (apologies if thread is hijacked)

Cheers -

Originally Posted by CrazyInteg View Post
Disagree, but everyone has their opinion. I thought the food was average and the prices were sky high. It was interesting from a tourist point-of-view, meaning that you go there once to see it and experience it, and then that's it. I'm sure I would have had a better time if a local took me to the good spots.
Originally Posted by Too much travel View Post
Jalan Alor is a generally mediocre place - IME there are far better spots for local food. Yes, you get the street atmosphere but that's about it.

If I were you, for reasons of convenience and quality I'd just walk across the street to either Grandmama's or the food court in the basement of the Pavillion.
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Old Aug 12, 19, 4:07 pm
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Thanks for your responses everyone. I love Indian food, so you've given me some places to try.

I already planned on taking the KLIA Express.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 8:30 pm
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Originally Posted by swiftaw View Post
Thanks for your responses everyone. I love Indian food, so you've given me some places to try.
The Muslim Indian (mamak) places are what my wife and I love. Cheap too. From the JW Marriott, head towards Bukit Bintang. Cross Jalan Sultan Ismail, turn right. There's a place a few hundred metres down the hill (it'll be on the left side of the street) and down a flight of steps.

There's also a couple on the street parallel to Jalan Alor (street to the north).

On Jalan Alor there's a Chinese restaurant on the top end (closest to Bukit Bintang, top end) that has delicious BBQ pork jerky fried rice, and garlicky fried romaine lettuce. Hard to get Malay food there as others have noted, and majority of eateries seemed to be Thai.

KL has a plethora of middle eastern eateries (supposedly No. 1 Muslim tourist destination that's not Mecca) though I can't vouch for what's good.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 9:04 pm
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Originally Posted by swiftaw View Post
Thanks for your responses everyone. I love Indian food, so you've given me some places to try.
If you love Indian food, try Santa Chapati House (near Chinatown/Masjid Jamek area). It's a vegetarian chapati restaurant and there are plenty of other Indian options one street over on Leboh Ampang: e.g. Sangeetha, Saravana, Betel Leaf etc.

If you are staying in Bukit Bintang Area (Westin, JW Marriott etc.), there are plenty of local restaurants and stalls just away from the main street (Jalan Bukit Bintang and Jalan Sultan Ismail). You'll be amazed how local it'll get once you step one block away from the main streets. There are plenty of Chinese style hotpot (e.g. Haidilao) in that area, many of them behind Fahrenheit 88 and apparently a very good Pakistani biryani place about 5 minutes walk from Westin KL 9 (Briyani Asif, wanted to try that but it was closed due to a Muslim holiday).

Cafe Kathmandu (on Tengkat Tong Shin, one block away from Jalan Alor) serves excellent Nepalese dishes (their thali set is pretty authentic). Sarang Cookery (on Jalan Galloway) has a pretty extensive Nyonya menu. They have a cooking class as well but I only went there for the food.
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Old Aug 13, 19, 9:10 pm
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take the bus

Originally Posted by swiftaw View Post
Thanks for your responses everyone. I love Indian food, so you've given me some places to try.

I already planned on taking the KLIA Express.
On arrival earlier this year, I saw all the locals take the bus i.e. not the KLIA Express. As I recall, it costs less than half the cost of the Express and goes to the same spot!

Ever been to SIN? Think of KUL as a poor person's SIN. Indeed, on weekends the city is inundated with Singaporeans on shopping trips!
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Old Aug 14, 19, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
On arrival earlier this year, I saw all the locals take the bus i.e. not the KLIA Express. As I recall, it costs less than half the cost of the Express and goes to the same spot!
Absolutely. The bus is fast and comfortable. OK not so fast as the train, but it's just a quarter of the cost and (as you say) goes to the same place. If I can make an immediate departure and I'm pressed for time I'll use the train: otherwise (and that's most of the time) I'm more than happy to use the bus.


Originally Posted by Antonio8069 View Post
Ever been to SIN? Think of KUL as a poor person's SIN. Indeed, on weekends the city is inundated with Singaporeans on shopping trips!
You spoiled a good post with that !
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