At the time we reached Kuala Lumpur we had been teaching and traveling for a little over six months now. We had been moving every week or so and we were burnt out. So we are happy to have our first long stay in Kuala Lumpur. USA Visa holders can travel Malaysia visa free for 3 months. For the 3 months we will have a month long stay in Kuala Lumpur, Penang( Where we presently are) and Kota Kinabalu.
Most times Airbnb will give you huge discounts when you book a month stay. Most of the places we have booked for Malaysia were only 240-400$USD for the whole month. Most places we booked for just a week were 200+$USD so you can see that by staying a month you are saving a great deal. Make sure in Malaysia when searching for accommodations even on Airbnb you are using apartments to avoid paying the 10RM tourist tax a day. That can add up to 70$USD for a month, if you book with a hotel. May not seem like a lot but in Kuala Lumpur 10Rm is about one meal,and in Penang its two meals. So it does add up.
So we leave Canggu Bali and we are ready to leave. To move onto a country that is less on the toursit circle. A lot of the Instagram accounts and bloggers I follow go all to the same places. So I am happy to be going somewhere less people are blogging about. I say less because still so many people travel to Malaysia.
Our AirAsia flight leaves Denpasar airport at 7am, because we travel on our back to back days off which is Thursday we often have to stay up all night for early flights due to working late the night before. Our typical work schedule is Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday 6-9:21pm. Saturday’s 8:56 am-9:21 pm with breaks. You can not make it traveling and teaching without working at least 17.5 hours per week. We tried with less and often had to get help from family. The 17.5 hours a week per person if you are fully booked will insure you will be able to have funds to do and see everything you want along with allowing for a little savings.
We arrive at Denpasar around 5:00 am. Check our bags, board our flight and arrive in Kuala Lumpur around 10:00 am. The cost with luggage and picking our seats was 175$USD. After arriving we pass the Digi Store. Ray buys a 10GB sim card for about 13$USD. You also get 3GB up to 90 GB for the whole month free a day from the hours of 1-7pm. Which is quite confusing the way they make it seem. After that we head over to convert some extra money we had.
Again it is always best you take your money out at the ATM to get a better rate.Use Chime bank and avoid all fees. I am only charged 2.50 per transaction nothing else. Chase charges exchange fee and atm fees. A single atm transaction with chase can cost you 20$USD its insane. So we only use the chase when family sends us money as it is the easiest with Chase Quickpay.
Our Airbnb driver picks us up for about 25$USD and we make the 45 min commute to the area of Bukit OUG.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Bukit OUG Condominiums: http://bit.ly/2VMkAWb
About The Accommodation:
- Set in a local neighborhood. Very close to the train you can be at Berjaya Times Square Mall, The bar area of Changkat Bukit Bintang, food area of Jalan Alor and Chinatown in an hour. Your stop is Awan Besar. The train runs 6:00am-11:00pm daily.
We had to commute a lot as our stop for the coworking was Surian. It cost 5.10 RM one way per person. We loaded up 50RM a week per person on the MyRapid Touch and Go card. For one month it was about 53$USD per person.Having the card allows for some savings. You must always have 5.00 USD on the card at all times. After watching the commercials on the train we saw that there was another pass monthly unlimited for 100 or 50 RM wish we would have been offered this to save money. More information about that can be found here: http://bit.ly/2IlHhxA
- The compound has many local food,markets,play area for children and pool.( Ladies must wear one piece swimsuits in pool however)
- The apartment has a patio, asian type bathroom, kitchen,washer, huge living room and three bedrooms. We had two roomates when we first arrived. One left and another one came. Most of our stay we only had us and one other person. Some of the things like the huge TV in living room did not work. One of the cooking burners worked then stopped but overall it was a great place to stay.
- The host goes above and beyond to help you in any way possible. They do have a very kind women that comes to clean once a week.
- The wifi was very strong and stable, but did go out a few times a day. A quick reset would fix the issue however for online teaching it would cause a slight problem. We opted to use the coworking space and save our blogging and instagramming for the apartment.
- The cost was about 8.00$USD per night. No tourist tax because using an apartment not hotel. So this was just perfect for us.
SPEWCO: 48-2, Jalan PJU 5/10, Kota Damansara, 47810 Petaling Jaya, Selangor http://bit.ly/2KChPpn
- Set in the cool area Kota Damansara with tons of food stalls around. So many succulent food options all very affordable. Uncle Don’s close by serving 10RM Tiger beers. Surian is the train stop and is about an hour and 15 mins away from the accommodation.
- They have unlimited instant coffee, water and snacks. Offices, two meeting rooms and a play area.
- We got an private room which we shared with another girl. We were told she would never be there but she was. We told the owner before we needed skyperooms and could not teach in the same area and he insured us no one would be around at those times, but they were.
He let one of us use the meeting room without paying extra and I taught in the office or other meeting room when no one was around. This place felt more like a 9-5 office rather than co-working. In 28 days only the front desk lady(Who is so kind and cool to talk with) and another woman spoke to us. The owner came on weekends and I could feel him always peaking in to see what we were doing. He also never spoke to us. The whole place had a super weird vibe.
Not to mention every Saturday they had very loud events going on. These took place in the hot desk area and larger meeting room. No notice to us when we told him in advance our work schedule and made our needs clear. He insured no one would be there or nights and weekends and in fact many people were. It was just a really stressful and uncomfortable place to teach. Not at all a co-working or a place for an online teacher.
- The wifi here however was very strong and provided us ease with teaching. Just wish the people were more friendly and there was a lot more communication.
- The cost was 100$USD per person with the 10RM refundable key deposit.
We had a really bad vibe from the place not having proper skyperooms and not telling us upfront about the events. I was very clear in needing private separate places with no others around. There are many other co-workings in the area like WeWork which if I go to KL again I would use rather than coming back here.
What To Do In Kuala, Lumpur:
- Food stalls is the number one thing to do in KL: Visit them around Chinatown, Kota Damansara, Jalan Alor,Brickfields “Little India”,take the red line to Bukit Jalil and walk to 70,Jalan Radin Anum 1. There is an abundance of food stalls and none ever were bad. They are all affordable around 6-10RM or 1.40-2.40$USD per dish.
- Food to try: Penang Pork Noodle, Pan Mee,Claypot Yee Mee, Claypot Chicken and Rice,Cake Time(Cake food stall),Wood grilled Chicken Wing, Satay, Korean BBQ at Daorae(about 60 USD for two big beers, bottle of Soju, 3 meats,rice,tea and all the sides) Roti Canai,Ice cream rolls at the Frutti Ice Cream stall.Oyster Pancake. Outside of your accommodation on your way to the Rapid Rail across from the security gate is a man who serves delicious dumplings.Pork and fish Porridge.
- Chinatown/Chinese food: Mu Sang King Durian, Meat Floss burger,Herbal tea, Porridge from Hon Kee go in the early morning it has been around since 1949. Restoran Soong Kee- Beef ball Mee.Claypot Loo Shi Fun. IPOH Hor Fun.
- Eat with your hands:Restoran Sri Visalatchis you can eat traditional Chettinad cuisine with your hands. Hameediyah Restaurant for Malaysian food.
- Three Little Birds: Great coffee and western style sandwiches.Union Speciality Coffee: Great cold brew and pastry case. If you are celebrating any kind of milestone get a cake from In The Clouds Cakes. Custom cakes for about 35$USD for an 8 inch.
- Brickfields” Little India” for Indian food. We went for Northern Indian food at Mogul Mahal. Little expensive but was extremely tasty. Next door dance the night away to Indian and Western live music.
- KL is speak easy central some we liked were: PS150,Suzie Wong(Go for happy hour BOGO cocktails),Jungle Bird(Thursday’s ladies can choose from two cocktails for only 2RM!) and Skullduggery( Which we did not get to go into due to there being a private event) This is just the ones we found there are so many more in KL. You just have to search for them.
Other Bars: Happy hour on Changkat Bukit Bintang is unreal! All over the city you will find great happy hour deals especially for the ladies like 10 rm cocktails, reduced cocktail prices of BOGO cocktails. Normally most cocktails will set you back anywhere from 30-60 Rm or 7-14$USD( don’t forget to add tax and service) Bottoms Up,WhyNot,Metro for frozy tiger mugs only 9rm during happy hour, Heil Long Bar offers 360 views of the city along with cocktails during happy hour only 30 RM.Nice beers and Cricket at The Sticky Wicket Cricketer Pub. Your closest bar to your accommodation is Santiago’s Sports Pub.
Now that we have your food and drinks covered what else can you do in KL:
- Berjaya Times Square Mall – This mall is huge and we spent tons of time there. Nice food court with affordable local food, western chain fast food snacks. Also a theme park which does have upside down roller coasters that are rather fun, bowling(Alcohol free)Escape room,Huge variety game show hub and so much more it is a real fun mall.
- Jalan Petaling Street: Here is Chinatown. You can find plenty mouth-watering local dishes. You can also find clothing, bags and other sorts of things, but they are very pushy sellers so keep that in mind.
- Brickfields”Little India” : Here you can try an abundance of Indian food, hear Bollywood songs blaring down the streets and feel like you are in India. With all the sounds,colors,smells and food.
- Other sites: Old KL train station, National Mosque, Petronas Twin Towers, Masjid Jamek Mosque, Sri Mahamariamman Temple , Sin Sze Yi Ya Chinese Temple, Merdeka Square: Colonial Buildings. Masjid India Mosque, Batu Caves, Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve( Beautiful forest in the middle of the city but beware it is full of mosquitos) and KL Towers.
Take A Bus Trip To Malacca:
Go down to the bus station in KL and you can get a bus ticket to Malacca for about 10RM per person. You can also use 12go and get your ticket. The ride is easy and quite beautiful. They even may play a great bollywood movie for you. Malacca is a great city,you will see many tourists however most our other Malay’s. There was so much to do in Malacca one weekend was not enough but here it goes.
- Malacca River walk,Sri Poyatha Moorthi Hindu Temple, Masjid Kampung Kling Mosque, Cheng Hoon Teng Chinese Temple, Kampung Hulu Mosque and St. Peter’s Catholic Church.
- Bars: Sin Hiap Hin- Oldest bar over 100 years old. Try tons of local herbal liqueur a full shot will cost 14RM or 3$USD. A speakeasy called The Old Merchant fabulous cocktails drinks will set you back about 30-35 RM plus 10% tax or 7-8$USD. There are many interesting bars along the riverwalk offering great happy hour deals.
- Food stalls are the only way to eat some we enjoyed were: Jonker Street Hawker Centre Chinatown: Fried Oysters,Fish ball Soup, Medan Selera Newtown: Porridge cart,Chee Chong Fun, Taiwan Sausage.
- Other food places: Kilang Biskut Tian Hup Seng Biscuit Company,Ah Mah Fish Cake,Pineapple Cake,Melipoly Melaka,Jonker 88
Overall KL and Malacca is very cheap! Most food is 1-2.50$USD. Cocktails 7-14$USD and Western food about the same price as cocktails. I would say you get easily get away with 35-40$USD a day for two people.
I love KL and Malacca. I made so many friends in KL and one even invited us over to cook traditional Indian food for my birthday. The people were so nice despite the co-working situation. There was ample amounts to see and do. So much history and culture is still left unseen by me. A month you would think is enough but with working and commuting we still lacked seeing a lot of what we wanted to see. The hidden gems of street food in the neighborhoods outside of the city were so affordable and all so tasty.
Make sure the next time you head to KL to take the train outside of the center get off at a random stop and explore. You will find many cute cafes ample amounts of mouth-watering street food and the kindest people.
Go beyond and look for the speakeasies behind hidden doors offering well made cocktails that you will be craving after only drinking beers for 6months. KL really has everything you need and more.
The wifi works great and it is cheap on the budget. The Rapid rail and communter rail gives you access to most of the city. When that is closed grab is extremely cheap and affortable. I can for sure see myself in KL again.
We now are back at the bus station to board our bus to Penang(on my actual birthday), but not without complications first. Our chromebook that ray teaches is no longer compatible with the dada web browser. For some reason it just would not work and we do not know why. Having to now buy a new computer and delaying our bus to a later time. Not only do we have to run around on a small budget because we only get paid once a month to find a new computer it is my birthday.
We find a new computer and get ready to board the 5:30pm bus. Only to find out that the station stores do not serve beer and none do the whole way to Penang. Reaching Penang around midnight to our new home for the next month we set out to bar street to celebrate my birthday a day late. Hey that’s life nothing is going to be perfect. Now I sit at an amazing co-working in Penang writing you all about KL.
I am so fortunate to be here in this moment and I hope to can go on forever. Your Guide To teaching in Penang will post Wednesday. All about our Co-Working space Scoopoint will post Friday. Moving forward blogs will post every Wednesday and Friday at 11:00 am BJT. There will be your normal guides to teaching at the end of the month. Along with blogs about what we’ve been up to and such. Thanks again everyone for your support.