- Purchase the complete Expat Arrivals Kuala Lumpur Guide (PDF)
Expats moving to Malaysia will no doubt want to learn more about their adoptive country. From health issues, pollution and safety to meeting other like-minded foreigners, below we've provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about expat life in Kuala Lumpur.
What are the biggest health concerns in Kuala Lumpur?
Malaysian weather is hot and humid, and perhaps the biggest health concern is keeping one's body properly hydrated. Tap water should either be boiled or purified before drinking.
Dengue fever is a risk in all parts of Malaysia. The mosquitoes transmitting dengue tend to bite during the day so it is important to take preventative measures.
What are the pollution levels like?
Air pollution levels are a concern in Kuala Lumpur. Forest fires, vehicle emissions and industrial pollution all deteriorate the city’s air quality. Many expats will notice the pollution on first arrival. Spending weekends outside of the city in areas such as the Cameron Highlands does help, and wearing a facemask is recommended on particularly smoggy days, especially for children.
How safe is Kuala Lumpur?
Violent crime involving expats in Malaysia is relatively uncommon. There are occasional instances of petty theft and pickpocketing and some expats have reported burglaries. But, this is not the norm and the levels of petty crime are more or less the same as in most large cities around the world.
It is best to always be aware and vigilant, as pickpocketing can occur. Female expats should be particularly watchful at all times, and it is generally advised that women don't get into a cab or lift alone late at night.
Is it easy to meet other foreigners in Kuala Lumpur?
Meeting other foreigners is not an issue in Kuala Lumpur, as there is a well-established expat community. A steady flow of international visitors means the city offers many opportunities to socialise. There are a number of expat organisations in Kuala Lumpur that arrange expat get-togethers. Families with kids will find that the local international schools are a useful way to meet fellow expat families.
►See Getting Around in Kuala Lumpur for info on transport in and around the city
Are you an expat living in Kuala Lumpur?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to Kuala Lumpur. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
Expat Health Insurance
If you’re thinking about taking out private health insurance, our trusted partner Cigna Global is very aware of all the difficulties that expats can face when it comes to healthcare in a new location, so they have created a range of international health insurance plans specifically designed for expats, which you can tailor exactly to the needs and ensure access to quality care for you and your family.
Sirelo has a network of more than 500 international removal companies that can move your furniture and possessions to your new home. By filling in a form, you’ll get up to 5 quotes from recommended movers. This service is free of charge and will help you select an international moving company that suits your needs and budget.