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Replete with bustling shopping malls, incredible restaurants and a world-class airport, Kuala Lumpur is quickly climbing the ranks as one of Southeast Asia's most popular expat destinations. Yet for all its modernity and high-tech reputation, expats moving to 'KL' will experience a city that keeps in touch with its traditional roots. This delicate balance can be seen everywhere, especially in the city's architecture, with its masterfully crafted mosques that sit beside majestic, towering skyscrapers.
The cost of living in Kuala Lumpur is more expensive than most other Malaysian cities, but given all the modern conveniences that the city offers, the added cost is understandable. Also, when compared to other Asian cities such as neighbouring Singapore or Jakarta, and particularly Hong Kong, KL is in fact rather cheap.
The city has a well-developed transit system with buses and trains connecting all areas. When on the road, traffic can be a problem, especially during peak hours, and most expats find that public transport is the most viable option. Expats moving with children are sure to be impressed with the number and quality of international schools in KL, not to mention the many fun family activities on offer.
As a worldwide shopping capital, KL offers a lifestyle second to none, enhanced by the wonderful Malaysian cuisine the city is home to. Should expats need a break from the hustle and bustle of the city, there are a number of perfect weekend getaways surrounding KL. The Cameron Highlands and the seaside town of Malaka are popular holiday destinations, while Singapore, Bangkok and Bali are both quick and cheap flights away.
Kuala Lumpur is making its mark on the international business map, and is a great destination for expats wanting a dose of adventure mixed with modern conveniences and a fantastic lifestyle.
►Read about the Pros and Cons of Moving to Kuala Lumpur
"Kuala Lumpur is a city of great diversity and opportunity, offering all the trappings of modern life combined with a fascinating culture and history. It is also a great hub for travel within Southeast Asia." Irish expat Johanna shares her experiences of living in Kuala Lumpur.
"I love the energy. I love the skyline, with its jungle-clad hills in the distance that engulf the city. I love the slight unpredictability of daily life." Read more of Virginia's experiences of expat life in Kuala Lumpur.
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.
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