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Kuala Lumpur is the largest city in Malaysia and a major business and travel hub for Southeast Asia. Complete with bustling shopping malls, incredible restaurants and a world-class airport, it has made its mark as an exciting city in which to live. Yet for all its modernity and high-tech reputation, expats moving to Kuala Lumpur will experience a city that keeps in touch with its traditional roots.
Kuala Lumpur literally means 'muddy estuary', a name derived from its history as a tin mining town in the 1800s. It has certainly developed from those early days and today has a highly efficient subway system, world-class highways, beautiful architecture and some of the tallest skyscrapers in the world.
The cost of living in Kuala Lumpur is more expensive than most other places to live in Malaysia, but when confronted with all the modern conveniences that the city offers, the added cost is understandable. It is, however, one of the cheaper Asian cities in which to live, especially when compared with neighbouring Singapore or Jakarta, and particularly Hong Kong, which is only a short flight away.
The city has a developed transit system with buses and trains connecting all areas. Traffic can be a problem, especially during peak hours, and most expats will find that public transport is the most viable option. A popular shopping destination, Kuala Lumpur has developed large shopping centres and boutiques. Expats moving with children are sure to be impressed with the number and quality of international schools in Kuala Lumpur.
There are a number of perfect weekend getaways surrounding Kuala Lumpur. The Cameron Highlands and the seaside town of Malaka are popular holiday destinations, while Singapore, Bangkok and Bali are merely a quick and cheap flight 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. The city is perfectly situated in Asia along international travel routes, ensuring home is never too far away.
"Kuala Lumpur has so much to offer. You can enjoy city life to the fullest – there are a massive amount of shopping malls here, a variety of restaurants and cuisines, and people from all over the world." Read more about American expat Kimbra's experiences here.
"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 South East Asia." Irish expat Johanna shares her experiences of living in Kuala Lumpur.
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