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Getting around Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur is the capital city of Malaysia with a population of 7,2 million people. Although the city center of KL is pretty compact, and it’s possible walking from one to another sightseeing in about 30 minutes it may leave you feeling drenched, exhausted and like getting a shower. As most travelers would agree, walking isn’t really the option, what are the options?

The main bus operator RapidKL has good value for service and is the cleanest way to get clean and air-conditioned around town. It’s a known fact that the buses get a little overcrowded during rush hours, but they do go just about anywhere within the city. Especially for travelers on a budget, at just 1 RYM (about $0.30 US) per trip it may be worth getting lost every now and than.

Taxi’s are another way to get round in KL, they are fast and convenient but have a clear visible downside for tourists. It’s hard to find a honest taxi driver with a clean cab, one that uses the meter and knows where he is going. They try to over charge you, drive the wrong direction and up-sell you to massage centers or day trips the next day. Taxi’s should use the meter by law, but the taxi drivers say they are worried about making not enough money using the meter alone. As of 1th of August 2009 the fares have been increased by 40% yet that didn’t improve the situation. If a hailed cab refuses using the meter, you could walk away and try the next one. Another option is to negotiate the fare, yet anything over 15 RYM should be questioned.

There’s also a Monorail which runs through the city with several stops. The monorail is an interesting and relatively cheap way to get round in Kuala Lumpur with a few highlighted stops such as the Jalan Bukit Bintang station for shopping, Medan Tunku station for Kampung Baru and Bukit Nanas station for the Jalan P. Ramlee nightlife area. Apart from these stations there’s no other interesting stops or use for tourists, besides it’s nice views.

As last resort, you can also use the reliable KL Hop-on Hop-off bus service which aims for tourists. The buses run in a continuous loop around the city covering 40 tourist attractions, served by a total of 22 stops. There is an audio commentary and you can get-on and off as many times as wished. First bus starts at 8.30am, they run continuously with an interval of 20 to 30 minute till 8:30pm. It’s a good way to get an overview/orientation of Kuala Lumpur. Day tickets are priced at 38 RYM (about $13 us) and 2 days tickets 65 RYM (about $19 US).

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