Port Klang (or Kelang) is the nearest port to Kuala Lumpur and this is where most cruise ships would dock. Most of them would use the cruise terminal at Pulau Indah, if that one is busy, they would use the cargo terminal which is a bit further out. The main terminal is 40km from the city of Kuala Lumpur, which can take anything from 40 min to an hour or more, depending on traffic. Port Klang is also 74 km away from the International airport, and the journey can take from an hour to an hour and a half, depending on traffic. The cruise terminal at Pulau Indah is a very modern facility, with duty free shops, restaurants, ATM, foreign exchange, Wi Fi, tourist service desk, taxi service counters and a parking space. There is nowhere to walk to, the port is in an industrial area. The nearest public transportation link is the Klang main train station (about 10 min taxi ride away) and from there you can take a train to Kuala Lumpur, which would take about an hour.
The local currency in Kuala Lumpur is the Malaysian Ringgit – MYR. Exchanging money is relatively easy, there are ATMs everywhere and credit cards are accepted by the 5-star hotels and some sophisticated bars and restaurants. If you are using an ATM, the best ones to use would be the ones that are physically attached to a bank. Protect your PIN number at all times. You would get the best rates if you exchange your money at any of the foreign exchange shops at KLCC mall or the shopping centres near Bukit Bintang. The Ringgits are bright and colourful and easy to distinguish between the different denominations. If you wish to exchange more than 3000 MYR, you need an ID. Also, if you wish to use your debit or credit cards, make sure you are aware of any fees the banks may charge you and notify then that you will be abroad.
Opening hours and bank holidays. Malaysians love shopping and the malls and markets are open 7 days a week, normally from 10 am until 10 pm, even on weekends and bank holidays, that’s when they are busiest. Friday and Saturday are considered the weekend, so the banks and post offices are closed, with a few of them open until midday on Friday. Friday is a holly day in Malaysia and most official establishments are shut. There are also quite a few bank holidays in Malaysia, as much as 42 for 2017! Do make yourself aware of any bank holidays at time of travel.
Tipping in Kuala Lumpur is generally not expected, but you can tip if you found the service to be excellent. Normally there would be 10% service tax, added to your restaurants bill, so only tip if there isn’t one and you got exceptional service. The bellhops at hotels would expect anything from 2 to 10 Ringgits per bag, and you can round up your taxi bill to the nearest Ringgit. There is no need to tip at any other services.
Malaysians speak Bahasa Melayu language, but English is widely spoken, as it is one of the compulsory subjects, taught at schools.
The local time in Kuala Lumpur is GMT + 8 hours and the international dialling code is 00 60 3.
Things To Do
Without a doubt, the most popular landmark of Kuala Lumpur is the Petronas Towers. Being a central stage of the action in the movie Entrapment, 1999, starring Catherine Zeta-Jones and Sean Connery, it is now the symbol of the city. The towers have now lost the status of “The tallest building in the world”, but they remain the tallest twin towers in the world at 452m and a must-see. The towers look particularly impressive, when illuminated at night and the view from the connecting bridge is magnificent. At the base of the towers you can find the Suria KLCC mall.
The Batu Caves are another unique landmark of Kuala Lumpur. Located about 11km from the city, they are limestone cave formations, said to be around 400 million years old. An Indian trader, K. Thamboosamy Pillai, got inspired to dedicate a temple within the caves to Lord Murugan in 1890 and installed a statue of the Lord at the entrance of the caves. There are three main caves with Hindu statues, paintings and shrines and many smaller ones, accessible by 272 steps. Every year in late January or early February, thousands of devotees celebrate the Thaipusam festival with a procession, starting from the Sri Mariamman Temple in the city centre of Kuala Lumpur and ending in the Temple cave for a celebration, dedicated to Lord Murugan.
Merdeka Square (Independence square) and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building at its East side have played an important historical role for the Malaysians. The building was constructed as headquarters for the current British Resident William Bloomfield Douglas in the late 19th century. The land in front of it was levelled and used initially as a training ground for the police, and later as a cricket field. Here is where the Malaysian flag was first raised on August 31st, 1957, replacing the Union Jack. Nowadays here is where the annual Merdeka parade takes place and the Sultan Abdul Samad Building currently hosts the Ministry of Information, Communication and Culture of Malaysia. There are a few other interesting sites nearby – the Central Market is only 5 minutes away by walking and Chinatown is about 15 walking away.
Masjid Negara Mosque, as the National Mosque is also called, is the nationwide symbol of Islam – the predominant religion in Malaysia. It’s spread over 13 acres of land, surrounded by lakes and fountains and can accommodate up to 15,000 worshipers. Its non-traditional architecture features a 73-metres high minaret and a 16-pointed star concrete roof, covered in blue and green tiles. The roof is thought to look as an open umbrella, where the minaret is supposed to look like a closed umbrella. The Lake Gardens nearby are another attraction themselves, being a home to the Kuala Lumpur Bird Park – the world’s largest free flight aviary and the Deer Park Kuala Lumpur.
There is a lot more to see in Kuala Lumpur, time permitting. For the perfect photo opportunity, we recommend the Menara Tower Kuala Lumpur, which although not as popular as the Petronas Towers, has a higher observation desk at 276 metres. If you would like to unwind and relax from the hustle and bustle, surrounded by nature and greenery, we recommend the KLCC park, the Perdana Botanical Gardens and the KL Butterfly park. If you would like to get to know more about the unique and diverse culture of Malaysia, visit the Thean Hou Temple, the Sri Maha Mariamman Temple as well as the National Museum.
If your time permits and you would like to venture out of Kuala Lumpur, we recommend a surreal fireflies experience late at night at Selangor river, or visit the Genting Highlands – a complex of theme parks, casino, shopping mall and restaurants at 2000 above the sea level.
All Cruises and Flight details are subject to availability and price variation. Final package price is available upon payment of deposit and confirming your ATOL & ABTA protected cruise holiday