Kuala Lumpur transportation: the Malaysia public transport has not been very efficient. Development has been rather haphazard and as a tourism Malaysia capital city, it has not been well thought out. With some prior planning and some foresight, you can still seek out the Kuala Lumpur landmarks and complete your sightseeing vacation trip.

The roads in Kuala Lumpur do not go in straight paths. Roads and highways were develop as need arises, and when the roads cannot accommodate two way traffic and road widening could not be done anymore, the City Council will change it into a one way road to improve traffic flow. Sometimes the traffic directions are changed again as the City Council tries to find the best way to improve efficiency; sometimes to good effect, sometimes for the worse.

Taking a bus during rush hour


What are the various ways of moving around using Kuala Lumpur transportation? You could do away with public transportation and opt for car rental in Kuala Lumpur. Do be warned! You need to have a strong heart and a good deal of patience driving around the city. All of us drive really aggressively; though we can be very polite and helpful when we are not driving, our personality changes whenever we get behind the wheel. A kind of metamorphosis that you wouldn’t believe until you experience it.

Anyway you have three options of getting around using Kuala Lumpur transportation:

Each mode of transport arrangement has its own good points and bad points.

Personally I would prefer to explore a place on my own rather than to use a travel agent. They tend to cram as much landmarks and sightseeing location at one go and you would have limited time to explore the area. Plus they may also take you to places where you don’t have any interest at all; plus you have to wake up very early in the morning to follow their schedule; because it comes as standard package for the general tourist, you have no choice but to follow their program. However using a travel agent meant that you ease up your burden on planning your travel in Kuala Lumpur and you get to cover all the sightseeing places and city landmarks.

As a tourist to other countries and cities, I find our Malaysian public Kuala Lumpur transportation is rather poor. Even our politician has remarked about it and has not come up with any good solution to overcome this situation.

KL Monorail

So as a tourist, you need to plan your travel in Kuala Lumpur using a mixture of LRT (Light Rail Transit), buses, taxis and walking.

Of the three mode of public transportation, LRT would be the easiest to use, so use that as much as possible for getting from one sightseeing place to another. However, LRT stations are not planned well. They may not have a station stopping right in front of the place you want to visit. Thus a combination of taxi/LRT/taxi would be a good travel plan. If the LRT is quite a distance to walk in the hot humid climate of Kuala Lumpur, then hire out a taxi to the LRT station. And if the station is out of the way of your destination, take a taxi from that station to where you want to head.

Buses are not too bad if the location you are heading is a busy one, it would mean better bus frequency and have choices of bus routes to get you there. Forget about using buses to outlying areas where buses heading there are limited and they are never quite on time and sometimes you have wait a very long time (think in terms of hours waiting) that you would be better off getting a taxi.

And finally if you decided to get a taxi to travel from one place to another, our taxi fares are quite reasonable provided the taxi drivers uses the meter for recording the fare and whether they are willing to take you to your travel destination.

Kuala Lumpur taxi

Yep, our taxis in Kuala Lumpur are very picky when it comes to passenger customers. Before you sit in a taxi, open the door and ask the driver whether they are willing to take you to your travel destination. If they say no, it is likely that location you are heading is too far away, or too much traffic congestion, and thus they rather not do your business. And when rush hour comes, you will be hard press to find any taxis at all as they will all hide themselves somewhere having a coffee break or something. And at other times if you want to use their services, they will ask for a higher price than what a meter fare would cost.

The reason they do like this is because their income is not really great, sometimes just barely scraping through to pay the expenses in running a taxi service. Why? Taxis drivers are by themselves a business owner. They are not run by a taxi fleet company, and they do not have fixed salary. The taxi cab is either owned by the driver or rented out from someone else. In addition they also need to pay for a taxi permit, plus all the usual car care maintenance. Those who owned their own taxi cab and have their own taxi permits tend to be better off than those drivers who rent their taxis and rent their taxi permits.

However not all taxis drivers are unscrupulous, there will be bad hats amongst them. If they follow the meter, well you can give them some tips after arriving your destination, which would make them happy. How much tips you give is up to you. Though they are not expecting any, but it would be a welcome gesture.

Another idea is to hire out the taxi for the day for your Kuala Lumpur transportation getting around requirement. You will have to negotiate with them, tell them where you want to go for the day, and they could also provide you suggestions of places to go too. The fare may be pricey but the cab driver would be quite willing to have a whole day sightseeing itinerary with you taking you from one place to another and wait for you while you take your time to enjoy a Kuala Lumpur sightseeing landmark here or Kuala Lumpur shopping mall there and back to your hotel for rest.

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