NomadCities – Kuala Lumpur

Johannes Tvedt is taking us to explore the colorful streets of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. Joined by Chelsea Odufu – a filmmaker and content creator, currently living in Kuala Lumpur thanks to the digital nomad program Remote Year.Besides showing us the exotic fruits and vivid nightlife of this cultural hub of Malaysia, Chelsea gives an insight into being an accomplished location independent entrepreneur. you want to see the previous episodes of NomadCities, follow the link to our YouTube channel : #safetywing #kualalumpur

Posted by SafetyWing on Sunday, November 4, 2018

Kuala Lumpur (KL) is the capital city of Malaysia, sitting along the western edge of the Malay peninsula on the Strait of Malacca.

The city was founded in the 1850s, and has spent the past two decades blossoming into one of the most important cities in Asia.

Kuala Lumpur is a globally recognized powerhouse in economic development, modernization, politics, and education, and it’s consistently listed among the most livable cities in the world.

Why Do Digital Nomads Love Kuala Lumpur?

Inexpensive – While being one of the most modern cities in Asia, Kuala Lumpur is still relatively inexpensive. Many of the same services and amenities found in the West can be found in KL for ¼ of the price. This mix of modernity and cheap goods and services is extremely attractive for the cash-strapped digital nomad.

Diversity – One of Kuala Lumpur’s strong suits is its diversity. The city is around 40% Malay, 40% Chinese, 10% Indian, and 10% other ethnicities (not to mention all of the digital nomads). This pluralistic approach to life not only makes it an anomaly in SE Asia, it also makes it a melting pot, welcoming in foreigners from all over the world to live and work in KL.

Food – Because Kuala Lumpur is such a diverse place, there is a wealth of unbelievably delicious food around every corner. Apart from traditional Malay cuisine, KL’s food circuit contains lots of authentic cultural delicacies from India, China, and the middle east.

Friendliness – Kuala Lumpur is a remarkably peaceful place to be. The city is housed inside of a Muslim-majority country, and sizable populations of Buddhist, Hindu, and Christian minorities help the city maintain an air of goodwill. The general population is extremely warm, extremely friendly, and always willing to help.

Weather – The tropical rainforest climate of Kuala Lumpur keeps the city warm and sunny all year. The highs average about 32 °C (90 °F) and the lows average about 23 °C (73 °F). The seasonal monsoons, however, can put a damper on the tropical party. But the rain usually comes quick as mid-afternoon downpours, so there is still plenty of time in the day to soak up the sun.

NomadCities Ratings – Kuala Lumpur

Average Cost of Living: 3,703 MYR/month ($889 USD)

Kuala Lumpur is a very inexpensive place to live.

A one bedroom apartment in the city center averages about 2,100 MYR ($504 USD). If you’re on a tight budget, this cost can be mitigated by staying in hostels and cheap hotels which average around 30 MYR/night ($7.20 USD).

Kuala Lumpur also has a ton of really cheap food. A lot of times you may find it’s cheaper to eat out than it is to buy and cook food yourself. A typical meal out costs around 10 MYR ($2.40 USD).

Factoring in rent, utilities, meals, transportation, internet costs, and a couple trips to the Skybridge between the Petronas Towers, the typical digital nomad can expect to spend around 3,500 MYR ($840 USD) each month in Kuala Lumpur.

Transportation: Great

Kuala Lumpur is walkable and easy to get around.

Apart from the well-developed and ever-expanding public transportation system, Kuala Lumpur and the surrounding towns are serviced by Grab — the Uber of SE Asia — which will get you anywhere you need to go for very inexpensive rates.

Average Internet Speed: 8 MB/s

Kuala Lumpur does not have the fastest internet speeds in the world, but the average Wi-Fi is more than suitable enough for most internet-based jobs.

Most KL cafes, bars, restaurants, and other establishments offer free Wi-Fi for public use.

Overall Safety: Great

Owing to its diversity and religious tolerance, Kuala Lumpur is a very safe place.

Most people feel comfortable walking alone in KL as the threat of violent crime is pretty low.

Naturally, as with any big city with a large amount of tourism, it’s necessary to keep valuable items safe and secure to protect against petty theft.

Always make sure you have an insurance plan in place for when unforeseen things like theft, illness, or emergencies occur. Check out SafetyWing for high-quality insurance plans catered specifically for digital nomads!

English Levels: Good

Kuala Lumpur is an international city with a lot of English speakers.

After the official first language of Malay, Malaysia’s official second language is English. All Malaysians learn to speak English in school.

Since Malaysia is so diverse, English is used as the lingua franca of the country to help all the different ethnicities communicate with one another.

Even if you can speak a little Malay, the person you’re talking to probably knows more English than you know Malay.

Coworking Spaces: 25 – 75

Thanks to the amount of digital nomads that have flooded into the city in recent days, Kuala Lumpur is definitely open to the concept of coworking.

Even though it’s still a relatively new concept to Malaysia, you can find a lot of coworking spaces littered around the city and the surrounding areas of Selangor and Petaling Jaya.

Coworking memberships vary wildly in KL with memberships costing between 150 – 1,000 MYR/month ($36 – $240 USD) and day-pass options ranging from 15 – 80 MYR ($3.60 – $19.20 USD).

Here are some cool coworking spaces in Kuala Lumpur:

PAPER + TOAST – Established in 2010, this modern work station located in the heart of KL was Malaysia’s first coworking space. Complete with the requisite high-speed internet and free coffee, PAPER + TOAST boasts a spacious workspace located high above the city on the 14th floor decked out with couches, podcasting rooms, and epic views of the nearby Petronas Towers.

DOJO KL – This intricately designed coworking space in downtown Kuala Lumpur offers its remote-based workforce a casual environment designed to facilitate a balance of work and relaxation. With 24hr access, free coffee and snacks, and reliable high-speed internet, DOJO KL embraces its traditional Japanese ethos with an on-site Zen garden to help you stay relaxed.

CO3 – Located in nearby Puchong, this coworking space is all about building the “coolest coworking space in Malaysia”. In addition to the super hip space complete with free coffee, high-speed Wi-Fi, and a foosball table, CO3 emphasizes community with workshops on entrepreneurship and online marketing, and they even have their own incubator program to help support innovative new startups.

Where to Meet Fellow Kuala Lumpur Nomads Kuala Lumpur – offers expatriates in hundreds of global cities an online forum to congregate, find information, and organize events. The Kuala Lumpur groups organize social gatherings as well as give information on professional workshops, festivals, and cultural events.

InterNations Kuala Lumpur – InterNations is a global community of expatriates with a focus on living and doing business around the world. They organize networking events for business-minded expats to connect with each other. In addition to networking events, InterNations Kuala Lumpur also has live music groups, dinner groups, and movie groups.

NomadList – NomadList helps connect you with other digital nomads in your area while giving you lots of useful information about your nomadic destinations. When you sign up for a membership, you’ll be allowed to contact other members via the platform’s Slack chatrooms.

Facebook – Facebook Groups are great ways to connect with fellow expats around the world. Here are a few good Kuala Lumpur expat groups to join:

Kuala Lumpur is the modern and culturally diverse capital city of Malaysia.

With its contemporary attitude found inside of a refreshingly inexpensive lifestyle, this tropical metropolis offers its citizens a quality of life that is hard to beat elsewhere in SE Asia.

Kuala Lumpur has expats from all over the world, and more than a handful of thriving digital nomads. That’s why KL clearly takes its spot as one of the best NomadCities in the world!