Pinoy on a Shoestring Guide to Kuala Lumpur

Have you been bewitched by the Two Princes ?  ( Gael Hilotin of The Pinay Solo Backpacker)

Are you an adrenaline junkie and want to try the Bungy Jump at Sunway Lagoon as what Edcel Suyo did? ( or you admired Titiwangsa Park, when you saw that movie of  John Loyd Cruz and Bea Alonzo (Miss You Like Crazy, 2010) sitting near the Titiwangsa Lake overlooking  the Petronas Towers.

Well, all of these are just few  reasons why Filipinos flock to the colorful, vibrant and capital Metropolis of Malaysia.

The sole reason I made this guide is to help our fellow Pinoy specifically the first time tourist and budget travelers.  To provide them tips,shared first hand experience, all you need to know  and what to expect  so they can maximize their resources in their first or nth time  trip to Kuala Lumpur. 

Note: I am not a glam traveler nor a hardcore backpacker. I am just ordinary OFW who happens to be a city wanderer, temple raider, nature lover, food adventurer, photography bum and a sparring travel partner of Summer (my wife) who currrently lives in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. If you have tips, suggestion, add-on or any valuable information that you think can help out our fellow Filipino tourist / travelers. Feel free to message me at or  and will be glad to add it here and give you a credit.

This Guide will help and give you information about

– Getting here in KL
– Accommodation
– Transportation
– Money
– Food
– Places

7/6/2015 2 More line ( GoKL Buses) 
15/7/2014  LCCT > KLIA
25/10/2013  KL Sentral to LCCT (vice versa) Bus Fares
12/9/2012 on Transportation (Free go KL Buses)


Getting Here in KL 

Since we’re talking on tight Budget here, I assume you will fly with low cost carriers 

By Air:   Manila to KL through Cebu Pacific, Air Asia
              Cebu to KL through Air Asia
              Singapore to KL through Air Asia and Tiger Airways

Tip: Book ahead and beat those early birds who doesn’t sleep just to catch the promo flights.
       Subscribe  to their feeds and get those  almost zero fares

Travel Time: Manila to KL approximately 3 Hours 40 minutes (just hope flights will not be delayed, as it always happen)
                      Cebu to KL approximately 4 hours
                      Singapore to KL approximately 40minutes to 1 hour

Visa: Filipinos, have usually 30 Days tourist visa upon arrival to Malaysia ( subjected to Malaysian Immigration approval). 

Touchdown: KLIA2  -The new hub for the budget carriers such as Cebu Pacific Air, Air Asia, Tiger Airways, Malindo Air etc. Be ready for non-stop walking from your aircraft tube to the main terminal, where the Immigration counter is located. Once you’re done and get a chop from the Immigration, then it’s time to pick up your luggage (if you have).

Passenger Guide to KLIA2. You can view or download here

the new KLIA2


Since the airport is nearly 50 Km away from Kuala Lumpur,the Malaysian capital.  You can go by Train, Taxi or by  Bus.

From KLIA 2 to KL Sentral

By Taxi: Coupon Taxis are available from 100 RM ++  (if bound to KL)

By Train: Get  a ticket from counter at Level 2 of KLIA2.  It will cost you around 55 RM(one way). Train service starts from 4:55 AM until midnight.

By Bus: Can purchase a ticket  from the counter at Lower Ground. 

Two options:

Red Bus ( Sky Bus) – 10RM 

Yellow Bus ( Aero Bus) – 10RM

Suggest: Take the Sky Bus  because they are more comfortable and  always left the station  on time even just few passengers were on board. Include Sky Bus transfer when you purchase an Air Asia ticket that will save you for few RM’s.

Train and Buses from KLIA 2 will stop at KL Sentral. It will be your best starting point whenever you go to any destination around KL.  It is the transit hub of the city which will connect you to other local destination and even to Thailand and Singapore by Coach Train.




Jalan Petaling and Bukit Bintang are the best spots to look for cheap hotels or inns.   Chinatown  is the accommodation haven among to Backpackers and Budget Travelers.

Please find great deals below


Check in Time varies from 12:00 Noon – 2:00PM 
Check out time 12:00 Noon 
(Please check with the Hotel, Inn or Lodge, to make sure the exact time for checking in/out)


Getting around in KL is very easy since they have a very well planned and  developed transportation. The LRT, KTM, Monorail, and KLIA Ekspres Train which are all interconnected. 

Photo Credit to



LRT: The Pink line (Kelana Jaya)  and Yellow Line ( Ampang – Sri Petaling).

Single Journey token can be bought any LRT stations through the counter or Automatic Vending Machine. Fare Ranges 1-5RM depends on the distance traveled.

My Rapid/ Touch n Go Cards can be purchase to avoid the long queues during the rush hour. It is reloadable with minimum of 10RM. 

KL Sentral Station – Interchange to Monorail, KTM and KLIA Ekspres and Bus station bound to LCCT and KLIA.

Pasar Seni Station – Walking distance to Central Market, Kasturi Walk,  Jalan Petaling ( Chinatown) , Sri Mahamariamman Temple, Kuan Ti Temple, Kota Raya, KL Old Railway,  Negara Mosque and Taman Tasik Perdana.

Masjid Jamek Station – Walking distance to Masjid Jamek , Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Dataran Merdeka, Masjid India and St. John Cathedral.

KLCC Station – Walking distance to Petronas Twin Towers, KLCC Suria, Kuala Lumpur Convention Center, Philippine Embassy, KL Aquaria. 

Kerinchi Station – Walking distance to Menara TM

Titiwangsa Station – Walking distance to Titiwangsa Park and Lake, Istana Budaya, National Art Gallery

BUS: Rapid KL and Metro Bus. 
Bus Fares ranges   from 1-3 Ringgit within KL-Selangor Area. All Buses are number coded so you’ll know which one passes the bus station of your destination. Check RapidKL and Metrobus links for the routes of specific buses.

Convenient Way to travel within KL, Klang Valley and Petaling Jaya.


Tip: Always have a 1 Ringgit bills or coins ready when riding buses because some Rapid KL buses don’t bring a change.

Single Journey token can be bought any LRT stations through the counter or Automatic Vending Machine. Fare Ranges 1-5RM depends on the distance traveled.

My Rapid/ Touch n Go Cards can be purchase to avoid the long queues during the rush hour. It is reloadable with minimum of 10RM. 

Photo Credit: Edcel Suyo of

KL Sentral Station – Interchange to Monorail, KTM and KLIA Ekspres and Bus station bound to LCCT and KLIA.

Imbi Station – Walking distance to Berjaya Times Square and Lowyat IT Mall

Bukit Bintang Station – Walking distance to Posh Malls such as Lot 10, Fahrenheit, Pavilion, and Sephora

Bukit Nanas Station – Walking distance to KL Tower

Titiwangsa Station – Walking distance to Titiwangsa Park and Lake, Istana Budaya, National Art Gallery

Train that service around KL , states of Selangor and Negeri Sembilan



KL Sentral Station – Interchange to Monorail, KTM and KLIA Ekspres and Bus station bound to LCCT and KLIA.

Batu Caves Station – Walking distance to Batu Caves

Nilai Station  – Connects to KLIA and Sepang International Circuit

GO KL Free Bus


Now there are 2 more lines ( Red + Blue) that service around  KL. Please check the Map Below for the updated routes.

If you want to explore KL City Centre on a budget, just in time. The GO-KL free bus service are now available starting September 1, 2012. It has two lines, the green and purple line. It cover’s KL Golden Triangle where the first class hotels and high end malls are located. Both have interchange in 
Bus stop 6 in The Weld Bus stop 7 in Wisma Lim Foo YongBus stop 8 in Pavillion Mall and Bus stop 9 in Ain Arabia. Don’t be shy to hop in GO KL buses, it’s FREE. 

Green Line


Purple Line


Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) is the currency use in Malaysia. If you bring Philippine Peso or US dollars have it exchange in Malaysia (must be aware of limitation of Bringing Currency  in or out into the Philippines commonly known as Anti-Money Laundering Law) . MYR buying in the Philippines is relatively high. The peso or centavo difference is already significant if you opt to convert a big amount. 

There are lot of Banks and Money changers inside LCCT. The rates are not that good so have at least MYR 100-200 exchange or  enough to pay the  Bus/ Taxi or Accommodation.

Usually the Exchange Rate:  1MYR = 11.9 – 13 Pesos Range

Money Changer at KLIA-LCCT

Tip:  Money changers in KL Sentral or Pasar Seni have better rates as compared inside  LCCT. So roam around in this area and check who gives more value to your Peso/Dollars.


Malaysia being a diverse culture had a mixture of Chinese, Indian and Malay influence. It is evident wherever you go to Makan ( To eat in Malay). The best place to go for delectable yet affordable meals are the food stalls. You can easily find them virtually everywhere. Mostly near the roads or in a hawker center. 

Price Range in a Mamak ( Food stallls) starts 3-15 RM per meal depend on types of food. 
In typical Malay stall you can choose any food and will be charge according to number of viands.

But must be careful before indulging yourself to these Carenderia type stalls  it’s not for the weak and sensitive stomach.

Must try: Hainanese Chicken Rice, Chicken Satay, Nasi Lemak, Roti Canai, Char Kuey Teow, and Bak Kut Teh


Top Left (Toasted Roti with Kaya) Right (Nasi Lemak)
Lower Left (Chicken Satay) Right ( Chicken Rice)


There ‘s a lot of Places that you can visit in Kuala Lumpur.  These are the common tourist spots that Pinoys shouldn’t miss.

Petronas Tower – This is always been on top of the list. If you had been fascinated with its structural wonders at daytime then should not slip a chance to glance the tallest twin tower at night. If you have spare time to woke up early to queue in the morning  then must visit it’s sky bridge. It will give you another perspective of the metropolis.

KL Tower – The highest viewpoint of Kuala Lumpur that is open to public which gives 360  view from its observation deck. It is also a one stop Cultural ( 1Malaysia Cultural Village), Adventure ( Trekking in the Forest Reserve or F1 Simulator Zone)  and Nature ( Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve) site. Check their website for the promo, packages and ticket prices.

Batu Caves – Is a famous Hindu Sanctum in Malaysia. It comprise of caves and temples along on its 400 million years limestone hills. Going to inner temple must take a plight of 272 steps, challenging yet very rewarding once you reach  the top. It’s also the venue of Tamil Hindu’s Thaipusam Festival celebrated during last week of January or 1st week of February. 

Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) – The site , where Malayan Flag was hoisted for the very first time. The Flagpole was once hailed as highest in the world. Adjacent to Dataran Merdeka  you’ll see Royal Selangor Club, Sultan Abdul Samad Building, St. Mary’s Anglican Cathedral, KL City Gallery and the more than 100 year old Victoria Fountain.

Masjid Jamek – If you’re into historical architectural this old mosque is worth to visit. The Neo Moorish  architectural design of Masjid Jamek is one of its kind in KL. When visiting this place observe a proper decorum and  pay attention of visiting hours. Any Day 8:30AM – 12:30 PM  then 2:30 -4:30 PM. Not to encourage to visit on Friday as it becomes crowded as they gather here performing Friday Prayers. 

Masjid Negara – The National Mosque of Malaysia is a unique modern design contrary to the old Masjid Jamek. The Blue- Green tile  Umbrella shape roof is the trademark in this mosque. The compound has beautiful gardens, reflecting pools and fountains that is mostly visited by tourist.

Sri Mahamariamman Temple – holds the record as the oldest and richest  Hindu temple of KL. The 5 tiered gopuram has all 228 idols depicted in the tower. You can walk inside the shrine bare footed  as Sri Mahamariamman is  very well maintained and clean temple. If you’re into meditation then this is the right venue. 

Petaling Street – is a Chinatown in KL  known for budget shoppers. You can buy assorted stuffs here from clothes, accessories, food and even pirated DVD’s. It’s best to shop here during night known as Pasar Malam ( Night Market)  to locals.  

Jalan Alor – If you want to binge  with Malaysian Cuisine then is the right place for you. The  ordinary street in the morning transformed into a eating paradise at night. Mamak stalls, outdoor restaurants, and hawker stands piled up both sides of the street. This place is very crowded as most locals, tourist and expats gather here for gastronomical adventure.

Bintang Walk –  After a gluttony session at Jalan Alor, walking distance to the shopping and business district of KL is Bukit Bintang. It’s similar to Makati  where high end malls and 4-5 stars hotel are sprouting. Most of the  signature shops can be found in Pavilion KL, Lot 10, Fahrenheit 88, and Starhill Gallery.

Pasar Seni – A souvenir is one of the proof  that you had been to Malaysia. So don’t missed to drop by at Pasar Seni or Cetral Market to buy one. You can find affordable souvenir items such as mugs, key chains, ref magnets,  t-shirts, Petronas and KL tower miniatures, and Malaysian textiles in this place. 

Disclaimer: I obtained the current fares and rates the moment I created this guide. Bus/ LRT  Fares, Accommodation Rates subjected to change without notice. I am not connected to these companies that featured in this blog. If you have specific questions do suggest check their corresponding websites or call them directly to get the updated information. 



Facebook Comments

54 Replies to “Pinoy on a Shoestring Guide to Kuala Lumpur”

  1. very comprehensive!
    if i should visit KL again, i'll make sure to visit melaka, and eat more more char kway teow!

  2. Thanks for dropping by Ms Chyng! Yeah, Melaka shouldn't be missed. Are you craving for Char Kuey Teow? hehehe We bet you did really enjoy it last time when you pig out at Jalan alor.

    Hope to meet you when you visit again in KL!

    Sky and Summer

  3. wow,look like u can be a tour guide in malaysia almost all the places u knew.impressive!

  4. We're working on it Ronnie but it will come with a price though hahaha, Just Kidding. We know much about KL and Melaka other than that, we're still a stranger.


    Sky and Summer

  5. wow! napaka comprehensive nito! will surely bookmark this as this will come in handy when i decide to travel to KL 🙂

  6. Thanks Doi! 🙂 Will update this more often, to make sure mkakuha ng latest info kababayan natin in visiting KL.


  7. very informative!!! will Tweet this. Pag may getaway kau sama ako… 🙂

  8. Thanks Ritz, will ping you sa sunod naming gala. ^_^

  9. Thanks for sharing.

    Very informative…

    God Bless.


  10. This is a very comprehensive and informative guide. Can I put this link in my KL post? My readers may like to read a guide about going to KL =)

  11. Yes, go ahead sir Ricky! 🙂

  12. Thanks I will put this link in my blog =)

  13. Thanks for this great post Sky and Summer! KL is on our travel list, this very informative post will help a lot! =)

  14. You're welcome Lady, if you ever drop by here in KL, just message us, we'll be glad to meet you. 🙂

  15. Ito na talaga ang perfect resource for Pinoys na gumagala sa Malaysia 🙂

  16. Thanks Ed. Kulang pato, need pa update 🙂

  17. Mga Batangala says: Reply

    i just discovered your site and found the KL tips useful for our two-day stay in KL this month. thank you

  18. You're welcome Batangala! If you have more questions feel free to ask. Btw, we're residing in KL in case you guys available for meetup 🙂

  19. Thank you Sky and Summer. Sure, a meetup would be very welcome. we will only be staying one night in KL though and it's a Monday. We will be staying at the Renaissance Hotel. Hope to see you both soon. Keep in touch 🙂

  20. Nice choice of hotel 🙂 Let us know and what time for meetup. We'll be eager to see you guys ^_^

  21. Krokis Arkitek says: Reply

    salamat sa info kabayan..possible if you could help me as well on how to go to our embassy there in kl?i'll be coming from kk sabah no consulate here to apply for a passport renewal. it would be a first time for me and no idea on what and how to get there. and if you could also advice on which of the hotels you mentioned nearest to our embassy? and how to get there from airport? sorry for the trouble..thanks…

  22. Hi Krokis Arkitek, From Airport you can take Bus or Express Train going to KL Sentral. Then from KL sentral take LRT(Pink Line) going to KLCC. Then you can walk from KLCC. You must exit from KLCC near Jalan Pinang. Then It will be a short walk going to Jalan Changkat Kia Peng where Phil Embassy is located. The nearest hotel would be Traders Hotel and Prince Hotel.

  23. Krokis Arkitek says: Reply

    hi sky summer, how long does it take to get there from airport to KLCC?still trying to plan whether i can do my renewal for a day,like arrive in kl early morning then go back kk last flight. do you think its possible?don't want to spend too much, if in any case i need to stay for a night any back packers lodge like the one you mentioned (backpackers travelers inn)?is it too far from the embassy?haizz…been an ofw for a long time but this is the first time i have to travel out of the country just to renew my passport and on top of it all it is under one country just east and west malaysia.

  24. Airport to KL sentral takes an hour, then KL sentral to KLCC by LRT take 10-15 minutes. I think it's possible to do it one day, given you successfully submitted all the documents to Phl embassy. There's a lot of backpackers hostel or inn in Chinatown (Pasar Seni area) which is 4 train stations away from KLCC. Good Luck Krokis.

  25. Hi, thanks for this informative blogpost. Feel free to come and join Google+ community, Expat Life in Malaysia, and share your posts with us. Grow the free community and help expats to love Malaysia more!

  26. My uncle has been to Malaysia a couple of times and I would like to visit the country myself in the future. Bookmarked for future reference 😀

  27. Hi theгe, aftеr гeading thіs aωesоme paragraph i am tοo ԁelightеd tо share my κnow-hoω hеre
    with fгiends.

    my blog post Motels from hеathrow Airport :: :

  28. I think this is among the moѕt sіgnificant info foг me.
    And i'm glad reading your article. But should remark on few general things, The site style is ideal, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

    Here is my page – Shanghai Accommodations Decrease Our Finances

  29. Thankѕ for the gоod writeup. It in realіty was once a amuѕemеnt аccount it.
    Look cοmplex tο more ԁeliverеd agreeable from уou!
    Bу the way, how сould we communicаte?

    Also viѕit my pagе; Cheap Miami Hotels Cheap deals in Value

  30. I read thiѕ pоst fullу regarԁing the
    resеmblancе of latеst and prеcеding technolοgіeѕ, it's awesome article.

    My site :: Hotel Discounted (Hotels_Discount) on Tweets

  31. Exсellent ρost. Ӏ waѕ checκing conѕtantly this ωеblog and I аm impressed!
    Vеry helpful іnfo pаrticularly the final sеction 🙂
    I take care of such infоrmаtіon a lot.

    Ӏ used to be seeking this pаrtіculaг іnfo for a verу lοng time.
    Thanks anԁ good luck.

    Mу web blοg On the internet Booking regarding Resorts throughout Canada

  32. Hi, everything is going ρeгfectly here anԁ ofcourse eѵery οne іs ѕharing informatiоn, that's actually excellent, keep up writing.

    Here is my homepage :: Amsterdam apartment ()

  33. You'll surely enjoy Malaysia, it's Truly Asia!

  34. I could not refrain frοm commenting. Verу well written!

    Check οut my web-sіte shanghai motels decrease the spending budget

  35. Hеуа i'm for the first time here. I came across this board and I to find It really useful & it helped me out a lot. I'm hoping to
    give ѕomеthing bacκ and help otheгs like you helped me.

    Feel free to surf to my web-site :: Evaluate Hotel Rates

  36. Wow! This is an intensive travel post. Good job! 🙂

  37. sir, nice site! may i bother you with a few questions? how do we send a balikbayan box from KL to manila? in singapore, reliable forwarders are in LP, is there a similar place in KL?

  38. Thanks! Balikbayan Boxes are mostly located in Kota Raya (LP counterpart in KL). I recommend LBC in Kota Raya, as ever reliable and you can track your package online. 🙂

  39. salamat.
    i heard horror stories about some KL hotels infected with bed mites.
    which are your recommended hotels within short walking distance to pavillion mall?

  40. These are the posh hotels that surrounds Pavillion Mall, Dorsett Regency, The Westin, Mariott, The Ritz Carlton.

  41. Joshua Ancel Lim says: Reply

    Nice post! Which do you think of the 2 prepaid cards (Touch N Go & MyRapid) is more useful for tourist in terms of price, reliability and wide usage particularly in all lines (Eg. LRT, KTM, MonoRail

  42. Thanks,. We suggest to purchase Touch and Go since you can use it for LRT, RapidKl Buses, and Monorail, excluding KTM. (Myrapid can only be use in LRT and Monorail only). There are 1 day unlimited 10RM, 3 days unlimited 25RM or 7 days 50RM. you need to purchase the touch and go card at their office in Kl Sentral at back of CIMB bank, inside Kl sentral staton itself. It has preloaded amount of 5RM for 10RM card. Once you purchase you need to go LRT station if you prefer the unlimited passes. You can't return and refund, just take it as souvenir. 🙂

  43. very informative for a first time traveler to kuala lumpur. planning to go there by jan, or feb. 2014. hope we can meet you there.

  44. Thanks Sonny! Sure jsut message me your dates 🙂

  45. Apple Pie Vergara says: Reply

    I just found what I was looking for. So informative! I'm going to KL on Feb 2014 alone and this is my very first out-of-the-country trip! Question though, can you please give me advice about routes? Where to go first best and succeeding places? I'd like to save time and budget so I wanted to minimize my lost-in-place tendencies. Thanks a lot! 🙂

  46. Hi Apple, May we know how long you plan to stay here in KL and what time you arrive and leave KL. So we can help you map out your plan and provide you suggestions. 🙂 Thanks for visiting our blog.

  47. Apple Pie Vergara says: Reply

    I have 5days but I want to visit SG too . 🙂 Thanks !

  48. Sorry for the delayed response, Nasa Thailand kasi kami last week. You can spend your 3 Days in KL and 2 Days in SG. In KL, Day1 Take Hop on Hop Off for a guided along KL Day 2. You may spend our time in Genting Resorts Day 3 you may opted to sidetrip to Putrajaya Day4&5 Spend in SG. Hope this helps.

  49. Hi! I was planning to go backpacking from SG to KL but upon reading your blog I think Im doing KL first! Haha. Anyway, can you suggest hotel/area where I can get cheap accommodation but is also accessible to the touristy areas? Also, are you familiar with the route from KL-SG? Btw Im travelling on a budget! Would really appreciate your response. Thank you!! 🙂

  50. I just couldn't go away your site before suggesting that I
    extremely loved the usual information a person provide on your
    visitors? Is gonna be back steadily to check out
    new posts

    my web-site … south park

  51. This post is very helpful as I am bound to fly to Malaysia this december. It isy first time. and i m freaking nervous that i started reading blogs bout travelling there.
    Is it advisable that i change currency once i reached? Or Better have it exchanged here in ph?

    1. sorry for the late reply. Better change it in Malaysia since Peso is stronger now.

Leave a Reply