As I was browsing Skyscanner checking out flights and deals, I was struggling to figure out where to go for vacation, but not also blow my budget. That’s when I decided to go back to Malaysia. I have been to Kota Kinabalu and enjoyed my time, but I thought it would more fun to check out something different. While browsing to find any information from the perspective of a black expat, black traveler, etc., I could not find a thing. So I figured I would make a post about what’s it like to travel to Kuala Lumpur. Keep in mind, this is from the perspective of a black tourist, not someone whose lived there.
If you ask anyone whose been to Malaysia, they would all agree that the food was one of the best parts of the country. Eating out in KL is so cheap that you will gain weight. The US Dollar really goes far in the country. For instance, $100 will get about 400 Malaysian Ringgit. If you want to exchange money, I suggest waiting to get to KL Sentral for a better rate.
If you stick with mainly where the locals eat and Chinatown, you will have plenty of money to spend for shopping or other food stands. To me, I rather have a meal made outside with love and care than eat at a tourist spot that’s just there to take your money, and the food is just meh.
Public transportation is very cheap in KL. Since I was here for about two days I got the KL TravelPass which was useful on the main train lines. One of my criticisms of the train system is the color choice. Looking at the map it can be easy to get on the wrong track since some of the lines are different shades of the same color aka light green or green. The trains came a few minutes after each other so your not stuck waiting forever. But this has caused some delays.
I remember riding LINE 1 going to the Batu Caves and the train had to stop because we were close the the train ahead of us, to obviously avoid any accidents. The system is very efficient and I was able to get around to where I needed to go and enjoy the view.
What to See
Kuala Lumpur has many places to see and do on a fair budget. You could either walk there or take the train to your destination. I walked from the Kuala Lumpur Tower to the famous Petronas Towers. Both of these you have to pay to gain entry. However if you want to go to the twin towers, BUY you tickets in advance because they only let a limited amount of people inside the towers. Also it’s closed on Mondays. If you want to visit the Aquaria KLCC get there early or get ready to stand in line for awhile
While your walking around the city, KL is a great spot to play some Pokemon GO. While the new weather system just started, it still needs work. Too many times it was raining in the game despite there being no rain whatsoever. While I did travel during the monsoon season, there was hardly any rain. If it did, it was gone in a few minutes.
Malaysia has a big Chinese population and with it came Petaling Street, walking around the area was joy to behold. Seeing the historic location, there was so much history to see. Not to mention places to shop and eat. As I was walking around looking for a place to eat, Chinatown was bustling with shoppers and tourist looking for a bargain while trying to haggle for a better price. I swear someone was about to get into a fight over the price.
Obviously majority of the materials were fake, but still fun too look at the many clothes, hats, shoes and so on. Word to the wise, be careful when buying any electronics at the marketplace.
Yes I know I talked about the food already, but good lord its so mouthwatering and cheap!! With a large Chinese population, Petaling Street became Chinatown and I knew I had to get a taste of Chinese cuisine. Not only is it cheap its was so good I walked around trying other restaurants. If you want to eat Chinese food, stick with Chinatown and avoid eating at the shopping centers. The restaurants there tend to have a higher markup in price for the same meals you can see.
But Is It Safe For a Black Traveler?
Overall, I felt very safe as a tourist and as a Black Expat. I felt a ton of stores from people, but possibly because of the height…..I think. I can only say this as tourist and not someone who actually lived there. I have seen some post about Africans being treated worse than African Americans. But I didn’t let an old post stop me from having a good time. Just like any place, treat the people with kindness and respect, and respect will be shown back to you as well. If not for the Towers, at least come for the food man!