If you’re looking for a vibrant city to work in as a digital nomad or remote worker, Kuala Lumpur could be the perfect fit! Malaysia is a melting pot of Asian culture and its capital, Kuala Lumpur, has so many opportunities and conveniences for digital nomads.
Kuala Lumpur is a unique and interesting place to spend time and benefits from being a particularly green city with a rainforest in the centre. It’s a bustling city with a lot to see and do! Visitors can enjoy shopping, the weather, and delicious cuisine. There are also plenty of great places for digital nomads to work.
Let’s take a look at all that Kuala Lumpur has to offer digital nomads and remote workers!
6 Fun Facts About Kuala Lumpur
- A member of the Selangor royal family founded Kuala Lumpur in 1857. Then, family members and Chinese workers explored the area for tin ore and found it near Ampang. This was the beginning of Kuala Lumpur. Since then, the city has grown from a tin miner’s camp to a commercial hub that attracts investors and travellers from around the world.
- Kuala Lumpur is Malaysia’s largest city, expanding over a 94 square mile area with a population of almost 2 million people.
- Three ethnic groups make up most of Kuala Lumpur: Malay, Chinese, and Indians. A small portion of the population is other ethnic groups.
- The Petronas Twin Towers is an 88-floor building and a Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia icon. The towers are the tallest twin towers in the world and are visible across the city. The Petronas Twin Towers were built in 1993 as a headquarters for Malaysia’s national petroleum company, Petronas. It’s also home to an art gallery, underwater aquarium, and a Science center.
- Malaysia’s retail and fashion scene mostly take place in Kuala Lumpur. Eight large malls can be found in the city’s center while several other shopping centers are close by.
- Kuala Lumpur features one of the most modern transportation systems in the region. You can conveniently get around via buses, taxis, light rail transit, monorail, and commuter trains.
Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur
There are a variety of accommodation options in Kuala Lumpur which is partly what makes it an ideal place for digital nomads. Whether you’re looking for something simple, luxurious, small, or big, you can find it in Kuala Lumpur either in the city’s center or outside of the city. Accommodation costs typically range from $500 to $800.
Popular Areas to Live in Kuala Lumpur for Digital Nomads
These areas are most popular for digital nomads. They provide conveniences for expats including co-working spaces, cafes, shopping, and other activities.
- City Center: The center of the city is booming with accommodations, shopping malls, cafes, and restaurants. If you enjoy a fast-paced lifestyle, this is the area for you.
- Mont Kiara: The upscale Mont Kiara, sometimes referred to as Kuala Lumpur’s Beverly Hills, is located away from the hustle of the city. It’s one of the most expensive areas to live in but is very comfortable for nomads.
- Damansara Heights: Similar to the affluent Mont Kiara, Damansara Heights offers gated communities and lavish rentals. It boasts a variety of health-conscious businesses such as gyms and health food stores along with other activities.
- Taman Tun Dr Ismail: Taman Tun Dr Ismail or TTDI offers a laid-back vibe, plenty of conveniences, and a variety of homes that a mix of Malaysians and expats live in.
- Bangsar: Also providing some peace and quiet is the Bangsar neighborhood where you can find homes and apartments. There are also various restaurants and bars to check out.
How to Find Short-Term Rentals in Kuala Lumpur
Given the number of rental options for digital nomads and remote workers in Kuala Lumpur, it can be overwhelming to find your perfect location. Fortunately, there are several ways to find your ideal rental.
- Rental websites: There are several sites that can help you find the type of accommodation you’re looking for. Some popular ones include expat.com and iProperty.com.
- Airbnb: You can find many rentals in Kuala Lumpur on Airbnb offering short-term and long-term options. This way you can also read reviews which always helps with deciding where to live in a new place.
- Facebook groups: Joining Facebook groups like Kuala Lumpur Expats is a helpful way to find rental options or even ask questions about specific rentals and areas.
Where to Work in Kuala Lumpur
Digital nomads and remote workers have plenty of workspaces to choose from in Kuala Lumpur. There are a variety of cafes and co-working spaces that offer a comfortable place to work and high-quality internet.
Cafes in Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur’s cafe scene continues to grow. You can find many trendy, cozy, and work-friendly spaces all over the city.
- VCR Cafe: This contemporary cafe offers tons of space and a delicious food menu.
- LOKL Coffee Co: Enjoy a vast menu while working at this tucked-away, cozy cafe.
- BEAN BROTHERS KL: Join lots of other nomads and people working at this spacious cafe.
Co-working Spaces in Kuala Lumpur
There is no shortage of co-working spaces in Kuala Lumpur. No matter where you’re located, there’s probably a place to get productive nearby.
- Colony Coworking Space – KLCC: This spot strives to meet the needs of every kind of digital nomad in a sleek, stylish space.
- WORQ Coworking Space: WORQ has it all from various work spaces to nap pods, a game room, and a fitness area.
- Sandbox Coworking Space: Flexible plans and a variety of amenities cater to most needs for a productive workday at Sandbox.
Visa Options for Travelling to Kuala Lumpur
While there aren’t any specific digital nomad visas for Malaysia, there are several options. You can go on a tourist visa and stay for 30-90 days, depending on your home country. Keep in mind that you can’t legally work on a tourist visa.
You can also go to Kuala Lumpur on a Multiple Entry Visa that allows you to stay for 3-12 months. You have to show that you can support yourself and that you have a flight booked for your departure. You do have to leave and come back several times during your stay so this is ideal for nomads who like to travel a lot.
Pros and Cons of Working Remotely and Living in Kuala Lumpur
We know that no place is perfect! While there may be some downsides to working remotely and living in Kuala Lumpur, there are tons of advantages. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons.
Why is Kuala Lumpur great for digital nomads?
- The food is delicious! With Kuala Lumpur being a melting pot of mostly Asian cultures, you can expect a variety of flavorful cuisine. Most food is inspired by the Chinese, Indian, and Malay cultures. From street food to eat-in restaurants, there are tasty options all over the city.
- Transportation is made fairly easy with a modern public transportation system. The light rail is continuously growing and taxis are affordable.
- The WiFi is reliable. Digital nomads and remote workers can almost always find working WiFi. Phone plans are also affordable and available as internet backup if needed.
- The weather is ideal for those who love warm temperatures. It’s warm year-round in Malaysia.
- English is widely spoken. Working in a new place can lead to enough challenges as it is, so it’s always nice to be in a place where you can communicate with locals. More than half of the locals speak some level of English.
- It’s a great location for every kind of digital nomad. Whether you’re traveling with family, someone who’s alone and ready to meet people, or if you prefer solo activities, there are so many experiences to enjoy.
- Healthcare is reliable and affordable. In fact, Malaysia has been recognized as being the best nation for healthcare. Be sure to look into travel health insurance in case you do need to seek medical attention while travelling.
- It’s affordable. Food, transportation, and cost of living are affordable, especially in comparison to other modern cities. Kuala Lumpur offers a very comfortable quality of life and is oneof the cheapest places for digital nomads.
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What are the downsides of living in Kuala Lumpur?
- The air pollution can be bothersome. Some areas are better than others, but it’s recommended to stay indoors or explore elsewhere when pollution is bad.
- While it’s nice that Kuala Lumpur doesn’t get cold, some people don’t prefer its typically hot and humid weather.
- The roads can be chaotic and driving can be an adventure. Fortunately, the great transportation system allows people to avoid having to drive in the chaos.
- While most things in Kuala Lumpur are affordable, imported goods can come at a high cost.