Jan 02 2012

How to extend your Malaysian tourist visa (Social Visit Pass) in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Visas

Malaysia has one of the sanest and most hassle-free tourist visa procedures in all of Asia, with most visitors being granted a free 30-to-90 day Social Visit Pass on arrival. Compare that to virtually every other country in the region, which are not only more stingy with the time they grant travellers, but also charge … read the full post

Dec 27 2011

Kuala Lumpur’s biggest scam: Discriminatory pricing for foreigners

Published by under Sightseeing & activties

It is a sad fact of travel that tourists are seen as ripe for ripping off by a dedicated band of con artists, whether that be credit card fraud, elaborate gem scams, or even fake charities. However clever these cons are, with a little bit of common sense they are perfectly avoidable. The problem with … read the full post

Dec 23 2011

Halal and haram (haraam) in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Culture,Food

Every year, Kuala Lumpur plays host to a global halal conference, an indication of how important the Malaysian government views the international market for products that comply with Islamic rules. The event covers everything from food to financial services, which probably comes as a bit of a surprise to anyone who thinks the term only refers … read the full post

Dec 20 2011

All change: Kuala Lumpur’s new public transport ticketing system

Published by under Transport

For a city of Kuala Lumpur’s wealth and ambition, its public transport system was until recently an embarrassing mess (making it easier, sometimes, to just walk). It was not so much that it was badly planned, as to be completely lacking in any strategic overview at all. Every mode of transport, even the two lines of the … read the full post

Dec 15 2011

How to celebrate (Western) New Year in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Festivals

One of the side-effects of having such a mix of races and religions living in Malaysia, is that every few weeks seems to herald some major festival or other. This is particularly true of New Year, which is celebrated by Muslims, Chinese, Buddhists, Hindus, Sikhs, as well as indigenous peoples, at different times. As a … read the full post

Dec 13 2011

December getaways: Cameron Highlands

Published by under Kuala Lumpur excursions

For many people, the whole point of being in the tropics around now is to escape the depth of the winter back home in Europe and North America. But that does not mean spending the whole time somewhere as steamy as Kuala Lumpur. For a good Goldilocks solution (neither too hot, nor too cold), why not … read the full post

Dec 07 2011

Celebrating Christmas in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Festivals

When talking about how Christmas is celebrated in Kuala Lumpur, it is important to draw a distinction between the city’s small Christian community, and everyone else. For the vast majority of KL’s population, the festival is devoid of any religious connotations. Even the festive decorations have been denuded of any Christian imagery. Malaysians generally need … read the full post

Dec 05 2011

December getaways: Tioman Island, Malaysia

I’m based in Singapore, a tiny place to call home, but with the saving grace of being just a short budget flight to nearly anywhere else in Southeast Asia. While Phuket or Bali are the obvious choices for a quick getaway, during the peak holiday season I prefer somewhere off the beaten track, like Tioman … read the full post

Dec 05 2011

Photo: The old and new in Kuala Lumpur

Published by under Photos

Old and new in KL.

Architecturally speaking, there’s little respect for the old in Kuala Lumpur, but one neighbourhood has managed to resist the onslaught of silver steel and gleaming glass: Kampung Baru, located spitting distance from the KLCC’s Petronas Towers.

Dec 02 2011

Of camels, the Australian outback, and the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

Published by under Events

If I said the most interesting exhibition currently showing in Kuala Lumpur was about the role camels (and their handlers) played in opening up the Australian outback, or that the venue for this esoteric offering was the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia (IAMM), you might be a trifle sceptical. But really, “Australia’s Muslim Cameleers Pioneers of … read the full post

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