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Michigan State University

Education Abroad: Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur means "muddy confluence" in Malay



Only 15 kilometres north of Kuala Lumpur lies the most popular Hindu sanctuary outside of India: the Batu caves.

The caves are decorated with a large number of colorful, painted images of Hindu gods--depicted left.

The largest cave can be reached after climbing 272 steps.

The chalk rock formations in which the caves are found are approximately 400 million years old. 


More than 126 million riders were recorded traveling in 2019 via Rapid KL’s bus network. In addition to the extensive bus routes, the light rail transit (LRT) and the mass rapid transit (MRT) provide more efficient access to longer destinations.

Tip: The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are best seen at night. 

You can get a MyRapid Touch ‘n Go card which is a preloaded transport card similar to Hong Kong’s Octopus Card. Aside from the convenience of not having to buy single journey tokens, it saves you a bit on fares as well.

Money and Expenses

MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted, but it's always best to check with any vendor before purchase. Tipping is not generally expected, but leaving a small tip at a cafe or restaurant is appreciated. Note that due to a strong USD, all RM prices can be divided by / 4 for the price in USD.

Some unique souvenirs to consider: Handwoven crafts, Batik, Wau, Durian chocolates, Royal Selangor pewter items.

In general, consider carrying RM 100 around the city, with a variety of bills.


Malaysia is a country of diversity, and the food reflects that. A dish loved by nearly all local Malaysians is known as nasi lemak, which includes rice cooked in coconut milk, topped with spicy samba chili sauce. Other popular native dishes include: Ikan bakar, nasi kandar, roti canai, laksa, and char kuay teow.

A food budget of around RM 30-50 per day will probably be enough.

Michigan State University