Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Stay Safe & Healthy


Stay Safe

Crime is not rampant in Kuala Lumpur and the Malaysian police have managed to reduce crime significantly in and around the city. It is common to see traffic police on the streets, patrol cars and police on foot patrols. The tourist police have also set up police booths and conduct frequent foot patrols in the main tourist areas especially where there are high densities of hotels and shopping malls. There are also the regular police roadblocks to check on illegal racing, drunk driving and general vehicle misdemeanors.

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Generally, it is safe to walk in Kuala Lumpur but caution must still be exercised if walking alone or in a small group, especially in secluded areas. Malaysian law requires that local residents carry their identity cards and visitors carry their passports. Kuala Lumpur has a high proportion of illegal immigrants and the police, immigration officers and RELA (civil defence volunteers) often conduct spot checks for illegal immigrants.

Crime & Precaution
Kuala Lumpur is a safe city though the perception of crime here is high due to the amount of attention
by the local media. Reports of violent crimes against foreigners are uncommon and most are targeted at locals. Common street crimes are pickpocketing and bag snatching by riders on motorbikes, who can be very ruthless. If you are a victim of snatch theft, better to let go of your bag than falling down and being dragged along on the street. If carrying a bag, hold it away from the street to discourage snatch theft. Avoid wearing flashy jewelry and walking in alleys and parking lots that are dark and secluded.

Be wary of over-friendly locals and foreigners since they may be trying to con you. The bogus cop scam is usually run by foreigners pretending to be police officers in plainclothes (not in police uniform) and often preying on unsuspecting foreigners. They will often ask to see your identification, take you to a secluded spot and then rob you. If stopped by a plainclothes 'police officer', do not follow them or insist on being taken to the nearest police station before saying or showing anything.

Taking the Taxi
Taxis are generally safe for travelling but some may refuse to use the meter and even gouge tourists mercilessly. If they refuse to use the meter (
taxis are legally required to use the meter), then take another taxi. If you are desperate to use a taxi refusing to use a meter, then always agree on the fare in advance (try to get an estimate of the cost from a local before you climb on board). Some taxi drivers pretend not to know your hotel or prefer taking you to their preferred hotel by saying that your hotel is in a bad area, closed or far. A good idea would be stay at a hotel nearby a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station to get around Kuala Lumpur - it would be cheaper, convenient and safer.

Taxis in Kuala Lumpur

Taxis in Kuala Lumpur

Stay Healthy

Tap water in Kuala Lumpur is chlorinated and therefore free from bacteria and safe to drink. Unfortunately the water carried by the pipes often have unsettled sediments not seen by the naked eye. Most locals at home prefer to boil or filter the water before using it for drinking. Alternatively, bottled water is widely available, usually costing MYR1 for a 500 ml bottle and MYR2 for a 1.5 litre bottle.

There is no malaria in the city (only occurs in the jungles and rural areas) but dengue fever can be a problem at times. You are unlikely to experience mosquitoes in your hotel room but may experience it outdoors in areas near stagnant water. Mosquito bites occur in the evenings, coming out into the outdoors just before sundown and remain hidden just before sunrise.

Between May and October, Kuala Lumpur is occasionally shrouded in dense haze from forest fires in Sumatra and Borneo. This poses a health concern for asthmatics, the elderly, young children and unpleasant coughs for others. However, the haze comes and goes (varying greatly from year to year), often disappearing after a heavy rainfall.

Guide to
Kuala Lumpur
Hotels in Malaysia
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