Malaysia is becoming increasingly popular as a holiday destination, with tourist arrivals continuing to grow at a steady level every year. The majority of tourist arrivals in Malaysia come from citizens of neighboring Asian countries, many of which are first required to obtain a Malaysia eVisa before traveling to the country.
The introduction of the Malaysia online visa application form has made it possible for those who require a travel document for the country to obtain a visa exclusively online. Holders of the eVisa are able to enter Malaysia through any port of entry in the country. Although there are a number of Malaysian international airports, the majority of foreign travelers choose to arrive at Kuala Lumpur International airport.
Kuala Lumpur International Airport saw almost 60 million passengers pass through in 2018, almost 6 times the amount of traffic as the next busiest Malaysian airport, Kota Kinabalu International Airport in Sabah. This makes sense when you consider that the airport is located just 45 kilometers south of the country’s capital city and largest metropolitan center.
Holders of an online Malaysia tourist visa are able to easily pass through border control at the airport by presenting a printed copy of the eVisa alongside their passport and gain access to Malaysia. But many travelers may not know the best way to access Kuala Lumpur from the airport, or which currency they can use to get there. Read on to find out the answers.
Currency Exchange at Kuala Lumpur International Airport
The currency in Malaysia is the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR). The Ringgit is the only denomination accepted in the country, so it is necessary to convert any cash you may bring from home to the local currency in order to spend it! Many travelers who come to Malaysia with bills in their country’s currency may immediately seek to convert it all at a Malaysia currency exchange in the airport, but this would be a mistake.
Visitors to the country are advised to only change however much is needed for onward travel, around a couple of hundred ringgits, at a Malaysia money exchange in the airport, and wait until they arrive in Kuala Lumpur or other cities in Malaysia to exchange the rest. This is because airport exchange rates are generally poor and visitors can find a much better deal at Malaysian currency exchanges in the towns and cities.
Malaysia money exchanges can be found on almost every street in the main tourist areas of the major cities. Another positive is that all rates are usually displayed on the storefront, so you can easily compare prices before you pick where you want to do the exchange. Currency converters can also be found in most shopping malls in Malaysia.
Getting from Kuala Lumpur Airport to the City
Many travelers who arrive at Malaysia’s main international airport choose to take a taxi to Kuala Lumpur, although this is one of the more expensive options. What’s more, Malaysia’s roads are notorious for extensive traffic jams, and even if traffic isn’t busy on the day you arrive, it could take up to an hour to reach the city by taxi.
The cheapest option for traveling from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the city is by Skybus, which only costs RM9 for a one-way trip. However, the trip takes around 1.5 hours, much longer than by taxi or the fastest option, the KLIA Express train.
The KLIA Express train only takes around 30 minutes to get from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the capital’s central train station, KL Sentral. A one-way ticket costs RM35 for adults and RM15 for children between 2-12 years old. It is also sometimes possible to obtain a discount for families (2 adults and 2 children).
It is incredibly easy for those arriving in Kuala Lumpur airport to take the KLIA Express train. The ticket office and train platform are both located directly inside the airport on the 1st floor, just one level below the arrivals hall. Services operate from 5 am until 1 am every day and trains depart every 15-20 minutes so it is never necessary to wait for very long.
The KLIA Express is unquestionably the most comfortable way to travel to Kuala Lumpur from the airport, as the long train carriages mean there is usually plenty of empty seats from which you can take your pick. The trains are all fitted with TV screens which often display programs about popular tourist activities in Malaysia, so you can learn about lots of fun options to explore in the country during the ride.