27 July 2015| Last updated on 9 November 2015
Moving to Kuala Lumpur?
Have you been offered an opportunity move to Kuala Lumpur with your family?
Congratulations, it’s a fantastic city to live in! Yes, it is hot and sweaty, congested and has its fair share of pickpockets – but so is any tropical metropolis. However, KL has a lot to offer for families with young kids.
We have lived here for quite some years and blogged about living in KL for a while. We think you should know at least this before you call the movers:
Schools, Schools, Schools
The biggest headache for local and expat families alike is education. Local schools are not even open to foreigners, and fees for the good international schools are astronomical. Narrow your choices to the schools that offer the curriculum you want, be in touch with them to enquire about spaces and do the maths. In addition to term fees, many schools have very high enrollment fees and other added payments.
Choosing the Right Neighborhood
KL has something for everyone from swanky condos to leafy suburban gated compounds and anything in between. Do some research before using Google maps for traffic conditions and work out that holy triangle of school, home and work. Somebody in your family is bound to spend time in the traffic jam, work out who that person will be. If you are reliant on public transport, make sure you move somewhere with good connections – not many places in KL are. Traffic really limits your life so try to figure out your social circle and live close to it.
Renting a Home
See more than one agent and have a good look around. There is no shortage of housing so shop around! Expats are sometimes offered apartments in the higher price bracket only – insist on seeing places within your budget but also remember everything is negotiable. That also means you can ask for extras such as dishwasher, or some walls to be painted. If you have the option to ship your furniture, do consider it – anything but Ikea is bound to be expensive, or of inferior quality.
KL has a large expat population and there are various expat societies that are great places to meet new people. If you have young children you can join Ibu, a local organisation that offers families support in the form of different workshops and play groups on weekdays. Swimming pools are the equivalent to playgrounds in colder climates and you are bound to meet families by the pool.
KL is often hailed as a shopping mecca, and indeed you can find things that you didn’t know you needed in the first place and more. Home deliveries are common, and supermarkets are well stocked. Cheese and other foreign delicacies are pricey. Some items to bring from back home are good quality shoes (particularly if you need large sizes), large sized clothing (especially for men) and underwear, and car seats for children.
Happy packing and welcome to Kuala Lumpur!
Happy Go KL is a family, lifestyle and travel blog written by a group of spirited ladies who have lived in Kuala Lumpur for a while. We want to share what we know and love about our current home town and this beautiful region, and regularly review kids’ activities, family-friendly restaurants and travel destinations.