20 traits of living in Malaysia

April 14, 2013

It’s been 5 months since we moved to KL and looks like now we’ve settled and got into the pace of living in a tropical Asian country. I though I’d share my observations on ways life is different here than in Europe (imho, these are true to me and I can’t guarantee other expats feel 100% same).

Living in Malaysia_featured


  • Rent is affordable and there are a lot of options – we live in Bangsar area and one bedroom apartment or studio is around $600 month, can be less
  • Utilities are cheap, especially water (don’t have your aircon running 24/7 and the electricity bill will look good as well)
  • Most of kitchens don’t have hot water tap
  • Your food get’s bad faster than in Europe (my personal observation)
  • Ants are everywhere – you get used to sealing your food and cleaning up right after you finished eating and cooking – ants find their way to food very fast. Even to the 15th floor :-)
  • Having a washing machine and Internet pre-installed = fancy
  • They don’t have centralised gas – either the stoves are electric or there’s a gas balloon (refill ~$10)
  • Humidity – things get mouldy if you don’t dehumidify your house. I never realised I have so many organic things in my belongings ;-)
  • This especially applies to your jewellery!


  • Diversity – you can find pretty much any cuisine here in KL
  • Eating out is sometimes cheaper* than cooking
  • Wet markets are love (I shop for the week of fruit and veggies for less than $30. And if you know me, I eat a LOT of fruit and veggies)

* I mean street food and mamaks (my average lunch is $1-2)


  • Traveling is cheap – thanks to the local low cost airlines you can get to, for example, Cambodia in less than $100 return
  • Booking in advance saves you a lot of money (and I mean 10-12 months in advance)

In general

  • Men tend to stare at you more than at home. But when walking with your man by your side they tend not to
  • Everything heals much faster (humidity?)
  • Life fels more relaxed
  • There is no winter
  • You get used to cultural diversity and become more tolerant and accepting
  • Getting your hair and nails done is very very affordable

Please feel free to add your observations in the comments below, I wonder what other people think of life in Asia.

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