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Boasting of picturesque skyscrapers, well-preserved natural attractions, and charming locals, Kuala Lumpur remains to be one of the top cities in the world that one needs to visit in their lifetime. In fact, the capital city was the ninth most visited city by international tourists in the world out of 100 leading global cities in tourism. Its diversity is one of the main reasons why travellers all over the world kept visiting this enchanting city.
Alas, you can’t have the sweet without the sour, and even a city like Kuala Lumpur has been plagued with petty crimes related to expats in the city, where purse snatching and pickpocketing have been common for many. How can we enjoy KL while ensuring our safety? This post contains effective tips on how to stay safe while roaming the streets of Kuala Lumpur.
women’s safety precautions
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As a woman who has traveled fairly extensively, I can tell you that safety differs very greatly in cities, but EVERY city has a sketchy neighborhood. That is why it is wise to research ahead of time where you are going! Also, check out my post on travel tips for women if you want specific safety tips!
Crimes related to women is highly rampant in the city. In fact, numerous cases have been filed related to muggers and thieves pointing a knife at women just to snatch their purse. Although being vigilant and aware keep one out of danger, it’s difficult to stay calm when the situation strikes. How do I stay safe in Kuala Lumpur? Here are some tips:
- Always walk on the opposite side of the street
- Keep your car or house keys ready before you head home
- Do not leave your car door open, even for a while
- Carry a pepper spray with you
- Wear a money belt
Be smart with taxi drivers
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Travellers love the comfort of riding air-conditioned taxis wherever they go, but it might be a different experience once you set foot in Kuala Lumpur. Different scams have been connected with cabs in KL that the city has been known to be one of the worst taxi services amongst Southeast Asian cities. Cases related to cabbies refusing to switch on their taxi metres or drivers taking longer routes and busier roads are just common stories in KL.
Budget taxi can be very affordable if you will be travelling with a group, but it’s advisable to get one at legitimate taxi counters available at the international airport, bus terminals, and ‘sentral’ station where you can also buy taxi coupons to get a fair deal. An alternative solution will be to use a dependable taxi app to book your ride.
Avoid ATMs, especially at night
Although ATMs are available almost anywhere in the city, it’s best to refrain using them as much as possible, especially at night. Crimes related to robbery and ATM fraud are rampant in KL, and no traveller would want the hassle of losing all their money while in a foreign trip. It’s more recommended to visit a bank directly and withdraw cash. Be weary of your surroundings at all times.
Although it might sound silly, keeping your cash in your shoes may be the best option when you get there. If you are a lady, stash it in your bra! Genius idea isn’t it!? Safety in Kuala Lumpur is just a shoe or bra away.
Am I safe from terrorism?
Kuala Lumpur is the most populous city in Malaysia, making it a perfect spot for terrorism attacks. In fact, foreign offices have increased terrorism warning for travellers visiting Malaysia. British and Australian governments have already issued terror warnings for Malaysia, saying that incidents “could be indiscriminate and may target Western interests.”
Anyone can be a victim of terrorism, whether local or tourist. Although there’s no way to avoid them, one can get insured to ensure you’re fully covered of any expense that may be incurred due to such unsudden events. However, it’s important to know up to what extent does my insurance provider covers me from terror attack? Some travel insurance may extend their medical coverage in the event of a terror attack, but cancellation fees and lost deposits may be excluded.
It’s best to discuss with your provider about the extension of their coverage, but do not be afraid to travel Kuala Lumpur as it remains to be a must-visit metropolitan destination in the world. Actually, I highly advise you to travel MORE during this time! Afer the recent attacks in Brussels, security is heightened, adding to extra safety. Besides, we can’t let them stop us from seeing the globe!