There are many transport options and ways to get around Malaysia. Public transport includes a bus service and several lines of rapid transport, such as the LRT, MRT, BRT, and monorail. When you land in KL, you need to get an airport taxi. These are safe and secure. After that, I’d suggest you stick to GrabCar or Uber.
Public taxis have a very bad rap, especially since they are rumored be run by a mafia of taxi drivers who give you a hard time. I personally had a terrible experience once, which involved the driver dropping me off to Curve instead of One Utama (as I had clearly requested), and then cursing at me and screaming that we are at One Utama (even though the sign outside the mall clearly said Curve and I knew One Utama as I had been there many times). He also demanded to be paid in full, and that I paid extra if he were to take me to the right place.
On our recent trip, we pledged our loyalty to GrabCar and Uber and had zero regrets with either. It’s safer than public transport, it’s cheaper than public taxis, it’s super convenient (you can book a car through the app), and it’s a really great way to meet some really cool people. Our experience was enriched by the many wonderful drivers we met (both male and female), and the invaluable recommendations they gave us.
What’s the difference between GrabCar and Uber, might you ask? The biggest difference is that GrabCar offers extremely flexible hours to the drivers (they have to take as little as just one passenger a month), which means we got to meet a lot of part-time drivers such as students trying to make extra some extra bucks. Also, GrabCar promises a fixed fare, whereas Uber goes by the meter. So in case you’re stuck in bad traffic (and it get’s really bad during rush hours), you can be at ease in a GrabCar knowing you won’t have to pay more than what the app promised when you booked the car.
Rush hour surge prices can almost double the normal fare, so I’d suggest reaching your destinations before 4pm and staying put till 8pm.
On weekends, you can use a promocode that goes something like “ILUVWNDS” (I’m sure they regularly change it- don’t worry, you’ll get an SMS update if you;re using the app), and get up to 60% off on your ride. The cheapest ride we ever got was RM1.6 for a location 5 minutes away from our starting point; and RM 6 for a location was a good 20 minutes away!
The best part is that you don’t need credit cards to pay through either of these apps. Cash goes a long way.
The only time GrabCar let us down was when we requested one to take us to the airport at 5am, especially since we were staying in Bangsar– a not-so-touristy place. That’s when we had to call Uber, and our fare was a whopping MYR 113, which is double what we would have paid had we just called an airport taxi.
The most important tip you need to remember, is to walk! There is no best way to explore a land than on foot. Walk wherever you can, just keep walking.