Tag Archives: Kuala Lumpur

Quality of Life and Personal Safety International Rankings for Cities

Mercer Quality of Living Survey, Worldwide Rankings, 2011. Selected cities to put Johor Bahru and Kuala Lumpor’s rankings in context (in SE Asia and the world).

Rank City, Country
1 Vienna, Austria
2 Zurich, Switzerland
3 Auckland, New Zealand
4 Munich, Germany
5 Vancouver, Canada
11 Sydney, Australia
18 Melbourne, Australia
25 Singapore, Singapore
30 Paris, France
30 San Francisco, California, USA
43 Washington, DC, USA
46 Tokyo, Japan
47 New York City, NY, USA
70 Hong Kong, China
76 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
80 Seoul, South Korea
83 Athens, Greece
85 Taipei, Taiwan
88 Cape Town, South Africa
95 Shanghai, China
97 Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei
101 Brasilia, Brazil
101 Johor Bahru, Malaysia
109 Beijing, China
121 Bangkok, Thailand
121 Mexico City, Mexico
128 Manila, Philippines
135 Cairo, Egypt
140 Jakarta, Indonesia
141 Bangalore, India
143 New Delhi, India
147 Hanoi, Vietnam
186 Phnom Penh, Cambodia – Phnom Penh Travel information
196 Yangon, Myanmar

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Kuala Lumpur Bird Park

The Kuala Lumpur Birdpark is in downtown Kuala Lumpur right next to the Museum of Islamic Art.

It isn’t very obvious how to walk from one to the other but I was able to do so. I would guess I walked maybe 2km – the problem is getting to the entrance of the bird park (I think the properties actually touch each other).

photo of pathway in Kuala Lumpur Birdpark

Kuala Lumpur Birdpark

All of the photos in this post were taken by John Hunter and can be used with a link back to this post.

Crested Goshawk

Crested Goshawk (Lang Sikap)

If you like seeing birds and you have time in Kuala Lumpur I think the birdpark is worth a visit. But it really isn’t so special and other things may be a more valuable use for your time. If you have time and want an outdoor activity though it is fine (for example if you are living in Kuala Lumpor or staying for an extended period). The park is a bit run down and it is a bit sad how small the enclosures are for some of the birds.

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Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur

photo of a beautiful chess set

Beautiful chess set at the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia

I visited the Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia while staying in Kuala Lumpor a few months back. It is a modern museum with clean lines and lots of open space.

The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia houses more than 7,000 artefacts, as well has an exceptional library of Islamic-art books. The art objects on display range from the tiniest pieces of jewellery to one of the world’s largest scale models of the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The aim is to create a collection that is truly representative of the Islamic world. Instead of concentrating on works from the heartlands of Persia and the Middle East, IAMM also puts the emphasis on Asia. China and Southeast Asia are especially well represented. The third component of the Malaysian melting pot is India, which is also given special status.

View of gallery inside Islamic Arts Museum

The Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia has a open and attractive floorplan

I thoroughly enjoyed the visit, it did not seem as large as you might expect. If you are like me and enjoy visiting museums and learning I think it is worth a visit when you are in Kuala Lumpor.

You might also enjoy the bird park (which is nearby). The bird park isn’t really fantastic: in my opinion, it could be skipped without missing too much (but I like seeing animals and did enjoy it though it did seem a bit overpriced and under maintained).

Related: Tourist Stuff in Kuala LumpurDreams and Reality: Museum D’Orsay Exhibit at the National Museum of SingaporeHotels and Accomations for Travelers in Malaysia

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Zee Avi to Perform in Kuala Lumpor, Kuching, Penang and Singapore

Zee Avi posted her music to You Tube from her home in Borneo and was spotted and signed by a producer based in the USA. She is back in Malaysia on a tour and will be performing at the following locations:

  • Rock Corner, The Curve Shopping Mall, Kuala Lumpor, Nov 16th
  • KL Live, Kuala Lumpor, Nov 17th
  • Straits Quay Convention Center, Penang, Nov 19th
  • TAB, Singapore, Nov 22nd
  • Damai Central, Kuching, Sarawak Nov 26th

From her bio:

just four years ago, Avi was a former art student in Kuala Lumpur who posted a song on YouTube to catch up with a friend and was quite surprised to find herself the toast of the Internet when thousands of strangers discovered her effortlessly stunning voice. Literal overnight success can easily poison young minds, but Avi is no ordinary mind — while critics were comparing her chilled-out, jazzy, ukulele-based songs to Billie Holiday and Cat Power she was continuing to make visual art and remaining her buoyant, whimsical self. “I’m 25 going on 12 and a half on a good day,” she laughs, flipping through a notebook filled with colorful drawings and lengthy notes.

via: Capturing Penang

Related: Tourist choices in KLLooking into Kuching, Sarawak, MalaysiaHollie Steel

PayPal Opens Regional Support Center in Malaysia

PayPal announced it will open a new regional customer support center in Malaysia. The site opens with 200 employees and they may hire up to 300 more employees over the next 3 years. PayPal’s new facility will offer service and support for customers across Southeast Asia as well as provide operational support for PayPal’s global payment service.

Based in Kuala Lumpur, PayPal’s new customer support center is currently hiring for a wide range of positions including customer service, merchant support and other operational support roles. PayPal is now accepting resumes from experienced applicants (I had added a link to apply but their job site is so lame I removed it – hopefully Paypal isn’t as backward as their job site makes it appear, or those jobs might not last long).

“PayPal is experiencing phenomenal growth in the Asia Pacific region and this new support center demonstrates our commitment to offering a safe, secure online payment platform to millions of customers across the region, especially in Southeast Asia,” said John McCabe, senior vice president of global customer service and operations, PayPal. “We chose Malaysia because of its highly-skilled, globally competitive and multilingual workforce, in addition to a world-class business environment and technology infrastructure.”

“We believe their decision to put up a major regional facility here is a strong endorsement of Malaysia as a vibrant hub for the high-technology industry. As an MSC Malaysia-status company, PayPal is an important and strategic partner to us, as we move towards realising our nation’s goal of becoming an innovative digital economy,” said Datuk Ghazali, CEO of Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC).

Kuala Lumpur joins the other customer support locations for Paypal: Shanghai, China; Chandler, Arizona, USA; Omaha, Nebraska, USA; Dublin, Ireland; Berlin, Germany.

Adding jobs such as these in the key growth areas of technology and financial services is important for Malaysia’s economic plan. Attracting these companies to locate here is important. And keeping them here and having them add jobs will be a big factor in the future of the Malaysian economy.

It is also important to build the economy in multiple areas, targeting: Johor, Penang, Sarawak and Kuala Lumpor makes sense to me. And given the success in Kuala Lumpor already, I would really try and focus on adding jobs elsewhere whenever possible. Still, gains in Kuala Lumpor are a very positive sign. And targeting several industries is also wise, good targets for Malaysia: internet technology, finance (especially in the areas of back office support for Singapore and Islamic finance), energy, manufacturing, health care and education. Advancing the progress on the residence pass for talented expats would be a big help for Malaysia’s economic future.

Related: Penang’s Economic GainsThe Investment Potential for Iskandar is Attracting Interest from Great BritainPenang Condo Market

P1 Broadband Wimax in Johor Bahru, Malaysia

Update: P1 is unreliable, do not consider them for anything but a backup. Once they provide historical and real time uptime and real speed data from a 3rd party then you can think of considering them. In 6 weeks they have been down multiple days for multiple hours. One day for 1 hour would be bad. Being down several hours in a month would be very bad. They have been that unreliable and down multiple weeks (I think 50% of the weeks) for multiple hours a multiple days. Extremely poor. They don’t even have bother to apologize and explain each failure (at least 3 long term very serious failures in 6 weeks). As I stated in the last update, that tells you enough them to avoid P1, if you are smart. And it also explains why they keep failing over and over and over (when they don’t even acknowledge the causes of the failures, maybe they don’t even figure them out).

Finding a decent provider isn’t easy, the reviews online make it seem like P1 is as good as any provider (maybe Unify is best but it is offered on in very limited locations).

I needed broadband internet for my condo in Johor Bahru. In looking at the various options they seemed pretty similar. P1 offers the highest speed I saw 5Mbps and 30Gb a month (for the RM 139 a month plan) and so that seemed best to me. They also offer a 7 day trial period which was nice. And you can use it in 2 hours (after some setup by their system to activate your modem), which is nice. You can check out if your area is covered.

My speed was pretty bad at first. I was able to get support through Twitter. After awhile they said they would monitor the modem from their side. Then they said they made tweaks to the modem and things actually do seem better. I really wonder what they do to speed it up? The speed is still not near 5 Mbps. If I average 1.5 Mbps I would be surprised. I have only had it for about a week now so I do need to get more data. Today it has been above 2 Mbps for much of the day so if that continues it could be good (I even had 2 tests where it was nearly 4 Mbps – the average today may well be above 3). But it does seem 5 Mbps is much more a marketing gimick that what you can expect. But I don’t know if p1’s difference from their marketing is any more exaggerated than anyone else. Also I probably need close to 30 Gb so that factor matters to. If I could average 3 Mbps and had very little downtown (99.5% uptime) I will happy.

I have had several 10 or 15 min times already where I was trying to get online and couldn’t. I am hoping that is maybe initial setup issues (though really that doesn’t make much sense which is why I am just hoping). p1 has been good enough that I am passing the 7 day mark without cancelling, hopefully I won’t regret it.

I think I would have gone with Unify. They are a land-line provider which should be more reliable (historically the problem with landlines has been slow customer service and high fees, Unify is meant to address these issues and seems to be doing better on those scores). Unify’s VIP 5 plan offers 5 Mbps download and 60 Gb per month. Really I think if I was smart this is what I should have done. It takes awhile to setup and I think the upfront charges are more. I might even get Unify on top of p1 (just because I am so reliant on the internet to do my job). I really can’t have outages or it can be a serious problem. Probably it would have been smart to get the Unify package and then the a cheaper p1 plan. Oh well, trying to do all the things I have to do to get setup has been pretty stressful, making a few mistakes isn’t so horrible. I’ll just have to earn more money so I can afford to add Unify (or maybe I’ll find just P1 is enough).
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Hotels and Accommodations in Malaysia

I have added a page on the site with links to good hotels and accommodations in Malaysia. At this time it covers 4 areas: Kuala Lumpur, Langkawi, Penang and Johor Bahru. Different people have different desires for a hotel room. And at different times even the same person does. In general I prefer to save my money by using discount lodging, but I splurge occasionally – especially if I can get a great deal. I did that, when I stayed at the Prince Hotel & Residence Kuala Lumpur and it was wonderful.

I also have found nice discount places and some in-between. I really nice place in Johor Bahru is Bliss Boutique Hotel that has very distinctive room designs. They also have great staff. If you don’t mind small rooms it is a great choice for Johor Bahru.

photo of the beach at the Sunset Resort

Beach, Sunset Resort in Langkawi, Malaysia by John Hunter

Langkawi is a wonderful place to vacation and relax at the beach. I stayed at the Sunset Beach Resort which had very simple and well maintained bungalows. One of the best “features” was a great Indian restaurant on the beach – right next store to the hotel.

A great hotel in Penang is the G Hotel on Gurney Drive.

Related: Good, Cheap, Johor Bahru HotelsTourist Stuff in Kuala LumpurNice Ocean View from Langkawi, Malaysia