Malaysia is often overshadowed by its neighbors (Indonesia, Singapore, and Thailand) & generally underrated.
This is mostly due to inadequate marketing efforts to promote the country as a whole.
But Malaysia is slowly gaining popularity as a place to work and live especially in the blogger and digital nomad crowd and here’s why:
1. Little to No Language Barrier
Unlike some countries in Asia, English is taught at school and widely spoken.
A lot of Malaysians watch English movies and TV shows, more & more people can afford to travel abroad and have international exposure.
But yeah, Malaysians do have an accent, but for the most part, you won’t have much of a language barrier here as locals would generally understand you without any problems.
But of course, if you can learn the local language (Bahasa Melayu), the better. The locals will be very impressed & it’s pretty easy!
2. Affordable Housing
Whether you are here for a few weeks or a few years, you’ll have no shortage of accommodation choices.
For short term stays, flexible housing is readily available thanks to Airbnb. Infinity pools are trending here! I will write in a different post of which area to stay, or whether you should stay in the city center vs staying in the suburbs.
Check out my studio in the heart of the city with a KL Tower view. It’s walkable to the city center.
3. Fast Reliable Internet
Available almost everywhere, you’ll notice that most restaurants, cafes, and malls have free WiFi.
Local 4G sim cards with no contract are all competitively priced and easily available everywhere. If you are a traveler, you need a sim card that does not require you to top up every month as explained in my article here.
Currently, the average internet packages at home are around 30Mbps. With the improvements in infrastructure, the internet speeds are increasing and prices are dropping each year. Which also brings me to my next point:
4. Cafe’s & Co-Working Spaces
The hipster trend is spreading like wildfire which results in an abundance of cafes & Co-working spaces. They’re popping up like mushrooms.
Digital Nomad heaven; a place to work whenever you want, with great coffee, a Google office inspired setup and working with like-minded people, you won’t fall short of places to work & socialize.
5. Tech Scene
This will also translate to more digital work opportunities if you are into these types of gigs. There’s a lot of untapped markets to take advantage of if you’re smart and have good connections.
The government is also actively promoting digital entrepreneurship as it will create jobs for the locals. Check out this government initiative to promoted digital entrepreneurship: Magic Cyberjaya.
Malaysia being a melting pot of a lot of cultures, you will see a great variety of food & overall cheapness when it comes to eating out.
Local foods (Malay, Chinese & Indian) are the staple and is the benchmark for food affordability.
But as we have more and more diversity, you will see more cuisines to be considered ‘normal’ here such as Western, Japanese, Korean and Middle Eastern cuisines.
The abundance in variety also opens up opportunities for restauranteurs to experiment with fusion food which is catching on over her.
7. Hub for Exploring Asia
Malaysia itself has a lot to offer in terms of places to visit. just by driving an hour away from Kuala Lumpur, you can reach a nature reserve for a hike or a swim in a refreshing river.
However, if you wish to travel somewhere else in Asia for a short getaway, you can very cheaply do so with AirAsia.
They are based in Malaysia, therefore, flights from Kuala Lumpur are really cheap! Just check out their website and keep an eye out for crazy low deals.
8. Welcoming locals
This s could be subjective, but as mentioned by other foreigners living in Malaysia, most of them say that the locals are generally friendly and proud of their culture and country.
How this translates to you is that it will be easy for you to make friends and build connections. If you are able to make some local friends here, they are more than happy to show you around and include you in local happenings.
Part of the reason why Malaysians are eager to entertain foreigners is because Malaysia is underrated as a tourist destination. Compared to residence of other super touristy cities such as Bangkok or Paris, you can see the fed up attitude of locals to entertain any tourists and would avoid you like a plague (understandable). You most definitely won’t experience that in Malaysia (at least not yet).
It’s hot and humid all year round. No such thing as winter jackets, all you need is a lot of shorts, flip flops, and shades! You don’t need a dryer as clothes dry out in a few hours.
Just a few hours drive out of Kuala Lumpur will access you to the deep forest for jungle trecking and also white water rafting for a nice weekend getaway.
Now I’ve Answered Why you Should Live in Malaysia
So maybe you are now in a position where you are thinking to move to Kuala Lumpur (or KL as the locals call it). Check out my article on how to find a decent place to rent in Kuala Lumpur.
If you need a short term rental, check out my available listings smack in the middle of Kuala Lumpur Center.