Is Kuala Lumpur Safe for Solo Female Travellers?!

Malaysia isn’t the most popular country in Southeast Asia for travellers, so if you’re planning a trip to the country, you may be asking yourself is Kuala Lumpur safe for solo female travellers?

I’ve visited Kuala Lumpur alone before, so I can tell you first hand whether Kuala Lumpur is safe for solo female travellers.

In short, yes Kuala Lumpur is safe for solo travellers.

In fact, everywhere in Malaysia I visited I felt extremely safe. Even in more rural areas.

Just because Kuala Lumpur is safe, doesn’t mean there aren’t things you need to be aware of. There are definitely things you need to know before your trip to Kuala Lumpur to make sure you’re staying safe and protecting yourself.

We’ll go over everything you need to know before your trip to Kuala Lumpur to keep you safe in this post. That way you’ll be fully prepared and ready to explore my favourite city in Southeast Asia.

Yes. I said what I said, and I stand by it. I adore Kuala Lumpur and think it is super underrated and more travellers should make it a priority.

Tips for travelling alone for the first time

Is Kuala Lumpur Safe?

Just in case you skimmed or skipped the introduction to this post (I really don’t blame you), I want to reiterate that Kuala Lumpur is very safe.

I never felt unsafe even when out exploring alone at night or in the early mornings.

That nagging feeling that I need to look over my shoulder or double check the people walking near me wasn’t around when I was in Malaysia. I felt comfortable and confident even though it was my first time in the country.

Petronas Towers

One Extremely Important Thing to Note

I’m writing this article from the perspective of a white woman who visited Kuala Lumpur alone.

I had an amazing time and felt safe 100% of the time.

That being said, I have heard from a couple of black solo female travellers that they didn’t always feel welcome in Kuala Lumpur.

Some black women have experienced racial prejudice in Kuala Lumpur and Malaysia.

So, if you’re a person of colour, I encourage you to seek out the experiences of other women of colour who visited Kuala Lumpur alone.

Those experiences will give you a better idea whether or not the answer to the question is Kuala Lumpur safe will be yes or no for you and what you might experience in the country.

Again, I’m just telling my perspective as a white woman. I felt safe, and I believe other white woman will feel safe travelling alone in Kuala Lumpur.

But that might be the case for every woman travelling to Kuala Lumpur alone. Seek out diverse voices and make the decision that is best for you and your situation.

Kuala Lumpur Safety Tips

Just because Kuala Lumpur is safe to visit doesn’t mean there aren’t things you need to know about before you arrive in Kuala Lumpur.

Knowing these things will make your trip to Kuala Lumpur safer and help you from standing out or unintentionally offending a local.

Some of these are pretty common sense but some of them you may not know about. But hopefully they help you on your trip to Malaysia.

Dress Modestly

One of the most important things to know before travelling to Malaysia is that Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country. That means modesty is key for women travelling alone to Kuala Lumpur.

Which can also be a bit tricky because you need to balance being comfortable in the heat and humidity with also being covered up enough to not be offensive.

This means no short shorts or short dresses, no tank tops, and nothing that shoes off your stomach.

I wore a t-shirt and long skirt every day I was in Malaysia and didn’t have any trouble modesty wise. It was hot though, but that’s to be expected in Southeast Asia. There isn’t really any way around the heat no matter what you wear.

Even though Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, there isn’t a requirement for you to be covered fully or for you to cover your hair.

Just please be respectful and cover your shoulders and knees. Unlike Dubai where a lot of tourists were wearing less modest clothing (even though I think you should be modest in Dubai as well), I didn’t see a single tourist during my three weeks in Malaysia wearing something that wouldn’t be acceptable.

Which was nice to see because most of the time there are always a few people who aren’t wearing what would be considered socially acceptable.

Anyways, moral of the stay is to be modest and respectable but complete coverage and covering of the hair isn’t required.

Batu Caves, Kuala Lumpur

Pick Pocketing is Prevalent

One of the few things that may change the answer to the question is Kuala Lumpur safe from a yes to a no is the prevalence of pick pocketing.

Be sure to keep your belongings close to you and not keep any cell phones, money, or passport in places where people can easily pull them out of your pocket or bag.

Pick pockets are most common in busy tourist places like the Petronas Towers, Batu Caves, and at KL Sentral.

But that’s really no different than any other major city.

The one thing that makes is a bit different is you have to be aware of monkeys that want to pick pocket you.

Yup. You read that right.

At Batu Caves specifically there are monkeys. Monkeys that aren’t super aggressive but will be aggressive if you have something they want.

If you have anything in your hands, you may have a monkey coming to see you. This includes a water bottle, cell phone, camera, or food.

Keep all of that inside bags as much as possible while walking up and down the stairs. Of course you’ll want to take pictures on the stairs because they’re beautiful but please take a look for monkeys before pulling out your camera and store your camera away after you take your pictures.

Monkeys may seem cute and fun when people post them on social media, but let me tell you that when you’re face to face with them (even at a distance), they’re quire scary, and you don’t want them deciding you have something they want.

The Importance of Internet Safety

One of the travel safety tips not enough people talk about is the importance of keeping your internet safe while on the road.

You rely on public wifi networks every single day when you travel. At hotels, at restaurants, and at airports.

Every time you use a public wifi network, you’re putting yourself at risk of having your personal data stolen. This could be something as small as your social media passwords or something as big as your banking information.

And let me tell you from experience, you don’t want your banking information compromised when you’re on holiday. It’s an absolute headache to deal with.

The only way to keep your online information safe while using public wifi networks is by installing a VPN on your devices.

A VPN essentially puts an invisible forcefield around your devices that makes it impossible for prying eyes to access your online information.

It makes using public wifi networks as safe as using your home wifi network where you’re the only person who knows the password.

Installing a VPN on your devices is one of the easiest ways you can keep yourself safe when travelling. Especially when travelling alone when there is nobody else there to help you if your banking information is compromised.

NordVPN

My Favourite VPN

I’ve used a lot of different VPNs over my many years of travel. VPNs are notoriously known for slowing down your internet speed, and I can tell you from personal experience that is the case for most VPNs on the market.

In fact, there have been many times where I stopped using my VPN and put my personal data at risk just because the VPN I was using was slowing down my internet so much.

All that changed when I started using NordVPN.

NordVPN is the fastest VPN on the market. I’ve been using it for over five years on all my devices, and I’ve never noticed my internet speed slow down.

Which is saying a lot since I rely on the internet for work and am constantly asking it to work hard.

Not only is NordVPN very quick and reliable, but it is also very affordable. You can connect up to six devices on one subscription, so you can easily protect all your devices.

A two-year subscription costs less per month than a single Starbucks latte, so you can’t beat the price.

My philosophy is that if you can afford to travel, you can afford to protect your online information and data with a VPN.

It’s truly a super small thing you can do before your trip to add an extra level of safety, security, and peace of mind.

Kuala Lumpur Museum

Take Care of Your Drink

Even though Malaysia is a Muslim-majority country, that doesn’t mean there isn’t an opportunity for drinking alcohol.

Unfortunately, just like many other cities around the world, there are instance of drink spiking in Kuala Lumpur.

As a solo female traveller, you’re even more at risk of having your drink spiked.

It is definitely one of the reasons someone may answer no to the question is Kuala Lumpur safe for solo female travellers.

Luckily, it is very easy to be safe and not have your drink spiked when drinking at a bar or restaurant.

Only accept drinks from the bartender or waiter and never leave your drink unattended or stop paying attention to your drink even if you don’t leave it unattended.

Pretty simple things that you should be following anytime you drink in public. Follow those tips, and you shouldn’t have any problem with having your drink spiked.

And if you do suspect your drink was spiked, please just buy a new one. I know it’s more expensive, but it’s cheaper than the potential consequences of having your drink spiked.

Tips for planning your first solo trip

Rely on Grab Instead of Taxis

I love, love, love Grab and rely on it constantly when travelling through Southeast Asia. It’s more or less the regions version of Uber.

You can easily get picked up and dropped off wherever you want to go for a very reasonable price.

It is also one of the tools you can use to make sure the answer to the question is Kuala Lumpur safe is yes.

Grab rides are tracked, and you can share your location with designated people. It is very safe and perfect for solo female travellers.

It’s important to note that when using Grab as a foreigner, you need to download the app and add your credit card to your account before you leave on your trip.

Otherwise you’ll run into trouble and need to have someone back in your home country create and account for you. An annoyance for sure.

Taxi scams aren’t common in Kuala Lumpur, but they are normally more expensive, and the Grab app is move convenient in my opinion.

Now, just because I’m recommending you use Grab over a taxi doesn’t mean I’m telling you not to use public transportation.

Kuala Lumpur has an amazing transportation system, and you can get basically everywhere you need to go very easily on their metro system.

But if you’re going to and from the airport or the bus terminal or out and about after dark and want to be dropped off right at your hotel door, then Grab is your best option. I’ve never had a bad experience using Grab.

Smoke Only in Designated Areas

I personally love cities that shun smokers, and Kuala Lumpur is one of those cities.

You can only smoke is designated areas that are more or less hidden in corners or alleys. You won’t see anybody walking down the street smoking, which is nice for non-smokers like me.

Unfortunately, just like everywhere else in the world, vapers think they’re immune from the rules of smokers and still vape out and about.

For the most part though, having to deal with someone walking in front of you smoking and blowing smoke into your face isn’t something you have to deal with.

However, if you’re a smoker, be sure you know that you can’t just smoke anywhere. You need to do it in designated areas.

Most hotels are smoke free, but I’m sure they’ll be able to point you to an area you’re allowed to smoke in if you ask.

I’m not exactly sure what the fines are if you’re caught smoking outside designated areas, but I’m sure there is a financial penalty.

Petronas Towers at Night

Quick Tips for Visiting Kuala Lumpur Alone

  • Get an esim! Esims are changing the travel game and are the easiest way to access the internet in foreign countries while still using your home number. I get one everywhere I travel! Airalo is my favourite esim. Download the mobile app here!
  • I personally think the Bukit Bintang area is the best area to stay in (I used points and stayed at the JW Marriott). It’s in a great location, near lots of shopping, and has better metro options the near the Petronas Towers.
  • Take the night bus tour of the city. It’s a two hour tour of the city in the evening, so you get to see all the buildings lit up. You get to disembark at a few stops, which makes for great pictures. To me, it’s the easiest way to see Kuala Lumpur at night, which is a must. I booked my ticket through Klook and saved the hassle of going to the company in person and buying my ticket.
  • Stay hydrated! Kuala Lumpur is a very hot city. Please drink more water than you think you need!
  • The Batu Caves and The National Museum of Malaysia were my two favourite activities (outside the night bus tour).
  • Klook is my favourite place to buy tickets in advance. I used it three times in Kuala Lumpur. It saves so much time, and you can often save a few bucks booking with Klook rather than paying once you get to the attraction.

Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you answer the question is Kuala Lumpur safe for solo travellers.

From my experience, the answer is absolutely yes. I never didn’t feel safe during my time in Kuala Lumpur and all of Malaysia.

In my opinion, Kuala Lumpur is one of the best and most underrated cities in Southeast Asia. I highly recommend you add it to your itinerary.

You won’t regret visiting Kuala Lumpur. I love it and can’t stop telling people that they need to visit!