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Kuala Lumpur - Moving soon.

(83 Posts)
Silibilimili Mon 16-Jul-12 18:30:35

Is there anyone in KL that can help me with the following questions. I am moving there in November this year with DH, and 2 DCs. DD1 is 4 and DD2 is 1.

What are the better areas to live there?
What schools are good?
What is public transport like if we decide not to buy a car?
How do I get hold of a nanny or home help?
What should I pack from here? (We currently own our property in the UK. We plan to be in KL for between 3-5 years. We have an option to take our furniture but I would rather not if it means more hassle. Anyone with any experience?

I posted on MN before but I think I posted in the wrong section so did not get a response. Hoping someone can help me.

dontcallmehon Tue 17-Jul-12 00:03:00

Can't answer now, but my lovely stepdad is malaysian and is over in Johor Barahu at the moment visiting his parents. he gets back in a couple of weeks, so I'll ask him his opinion. I've been to Kuala Lumpur and loved it, but not for a long time. I think Penang is my favourite place in Malaysia, so you could have some amazing holidays there.

Silibilimili Tue 17-Jul-12 09:54:50

dontcallmehon, thank you so much.

KLdragon Tue 17-Jul-12 10:04:11

Hi Silib I have just moved to KL 6 months ago so not an expert but will help you with your questions as best I can.
Where you live will depend a lot on which schools your 4 year old goes to and where your Dh works as KL traffic can be a bit of a nightmare. Popular expat areas include Damansara, Bangsar , Ampang ,Sri Hartamas and Mt Kiera . Also A lot of people stay central and choose to live in a condo around KLCC.
I assume you are looking for British schools my DC go to Alice Smith which is probably the best known and oldest british school in KL but Garden is popular and there is a new school called the British International school which is getting good reviews.
Wether you can use public transport again will depend where you live and where your Dh works there are a few people here without cars and the schools do have school buses. If you lived around KLCC or Bangsar you would be fine as they are on the metro but places like Damansara have no public transport so you would have to have a car.
Home help is easy to pick up here most people have maids either live in or out.
We shipped all our stuff when we left the Uk (was in Dubai prior to this) but we rent our house out unfurnished back in the Uk and rent unfurnished here. Personally I like having my own things as it feels more like home and if the company is paying for it and you are going to be here for at least 3 years I would definitely do it. Its cheaper to rent unfurnished than furnished also.
Hope this helps

Silibilimili Tue 17-Jul-12 11:38:07

kldragon thank you so much for your response. Food for thought. How much is rent in a good area for say a 3/4 bed apartment/house? I did a little research online (reading expat bloggs) but some are very contradictory. We have a mortgage here. And as both us won't be working, and living on one salary (although an expat salary). We have an excellent standard of living in the uk. Live is a fairly nice large house etc. would it be same there or are we signing up for a worse life?
I saw the websites for garden school and international school. Both look good. Are they easy to get into or is there a waiting list? I am concerned about this as we will be moving mid term I suppose.
How easy is it to get a job for a British dependent? Money not important but continuing career is.

So many question. How did you find settling in? What was the hardest bit?

KLdragon Tue 17-Jul-12 13:34:37

Hi Silib check ou the website iproperty.com.my this will give you an idea of rental prices in areas and also the difference between furnished and unfurnished.
Schools can be an issue depending on year the early years are definately the most busy so definitely worth contactiing schools sooner rather than later. we moved mid school year starting in January and got school places ok
Standard of living wise we have a great life food and petrol is very cheap , eating out is very inexpensive Alcohol is expensive but we came from Dubai where it is astronomical so we don't notice it. great places to travel to nearby. We live in a 4 bed house with a pool. Most condos, villas have access to a pool and lots have their own gyms and tennis courses as well. Petty crime is an issue so most condos and compounds have their own security guards but as long as you are sensible and take precautions
Not sure about the job situation I am not working at the moment although I did work in Dubai will probably look into it in September but most expat wives dont work here. believe it can be difficult but a lot depends on your industry and contacts .
Settling in has been relatively easy you have to make an effort to go to coffee mornings etc but once you make a few friends it gets a lot easier. The expat community is a lot smaller than in Dubai so you do see the same familiar faces which is great I still find the roads a bit of a nightmare and won't leave home without my sat nav. The weather takes some getting used to very hot and humid with incredible thunderstorms and torrential rain but overall we are happy the DC slotted straight into their schools and have really enjoyed their 6 months here. Feel free to ask away if you have any other queries.

Silibilimili Tue 17-Jul-12 14:11:30

kldragon thank you do much for your response again.
If you dont mind me asking, how much is rent for a house with a pool? Is security good? I assume you are in a gated community?
So far, garden school and the Alice school look good to me so I would look to live near these schools. Mont kiara area seems good for these.
I have no idea currently where the offices will be. I have been advised that choose the school first and then be area.
Just a little apprehensive about moving with family and giving up career (money (security) that goes with it).

Silibilimili Tue 17-Jul-12 14:12:45

What I meant to say was, is it just as secure to live in a house compared to an apartment?

KLdragon Wed 18-Jul-12 04:25:04

When we were looking 6months ago the villas we looked at were between 9,000 rg and 14,000 rg per month most villas,condos etc are open to negotiation on price and speaking to an agent last week the Market is quite slow at the moment so definitely worth bargaining We are actually in a stand alone villa with own pool as we have many pets and we found a lot of the gated communitys have small gardens also we did the gated community when we were in Dubsi so wanted something different. Gated communities and condos in apartments are definitely more social and given the age of your children might suit you better as you will definitely meet other mums with similar age children and the facilities are really good. Mt Kiera is a good area lots of apartment blocks and some really nice gated communities nearby very convenient for Garden. If you choose Alice smith the nearest gated communities are Seputeh but Mt Kiera is still commutable for Alice.

Silibilimili Wed 18-Jul-12 07:49:26

kldragon thank you. That helps. Are there any tips you can give us in general? The pit falls, what not to do/what to do?

KLdragon Thu 19-Jul-12 03:54:19

I think the key thing is just to keep calm. Moving is stressful KL moves at a different pace to the UK so it can be frustrating getting things done here. Sort the schools out as a matter of priority and otherwise just enjoy the journey, exciting times ahead! If you need any more info feel free to pm me

Silibilimili Thu 19-Jul-12 21:28:18

Thank you so much. I may take up your offer closer to the time.

LoopyLoopsHasAnAdventure Fri 20-Jul-12 00:28:24

We just moved last week. smile

We have shipped (not arrived yet) loads of toys, pictures/paintings and nice things from home. I bought loads of clothes over in the expectation that they would be hard to find in my size (12) but they aren't, and it's very cheap for clothing.

My kids are 1 and 3 so we've just put a deposit down for a gated community. I'm on a teaching salary so can't afford villas etc, but have secured a beautiful, modern house/apartment in an amazing compound (PM me if you need details) for 3000rm. Definitely bargain. Hard.

I won't comment on schools as I am a teacher but if they are all like mine you have nothing to worry about. I'm astounded by how lovely the staff and kids are, and how good the facilities are.

We are hoping to have only the one car, DH is a SAHD and happy to do lots of walking. Haven't really encountered public transport yet. Driving is mental.

We've found the heat very manageable. We spent 2 days in Dubai on the way over and that was so hot that it felt cool when we arrived here! I'd advise against the Dubai route, as the Emirates staff at Dubai airport were horrible and ruined our trip (I feel an angry thread coming on!)

Anyhow, got to get to work now, but feel free to ask more. I've found that everyone is really friendly, and really willing to help you out and show you round. So happy with the people I've met so far. smile

Silibilimili Fri 20-Jul-12 12:34:13

Hi Loopyloops, Wow, what a change. I have lived in Singapore before so I understand about sizing!! I am currently a size 12 too with big knobs. Not fun to find bras and tops in these countries. Glad you did not have a problem. Are the styles and quality good? One of this things on my list was also to do a big shop of clothes in UK before arriving.
Has your DH always been a SAHD? Will he try to find work eventually? This is my dilemma. What to do with the trailing career. Once we move back to the UK in say 3/6 years time, then both of us will have to work to maintain the lifestyle. How does one cope with being out of work and then coming back to somewhere like UK and looking for work again?
I am very excited but also apprehensive.
Re. Toys, yes, we were thinking of stocking up on Lego and the likes as I found these to be very pricey in Asia.
Did your Visa take long to get? Workplace says 3/4 weeks currently. What about nurseries for your kids and play groups. Are they good/easy to go to?

Silibilimili Fri 20-Jul-12 12:34:55

PS

I see by your post and tone that you are happy. Thats is great. x

LoopyLoopsHasAnAdventure Fri 20-Jul-12 13:55:26

knobs?!

He has been a SAHD for a few months, may look for work at some point but no rush. We'll just see what happens.

Work dealt with visa, not really sure how long it took - a few weeks I think. Older DD has started preschool at my school. There are loads of playgroups etc. but we've not been to any yet - been too busy! Absolutely loads of kids play centres and nice things for them to do. A great city for kids really.

Silibilimili Fri 20-Jul-12 14:40:13

Haha. dont know what else to call them. We have a love hate relationship depending on what I want to wear!! Thats another thread!! grin

Thats great re. the things to do for kids. Still waiting for all the assignment details to be finalised.

ripsishere Sat 21-Jul-12 07:52:08

Watching with interest. I may be KL bound.......................

Silibilimili Sat 21-Jul-12 09:21:16

rip, when will u know?

ripsishere Sun 22-Jul-12 07:31:22

Next week sometime. I dont' know whether to be happy or sad. We've only been back in England for a year.

Silibilimili Sun 22-Jul-12 08:34:59

Depends one where you came to England
from. I would welcome the break from
Weather. Oh the adventure! There are many worse places i am sure.

ripsishere Thu 26-Jul-12 06:58:36

OK, questions now. Guess where I am going to be living this time next month.
Are clothes for the fat arse larger lady availiable? when we lived in Bangkok I struggled to buy things to wear. I lived in mens t.shirts and stocked up on shorts and skirts when we were back in the UK.
Do people use tailors the way they do in Thailand?
Is marmite availabel? trivial I know, but I can buy a couple of kilogramme tubs if not.
Anything else I should consider bringing?

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 26-Jul-12 07:14:26

Yes, to marmite, and all manner of familiar foodstuffs. The supermarkets in the expat areas cater for Brits, Aussies, Japanese etc.

Clothes, yes, people do use dressmakers. Not particularly cheap to do that. Not like Thailand or Vietnam would be.

It's difficult to find womens shoes bigger than an 8. Also not so much choice for clothes if you are size 16 upwards, though There are shops like Zara, Topshop, DorothyP, M & S, etc.

If I were you I would have a splurge in the tail end of the sales in the UK and buy some summer clothes before leaving for KL.

ripsishere Thu 26-Jul-12 07:17:45

Super, thanks for the quick reply. I had thought tailors/dressmakers would be similar to where we've been before. Good to know they aren't.
Marmite will be purchased over the weekend.
Shoes? what's the availability of flipper foot sized shoes? (8-9)
I'll be back to bother you I'm afraid.

MarjorieAntrobus Thu 26-Jul-12 07:20:14

Perhaps I didn't make sense. You CAN get marmite here easily, and all manner of familiar foodstuff. Even Waitrose branded stuff in my local supermarket!

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