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Living in KL

(17 Posts)
MangosteenSoda Thu 31-Mar-16 05:24:27

Husband is interviewing for a job in KL. We don't know much about living there, cost of living etc. I've looked at accommodation online to get an idea and I think we would want to be fairly central so he would have an easy commute.

Any thoughts on KLCC or surrounding areas with a 1 year old? I'm thinking about a condo with a nice pool and playroom if possible.

I visited a friend in Mont Kiara years ago and know it's a popular area for families, but the lack of public transport makes it seem quite inconvenient. Am I right here? Think husband will be working long hours and traveling quite a bit, so keen to minimise commute.

I would want to work in the longer term (if possible) but would be a SAHM initially. What could I expect by way of a social life? Is it easy to join toddler groups etc? Just any info at all really- anything we should think about carefully?

We are currently in Hong Kong, so used to Asia and have moved around a lot, so are used to moving. This KL thing is a bit out of the blue and we're not 100% whether we want to move or not at the moment, but the nursery years are probably the easiest time to do it. All thoughts appreciated!

MangosteenSoda Thu 31-Mar-16 13:46:43

Bump - just in case any KL people are settling down for a nice evening of Mumsnetting.

fatowl Fri 01-Apr-16 11:08:29

Hi I've been in kl for 12 years

I'm just on the way home from work , I'll reply properly Later- just didn't want to read and run

fatowl Fri 01-Apr-16 12:29:27

Hi mango

If you are already in Hong Kong, you can do KL no problem.

Do you think you will drive? Most people say they couldn't possibly at the start and end up driving because the public transport is so bad and being 100% reliant on taxis is a pain.

Mont Kiara is a popular area, but I can't see the appeal myself, very built up and traffic often gridlocked. No public transport.

I'd look at Bangsar if I were you, popular with expat families with young kids as it's only 10 mins from the Alice Smith British School Primary Campus, and lots of nurseries and kids activities. It has two good shopping malls and the LRT up to the city.

KLCC is OK, but city centre (depends on what you want) There is a nice park with paddling pools etc, but gets very busy.

What sort of job would you be looking at eventually?

NatD1 Sat 02-Apr-16 01:02:14

Hi MangosteenSoda. We've just moved to KL with older kids. People have been very friendly and welcoming. I'd imagine even more so with a little one. Can't help with location as we're in Desa Park which probably wouldn't work for you. (Great family friendly area though if you want to nosey).
As I said, my kids are older but I noticed IBU family resource group have playgroups and loads of info. Plus the ABWM (Brit womens association) also has a young family group. They're both on FB and have websites.

Hope that helps a little.

MangosteenSoda Sat 02-Apr-16 05:24:06

Thanks both!

It's good to get area recommendations so I can do a bit of more purposeful research and have an idea of accommodation costs, nursery fees etc.

We are both ok to drive, but would probably prefer to have just 1 car if DH can get to work easily by train / walking.

I am the archetypal expat wife and teach English wink. I currently teach EAP at a university, but have also done lots of business English and communications training. I need to look into what kind of opportunities would be available for me because I currently have no idea.

I haven't been to KL for about 10 years. I mostly remember getting attacked by a monkey and fighting it off with my handbag and eating some delicious crab in spicy sauce at the charmingly named Fatty Crab. My friend who lived there hated it and dumped her partner to return to the UK not long after. I thought it seemed like a very livable city, as long as you lived somewhere convenient. I do remember spending a lot of time in the car.

I think the hiring process will take a good while, so I've got a bit of time to do the research. If he ends up with a job offer, I'll join the FB groups mentioned and maybe do a quick recce. It's great to hear that people are friendly and welcoming.

fatowl Sat 02-Apr-16 06:29:24

I teach EAL as well, in a private school.

The private international school and college sector is booming and you will get something no problem, esp if you have some experience.
I got three days to fit in with my kids school hours, the holidays don't match exactly (they're off this week, I'm off next week for example ) but the long July/ August break matches bar a couple of days.

glorious Sat 02-Apr-16 07:20:53

I have nothing helpful to add beyond the fact that KLCC park is incredible. The amount of play equipment is almost infinite and the paddling pools are lovely. DD was 2 when we went and adored it.

We only went on holiday so I can't help with anything else.

MangosteenSoda Sat 02-Apr-16 10:16:25

Thanks Fatowl that's really good to know. Could I ask what the ESL salaries are like? Eg. Good/reasonable/poor by local/international standards. I earn quite well in HK comparable to UK, so if my salary will drop substantially (which I guess it would) DH's needs to make up for it.

Love the sound of KLCC park! I vaguely remember it being nice, but I wasn't paying any attention to the children's facilities at the time.

fatowl Sat 02-Apr-16 11:02:50

I'm paid hourly for 14 hours a week contact time @ myr 100, which I think is at the upper end. A friend of mine gets myr 85.

I did have a job for a while that paid myr120, but it was late afternoon /evening hours and it didn't work nearly as well for me as my current job does family-wise

MangosteenSoda Sat 02-Apr-16 11:54:47

Thanks again Fatowl. That's definitely something we need to factor into the calculations.

becs1973 Sat 02-Apr-16 12:55:43

Hi Mango

I lived in kl for 6 years, had 2 of my 3 kids there. Hated it at first but grew to love it (apart from the haze, but if you're in hk I'm guessing you can deal with air pollution!?) and would move back in a heartbeat. Would also second the suggestion of bangsar. There is a very friendly and welcoming community in kl, I'm pretty sure you will enjoy it. smile

becs1973 Sat 02-Apr-16 12:56:52

Oh, and I would definitely suggest a car. We had one, my husband did taxis to and from work but with the kids I found having a car lots less hassle

MangosteenSoda Mon 06-Jun-16 06:46:46

Hi again!

My husband has just been offered the job in KL. We are waiting to find out what the package is and are trying to figure out how much we need to maintain the quality of life we have in HK, so he can decide on what/how much he should try to negotiate.

If he takes this job he will be moving industry as well as country, so it's a bit difficult for us to compare to current salary. Hopefully it will act as a bit of a springboard for him which is why we are open to moving, but don't want to end up really compromising our current lifestyle.

Having done some looking around I think we want to live in a 3/4 bed condo in either Ampang or Bangsar. We will have at least one, maybe two cars to run. I think we will employ a helper. Kindergarten for 1 year old.

We are not extravagant in our shopping or dining habits, but I will want to go to an ok shop / supermarket and buy a pretty standard shop for a family of 3 plus some favourite imported items without worrying about the cost. We like eating out a couple of times a week. Happy with a mixture of cheap and cheerful and smarter places, but not fussed about fancy restaurants and bars.

Travel to UK once a year. Plus a couple of weeks or long weekends in the region. We like to stay somewhere comfortable, but again not super expensive. Activities for DS and other day to day expenses.

I know it's not super scientific, but what do you think is a comfortable KL salary? I'm thinking we need to budget around 5-8k for accommodation, then another 2-4k for preschool depending on the closest one to where we live.

I'm interested in ball park figures because if what they offer him is a lot lower than that, we should probably forget about it. If it's there or there abouts, it's probably worth it for him to take the risk and give it a go. It's a really hard decision to make as he will be leaving an expat package here, but a job he doesn't want to stay in to move to a role which offers good long term possibilities.

Sorry for the essay! Any advice appreciated.

Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 06-Jun-16 11:06:01

Surely rent and daily expenses will be much lower so would not worry too much about maintainingyour lifestyle!

try this

Laptopwieldingharpy Mon 06-Jun-16 11:11:57

I think it is a sensible move to re-evaluate your long term options in the current market.
We are in HK too and senior positions are scarce if you lose the current job. Rents here are unsustainable in the long run. However much we love this place, it's a path we are also seriously exploring at the moment.

MangosteenSoda Mon 06-Jun-16 14:36:49

We love it here too, but don't think current job is right for the long term and would like a bit more flexibility in terms of career path and eventual location. I guess it's a good time to move as we have a few years before DS starts primary school.

The concern about salary is that we only have a sketchy idea of what a comfortable salary in KL is. Lots of info available online, but I find that cost of living as a foreigner is usually more than a comfortable local salary as you need to factor in trips home, some imported items we usually buy which locals probably wouldn't etc. Also, we want to be able to save money in the long term with a view to moving back to the UK.

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