Spacious Kuala Lumpur International Airport

Last week my thirst for travelling frequently as far as possible brought me to Kuala Lumpur where I visited a Swiss friend of mine who recently migrated to Malaysia for work love. I have never been to Malaysia before and wasn’t sure what to expect. Surely, I’ve heard good things, particularly about the countries diving and its capital, Kuala Lumpur, or KL as it is referred to by nearly everyone. While my limited time didn’t allow for checking out any of the diving, I did have a good look around Malaysia’s biggest city and of course the airport – Kuala Lumpur International Airport, or KLIA (IATA: KUL) in short.

As most of the Asian airports I have experienced so far, KLIA was built for the future with plenty of space meaning you feel relaxed from the moment you arrive. But relaxation actually starts even earlier: the Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines hub is very well connected with the city centre by an express train which only takes 28 minutes non-stop. This also means, that even if you are just stopping-over for a few hours, it may make sense to quickly get into the city and see the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers or have a bite to eat at one of the many Indian or Thai influenced eateries around the city.

In terms of what you can do within the airport, there are quite a few options. After passing the passport checks and the security, you will find yourself in the terminal which mainly serves domestic flights. All international flights leave from the C gates which you reach through a short ride with the Aerotrain. Don’t bother checking out the shops before you get to the C gates as there are only a few there. You are a lot better off taking the shuttle immediately and spend your time in the satellite terminal.

There, I’m sure you will be pleased shocked to hear, they even have a Harrod’s store. I have always thought this was a typical London thing, but apparently not. Great weird. Besides that, you will find the usual shops including a Starbucks (on the first floor), Bodyshop, Mango and Versace stores. My top suggestions to kill some time, however, are:

  • Check out the rather nice architecture of the satellite terminal (see picture above)
  • Grab a final Carlsberg beer at the Forrestier bar and reflect on your trip to Malaysia
  • Read your emails at one of the free Internet terminals (before gates C31,33 and C21,23)
  • Visit the “Made in Malaysia” store and find the most ridiculous souvenirs – who could you surprise with one of them?
  • Try to find a bottle of Veuve Clicquot for‘s price comparison (I couldn’t find one!)


Airport Facts and Ratings

Airport Name Kuala Lumpur International Airport
Design Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Shopping Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Toilets Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Overall Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Plane Award Point
Chanel No 5 Eau de Parfum, 100ml at the Duty Free Shop MYR 432.00 (£77.80)
Bottle of Veuve Cliquot at the Duty Free Shop n/a


[Picture from Flickrsome rights reserved]