What’s It Like Living In Malaysia?

Now that I’ve lived in Malaysia for four(!) months, I have a few thoughts and feelings on it. So I thought I’d share them with you today! 

So first of all, I’m definitely living in an expat bubble. Again. Lol. It’s the sort of thing where you don’t really realise it, and then all of a sudden it hits you: you’re privileged. Coming from a middle-class family at home, it’s been a weird thing to understand that I’m one of the “rich” people here… because I don’t see myself like that at all.

I even feel ridiculous writing this, but hey, this is my blog and I want to be authentic!

Honestly, it’s weird because I went to a private school on scholarship and never felt the same as everyone else. I initially never noticed, but later on I did and although I didn’t (and don’t) care about status and wealth and all that, I did feel like it was a different life to mine. But now I live in one of the richest parts of KL, surrounded by foreigners, and yeah… it’s different.

With that in mind, my perception of Malaysia and KL is skewed, and I know that. I get around by using the LRT, which is a convenient light rail connecting most of inner-city KL. We also use Uber a lot, because it’s just so damn hot during the day and I ain’t going out in that sun.

My preferred time of day <3
My preferred time of day <3

Recently, we’ve just been heading into work and I’ve been settling into my new job. It’s been a whole roller coaster of emotions for me, namely because it’s a lot of adjustments happening at once and it’s a really unfamiliar working environment. Don’t get me wrong, it’s awesome — I’ve just never worked somewhere so awesome before! But now I’m getting into a bit of a routine, I’m feeling really good about it.

One of the things I loved straight away, and still love with all my heart, is the nasi lemak. This is the traditional Malaysian dish of rice, sambal (spicy sauce), chicken, egg, peanuts, anchovies and cucumber. It sounds like an odd mix, and it is — but it works. Near work, there is a really cute stall that sells small portions in a little pyramid (wrapped in banana leaf) for 2.15RM. That’s less than $1AUD… it’s ridic.

OH and I haven’t told you guys about the coconuts. The COCONUTS! There is a little fruit shop next to our building that I’ve been going to since I got here, but only recently I decided to try their coconuts. Good God. It’s like the heavens opened up and dropped this coconut straight from the pearly gates. It’s literally like drinking the blood of the gods. LITERALLY. It’s the best thing I’ve ever tasted — the water is so creamy, the flesh is so soft, and the whole thing is just so fragrant. I’m obsessed with coconuts now, and i wouldn’t have it any other way.

Apart from that, something I find a bit difficult sometimes is the stares. Being a really white girl living in Malaysia does elicit a lot of stares, and I understand, but sometimes it’s a bit much. I know I’m particularly sensitive to this anyway, but there’s been a few situations where I’ve felt really uncomfortable. On the whole, however, people are really respectful and nice and just want to have a chat to someone new. Which is great!

If you decide to visit KL and/or Malaysia, you’ll see that it’s a really nice life here. Recently it hasn’t been too hot, and it hasn’t been raining like it was when I first arrived, so it’s been quite nice and temperate. A dollar goes a long way here too, and there’s so many beautiful islands to visit. I’ve just been to Langkawi, but I am keen to discover more of Malaysia.

Recently I’ve been a bit overwhelmed with work, but as I said it’s settling down now, so I’ll be able to make more updates and posts for y’all. I’ve been out and about discovering new places and quirks about this country, and I’m really having a great time. I love Malaysia <3

Have you visited KL or Malaysia? Let me know your tips in the comments below!

Steph x

  1. Dear Steph,

    Hi! i guess i’ll be your frequent malaysian reader after this. Tehee! Anyways, welcome to malaysia! (although its been months..hehe) Thers been a lot going on lately in the country. I hope you will enjoy your stay (short or long?)

    Nanie (lives in Perak. about 2-3 hours from KL. A new korean skincare convert. haha! – reason why i found your page)

    1. Hi Nanie! Thank you for your lovely kind message and apologies for my late reply! I’m loving Malaysia so far, and I’ve been learning more about the political situation and the reality of Malaysian citizens (as opposed to just living in an expat bubble). People are overwhelmingly kind and helpful here, the weather is great (I’ve forgotten what it’s like to be cold haha) and the food… oh, the food!

      Thanks for stopping by, and I hope to see you around these parts again soon 🙂 <3

  2. Hi Steph,

    Found your blog when I was googling for Aesop’s skincare review. I really need to read up and read up and read up before making my decision to buy one as it is really on the higher price point for skincare here in KL. Then as I scroll along your blog I have noticed that you are currently residing in KL! How awesome is that! Well, doesn’t make much different to be honest since I am reading your blog virtually…haha…so doesn’t matter where you are…once you have published, I read. But it is that feeling reading something so close to you makes me believe your write up even more…sounds funny I guess 🙂

    Anyway…I work at Bangsar South..I guess its quite near to your place and I hope you can advise me on what’s the thing to get from Aesop if I can pick say only 3 items due to budget constraint.

    Cheers 🙂


    1. Hi Adesh! Thanks for your comment 🙂 Yep, I love it here in KL — great food, nice people and a great lifestyle. I understand what you mean — it’s always nice to read something that’s a bit more local!

      I love Aesop, pretty much everything about it appeals to me. I really like that their products are so natural, nothing is too irritating, I like the minimalist aesthetic and commitment to quality. So pretty much everything! I would say my three favourite products so far are the Geranium Leaf Body Scrub (which I raved about on my blog), the Facial Exfoliant Paste and the Resurrection Aromatique Hand Balm (which smells like oranges). I’m also loving the Parsley Seed Serum still — it’s lasted for ages!

      For me, skincare is an investment, and if you want it… then I say for for it 🙂

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