Expand your social circle in Malaysia

Hello everyone,

Moving to Malaysia means leaving one's family and friends behind. Creating a circle of friends or joining an existing one should therefore be paramount in order to fight loneliness in your host country.

But how can one develop a social network in Malaysia? Where and how to meet people there?

How easy is it to meet locals? What about cultural specificities?

Share your advice and experience!

Many thanks in advance,


I don't have answers, just questions.

Hi Priscilla,

I lived in Malaysia for about 12 years before moving to Indonesia last year. I was not working, being under the Malaysia My Second Home (MM2H) program, and initially used Malaysia as a base while I spent time traveling around the Asia Pacific region.

Some of the friends I picked up along the way were from the fitness center I belonged to, people who lived in the same condominium as I did, from members of Management Corporations that I belonged to, and bank staff where I have a lot of dealings. As I also gave presentations on international business at various institutions, I made many friends in the business community who are today some of my closest friends. Of all these friends, probably just one or two were western expats while the others were all local Malaysians: Malays, Chinese and Indian.

I've never had a problem finding friends despite not drinking or smoking or liking football, and I believe true friends are rare, but I found KL to be a place where it is extremely easy to meet people and go out for a drink or meal.

For others who are working in Malaysia, I'd say already that having many colleagues makes it even easier to expand one's social circle.


hi ,

Actually , i have been in Malaysia for more than 5 years but unfortunately i do not have Malaysian friends or others. Maybe because i do not have time!!
any way , being away from your Family and friends is big issue, you have to fight that feeling of loneliness by getting friends,and i hope this platform can help me to do so.
welcome every body ,


Have been here for 10 month now. It is extremely difficult to make friends. In a way, can't wait to end my contract. I am a very social person with many friends around the globe, but not here, sadly.

Expanding network always begin at ur workplace.
Work closely with your team-mates and treat them as family. Not all will like you but that's ok, bcoz surely some will.
Indians are friendly, Malays are territorial, Chinese are the snobs. Not all but that's their characteristics base on my years of experience living and working here in Malaysia.

And how many close friends do you have?

Hi everybody how are you?
I am so so. I like making friends. Travelling & gossiping I like most. I am a member of YMCA Kuala Lumpur. I am came from Bangladesh. I am student here. But I have completed Master's in Bangladesh. I have experiences in Teaching field more than 7 (seven) years. **

Moderated by kenjee 4 months ago
Reason : Share contact infos only in private please + drop advert of job hunt in JOBS section above.

Well i've been here for 1 year now and i have no friend the life in Malaysia is so different from the life in my country Algeria we are very socialize people  the rhythm  of life here is tiring sorry to say probably because of the weather or i dont know

hello where are u from?

Absolutely agree with you! Have never felt so lonely  and frustrated before.

where are u from ? there is a lot of things that make us feel lonely and even tired one of them being far from home second the weather third way of thinking is different

Hi Priscilla or Selamat Petang as they say!

Since moving here last November, I have been in a state of getting familiarized with KL ever since.  Life in general has been hectic - but that's the nature of the beast any place you go. However, I had to figure out how to socialize and this how I did it. is probably how one can get in touch with like minded folk and that's what I did. I found a hiking group and a runners' group with whom I started meeting once a week each.  Both groups are quite welcoming and I did go hiking to a few places within city limits. KL is truly blessed with such foresty hills within 20 - 25 minutes drive from the centre of the city. Mont Kiara and Bukit Gasing are so close to the city and yet has such thick foliage that one wonders if he / she is in some rainforest. The hiking group has a mix of locals and expats and are very welcoming. Lately, I haven't been going there as my Sundays are reserved for Lacrosse!
Lacrosse also was thanks to Meetup and I  literally rub shoulders (and elbows) with some top Lacrosse players. Lacrosse - a sport of agility, stamina and strength is a very engaging activity. At 41 years of age, I naturally suck at it big time.

KL is a runner's delight, be it in a group or just by yourself - one can find interesting routes to soak in the city's sights and sounds. I mostly run by myself in the Bukit Jalil neighbourhood. The Bukit Jalil park and the path around the lake in Bukit Komanwel are perfect spots for running and if you want a change in action - one can join the MY runners every Wednesday at the Taman Kebun Bunga. "MY runners" is a fun group who excel at pulling each other's legs - metaphorically of course! They also have weekend runs at TTDI and/or Taman Lembah Kiara.

And if want to let your hair down (both follicularly endowed and challenged) - one may head to Changkat in Bukit Bintang where you can guzzle down a tower or two of beer until late into the night.


We logged onto  and had a brilliant social life!  It's a great way to get connected. If you want to volunteer at a shelter for kids who really need help, please call the Tamil Refugee Academy at: 016 350 6725  (Mrs Sari) - it was a truly meaningful experience!

We were in Malaysia for 8 years, but I had a a great opportunity outside Malaysia and so we recently left, therefore we are selling this house:     

for a video walk-through, please take a look at:




Hi are you in Malaysia

2) Search for an activity that interests u, like for instance; fitness, wall-climbing, running or hiking etc where u could find like-minded people. It is so much easier to mingle or to open up with people that share the same interests as u. You could easily explore a topic which is interesting for both. 

born in Europe but spend the most of my life in Australia

my dear
can I see you around.

Ive been here about 17 years and wasnt lonely from the first moment. In fact it was TOO easy to make friends which made me suspicious, if anything!

Usually people approached me, and with lots of personal questions I wasnt used to answering with strangers but in the end its just the malaysian way so ive adapted to it. But, im also not above registering annoyance in a form of a joke like, are all malaysians so nosy or just you? They usually calm down after that and we can just talk.

Just today I made new friends. I had to start a lawsuit at the Tribunal and took my papers into the office. While the clerks were sorting through the papers I said, Hey, I dont know my way around here, do you know any good bizaar ramadan? Pretty soon we are all comparing foods and they asked me to join some night. Its just that simple.

Given its ramadan, do something like take treats to the fire station or police, take rice to a mosque, its a chance to do something good and have conversation, too.

Ive already written many times about this topic and i think people make it hard because they are too shy or just wont take the steps to making friends. You have to get the habit of starting a conversation with the person next to you in a mamak stall, post office, any queue. Say anything, say its hot outside, you can do that cant you? And it doesnt matter what the race.

I dont have any expat friends, what could I learn from them? But I have seen too many times that expats are extremely happy and keen to make other expat friends but they are unable to make the leap with the same abilities to locals. Are the expats snobs? Dont know, but they would be seen as snobs when they only hang around each other, such is the claim made against Chinese.

Generally speaking, Malaysians like to have conversation with outsiders. Some are very ice cold and resent the presence of all outsiders but thats not the normal way.

Im always asked, so how do you like Malaysia? Nowadays im honest: I say that I like the same things they like and the dislike the same things they dislike. From there you'll either elaborate or move on to better topics.

Most conversations go no place but thats OK. The more conversations you are having, the higher the chances of some seemingly useless conversation melding into actual friendship. For this reason dont let any chance for conversation escape. But do it without being pushy. Dont assume every person you meet must become your instant friend. Do it without any pressure and let things happen, including just going your separate ways afterwards.

You make friends in all manner of ways. There is a wet market I go to sometimes for breakfast and lately Ive been seeing several ancient Honda C70 motorbikes. I linger a bit and the owner shows up and is all to happy to talk about its history. Ten minutes later we've exchanged numbers and agree to have a drink together another day.  See?

Another time, I was alone in a mamak stall and saw a group of police, about eight, at a table. I dove right into that wasp's nest---hey, whats going on here, arent you guys supposed to be working? I said it as a joke and half the police were laughing and the other half looked at me like they were going to kill me. I sat right down with them and said, can I ask you all about robberies? There are so many in my neighborhood lately. Then we talk and everyone is OK and happy.

Be friendly, happy, jokeful, confident, not pushy. Let the Malaysian lead and suggest what next, if anything and if not, cool too. Now get out there and talk to people!

The comments of Mr Hansson can be mine too.  The sport can also help to make new friends.

Hello dear near
please advise how you are happy in Malaysia.

I am afraid that I come from a different background (religion and culture).

Hi Priscilla,

Coming to Malaysia is really a great experience as it is my first trip to abroad.

After coming here, first two days I did not get anything. Even can't recognize the path to Office as well. I got some friends. Here everyone of my friends are very chill person and most of them are working in HPE, DHL and Tech Mahindra.

To get friends here, you need to be social-able that's it, nothing else required.

I got most of the friends here by my gaming skills. I Love to play Cricket, Football and Volleyball. Major chunk of my friends through Cricket, I have got.


Greetings to you all,
I came here to Malaysia in February and my wife joined me at the beginning of last month. I really don't understand how can people feel lonely here. I was making friends from the first day I got here. In work, in the restaurants, when riding Uber, etc. Just talk to people. People here are generally nice and very friendly. By now I have many good friends among Malay people as well as among the expat community.
You can start with your coworkers. Get to know them better, invite them out, do something together. Same goes with people in your favorite restaurant and other places. Thru the first friends you will meet more friends and it will go on and on.

Best luck to you all!!


I have been here almost 2 years now. I found it quite easy to make friends especially from people from my school and from church. Most of my friends are people from my country  and Chinese Malaysians from Church.

I believe the best way to have friends is if you go to church, find a church that you can attend regularly and its easier that way

Looking for a friend.
Abdul sattar

agreed  :)

Helloo :D

I have been living in Malaysia with family since early 2013 and it has been ok to make acquaintances but difficult to make friends. Cultural varieties of Malay, Chinese and Indian make it a little tricky as those are kind of closed circles to make friends but you can have good chat with them anyway. Johor Bahru is not as happening place as KL but relatively peaceful and simple.

On a general note, for social survival, Malaysia offers decent exploration options where you can go for nice holidays, hiking etc.

I have recently joined a toastmasters club here for social engagement and networking. 

Generally, work keeps quite busy but I still look forward to make friends  :cheers:

Non of closed friend. All companion only. Am looking for closed friends.
Abdul sattar

That's really interesting. What were you, batsman or bowler? I used to be a lefthand allrounder, but primarily a medium-fast bowler. Don't play any more though.

well said and explain about 3 nations nature.
looking for more discussion .r u chainees dear
new friends.

I'm a westerner originally from Canada.

My dear Nena
would you explain you from which different religions and culture .what is your background.

Hi everyone,

Malaysia is a multicultural hub and we should take full advantage of that... here's our chance to meet people of different backgrounds and experience a variety of  culture and cuisines with them.

Originally Malaysian, I have lived overseas for three decades so when I returned two years ago, I felt a bit lost and lonely. I didn't know many things relating to living here and had to learn like a new foreigner. I tried to befriend colleagues and work related acquaintances, join some religious activities to form intimate circles etc.

But these two groups also helped me expand my social circle with other people new in town:



Hope you join in the events and activities and make lotsa friends. Enjoy!


Forgot to mention that meetups within the blog are also a way to meet new people. I dont know what happened with a recent meetup but anyone can also organize one and get your feet wet there.

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