Traffic in Malaysia

Hello everyone,

Which city or area do you live in in Malaysia, and how do you find the traffic?

How long does it take to commute to work or run errands?

Is there a rush hour in your city? What times of the day would you recommend people to avoid driving if they can?

Are there any ways to avoid spending too much time in traffic in Malaysia?

What is parking availability and cost like?

Thank you for sharing your experience.


MRT is a great project better than London underground

The only downside of living in Pantai hill park is that it is far from the LRT station..bangsar south roads are packed during peak hours making it difficult for people living in Pantai hill area to go inside as they are blocked by the office crowd leaving bangsar south. Not a good choice to stay if you intend to use lrt.

I've never liked Pantai Hill Park even since I visited the area once. It kind of looks cheap but is suitable for those on a budget. Yes you need a car to live here or you'll be taking taxis a lot.

Lived here 5 years now i can say the traffic is in one way moderate on the other way can be a headache at some point.
Fridays evenings are always the worst time to move around as the traffic is everywhere. A short distance which would usually take 10-15minutes could take upto 40-50minutes.
Unlike some of the causes of traffic, road accidents, the drivers also play a role, as lorry drivers are required to travel at night, everyday commuters tend to sometimes drive their cars like they are heading to a wedding.
Evening times and especially if it raining daily you would find traffic mostly anywhere. As everyone is rushing back home from work. But i guess this repeated routine is considered normal.
Waze is an app that gives you the best way out of traffic in my opinion. It has never dissapointed me.
I would advise one downloads this app and help him or her commute.

Penang Island traffic is heavy (a family of 5 have 5 cars)
I use WAZE free download on mobile phone and the delightful lady inside my phone directs you around the worst jams (Most times)

I have lived in Desa Sri Hartamas for the past 2 years. Often travelling to Putrajaya and the airport. Rush hour traffic can be horrendous especially near Mid valley. Friday afternoons and when its raining are dreadful. For  many journeys in KL it can be difficult to judge how long a journey will take. As mentioned by others Waze is a great way to navigate even sometimes for short journeys you know quite well, its pretty accurate and you at least will never get lost. In my area there are many toll roads ranging from RM2.50 to RM6.00 even for quite short journeys.
Download Grab and Uber apps for transporation, these are brilliant and I have used a lot whenI am short of a car. they often have special offers e mailed to you and for short journeys I have even travelled for free.
Public transport is pretty bad. if you live next to a LRT or MRT station great but otherwise in some areas you could spend your life waiting for a bus. In Desa SH the buses are clean and new but in areas like Sentul they can be very dirty and smelly. MRT is really clean and high tech but quite slow, unlike London where you may walk to the nearest tube thats unlikely in this climate so use a feeder bus RM1 or Grab/Uber, however this can add a lot of time on the journey.

If you have ever lived in a big city, Kuala Lumpur's traffic wont be any different than what you are leaving behind. Well, maybe it will be different, maybe it will be worse and this leaves you with quite a headache if you are on a tight schedule.

Im not sure anyone knows the history of traffic in Malaysia but we do know a few things. Before it was under British rule, roads were laid out according to what was wanted, what was convenient to create, not what was needed and not according to a sensible urban plan in which future traffic was in any way taken into account. This is why the interior roads of the city are both narrow and arranged in a confusing and helter-skelter manor, without any room to adjust or expand. When the British arrived, a better system was incorporated but the British's hands were still tied to what was already there. It was only in new roads cut through jungles that better sense emerged. When the British cleared out in 1957, old habits re-emerged and the country has yet to undertake professional urban planning in spite of such efforts as may be apparent. For these reasons, Malaysia is a mix of different thinking under different administrations and the result is nothing short of pain for modern drivers who are not on the roads as leisurely tourists. With the exception of the super achievement of the North-South Highway, there simply isnt enough roadway to move an increasing population around in a speedy and efficient way. Even in brand new developments one wonders, what were they thinking?

Traffic congestion and the inability to move around KL easily was the the primary reason I left to Penang in 2012. It wasnt only the roads, the lack of disciplined drivers, the enormous time obstacles, the trains that dont run on time, the taxis you cant find at that serious moment, the lack of parking and its high cost, it was also the tolls. I became a blatant over-spender on monthly toll charges and I wondered, will someone please tell me why im doing this?

There isnt any way out of this and the government has no plans to alleviate the headaches. We're stuck. On a recent trip to KL for surgery, I was really appalled at how much worse the congestion has become in the last few years. Everyone knows the problem but scratch their heads at a solution. The new Klang Valley train is supposed to help but riding that train also requires getting to, and out of, the respective stations. Good luck! Besides, Malaysia has become a car culture and anyone with a car wants and expects to continue to use it. At this point it would be extremely difficult to pry cars away and force people into public transit.

All this has caused people to stop coping and start moving out of KL, if they can. Nilai is filling up, so is Rawang, and for that matter I see many "W" plates in Penang these days. I guess they will have to start building new cities and stop choking the life out of KL. To digress, around 2003 there was an expat who claimed he had mastered the roads for shortcuts and was offering classes--for RM2000. It seemed an outrageous sum but in hindsight, maybe I should have taken the offer.

I initially lived in Bujit Bintang and later moved to Bangsar. I had a car in both areas and driving is pretty easy and safe with just some traffic jams during rush hour and when the police close off access to down town areas.

KL is full of malls and all malls have tons of parking spaces. One of my favourite malls was Midvalley Megamall/The Gardens and I always chose the premier parking area in the Gardens because these were the last to be occupied as they cost about RM10 for minimum stay.

Driving on highways in Malaysia is a pleasure, and so to is driving to places like Cameron Highlands, Genting, Fraser Hill and even to Malacca and Penang.

Now I live in Indonesia where people do not always know how to drive and they don't seem to follow any rules.

I must agree, MRT is a great project, but badly managed, 1st they have to know the meaning of "punctuality"

New topic