Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur

Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur? Which is the better city to visit? What can you do in both cities, and what do they have in common? And why do I even compare these two cities?

Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur
The endless skyline of Bangkok
Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur skyline with the world-famous Petronas Towers

To answer the last question, you have to know that Thailand and Malaysia are very similar in so many things. The neighbors are both countries on the edge of becoming first world countries and undergo enormous changes in the last years. In my next entry, I compare both countries to each other. So, like the countries are similar to the capital cities are as well, and that’s why I think it’s a good comparison.

What is similar in both cities?

Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur
Batu caves in Kuala Lumpur

Good food, high rise buildings, bad traffic, and a mix of old and super modern parts – so basically everything that makes them so unique. Both countries have amazing cuisines, and of course, the capital cities are paradises for foodies. Street food or high-class Michelin Star restaurants everything can be found and also prices can range from a few cents to hundreds of euros for meals.

Both cities have one skyscraper next to the other, and you can find rooftop bars with the most spectacular view over the city. And both cities have their old and traditional parts without any high buildings and a lot of Street food. Traffic is also horrible in both cities, and a lack of good public transportation systems makes it impossible to avoid traffic jams.

Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur
Grand Palace in Bangkok

What’s different in both cities?

The most significant difference in both cities is probably that Bangkok and Thailand are a lot more open and relaxed, and Malaysia as a Muslim country has a lot more restrictions and is more conservative.

Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur
Chang Chui Plane night Market in Bangkok

Apart from that Bangkok is just ten times bigger then Kuala Lumpur and that’s true for all the other things as well. Although the food is good in Kuala Lumpur, it doesn’t come close to Bangkok also not in terms of variety. Kuala Lumpur has the Petronas twin towers, but Bangkok has hundreds if not thousands of Skyscrapers. Kuala Lumpur has some rooftop bars, but Bangkok is full of them, and one is higher than the other one. Bangkok also has a lot more to offer then Kuala Lumpur in terms of tourist attractions. Tree days is enough to see everything in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok however has enough attractions to spend a mouth there (What I actually did – Here are my 30 Things to do in Bangkok). KL has parties, but Bangkok feels like one big party city, from rooftop parties, pool parties to Khaosan Road everyone will find what he’s looking for.

Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur
Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur

Which one is better?

As you can tell for me, nothing tops Bangkok. I personally fall in love with that city and that for good reasons. The Thai culture is one of the most open cultures in Asia, combined with a 15 Million people city; there are endless possibilities and that for incredibly affordable prices. Both cities have many things in common, but Bangkok is better and bigger and better in every single point – better food, more party, more places to hang out, worse traffic, a lot more openminded people, more skyscrapers, better and bigger shopping malls and a lot more to see, discover and experience. Kuala Lumpur is considered a metropole, but it feels like a town compared to Bangkok.

Bangkok vs. Kuala Lumpur
Night view on Kuala Lumpur

Things to do in the Cities

Bangkok: For Things to do in Bangkok, find my ultimate travel guide for Bangkok here. I listed up the 30 best things to do in Bangkok.

Kuala Lumpur: The best things to do in Kuala Lumpur are the Petronas Twin towers, Batu Caves, the Menara Kuala Lumpur tower, China town, and the Jalan Alor night food court. The best rooftop bar to see the Twin towers and the Kuala Lumpur tower is the Heli Lounge bar – a rooftop bar on a helicopter pad on top of a building.

  • Total countries I visited until now: 38


  • Planes: 20
  • Busses: 45
  • Trains: 19
  • Boats: 24
  • Km driving: 8000
  • Km running: 2802

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Author: Flo

Hey everybody, I took the decision of my life and will start my worldtravel on the 1. October 2018. Hope you'll follow my journey and enjoy all the posts.

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