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Dangers & Annoyances

  • KL is generally a safe city to visit.
  • Watch for pickpockets on crowded public transport.
  • An ongoing irritation is the state of the pavements. The covers thrown over drains can give way suddenly, so walk around them.
  • Flooding can also be a problem – carry an umbrella against the rain and be prepared to roll up your trousers to wade through giant puddles.

Animal & Insect Hazards

  • Rabies occurs in Malaysia, so any bite from an animal should be treated very seriously. Be cautious around monkeys, dogs and cats.
  • On jungle treks look out for centipedes, scorpions, spiders and snakes. Mosquitoes are likely to be the biggest menace.
  • The risk of malaria is low and antimalarial tablets are rarely recommended, but dengue fever is a growing problem, so take precautions to avoid mosquito bites by covering up exposed skin or wearing a strong repellent containing DEET.


  • The most common scams involve seemingly friendly locals who invite you to join rigged card games, or shops that trick travellers into buying large amounts of gold jewellery or gems at elevated prices.

Theft & Violence

  • Theft and violence are not particularly common. However, muggings and bag snatches do happen and physical attacks have been known to occur, particularly after hours and in rundown areas of KL. Thieves on motorbikes target women for grab raids on their handbags; where possible walk against the direction of traffic and carry your bag over the arm that's furthest from the road.
  • Be wary of demonstrations, particularly over religious or ethnic issues, as these can turn violent.
  • Use credit cards only at established businesses and guard your credit-card numbers closely.
  • Carry a small, sturdy padlock you can use for cheap hotel-room doors and hostel lockers, and to keep prying fingers out of your bags in left-luggage rooms.