Moving to Malaysia : how and where ?

You have decided to take the plunge and try a expatriation malaysia ?
Congratulations to you, you will now have to be patient and organized to manage all the administrative and logistical aspects: it’s the big trip, let’s go to move to Malaysia.

How to move to Malaysia ?
What solutions are available to you ?

Moving to Malaysia: moving to Kuala Lumpur

Moving to Malaysia on Kuala Lumpur appears naturally as the first destination city, for your first months (first years ?).
Unless you already know Malaysia inside out, or already have an apartment available in another city (Penang, for example, is very popular with expats), Kuala Lumpur is the best city to start your new life!

On our side, we reduced our personal belongings to the strict minimum.
You’ll probably have to cut back on a lot of your stuff.
It is also the time to clean up our lives, and we quickly realize that we buy (at least for us), a lot of products or accessories not essential.

move to Malaysia

Choose a forwarder Malaysia to send by container

If, despite everything, you absolutely want to move to Malaysia with all your personal belongings, you will have 2 main solutions:

  • moving your belongings by air : you can find companies that will take care of sending your personal belongings by cargo. Beware, the fees are very very high, and some products are prohibited by air.
  • moving your belongings by boat, in a groupage : this means shipping your belongings by boat, in a container shared with other people. You should go through a shipping agent who will take care of all the procedures. This is a much more economical solution, but it takes about 30 to 45 days to receive your container. It will depend on the period, and generally the container ship will stop first at the port of Singapore.
  • move your belongings by boat, in a full container : same as above, except that the entire container is allocated to you. There are 3 sizes of containers.
    The smallest is the 20 feet (33 m3 approximately), then 40 feet, then 40 feet HQ. The freight forwarder must take care of all the steps to transport your belongings.

Freight forwarder Malaysia : how much does it cost ?

This will vary by time period, volume, and additional fees and options.
For example, you will have the choice to request the following options:

  • Pick-up and loading of your personal belongings downstairs in France
  • Unloading at the port of Malaysia (Port Klang)
  • Delivery from Malaysian port to your Malaysian address
  • Insurance

On top of that, there are several additional costs:

  • Customs clearance,
  • Administrative fees,
  • Processing fees by the sending and/or receiving company, etc.

Moving to another city than Kuala Lumpur?

This is a very interesting question, because we have been wondering about this as well.
We don’t like Kuala Lumpur, especially the center: too noisy, too many people, too crowded, too polluted, etc.
Since we were not bound by any geographical area, we were free to choose any location.
Our criteria, for this first apartment in any case, were the following:

  • Minimum 3 pieces
  • Minimum 100 m² (1,000 sq. ft.)
  • Proximity to mosques
  • Proximity to supermarkets: get out of the apartment, and have this immediate comfort, without having to take a car
  • Quality of the residence
  • Amenities: pool, gym, and more

We visited Kuala Lumpur and its surroundings, up to Cyberjaya.


We really liked Cyberjaya.
We already knew a little, especially the other side (Putrajaya).
It is a student city, and more “Muslim” than Kuala Lumpur center.
There are all kinds of cultures: Arab, Malaysian, Indian, Chinese, European etc.

The downside was that we absolutely had to have a car, and we didn’t want to start with that load.
We had sold our car in France, and we were very happy!

Here are two videos of apartment visits on CYBERJAYA :


We also visited an apartment on Ampang Jaya.
It’s nice, but there’s better (according to our personal criteria).


The limit of Kuala Lumpur

Finally, it is at the limit of Kuala Lumpur that we settled.
A very good compromise: green spaces, and all amenities nearby.
Many expatriates also like the Damansara area, or Mount Kiara.
We wanted a more pronounced mix of different cultures and not to stay only with expatriates.
For example, on Mount Kiara, you will find a residence, with almost only Japanese ☺️????????
We had not visited it, but that was what the agent said (we always asked this question to real estate agents: “who are the residents of this condominium? expatriates? foreigners? local?”)

Moving to France Malaysia

There are no miracle solutions (fast, cheap, good: no!).
Here are some tips we can share:

  • Try to be minimalist and take only what you need: don’t forget that you can go back and forth to France and leave with personal belongings: slowly but surely.
  • If you have friends who will come to visit you, they (we will recognize, at this moment, the best friends ????) will always be able to help you out and bring you some necessary things.
  • We did not test any forwarding agent from France, but be aware that you will have to calculate the total cost of shipping and receiving!
    Then compare between “sending from France” and “buying” or “renting a furnished unit”: which would be the most economical solution but also, compare the logistics and the peace of mind!
  • Get at least 3-4 quotes, and compare the options you choose!

Read also

Leave a Comment