KUALA LUMPUR: We KL-ites have our cranky days (some of us are slightly murderous all year round) – but overall, we’re a remarkably hospitable bunch and pretty fun to be with.
If you find this claim slightly dubious, then just ask… the rest of the world.
International travel portal Big 7 Travel recently published a list of The World’s 50 Friendliest Cities 2019, and Kuala Lumpur doesn’t just feature in the league table – it comes in at number 2, b**ches!
Yes, indeedy. After surveying its social audience of 1.5 million people, the influential website found that the Muddy Estuary (friendly name, that) is the globe’s BFF number 2 – behind only Vancouver, Canada.
It was probably difficult to pick the world’s best buddy metropolis, but participants rated 50 major cities based on ease of getting help from strangers with directions, to making friends in a local bar (without having to pay for a round of booze).
High-fiving us for our singular affability, Big 7 Travel says: “Malaysians are naturally friendly and nice to strangers, and Kuala Lumpur is the best example of this.” (Syiok, y’all!)
It goes on to say: “The easy-going temperament of locals and their friendliness towards visitors means that it’s easy to make friends here. KL is a top spot for both tourists and expats.” (Say hello to Miss Congeniality!)
KL is just one of two Asian cities in the top 10. Taipei comes in at number 4, and is lauded for being “modern and beautiful” and “one of Asia’s most LGBT+-friendly cities”. (When it comes to KL and LGBT+... it’s complicated).
Rounding out the top 10 are Bruges at number 4, Hamburg (5), Dublin (6), Christchurch (7), Nashville (8), Sao Paolo (9) and Glasgow (10).
Among Asian cities, KL and Taipei come in first and second, as mentioned, followed by Chiang Mai (11), Abu Dhabi (13), Muscat (18), Siem Reap (20), Singapore (24), Tokyo (28), Jaipur (35), Guangzhou (38), Colombo (44) and Ho Chi Minh City (46). (And how we KL-ites love our neighbours!).
Here’s to ignoring our mothers’ advice to never talk to strangers! Congrats, KL!
The 50 friendliest cities in the world:
1. Vancouver, Canada
2. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
3. Bruges, Belgium
4. Taipei, Taiwan
5. Hamburg, Germany
6. Dublin, Ireland
7. Christchurch, New Zealand
8. Nashville, USA
9. Sao Paolo, Brazil
10. Glasgow, Scotland
28. Tokyo, Japan
40. London, UK
48. Berlin, Germany
49. Casablanca, Morocco
50. Rome, Italy