Welcome to PJ; the suburb that became a city! Situated just south of Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur, the Petaling Jaya area has seen a rapid expansion over the past few decades as many city workers prefer to live in the leafy neighborhoods of PJ and commute into busy Kuala Lumpur. Not only due to this, Petaling Jaya soon became a hub in its own right, and in 2006 it was officially granted ‘city’ status. While it is still popular with commuters, there are a growing number of locals and expats both working and living in Petaling Jaya itself. Expatriates in Petaling Jaya will enjoy exploring this modern and diverse city, and visiting sights such as the spectacular marble Kota Darul Ehsan Arch, which marks the boundary between PJ and Kuala Lumpur, and the Wat Chetawan Temple, one of the main Thai Buddhist temples in the Klang Valley.
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Expatriates moving to Petaling Jaya have probably already started telling people they are relocating to Kuala Lumpur. It’s just easier, given that you will be flying in and out of Kuala Lumpur’s international airport, few people have heard of PJ before, and probably spending a lot of time in Kuala Lumpur for work or for leisure anyway. But don’t forget to take the time to appreciate what’s unique about Petaling Jaya as well. Unlike Kuala Lumpur, it is a small and modern city, the ‘Old Town’ was only built in 1952. This means that there is a dynamic atmosphere in the city, as residents actively play a role in the cultural, economic and academic growth of PJ. Play your part in shaping the future history of Petaling Jaya by taking a class at one of the 23 colleges and universities in the city; learn to cook traditional Malaysian food; take up fishing; or even start up your own hobby group. For advice on finding like-minded people when moving to Petaling Jaya, speak to other expats on the InterNations discussion boards and forums.
Petaling Jaya is home to a number of major corporate headquarters and retail developments of its own. However, there are still a lot of commuters making their way to and from Kuala Lumpur every day, meaning that rush hour traffic is a nightmare. Expatriates working in Petaling Jaya or commuting should take their time getting used to the rules of the roads, and leave plenty of time to get from A to B. Public transport is good in the area, but many expats in Petaling Jaya prefer the freedom of a car, so expect the unexpected. For tips on driving in a new city and other topics relevant for expatriates around the world, read InterNations’ Expat Magazine or speak directly to seasoned expatriate members on the InterNations’ platform. And of course, expats living in Petaling Jaya can also simply use InterNations in order to socialize and network with fellow expatriates in Malaysia and across the globe.