How to sleep in Kuala Lumpur International Airport 2 (KUL)
People loves ‘how-to’ posts. I mean, why not? It’s much better to do your research before doing something. Avoid the embarrassment of being told “you didn’t know that!?”. I used to Google many embarrassing things as well, so I totally understand how if feels to try to figure out about things by yourself. I’ve got your back ;)
Please be aware that I wrote this based on my observations during my numerous airport sleeps at the said airport. I was (and still am) too poor to afford a proper lodging and mostly I sleep in the airport for the bragging right. If you have spare budget, I strongly advise you to stay at the Capsule Container Hotel at the lower ground or Tune Hotel that can be accessed from the lower ground as well.
So KLIA2. My first ever airport sleep. Many things changed since the first time I was there and the later period when I regularly sleeps there. On February 2015, you could sleep on the mezzanine floor. Basically everywhere on the carpeted area. KLIA 2 at night was pretty much like refugee camp (I am speaking from experience). People sleeps everywhere and it was not really a pleasant look. Later when I moved to Malaysia, you were no longer allowed to sleep anywhere inside the building. I will write down some useful tips for the next time you’re stranded in KLIA2.
Sleeping in KLIA2 is prohibited in most area. You will be shooed by the security guards who patrol the area whole night. However there are some spots where you could sleep, depending on your taste. Please notice that the last time I slept in KLIA2 was on October 2015. Here’s your pick:
- For those who have spare money to afford luxury of good sleep and shower: There are 2 hotels in the complex. Tune Hotel (that would cost you around $100 a night) or Capsule by Container (a capsule hotel that would cost you $10 for 3 hours of sleep). There are lounges as well with different amenities. The point is: you still have to pay. Never did this.
- For those who can sleep in uncomfortable position: I suggest the departure hall on the 3rd floor. There are benches (the kind with 4 arms to separate the long bench for 3 persons) all over the departure hall. When you enter the departure hall, turn right after the information desks toward the ticket sales counters. Then turn left and you will see some of the benches. There are some benches between the departure hall and the shops area as well. But it is outside so you will be interrupted by the airplane noises. I don’t really like this option since you need to find the sweet spot (usually those bench with 3 instead of 4 arms that will give you space to lie your back down but require you to fold your leg). But many people prefer this. It’s not very easy to find an unoccupied bench. And by 5 you will be awaken by the vacuum cleaner sound. But that’s a good news because it means you can enter the gate.
- For those romantics: How do you like to sleep under the stars? Well, there are some catches from the option. For example, you will have to sleep in the smoking area with many people standing by the railing and talk. You will be interrupted by airplane noise and constant fear that it will rain. Not to mention people who smokes. Sounds good enough? So here it is. You have to head to the 3rd floor of the shopping area. In front of the escalator you will see the automatic door leading to the departure hall. Pass this door and when you’re outside (you will know it because the temperature will rise. It’s outside so it’s not air conditioned), turn right or left, to the side of the departure hall. Here you will find a smoking area in some kind of balcony. Don’t worry, the designated area for actual smoking is very small. There are spaces for sleeping. Go to the further part where there are less people, put your stuff on the floor, and sleep. I did this several time and it’s my best pick this far.
- For those who doesn’t mind to sleep at the f&b establishment: Upon stepping into the departure hall, you will be greeted by a Starbucks on your left. Actually there are several establishments that open 24 hours. But usually I just head to Starbucks. The up of this option is that you can sleep on the sofa just by putting your half eaten/drank food/beverages. It’s quite comfy. The down part is the constant buzz of the espresso machine. Just buy a cup of tea and you can sleep there. I have never tried another coffee shop though. So you can write to me if you know of other places where you can sleep.
- For those who prefer to sleep after passing the kastam (custom, as written by a Malaysian): simply pass the security and you will be admitted to the departure area. In this area, you can sleep basically anywhere. I camped by a pillar and secured a power socket to recharge all my electronic’s juices. That was one of the nicest sleep because the departure area was so quite and I had the whole place for myself. I saw some traveller use their sleeping bag as well. But you can’t pass the security to the gate before 4:30am and there was no restaurant open at midnight. So bring some snacks.
Catching some sleeps is one thing. But recharging the power juice is another thing. Make sure you bring 3-pins socket. The electricity sockets are readily available in KLIA2. You just have to keep your eyes open. Or else, you can always go to the coffee shop. Once I slept in front of this chinese restaurant on the 2M floor and charged my phone on their socket (which was intended for their decorative lamps). I was kicked out when they found out. I am not aware if there is any charging area, but it’s worth checking. KLIA2 changes a lot from time to time.
Who can live without wi-fi nowadays. Fortunately KLIA2 provides free wifi. Just connect your phone to their wifi (it has FREE label on the wifi name) and login using your Facebook account. The lounges, hotels and restaurants have their own wifi. Use it instead if the free wifi is too slow.
In KLIA2 you will not get hungry. Given that you have money. You can find everything from fast food to fancy meal. There are some fast food chains such as Johnny Rockets (Indonesian one is better than Malaysian one!), Wendy’s, McDonald’s, A&W, Subway, and so on. Fast food is cheap. But guess what is cheaper? The mini market. There are 2 mini markets that I found. The one on the lower ground (the floor where you catch the AEROBUS) and the one on the 3rd floor. You can just go there, buy instant noodle and they will give you the hot water. It’s very convenient. But if you happen to be in KLIA2 until noon, then look for lunch promo from the restaurants. Usually you can get some good deals. Oh! And there is this food court on the 2M floor. you can have Malaysian food there.
Airport sleeping is not only a cool way to befriend another tired traveler. It’s also a story to tell to your children, gives you bragging right as the bravest among your friends, gives you an opportunity to make your parents freak out and being restless, and most important, to save few bucks for your next fried crickets in Thailand. This kind of lifestyle is not for everyone. If you are one of those digital nomads, you will need your energy later to earn. So this thing is only for the young people who are looking for adventure and doesn’t mind to get tired; as airport sleeping will make you feel very tired (moreover if followed by 12 hours flight in Economy class of a low cost carrier). If you think that my information is inaccurate or lacking, please write to me so I can update it ☺