Getting around Chiang Mai
March 31, 2017

How to survive an overnight layover at Kuala Lumpur’s KLIA2

Overnight layovers can be stressful. Fortunately for budget travellers flying AirAsia to or from Kuala Lumpur, we get to transit at KLIA2 which is one of the best low-cost carrier airport terminal in the world. You can find everything there ranging from Nandos, Famous Amos, Subway and even Uniqlo. However, like every other mall out there the shops don’t stay up this late in the night. So you’re pretty much left with fast food joints, Malaysian restaurants nearing its closing time and sleeping backpackers taking up all the tables at all the other available places. So how did I survive my 8 hour long overnight layover?

Be handsfree and carefree 

First thing I did was drop my heavy luggage at the Luggage Storage for RM$18-38/per bag so I could roam freely around the spacious @Gateway airport mall without breaking a sweat. You can then make use of such facilities like the free wifi (hopeless signal and speed), massage chairs and mini art exhibitions dotted around the terminal so before you find a place to sit, drink, eat and sleep, look around and explore your options.

Experience Malaysia through food

Unfortunately for overnight layovers, the trains services to the city ends at 12.55pm and won’t run until 4.55am, but that shouldn’t stop you from experiencing great Malaysian food. Upon my arrival, I found a great place to eat a classic Malaysian dish called Nasi Lemak at Kluang Station Cafe. Then there is a cheap Malaysian food buffet near the airport entrance where the pilots, air stewardess and shopkeepers come to eat. I forgot the name of the place but I did remeber having some roti canai paired with thick flavoursome chicken curry. I could go on because I ate so much in that space of 8 hours, because Malaysian food is so delicious and isn’t food the best part of travelling? See full list of shops and restaurants here.

Step out for fresh air

There were times when the restaurant I was lazing around at got uncomfortably cold. So I would time and again take myself outside and stretch out abit. If the beautiful high ceilings of the entrace to the terminal don’t excite, make your way up to the ‘observation deck’ on the third level. There weren’t many night flights throughout my layover so if I watched the planes parked at their boarding gate instead, a thrilling moment for any avgeeks.

Find a lounge, a hotel or the best free seat in the house

We came at a very bad time when all the seats at the Premium lounge and even the rooms at the trendy Capsule hotel were fully booked. Heck even the free public seats scattered around the airport were all taken.  However, I did find a great sleeping space at the far end of the Quizinn Food Court with a great panoramic view of the airport. Not only was it completely deserted, but it was comfortably cushioned unlike the public seats. Best part of it all, its free! Otherwise, you can buy food at Burger King or McDonalds and sleep there, they won’t bat an eye.

Nomadic Standard
Nomadic Standard
Just another blogger spewing travel inspiration and experiences on the web. I dedicate this blog to the everyday traveller who just wants an honest perspective of travel, telling things as it is.


  1. Kathryn says:

    The capsule hotel is great and you can prebook if you think you’ll need it 🙂 There’s an airside hotel called Sama Sama too which isn’t that cheap especially if you’re on your own since it’s all double/twin rooms but has really comfy beds and an awesome rain shower.

    • The capsule is indeed available for prebooking from sites like Agoda, however at the time, we wanted to book it on arrival but didn’t anticipate that the airport lounges and capsule rooms would be all fully booked! A mistake learnt.

      The Sama Sama Express is also a great option, however it is only available AFTER going through customs and checking in to the terminal, something we didn’t have the convenience of when transitting at that time due to circumstances

      Great tips for future overnight layovers at KLIA2, thanks for it.

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