Sure, there are parts of Asia which aren't costly at all, like parts of India, where we visited in January. And you can find places to stay in KL without difficulty - if you're prepared to commit to a one or two-year contract or live in the middle of nowhere, without easy access to public transport or stay in accommodation that isn't clean or safe. There are some compromises we don't want to make.
Agents don't seem to respond to emails and one never even showed for our appointment. Most, though, seem to give up the moment you say you want to rent for only five or six months. How many times have I heard the words "you won't get anything for that price on a short-term let"?
The prices are, by Asian standards, almost through the roof. There are deals to be had, but you have to really look deeply to find them. However, the cost of renting here is in many places comparable with back home in the UK, somewhere I consider really expensive.
We've been advised to look instead for serviced apartments, but most are too small for the price and a family. Plus their idea of a kitchen is a microwave oven. And they are not cheap either.
On the positive side we sometimes can eat out - and well - for as little as £2 for the whole family and travelling a long way across the city by train doesn't set me back much more than £1. However, you also have to be disciplined living in a city where shops are everywhere and beckoning you to spend, spend and spend. But accommodation is always the big cost for the family traveller and we haven't been able to score any cheap digs so far.
We are soldiering on, but moving from hotel/guesthouse to hotel/guesthouse is tough work. Living often in a small, square room with two children full of energy and often sharing bathrooms with other tenants has its many challenges. We're tired of the thin walls where we can hear our neighbour's music at midnight and having to walk through smokey common rooms. We want our own space - and fast! We want to be able to eat in instead of out all the time.
Living out of our rucksacks isn't simple either. It's okay for a few days, but we've been at it solidly for weeks now and off-and-on for months.
KL has a lot going for it, especially for kids. We like the city, though we are not really city people. The public transport (train) system is excellent. The city is mostly clean and feels safe, although there are always reports of muggings and robberies etc.
Living on the road may sound exotic to some, but at times like this it's as testing and exhausting as any paid job I've had.