You are on page 1of 18


advise you to use 2Author & Copyright: Ilya Houben

Page 2 of 18

1) Take sunscreen with you from your country of departure. You can buy it in Malaysia, but
it will be more expensive.
2) You will find Internet almost everywhere in Malaysia. There are Wi-Fi networks in coffee
shops or restaurants in every shopping mall, where you can connect to the Internet. Even
hotels are offering free internet and most airports have free Wi-Fi as well. Those that are
always online may want to consider a temporary sim card with 3G support.
3) If you are on roaming, you can use your own cell phone contract to call in Malaysia.
However, this is quite expensive. It is better to buy a temporary prepaid sim-card
(provided that your cell is not sim-locked) to call home with carrier preselect. Hotlink and
TuneTalk are the most used prepaid telecommunication companies. Using Skype on your
laptop is even cheaper to make phone calls.
4) Malaysia is a safe country. In most famous tourist areas everything is similar to any other
tourist destination. Kuala Lumpur is not less safe than the average big city in the States
or Europe. Just make sure that you do not do anything that you would not do in any
other big city in your own country. The streets are normally safe during daytime, in the
evenings and at night, but always look out for bag snatchers who often target womens
bags as well as mobile phones and cameras.
5) Traffic in Malaysia is a bit of a shock to a lot of travelers. Pedestrians in particular have a
completely different status than they have in cities in the United States or Europe. Dont
be surprised when cars almost hit you when you are on the pedestrian crossing, because
they do not stop. Even when the light is green at the pedestrian crossing, you still have to
be alert for cars (and occasionally even busses) that run through a red light or that drive
past the stop line. Pedestrians are absolutely inferior to the motorized traffic.
6) Your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months upon departure. You are not able to
enter Malaysia with an identity card. Tourists from most Western countries are allowed to
stay in the country for the standard 90 days.
7) The night markets in Malaysia are always very popular among tourists. You can eat
delicious foods and buy stuff at competitive prices. However, these products are almost
always 100% fake. This does not have to be a problem, but the fact that they are fake
becomes clear in their difference in (inferior) quality. An imitation watch will last for about
a year and you will definitely notice the difference between real and fake if you put a real
one next to a fake one. Examples of popular night markets are the famous Petaling Street
night market in Kuala Lumpur as well as the famous night market of Batu Feringghi
(Penang). Do not let them make you believe that the products are authentic. This is never
the case for branded products at the night markets. Nevertheless, a visit to one of those

Page 3 of 18

night markets is always an enjoyable activity when you are in Malaysia. Do not forget to
bargain for the items.
8) The coffee shops have the best coffee in Malaysia. Famous chains are Starbucks, Coffee
Bean & Tea Leaf, the Dme, Austin Chase, Gloria Jeans, Old Town Coffee, Espressamente
Illy and San Francisco Coffee. The nicest coffee is at Espressamente Illy and San
Francisco. Old Town Coffee has the cheapest coffee. The tastiest Ice Blended shakes are
available at the Coffee Bean. The first three above mentioned coffee chains are the most
expensive, where you pay the same price as in Western countries for a cup of coffee (from
RM8 up to RM22 per cup). It is obviously a matter of taste, but we had coffee that was not
that great at Austin Chase (tried it a few times to make sure it wasnt just bad luck).
9) When you take a camera to Malaysia, you have to take the very humid climate into
account. As a result, cameras might fog up and you will not always be able to take
pictures or record with your video camera. It is better to hang the camera around your
neck, for it to get used to the humidity.
There are two major 'sales' periods in Malaysia: in August, the month in which
Independence is celebrated (Merdeka Sale) and around Christmas. Sales go up to 90% of
the original value of products.
When you finish shopping, visit a fish spa. This is a nice way to relax your feet. You
can sit on the side of the fish spa, while the fish eat the hard skin off your feet. This is not
a painful affair, but it does tickle a little bit. The best place to undergo this is at the
Kenko Fish Spa chain at i.e. Pavilion KL or Mid Valley Megamall (but also at several other
places in Malaysia).
The best place to buy a new camera is at Plaza Low Yat in Kuala Lumpur city centre
(KLCC). Decide in advance which brand/type you want to buy in order to be prepared.
Negotiating is a must, but not always appreciated. Electronics are not always cheaper in
Malaysia compared to prices in the United States or Europe.
The warranty in Malaysia on bought products works differently to the warranty in your
own country. Some manufacturers do not know anything about after sale service and you
may often not get your product back for several weeks or even months without an
(temporary) replacement. After the long wait, there is still a chance that you are told it is
not a faulty product, but in fact the users own fault. Take that into account when you
decide to buy a product in Malaysia. Things will probably be different in your home
country. It is not always possible to claim with a worldwide manufacturing warranty (you
should mention that you lived in Malaysia for a while instead of saying that you were a
tourist at the time of purchase).
In Malaysia you can buy (prescription) glasses or sunglasses for a reasonable price.
Prices of glasses and frames are usually a lot cheaper than in your own country. The
variety of frames is also a lot bigger. In Asia it is common that the brand name (logo) is
Page 4 of 18

clearly visible on the frame. Not all frames can be fitted with prescription sunglasses. It
depends on the brand and the type of sunglasses. In case of Ray Ban sunglasses a few
can be fitted with prescription lenses. There even are one-hour services, where you walk
out with your new glasses under one hour.
Malaysia has a tropical climate and therefore mainly summer clothing is sold. You will
hardly find any warm clothing, but you don't really need it (unless you work in an air
conditioned environment throughout the day). Singapore is a better option to find warm
clothing. In the last couple of years, big sizes have become more and more available in
Malaysia. Before that, the supply was focused on locals, but now they are targeting
tourists and local Malaysians have become bigger and bigger over the years due to big
changes in their diets. As a result, the average height of a person in Malaysia increases
every year. However, you need to take the possibility of disappointment into account,
because they may not sell certain items of clothing or shoes in your size. You should
always ask if they can check their system to look if other branches possibly sell a bigger
size (you always have to keep asking in Malaysia to get an answer).
When you buy more than the weight you are allowed to take with you as checked
baggage in Malaysia, you will have to pay a lot per kilogram for the extra weight. A good
tip is to send certain items (e.g. worn clothing) to yourself via mail (postal package). It will
take a few weeks or even a couple of months for it to arrive, but the cost of sending from
Malaysia is very reasonable. Ensure that the package is sealed carefully. There are many
shopping malls in Malaysia where you can easily send your packages, as most malls
contain a POS Malaysia (postal office).

Make sure you get the right vaccinations. Go to your doctor or the CDC (center for
disease control) to inquire about the necessary vaccinations for your trip to Malaysia.
Consider taking malaria treatment when visiting Borneo.
Buy various travel items such as sun screen, Deet, plasters, Imodium, ORS, etc. Take
these and other important items (such as medicines) with you in your traveler's medicine
Make a copy of your passport (paper or digital) and take this within your suitcase or
on a USB stick in case of emergency. Your passport has to be valid for at least 6 months
upon return from Malaysia.
Put all your travel documents in a file as to always keep it together in a safe place.
Make scans in .pdf of these documents and e-mail them to your webmail (Gmail/hotmail)
to have a copy in case of emergency.

Page 5 of 18

On flights to Kuala Lumpur and back, you are allowed to take a certain amount of
kilograms on the airplane. There is usually a 20 to 30kg luggage limit depending on the
airline. Hand luggage has a maximum limit of 5 to 10kg. Usually each airline allows one
kilogram extra, but be aware that they can be very difficult and might charge for
overweight. A way to get some extra hand luggage on board is by using the airport plastic
bags, often used when you buy something tax-free at the airport of departure (to or from
Malaysia). Such a bag can be packed with candy and other items. You can take this bag
with you on the plane in addition to your hand luggage and it is not added to the
maximum allowed weight that you can take on the plane.

airplane on the following website

you have completed a 'web check in'.

If you see dark clouds approaching, it means that you have to hurry. Dark clouds
mean that there will be a huge rain storm ahead. Take note of what the locals do. If you
notice that everyone in the street hurries inside, you know what is coming.
A rain storm is usually short in Malaysia, but fierce. Usually it does not rain for more
than an hour. Such a downpour will start towards the end of the afternoon. Very rarely
will it rain for a couple of hours straight. It might be a good idea to carry a small umbrella
with you at all times. You can buy those small umbrellas at any shopping mall or
The monsoon on the east side of the peninsula is usually very fierce. The rainy season
starts in October and lasts until March. Resorts at several tropical islands remain closed
during this period. There are no boats going to the islands. But nothing is a certainty in
the tropics. One year the monsoon starts at the end of October and the other year it is
already raining non-stop at the end of September. This is always a gamble for travelers.
You may be unlucky in October or you could be lucky that the sun is out during your trip.
The monsoon is less fierce on the west side of the peninsula, but it can still be
experienced as uncomfortable. On the west side, the rainy season last from June until
September. The monsoon on the west side is nothing compared to the one on the east
The whole of Malaysia has a tropical climate with temperatures often rising above 30
degrees. It is also very humid. So, it feels very clammy. There are a few places in
Malaysia where it is considerably cooler. It is usually a bit cooler on the islands compared
Page 6 of 18

to the interior or the big cities. Furthermore, it is sometimes a few degrees cooler in the
so-called 'Highlands' such as Cameron Highlands, Frasier Hill and Genting Highlands.
Genting is only 50 minutes away from Kuala Lumpur. There you have a huge theme park
for children and a few casinos for adults.
The coolest place in Malaysia is at the top of the Mount Kinabalu. You can climb this
4092.5 meter high mountain early morning to experience the most beautiful sunset.
Temperatures at the top are standard below 10 degrees.
Kuala Lumpur is extremely hot. The city lies in some kind of funnel (surrounded by
hills and small mountains) and so the heat cannot escape from the city. In addition, there
is smog as a result of the exhaust fumes and also the burning of peat soil in Sumatra
adds to the high temperatures in the capital. These temperatures are the highest in the
world and we are talking about perceived temperature. Only in November and December
it is a lot cooler in the city compared to the other months. The temperatures measured
could go below 25 degrees. Luckily, most hotels and resort rooms have air conditioning.

If you notice that you are not as fit as normal, it may be due to jet lag. However, if this
continues for a longer period, you should schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Any items that you do not need any more, can be offered for sale at the forum market
place on the Wonderful Malaysia website. If you got any travel brochures beforehand,
please return them to the place where you got them.

it is much nicer to compile a homemade picture album. Several well-known companies

offer the opportunity to make such an album. This can be done on your own pc or with a
simple program offered by those companies. When you have designed your own beautiful
album, you can upload it and a few working days later you will find it in the mail.

Many tourists consider the PETRONAS Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur as a highlight
when visiting the city. The entrance fee is RM80 per person. Tickets can be purchased up
front, and also online. Besides the sky bridge, you can go to the observation deck at the
86th floor as well. The view on the city is absolutely stunning there. The attraction is
closed to tourists on Mondays.
Page 7 of 18

Even though Kuala Lumpur looks like a very modern metropolis, you can have
different beautiful authentic cultural impressions every day. So, it is really worth the trip
to visit Chinatown early in the morning. You will see the (superstitious) Chinese people
appear at the Guan Di temple to put the gods/spirits in a good mood. In this same area
there are more temples including a few beautiful Indian temples. The Chinese Thean Hou
Temple in the Taman Seputeh area is a beautiful temple as well. You can easily combine a
visit to this huge temple with a visit to the Royal Palace (which is 5 minutes apart by car).
A day trip to Malacca is a beautiful highlight of your trip through Malaysia. Malacca is
a World Heritage Site because of its many marvelous historic highlights. It is lovely to
shuffle along the night market in Jonker Street. Eating is a central feature in Malacca.
There are many delicious dishes. Sate Celup, a variation of cheese fondue, is highly
recommended. Other famous dishes are Pork Sate, Chicken Rice Balls and Cendol Gula
Every year Malaysia has several celebrations. There are numerous public holidays
and everybody is free on such a day. In many cases those celebrations are only applicable
to one group of people in Malaysia, though the other groups also enjoy a free day.
Unfortunately, it is not possible to pin down the exact dates of each celebration, because
many of those public holidays are determined based on the position of the moon. A few of
the famous and very beautiful festivals are: Chinese New Year, Vesak Day, Hungry Ghost
Festival, Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Deepavali, Thaipusam, Malaysia Day (16 September) and
Merdeka Day (Independence Day).
Lake Kenyir is an amazingly beautiful lake at the eastern side of the Malaysian
peninsula. It is a one hour drive from Kuala Terengganu and 4.5 hours from Kuala
Lumpur. Kenyir used to be a jungle until it was filled with water (only 20 years ago) due
to the construction of dams in order to put a stop to the yearly floods. In a short space of
time, the entire area was transformed into an almost magical environment. Lake Kenyir
currently is a wonderful eco-destination, especially popular among nature enthusiasts.
Though chances are slim you will spot the bigger wild animals, it is still a fantastic place
to spot birds and smaller mammals. The area is also a premier angler destination within
Malaysia; there are house boats that you can stay on if you want to do some real fishing.
There are several reasonably priced lodges around the lake, but can also opt for more
luxury at the Lake Kenyir Resort.
There are two major sporting events, Formula 1 and MotoGP that take place at the
Sepang circuit. Both events are very famous globally. Ticket prices for the Sepang circuit
are very reasonable compared to the prices at the American and European circuits. The
Formula 1 race is driven every year on the first week of April. The MotoGP race takes
place at the end of October of every year. If you happen to be a race enthusiast, then this
is definitely a great way to combine a race with a beautiful trip to Malaysia.

Page 8 of 18

A taxi from the KLIA airport costs RM74.30. A premier taxi costs about RM100. A taxi
from the city center to the airport costs between RM60 and RM80 on a meter, but usually
the ride is based on a fixed price. At night, an additional amount is added. Funny detail:
taxis from the airport to the city center are usually very modern and luxurious. On the
other hand, taxis from the city center to the airport are old and run-down.
The KLIA Express costs RM35 one way and takes you from KLIA airport to KL Sentral
(the central station in Kuala Lumpur) in 28 minutes. From here, you can take a taxi to
your hotel at the special taxi counter based on a fixed price. It usually does not cost more
than RM15. If you travel with 2 people, the taxi directly from the airport is slightly
cheaper. However, the trip takes a bit longer, especially when you travel by taxi around
morning and evening traffic.
KLIA is Kuala Lumpur's international airport. There is a second airport 10 minutes
from KLIA, the budget terminal LCCT (Low Cost Carrier Terminal) where all the low cost
airlines leave from. How do you know where you fly from? Malaysia Airlines flies from
KLIA for both domestic as well as international flights. All other international flights,
except Air Asia leave from KLIA. Air Asia has domestic and international flights (via Air
Asia X). Other airlines that fly from LCCT are Cebu Airways and Tiger Airways. Firefly
(Malaysia Airlines subsidiary) leaves from the Subang Airport, a third airport in the west
of KL.
You shouldn't take the KLIA express if your destination is LCCT, because it is not very
practical to travel from KLIA to LCCT (you will have to take a taxi anyway). There is also a
shuttle bus, but you have to wait until there are enough travelers before it leaves.
For a long stopover, you can use the option to check in at the Airside Transit Hotel.
You pay per 6 hour period. Prices per room vary between RM140 and RM230. Travelers
can also shower or use the gym from RM20.
Another option is to visit the Plaza Premium Lounge during your stopover at KLIA.
This lounge lies within the Satellite building. You pay an amount (from RM80) to use the
facilities. This means free food, beverages, movies, internet and a shower. You can wait
here in all comfort until your airplanes leaves.
KLIA has three places where you can temporarily leave your luggage in a safe. You pay
a small amount per 24 hours and you receive a key. This is enjoyable for travelers with a
stopover. If you have more than 6 hours, it is worth it to explore the city.

Page 9 of 18

Catch a movie in one of the many cinemas. Enjoy a blockbuster in a luxury seat for
RM50 at the ultra luxurious Gold Class. By the way, preferably watch a movie that is
suitable for all ages, because the more 'intense' movies are seriously censored. The best
cinema in Malaysia is at the Mid Valley The Gardens. Here you have the Signature The
Gardens, a very beautiful and luxurious cinema. Their Gold Class is of unseen class, but
you will pay RM60 for a regular Gold Class ticket and RM70 for a 3D Gold Class
At the FOS (Factory Outlet Store) you can buy branded clothing for a reasonable price.
There is a FOS in almost every major shopping mall in Malaysia.
Take a taxi to Ampang Lookout Point over the weekend. Even though it will be busier
than during the week, the chance that you can catch a taxi back is a lot higher. There is
a fantastic view over the city from the Lookout Point. There are numerous nice (local)
restaurants where you can spend the evening.
Do you want to enjoy delicious Indian food and pay what you wish to pay for it
afterwards? Then go to Annalakshmi in the Brickfields district. Your payment will go to a
good cause. There are various other excellent Indian eateries including a few vegetarian
Indian restaurants. Chat Massala, next to the KFC when entering Brickfields, is the best
vegetarian Indian restaurant. One of better authentic Indian restaurants is Nirwana in
the Bangsar district (next to Bangsar Village Shopping Center).
Plaza Low Yat is the place to be for gadgets, electronics, computer parts, cameras and
camera accessories. This is the biggest IT & Gadget mall in Malaysia. Another place to
visit if youre looking for computer parts and other electronics is at PJ Digital Mall
(opposite Jaya 33 mall). However, it is nothing compared to Plaza Low Yat.
There are several rooftop bars or sky bars in Kuala Lumpur. A sky bar is a lounge bar
where you can sip at your drink while enjoying a fantastic view over the city. You have,
for example a beautiful sky bar at the Traders Hotel with a view on the PETRONAS Towers.
Other sky bars are Luna Bar, G-Tower Bridge Bar and Rootz (Lot10 roof top bar). Make
sure you make reservations up front to be sure to sit at the best spot in the Sky Bars. It
can get crowded during weekends at is also a popular place to hang out among (rich)
Would you like to eat along the street at one of the popular hawker quarters? Then
catch a taxi to Ming Tien, Kampung Bharu, SS2 food court, Kuchai Lama food court or
Asia Caf. You will often find the more modern food courts at the lower floors of the
various shopping malls such as Pavilion KL (Food Republic), Lot10 (Hutong Food Court)
and Mid Valley Megamall.

Page 10 of 18

Perhentian includes two islands, Kecil and Besar. Kecil has mainly cheap
accommodation and is therefore especially popular among budget travelers (and
backpackers). Besar has both cheap and more expensive accommodation. Opposite the
Coral View Resort is one of the best snorkeling spots. The coral is not particularly
fantastic compared to other diving areas, but there is an enormous variety of fish.
Perhentian is seen as the best place to do snorkeling.
Redang is the island with more luxurious accommodation. Not every resort has its own
reef. So, you may have to book a snorkeling trip in some cases. There are nice diving
spots around Redang. For snorkeling you are probably better off at the neighboring island
of Perhentian.
The boat to Perhentian Islands leaves from Kuala Besut, the boat to Redang Island
and Lang Tengah Island leaves from Merang, the boat to Kapas Island leaves from Marang,
the boat to Tenggol leaves from Dungus and the boat to Tioman leaves from Mersing.
Perhentian Island is easily accessible from Kota Bharu (airport). You can easily reach
Redang Island, Lang Tengah Island, Kapas Island and Tenggol from Kuala Terengganu.

There are 4 islands on the west side of Malaysia that are worth a visit: Langkawi in
the north, Penang to the south of Langkawi, Pangkor lies at 3.5 hours from Kuala
Lumpur and Ketam lies a one hour train trip away from Kuala Lumpur (near Klang
Langkawi is worth a visit because of the relaxed atmosphere, the beautiful nature and
the marvelous beaches and resorts. This island is authentically Malaysian with many
beautiful kampungs to explore by bike (motorbike) or rental car.
Penang is especially known for its World Heritage Site, the historic center of the capital
Georgetown. Furthermore it is also famous for its coziness and the delicious food. You
can explore Penang very easily by motorbike or (rental) car. Penang is also ideal for
shopping. The island is connected with the mainland by bridge.
Pangkor is a smaller version of Langkawi. It is relatively close to Kuala Lumpur and it
is easy to reach by (rental) car or coach. The island has various beautiful resorts and you
can explore this island by motorbike as well.
Ketam is not similar to the previously mentioned islands. Ketam is a fishermen village
with only Chinese fishermen. There are no beaches and you cannot venture outside the
Page 11 of 18

main village as there are only swamps and you will see mud wherever you look. The
island has a fantastic and very authentic atmosphere and you can eat delicious food (not
only fish). The island is ideal for an overnight visit. Many locals from KL make a daytrip to
the island. You can explore the main village by rental bicycle (RM5).

There are various national parks in Malaysia which are also called 'Taman Negara'.
However, there is one nature reserve that is actually named Taman Negara. That park is
situated 3 hours away from Kuala Lumpur. It is a marvelous nature reserve with the
oldest primary rain forest in the world. Usually you will not see a lot of big game, because
it is so enormously stretched out. It is a beautiful place on the peninsula to visit when
you want to be introduced to the Malaysian jungle. It has to be said that Taman Negara
is relatively touristy compared to the more remote Malaysian nature reserves.
A few of the beautiful national parks reserves in Malaysia are: Taman Negara, Endau
Rompin, Royal Belum State Park, Kenong Rimba Park and Gunung Ledang (all on the
Malaysian peninsula). In Borneo, there is among others the Gunung Mulu National Park,
the Crocker Range Park, the Bako National Park, the Kinabalu National Park, the Niah
National Park, the Tabin Wildlife Reserve and the Tunku Abdul Rahman National (Marine)
The jungle train is a train that runs from the south east to the north east of Malaysia.
Unfortunately, you are not able to book your tickets beforehand any more (in the past this
was possible). You need to arrive at the station 1 hour before departure of the train to buy
tickets. The trip itself is fantastic.
There are various elephant sanctuaries in Malaysia. Two of those are very famous with
tourists. One lies in Kuala Gandah, 2.5 hours from Kuala Lumpur, but this is a very
touristy location. The other one is close to Lake Kenyir and is called the Sungai Ketiar
Elephant Sanctuary. The latter only started recently and is therefore not very known
amongst tourists (it is also much more difficult to reach).

In Borneo, you can visit and partially discover the following magnificent caves. In
Sarawak, there is the Deer Cave, Lang Cave, Wind Cave and Clearwater Cave, in Mulu the
Niah Cave, and the Fairy Cave in Kuching. In the province of Sabah, you find the
Gomantong Cave in Sandakan and the Madai Caves in Tawau.
Mount Kinabalu is close to Kota Kinabalu in the Crocker Mountains. You can climb to
the top (4092 m) in two days. It is a wonderful experience. You have to book the trip in
advance, seeing that the entrance is permit based.
Page 12 of 18

Kinabatangang is a river-system in the east of Sabah in Borneo. You can easily visit
this area for a few days. The chance to see big game is high. You may have the chance to
spot the Borneo pygmy elephant and see wild orangutans in the trees. You can often also
see big crocodiles, beautiful proboscis monkeys, snakes and various other animals, birds,
insects and amphibians.
There are several so-called 'rehabilitation centers' for orangutans in Borneo, two of
which are known amongst tourists. There is the Semengoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Center
in Sarawak and in Saban you will find the Sepilok Orangutan Sanctuary.

Domestic flights are very reasonable and make Malaysia a very accessible and travelfriendly destination. Sometimes, you can fly for as little as 10 one way to a destination
from Kuala Lumpur. The earlier you book, the cheaper the flight (early means 6 months
in advance). Air Asia often has interesting specials, as well as Malaysia Airlines. Take into
account that Air Asia only allows a maximum of 15kg of checked in luggage. If you have
more kilos with you, then you have to pay more (which is not that expensive, around
RM10 per additional kilo).
72) Taxis go into KL, but only seldom use a meter (though things are changing for the better).
The same applies to Penang. In various other places such as Langkawi, Kota Bharu,
Kuala Terengganu taxis drive based on a fixed price. Each route has a fixed price and
usually you buy your taxi ticket at a taxi counter. If a driver in KL does not want to drive
with the meter, you could agree with his price or you wait until another taxi passes which
agrees to driving with the meter. Beware of the RM15 and RM50 trick. In English they are
pronounced very similar. In Kuala Lumpur's city center, a ride with a meter taxi usually
does not exceed RM10.
73) When you take a taxi in front of your hotel, it will always be more expensive than when
you take a taxi along the street. The reason is that taxidrivers often have to pay 'waiting
money' to the hotel to be allowed to wait in front of the hotel. The drivers will have more
clients in that way. In many cases, they will transport tourists who are willing to pay a
fixed (and often higher) price to be transported.


Page 13 of 18

in Singapore. 3) From Kuala Lumpur you could also take a night train to Penang or even
all the way to Bangkok.
75) There is a day train and a night train between Kuala Lumpur and Singapore. Obviously,
the airplane is the quickest and the most practical option. However, the train is a
wonderful adventure in itself and when you take the night train you save on the costs of
an overnight stay. You can also take the bus. The bus completes the route quicker and
the luxurious bus gives you lots of leg room (lying down space). The costs are very low
(from RM40) and you also have a night option.
76) Always purchase bus tickets, train tickets and any other tickets through the official
channels. Do not be fooled by the street vendor who claims to have a better deal. Often
you will be conned. Besides, bus ticket and train tickets prices are very cheap in
Malaysia. So, there is hardly any reason to fall for fraudulent vendors. Unfortunately, it
is not common to buy bus or train tickets beforehand in Malaysia (however, you can
book airplane tickets on-line without a problem).
77) Between KLIA and LCCT you still have to travel by taxi or bus at the moment. The
advantage of the taxi is that you travel between both airports in 10/15 minutes. The bus
will take longer, but it is much cheaper. Always give yourself enough time prior to checkin to catch your flight stress-free. In time a new LCCT (Low Cost Terminal) will be built
and a monorail train will run between both airports.
78) When you rent a car in Malaysia, it is advisable to rent a GPS system as well. If you have
your own GPS system, you can take it with. There is a possibility (if your GPS system
allows you to) to download free maps in Malaysia. Malaysia's map is very large. An
automatic usually drives more comfortable, especially in the bigger cities. Driving left is
just a matter of getting used to, after a few kilometers you will forget about it. Each hotel
and each big attraction has parking available. Often you also have guarded parkings
where you can park your car safely for a small amount of a few ringgits. In a few villages
and cities, there is long term parking. A good example is the parking nearby Lumut,
from where the boat leaves to the island of Pangkor.

79) When you pay with your credit card, always ensure to keep an eye on your card. Credit
cards are often copied and abused in Malaysia. In case something happens, you are
insured with any company or bank in case of fraud.
80) Withdrawing money is possible at any ATM. In the bigger cities, there is an ATM on each
street corner. Usually you pay a fee per transaction (with your own bank). It is advisable
to withdraw bigger amounts. The smaller islands usually do not have ATM's. This
includes islands such as Perhentian and Redang for example. In Penang and Langkawi
there is no problem to withdraw money at the ATM.
Page 14 of 18

81) Be careful of cons in Malaysia. It has happened that tourists are invited to the house of
locals to have a meal with the family, or to visit a sick niece for example. Every year
there are many tourists who fall for this, strangely enough. When arriving at the local's
house, you find a gambling game with cards. Firstly, they put a lot of pressure on you to
join in the fun. When you won a little, they want you to go and withdraw money at the
ATM to continue the game with a higher bet. From there you will only lose. This con is
discussed elaborately on various travel forums (internationally). Always be on the lookout.
Not everyone is out to defraud tourists in Malaysia. However, it does happen regularly. If
something is too good to be true, then it usually is too good to be true.

82) Giving a tip is not common in Malaysia, but nobody will give you a nasty look if you do.
83) Eating is not done during the day during Ramadan. However, this only applies to the
Malaysian Muslims, because there are various other population groups who do not
participate in the Ramadan. In the center of Kuala Lumpur, you have food court Hutong
for example (below shopping mall Lot10) with only Chinese eateries. You can eat here
perfectly during the day. Furthermore, Ramadan is a perfect period to visit Malaysia.
Even though, it is not as exuberant (especially at the east side of the peninsula), it is a
lot cozier in the evening when everybody is allowed to eat.
84) When you eat out in Malaysia, a percentage is added to your bill. This is usually 6%
government tax and up to 10% service charge. When you pay for a service charge, it then
automatically means that you do not have to give a tip.
85) You could drink tap water in Malaysia, but due to the chlorine taste it is not advisable.
It is better to buy water in bottles. Ice cubes contain tap water and besides the slight
chlorine taste, it is therefore safe to have ice cubes in your drink.
86) Malaysian food is spicy, but not extremely spicy. If you order freshly prepared food as a
tourist, it is often not (prepared) spicy. Some dishes are therefore not done any justice. It
is better to request 'spicy' when ordering food. Strangely enough, you will get a tourist
version of the food which is a little spicy (but still only mildly spicy for most locals).
Indian food is usually very spicy, but Chinese dishes are not spicy at all.
87) Eat along the street at the Mamaks. Mamak represents a mix of Indian and Malaysian
influences. Food there is always halal. The mamak is an important social place for the
locals. You meet at the mamak to eat nice food, to talk and to socialize. You drink - Ice
Lemon Tea - while watching a movie or a sports program with others on one of the many
televisions. The average meal including the drink usually does not cost more than RM10.

Page 15 of 18

88) Trendy restaurants are at: Changkat Bukit Bintang, Pavilion KL, Bangsar Village,
Tropicana Mall, Sunway Giza Mall, Jaya One, The Curve, MidValley, The Gardens and
Heritage Row.

89) In Malaysia, there are many different kinds and sizes of toilets and especially many
variations regarding hygiene. Rule of thumb is the more luxurious the shopping mall,
the restaurant or the hotel where you stay, the better the sanitary facilities. The worst
sanitary facilities are usually found in the old shopping malls, in parking areas along
highways (at the restaurants). Bad sanitation is in a place where there are few tourists
and lots of locals. In some cases, you should not wash your hands after use. In other
cases, the toilets are very clean at those local places. Always check if there is toilet paper
available in the toilet. The best facilities are found in Kuala Lumpur at the luxurious
malls such as Starhill, Pavilion KL and MidValley The Gardens.

90) Along the west coast of the Malaysian peninsula, you cannot or you can hardly dive or
snorkel. The busy shipping industry ensured that the seawater has become blurry within
the narrow Strait of Malacca. Further to the north of the Malaysian islands, there are
various fantastic Thai islands. They are perfect for diving and snorkeling. The only place
on the west coast where you could snorkel is nearby Pulau Payar, a small island between
Langkawi and Penang (however, this is not cheap and less beautiful than the islands on
the east side of the peninsula).
91) A diving course usually costs between RM1000 and RM1200. A course will normally take
5 days, sometimes 4. Less than that is actually irresponsible. Everything is taught
during the course. If you wear glasses, ask them in advance to arrange diving goggles
with the right strength. It is cheaper to follow a diving course in for example Perhentian,
rather than Sipadan, because Sipadan is a much more exclusive diving destination.
92) Diving in Malaysia is magnificent. The coral is in a relatively good condition
(unfortunately, globally a lot of coral is damaged due to the increase in temperature of
the seawater). A dive costs between RM60 and RM90 on average, including equipment. A
few magnificent places to dive in Malaysia are: Perhentian, Redang, Lang Tengah, Kapas,
Tenggol, Tioman, Tunku Abdul Rahman Park, Layang-Layang, Langkayan, Sipadan,
Kapalai and Mabul.

Page 16 of 18

93) Neighboring countries such as Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand and even
Cambodia and Vietnam are easy to visit from Malaysia. Low budget airliner Air Asia
usually flies for very reasonable prices. In this way, it is easier to organize a combination
trip. A few example trips are: The jungles of Borneo and the beaches of Bali, a few
highlights in Malaysia and additionally, a trip to Angkor Wat in Cambodia.

Travelers who prefer to compile their own trip will discover that it is very easy to do so
for a trip to Malaysia. There are several travel agencies that offer tours or programs. Each
tour visits a popular attraction that takes a few days to visit.
When you decide to compile your own trip, first of all youll need a ticket. MAS
(Malaysia Airlines) is a good airline, because in most cases you fly directly to Kuala
Lumpur. The airline has great deals. Other airlines also have great deals, but there is
usually a short stopover. Such a stopover is of course a great way to discover another
country or another city. Ticket prices differ considerably due to the difference in high
season and low season.
Malaysian hotels always range from decent to good to very good quality. There are
several places in Malaysia where you can stay overnight for a few ringgits per night. In
Kuala Lumpur, you can stay in a luxurious 5 star hotel for only RM250 per night. There
is sufficient basic accommodation, but good and reasonably priced, especially at the more
popular destinations and in the cities. In most cases, it is a good idea to book via the
internet in advance, especially for the middle class to luxury hotels. It is a good idea to
check all the hotel sites (like,, and to
find the best deal.
Malaysia is a fantastic country to explore with a rental car. There are modern and safe
highways everywhere. So, you can easily plan a beautiful trip taking you around to all the
highlights of the peninsula (renting a car in Borneo is possible, but the road conditions
are not that good compared to the great roads on the peninsula). You can rent a car with
an international car rental company in advance. However, this is more expensive than the
local companies in Malaysia. We always rent our car with Hawk Malaysia and we always
hear good stories about another local company called Iprac. Both rental companies have a
modern fleet, their daily prices (and weekly prices) are more reasonable than
internationally known companies.

Page 17 of 18

Staying in the tourist center of the capital Kuala Lumpur is most fun. You are at a
walking distance of all attractions. The tourist center is divided in three areas: Chinatown,
Jalan Alor and Bukit Bintang. All kinds of accommodation are available, from basic
guesthouses to 5 star hotels.
Cheap accommodation in Kuala Lumpur can be found in Chinatown, Jalan Alor and
Bukit Bintang. Don't forget the modern, but very reasonable Tune Hotels where you can
stay for a few ringgits per night. You can find a lot of basic accommodation throughout
Malaysia. Home stay is also very popular.
100) Booking in advance on the Internet is usually the cheapest.,, and are the most popular websites where you can book hotels.
Walk-in rates are usually the most expensive. You don't have to book accommodation for
backpackers in advance, but it is advisable to contact certain places in Malaysia
beforehand to make sure that accommodation is available. Wonderful Malaysia gives you
elaborate descriptions of various great hotels in Malaysia.

Page 18 of 18

Related Interests