8 days in Malaysia

Nov 25th, 2002, 07:32 AM
  #1  
Rosie Vishram
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8 days in Malaysia

Hi,
My husband and I will be in Malaysia for 8 days. We would like to rent a car and drive. What would be the best way to spend our 8 days? We are more interested in natural wonders rather than man made wonders.

Thanks,
Rosie Vishram
 
Nov 25th, 2002, 05:25 PM
  #2  
wayne
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You didnt say where you will be landing. I assume it is KL. For the best nature spot leave your car behind and take a train/bus to Taman Negara. This is our 100mil yr old tropical rainforest. A 3 hr long longboat ride will take you to see caves,rapids, waterfalls and how the tribes people live. Of course you'd also see lotsa animals native among them are the hornbills, tapirs and tigers.You'd have to travel to the Amazon to see anything like this.

If you wish to drive you could also drive thru the Karak highway (west to east) to the east coast of malaysia for a more village feel. Drive up all the way to Tasik Kenyir where they flooded the forest to make a dam. You will see petrified tops of trees jutting out of the water. YOu can stay in a houseboat.(contd)
 
Nov 25th, 2002, 05:35 PM
  #3  
wayne
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You can also fish and eat the delicious "snakehead", the fish which is causing so much fear in the US for its ability to walk on land and bite.The scenery is beautiful and reminds me of the movie Cape Fear. That place is called Tasik Kenyir and it is in the state of Trengganu.

Also off the Trengganu coast are 3 beautiful coral islands of Kapas, Redang and Perhentian. ALl are equally beautiful altho only Redang has a 4 star hotel n spa. (The Berjaya Hotel)

You can drive back via the scenic East-west h'way visit Penang and its colonial feel town before heading back to KL.

8 days would just be enough.Taman Negara warrants at least 3 days. Where are you from?
 
Dec 1st, 2002, 04:57 PM
  #4  
Rosie Vishram
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Hi Wayne,
Thjanks for writing back. I am from Edmonton, Canada.
We land in Singapore and our flight home is from Singapore too. Do yohave any suggestions for accomodation.
Thanks for your input.
Regards,
Rosie
 
Dec 2nd, 2002, 02:51 AM
  #5  
Nancy
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Dear Rosie:

When are you going to Malaysia? If you will be there after April 2003, I would suggest you include a drive along the east coast and a visit to one of the islands there. Between now and April is monsoon season in that part of the South China Sea, so a visit would not be as pleasant. If you will be in Malaysia in July or August, I would definitely recommend the east coast so you can see the giant sea turtles which nest at that time.

If you are interested in details for an east coast trip, write back on this thread. I have information, but it is kind of lengthy and don't want to waste your time if you are not interested or are going between now and April.

Hope this is helpful.
 
Dec 2nd, 2002, 04:23 PM
  #6  
wayne
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Dear Rosie,
What budget are you looking for? It ranges from the most luxurious (US$250) Tanjong Jara resort near Kuala Trengganu (where the leatherback turtles lay eggs) to US$10 A-frame huts. Check out slh.com for Tanjong Jara. There is only one nice hotel in Lake Kenyir.I recommend staying in a boathouse and cruise along the lake. The best hotel on the east coast islands is the Berjaya Spa & Resort(US$100) on Redang island.
 
Dec 2nd, 2002, 04:59 PM
  #7  
Rosie Vishram
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Hi,
The East Coast sounds exciting. I would be interested in getting more information. We will be in Malaysia the middle of January. Will the East coast be okay to visit then or not worth the visit due to the monsoon season? What will the weather be like? Our budget is about US$100.00/day. I would appreciate any input on accomodation, special restaurants and sights not to miss.

Many, many thanks.

Regards,
Rosie
 
Dec 3rd, 2002, 07:12 AM
  #8  
Nancy
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That is a tough question. The east coast would still be pretty, but you may get some grey rainy days. I lived in Singapore for 5 years and honestly did not notice that much of a difference in during the rainy season -- it’s the tropics and you expect some rain everyday. During Chinese New Year (January-Feb) I went up Kuantan a few times and the weather was always nice. You can get days when it rains all day, however, so keep this in mind.

The Berjaya resort mentioned above is undergoing construction according to their website, they are adding 100 units. If a hotel announces this on their website, that usually means there are backhoes on site and lots of noise. Many people on this page do not like the Berjaya resort on Tioman, so you may want to keep that in mind if you are choosing a Berjaya resort (there are several).

My advice would be to not go out to any of the islands off the coast, because if the weather is unpleasant it is not a fun experience: high choppy waves, etc. At least with the coast you are bit more protected. I might make an exception for Rawa Island, which I think is one of the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia. Check for a thread from me on Rawa on this site by searching "Tioman Honeymoon Accommodations?". It is a beautiful and unique island. For years, they used to close it from November to April, which tells you a little bit about the weather in those months.

You could start in Singapore and drive to Kuantan, where there is a Hyatt on the beach, and lots of other hotel choices from budget up. (If you want to go to Rawa or Tioman Island, you would stop in Mersing.) You could then continue up the coast to Kuala Terrenganu, stopping as you like along the way depending on the weather as well as your mood . The drive from Singapore to Kuala Terrenganu without stopping would take about 1 and ½ days. From Kuala Terrenganu, you could go inland toward the Cameron Highlands and Genting / Fraiser's Hill (If you like golf, there are some interesting golf resorts in these areas.) You could then continue down to the national park in Tama Negara which was mentioned above. I have never been here, and apparently you must access it by boat, so you would have to check where you would drive and leave your car. From Tama Negara you could then either continue down the middle of the Malay peninsula or head for the west coast stopping in Malacca (could do Penang but it is fairly far north) on your way back down to Singapore. This would be a nice mix of beaches and mountains.

If you want to see maps to get an idea of where you are headed, two good websites are:

lib.utexas.edu/maps/Malaysia
asia-hotels.com/maps/Malaysia

The latter site also has hotel listings by region/town. I would suggest you get a Lonely Planet guidebook for Malaysia. This is a budget travel book, but if you look at the "high end" choices in the Lonely Planet guide, you will find some good hotels; not luxury but some very nice hotels at good prices. Same with their high-end or expensive restaurant picks. The guidebook is very helpful generally for suggesting sights and giving a background on culture and customs.

Also, January is the low season for much of Malaysia -- certainly on the east coast, so you may find some bargains at more upscale hotels.

Hope you are spending a few days in Singapore. I lived there for 5 years and think it is a great city. It would be a good place to get over the jet lag before starting your drive.

Hope this is helpful.
 
Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:35 PM
  #9  
wayne
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The NE monsoon blows fr Nov-Mar so expect heavy rains.The west coast of M'sia and Singapore are protected fr the monsoons by the Central Malaysian mountain range and not subjected to that heavy rains altho in dec-jan it rains every other day in the late aftns.

In fact, hotels on the east coast offer a free day's stay if there is rain during your stay there. There are not many 4-5 star hotels on the east coast but here are some of the better ones:

Taman Negara, Pahang: Mutiara (approx US$100). Pls check out their website.

Cherating, near Kuantan, Pahang:
Club Med (US$100)

Dungun, near Kuala Trengganu: Tanjong Jara resort (US$200-250)-you must stay here. It won the Aga Khan architectural award.As good as an Aman.

Kenyir Lake, Trengganu: boathouse

If you like hills stay at Cameron HIghlands' Ye Olde Smokehouse (US$100).

Nancy is right. I wouldnt go to the offshore islands incl Tioman during the monsoon. Any the hotels and chalets close during the monsoon.

For more info you can go to "visitmalaysia.com"

 
Dec 3rd, 2002, 04:41 PM
  #10  
Rosie Vishram
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Thanks a whole bunch for your input. This gives me a good start.

Regards,
Rosie
 
Dec 6th, 2002, 10:41 AM
  #11  
Lara
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Wow! Wayne you are chock full of information about Malaysia! How wonderful of you to share it all. I do have one more question for you:

I am planning a Honeymoon in August 2003 at the Tanjong Jara Resort. Can you tell me more about your experience there? I have spent much time on their (great) website but would love to hear firsthand from someone who has stayed there.

How conservative are the people at the resort? I know that going topless is an absolute no-no, but I want to be sure that we can do the typical "bikini and drinks poolside" type of thing. I also want to be sure that we are respectful and aware.

How is the food? Is there a variety of alcoholic beverages available?

Thanks in advance for your reply.

 
Dec 9th, 2002, 04:42 AM
  #12  
Rosie Vishram
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Hi folks,
Thanks to both of you - Nancy and Wayne for all the tips and suggestions. It all sounds soooo good. I have checked Tanjong Jara resort on the net - looks absolutely beautiful. This is our plan. We have reserved a car and have made reservations at the Tanjong Jara for two night for now. We are debating whether we should cut it to one day. We are going to drive up the East coast, cross over via Karak highway and time permiting drive down the West coast and see what we can.
We are in Singapore for one day on our way to India (three and a half weeks in India). We are going to be spending the eight days in Malaysia on our way home from India. We are staying at the Oriental when we first get to Singapore. A friend recommended the place. Any suggestions for where to eat in Singapore? We are going to be gone for a total of 5 weeks WOW! This is our first trip to Asia.
I welcome any tips and suggestions and have appreciated ALL your input.
Regards,
Rosie
 
Dec 9th, 2002, 06:35 AM
  #13  
Nancy
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Dear Rosie:

The trip sounds great. I would vote for 2 nights at Tanjong Jara, just so you can relax after so many weeks! Also, try the spa….

I haven't lived in Singapore for 5 years, and restaurants there change all the time. Check the Rants and Raves page here for suggestions. Some of my favorite restaurants which are still there are Indian, but I think you will be having enough Indian in India so I would recommend any. The Oriental would be within walking distance of Boat Quay, which has dozen of good restaurants, many with outdoor tables along the river. I hear the touts have become a little aggressive here in trying to get you to come into their restaurant, so have a look at Rants and Raves and make a choice on Boat Quay before you go. If you want a formal meal, try the Tiffin Room at the Raffles Hotel, redone about 6 years ago to its former colonial glory and quite a site. A Singapore Sling in the Long Bar is fun too or instead of dinner.

If you have time for a more formal dinner a bit out of the business district, then I would recommend Alkaff Mansion (also on Rants and Raves). This is an old colonial mansion which has been restored. They have a good menu and wine list. Their speciality is Indonesian Ristaffel.

Finally, you could try one of the hawker centres, which is extremely cheap and good street food. Singapore is the one place in Asia where you can safely eat street food (it is much cleaner than the US). You can get Malay or local Singapore food, it is all good. There used to be one in Boat Quay, but I suspect that has gone away to make room for upscale restaurants. Check a website for Singapore or ask your hotel concierge.

I am curious to know you itinerary for India. I am a huge fan of India, have been to north India 3 times for pleasure and about a dozen times for business. Let me know if you have any particular questions about India.

Hope this is helpful. Have a great trip!
 
Dec 9th, 2002, 04:54 PM
  #14  
wayne
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Dear Rosie and Nancy,

I havent stayed at the Tj Jara Resort but I've stayed and loved their sister hotel, Pangkor Laut Resort, the one Pavarotti fell in love with. They are managed by the same company so it should be of the same high standard.

Topless sunbathing is a no-no in Trengganu as it is a strict muslim state (Trengganu and Kelantan are more strict than other parts of Msia)

I live in Singapore and can recommend you some good r'rants. What kind of food do you like? btw, if you havent booked the Oriental, try either the Ritz Carlton or Fullerton instead- the Oriental's rooms are worn out.
 
Dec 12th, 2002, 05:57 PM
  #15  
Rosie Vishram
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Hello folks,
2 more sleeps and we are off. Thanks for all the tips. I have to move on this packing.

Will get in touch if I get an oppurtunity on the road.

Regards,
Rosie
 
Dec 21st, 2002, 02:05 PM
  #16  
Nancy
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topping...
 
Dec 22nd, 2002, 02:40 AM
  #17  
Norma
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7 days in Malaysia, 1 day now in Thailand, thank goodness. From miserable faces to laughing smiles, phew! Sorry but we were not impressed.
 
Dec 22nd, 2002, 07:57 AM
  #18  
Jane
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Norma! What do you mean?? We are leaving next Monday for Singapore, Malasia and Thailand for 3 weeks and our time is very flexible. What was wrong with Malaysia?
 
Dec 22nd, 2002, 09:15 PM
  #19  
Norma
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Don't worry Jane, all the places were fantastic. Singapore, KL, Malacca, Penang, all fine, but the fact is that the Thais are so charming it was nice to see the smiles, grab a beer. The countries are very different. You notice coming from Malaysia and especially the more religious areas.
People in all places were friendly but I don't think people were actually that 'happy'. Service is ok, facilities ok, but once in Thailand the smiles, music and atmosphere is almost overwhelming. Thailand is much more laid back than Malaysia.
 
Dec 23rd, 2002, 05:38 AM
  #20  
Ted
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The people in Thailand were smiling but cold! I tried to talk to many Thais who spoke English to learn about their lives and the country, I got many one word embarrassed answers. I noticed that the Thais were very quiet and shy towards each other. The Greeks and Thais are not in the same planet it seems.
 

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