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KL plus Penang/Georgetown or Langkawi, or both?

KL plus Penang/Georgetown or Langkawi, or both?

Dec 27th, 2018, 04:01 PM
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KL plus Penang/Georgetown or Langkawi, or both?

Hey, I will need to go to KL for two days on business in mid-February (Feb 12-14).

Aside from adding an extra night and day to explore KL on my own, I'd like to add a few more nights (4-6 maybe, somewhat flexible) to see at least a bit more of Malaysia than just KL.

My favorite destination would be a beach with other things to see and explore nearby (say in 1/2hr to 1hr distance by public transport or taxis).
Caveat: Due to my company's travel policies, I need to start and end my private vacation in KL, so no open jaw to KL/ from XYZ possible.
After checking the weather / rainy or monsoon season, I decided to stick to the Western side of the peninsula. Any location on the Eastern shores on on Borneo looks a bit risky.. or am I wrong?
I'd also prefer destinations with direct flight connections from/back to KL. So no train+bus+boat adventures..

My first idea was to fly to Penang, spend 2-3 nights in Georgetown, explore a bit of Penang.
Then go to Langkawi and stay 3 nights on some beach before I fly back to KL.
But then I started to wonder if that was a bit too much moving around in a short time, and was afraid that I'd spend too much time at airports and in transit.
And, aside from the stunning cable car and canopy trail, I did not find THAT many things to do on Langkawi.

Now I think about spending all my extra nights on Penang, possibly in a beach hotel near Georgetown like in Batu Feringghi.
Which looks quite touristy, but that's okay. The beach may not be as spectacular as on Langkawi but still looks nicer than most we have on the Mediterranean Sea in Europe.
So Georgetown proper as well as the National Park/ rainforest/ Monkey Beach look close enough for half day trips before returning to the hotel for a few hours in the pool or on the beach.

Does this make sense or would you rather stick with my first plan and also add Langkawi?
Or choose a totally different destination?
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 08:12 PM
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I'd be inclined to spend all your extra days on Penang, in Georgetown and out & about around the island. I enjoy staying longer in 1 place than most here and I found Georgetown a great hanging out place.

I also hired a taxi & went up to the Cameron Highlands for a few days in the middle as I particularly enjoy visiting tea-growing areas. In any case it always depends on an individual's travel style but I was very happy hanging out on Penang.
MmePerdu is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 08:37 PM
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There is more than enough to hold your interest in Penang for 4-6 days. But don’t expect too much from the beaches. " looks nicer than most we have on the Mediterranean Sea in Europe." - really not the case! The old town is pleasant but a little run down these days, the food is excellent and some interesting places to explore - Ke Lok Se temple, the clan jetties etc. Batu Ferrengi is not my idea of a pleasant beach destination.

Langkawi has by far the best beaches, but apart from the beaches and the places you have mentioned, there is not a lot else, except maybe a trip to the mangroves. Some stunning hotels there - The Datai and the Four Seasons to name but two.

It is pretty easy to get a ferry from Penang to Langkawi but you would waste most of a day in transit. IMO your choice comes down to beautiful beaches and excellent hotels or quaint colonial Malaysia and great food and sightseeing.
crellston is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 08:49 PM
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My info is very dated but I did some business travel to Penang years ago. Georgetown was nice enough, I thought perhaps "Singapore, twenty years ago". I had a cool boss who let us stay out in the Rasa Sayang, which I see is next to the Batu Feringghi that you are considering. The beaches are not as nice as what you'd see in Langkawi, but could fit the bill instead of staying in Georgetown proper. I did have a great time in the markets, hawker centers and a karaoke bar there though.

The Cameron Highlands suggestion is good for something totally different, then perhaps on to Malacca? I never made it there, but it's not for hanging out on a beach.

For another date I'd suggest Pulau Tioman, but you've done your climate homework.
Have a good trip.
Nelson is offline  
Dec 27th, 2018, 10:39 PM
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Thanks for all your valuable input!

Batu Feringghi is not my idea of a *perfect* location. I've been *driving around* a bit with Google Streetview...
I would consider it more a compromise of staying in a vacation surrounding with a beach and some palm trees while still being able, for example, to get into Georgetown for dinner if my immediate neighborhood should only offer boring tourist food. And get back by taxi without breaking the bank.

I agree that my reference to the beaches on the Med was misleading.
What I really meant was that any "okay enough" beach will probably do. And that I spent too much time looking for the perfect beach while, in fact, I am more interested in seeing places, do a bit of hiking (well, not real hiking in that climate), food!, etc.

Again - thank you so much for your time and ideas.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2018, 01:18 AM
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i love the Georgetown, Penang area and if it was me (and I know it isn't) I'd spend all of my time there. There are of course, palm trees in Georgetown, but the beaches are not nice. Whether to take a side trip to Langkawi depends on how important a beach is to you. Personally, I'd stay at the E&O with a view over the water and call it good.
Kathie is offline  
Dec 28th, 2018, 01:25 AM
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I'd love to stay at the E&O for a week, but I think that will be a bit over my budget.
Though the rooms look fabulous.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2018, 09:34 AM
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Less expensive and, I think, infinitely more atmospheric than the E&O, I've stayed at the Cheong Fatt Tze Mansion.


It's located a short walk from the E&O, more in town which I prefer and may be my favorite accommodation of all after years of travel.

Last edited by MmePerdu; Dec 28th, 2018 at 09:45 AM.
MmePerdu is offline  
Dec 28th, 2018, 01:15 PM
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Thanks! That hotel looks very beautiful. I can understand why you like to stay there.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2018, 01:51 AM
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One place you may like to check out in Penang is Campbell House Penang | Heritage Boutique Hotel in Georgetown, Penang
crellston is offline  
Dec 31st, 2018, 02:56 AM
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Thank you!
With some many nice place to choose from, I get the impression that lack of choices will not be my prime concern... it makes it hard to choose just one hotel ;-)
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jan 1st, 2019, 04:00 PM
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If I were you, I'd also spend the whole time in Penang. I'm in Bangkok at present for the annual 3 weeks of my 6-week vacation in the region. But, I will be headed back to Penang, after Bangkok, and for the 4th year straight to Penang although I've been going to Malaysia since 2001. I'll also head back to Kuala Lumpur, after Penang.

When in Penang, I stay at the Eastern&Oriental Hotel as I love waking up to that sea view. Priceless. Plus, the huge breakfast buffet is included in the room rate of all of the rooms. Also, it's easy to walk into town from there.

As for prices at the E&O, on my first trip there, the 2014/2015 trip, I stayed in a regular room in the Victory Annexe, the new annexe and in January 2015. The room was very nice and I got it on Expedia for around $140. a night. But, on trips after that I booked the corner suite in the Victory Annexe. I contact the hotel and make my booking and then wait and regulalry check Expedia as I usually get a really good deal through Expedia. Then I contact the hotel to cancel out their reservation, if needed, and I inform them that I have booked the same suite through Expedia. No problem.

When I booked through the hotel, for this trip, the hotel made my reservation and sent me out a confirmation at 1,334 ringgit per night, including nett (U.S. $320.87) . I waited some weeks and went on Exedia and got the same corner suite for U.S. $251.49 including nett. Last year, I got it for U.S.$225. per night, including nett on Expedia. The corner suites, in the Victory Annexe, are 125 square meters/ 1,345 square feet and with 2 wrap-around terraces overlooking the sea. But, all rooms in the Victory Annexe have terraces/balconies and of course overlook the sea.

The regular rooms, they are all called suites, are less expensive and there are some really good deals out there and again the huge buffet breakfast is included in the rate. One just has to check, online rates. And I find that the really good deals pop up in the Victory Annexe. My best friend stayed in the traditional part of the hotel when we were there in Jan 2016 and her room was very small, had no balcony, and overlooked the roof area of the dining room, as she was right above it, and she paid not that much less than what I had paid for a corner suite in the Victory Annexe.

Have a great time in Malaysia as it's a lovely country to visit.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is online now  
Jan 3rd, 2019, 02:19 PM
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Wow.. that's really good to know. Thanks to you for your time and effort!
Cowboy1968 is offline  
Jan 3rd, 2019, 03:16 PM
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You're very welcome.

I just looked at the E&O website and they will be renovating the Heritage Wing of the hotel from March 2019-Dec 2019 so that part of the hotel will be closed, but the Victory Annexe part of the hotel will be open. They need to renovate the Heritage Wing as it was looking very tired.

Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang, Malaysia

Below is the link to both types of suites in the Victory Annexe. As far as I'm concerned, that Corner Suite is a bargain for what one gets. I love it. However, the other type of suite is also very nice as I had it once. I find the hotel and location very relaxing and convenient and waking up to that sea view is priceless as far as I'm concerned.

Suites | Eastern & Oriental Hotel, Penang, Malaysia

Have a great trip.

Happy Travels!
Guenmai is online now  
Jan 5th, 2019, 09:55 AM
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I went to Penang last year alone for 3 nights 4 days, much to much, I did love it there but could of easily done it in in 2 nights 3 days, very cheap flights from KL, I went back last month with my wife and did it that way. Not much going on in George town until dark and then it comes alive. If your looking for beaches then your right on with your plan. You can pretty much tour the island in one day, drivers are very inexpensive. Take a short private boat to Monkey beach, the driver will arrange it for you, definitely don't do the BBQ you will feel stuck on the beach. We try to avoid the typical stops the driver will take you to, White coffee, Penang Chocolate, textiles etc etc, they are a waist of time. You might also consider BKK, its a short flight and always a fun place to spend a few days. Safe travels
tommycall is offline  
Jan 5th, 2019, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by tommycall View Post
I went to Penang last year alone for 3 nights 4 days, much to much, . . . could of easily done it in in 2 nights 3 days . . . Not much going on in George town until dark . . . can pretty much tour the island in one day . . .
More proof, if we needed it, that opinions are as varied as the number of people you ask. Ultimately we're all pretty much on our own when it comes to choosing & planning and what's the worst that can happen? You'll find yourself in a place that's good for a couple of nights. My opinion? I stayed weeks, rarely went out at night because it isn't what I do, and hated to leave.
MmePerdu is offline  
Jan 6th, 2019, 01:13 AM
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That's right!
But it's actually fun and interesting to read the different experiences and ways to travel/explore.
Cowboy1968 is offline  
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