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debalyin Aug 17th, 2008 03:44 PM

Kuala Lumpur
We are planning three weeks in Asia in Feb/09. Does anyone have any thoughts on Kuala Lumpur, likes or dislikes. We are planning on spending some time in Langkawi and KL would be the easiest city to fly into for the start of the trip. We will also be going to Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Bangkok, so all suggestions are welcome. Thanks to all.

Kathie Aug 17th, 2008 04:18 PM

Wait... you will be there three weeks and you are visiting 5 countries? That averages out to 4 days per country if there was no travel time involved. But, of course, there is travel time involved. In three weeks, I'd say choose not more than 4 locations (not countries, but a single location). Some would argue you could visit 5 locations if the transfers from one place to another were smooth and quick. Asia lends itself best to slow travel... and even 4 locations in three weeks is not slow travel, but it may give you enough time to get a flavor for each place you visit.

Ok, enough of that unsolicited advice.

KL is worth a few days, but it is frankly, less interesting than any of the other locations you've mentioned (except for Langkawi which is just for rest and relaxation). Typically, Bangkok has better connections to the rest of the world - much more so that KL. But if you live somewhere that has a direct or non-stop flight on Malaysian Air to KL, that could be convenient.

johnwm Aug 17th, 2008 06:02 PM

Hi, debalyin!

I enjoyed my 4-night visit to Kuala Lumpur the year before last. I hired a driver at the hotel and visited the Lake Garden district, where I saw the butterfly, bird, and orchid parks. I also went to the top of KL Tower, so as to better see the Petronas Twin Towers. I visited Chinatown and Petaling Street as well as various Hindu temples. I spent one day visiting Malacca, and purchased a city day tour in KL.

When I travel through SE Asia, I always spend 1 week visiting 2 cities. I like to be on the go a lot, and I do not feel that I need to inspect every street in every town. If I had three weeks to spend on vacation, I'd surely include 6 cities (as I recently did this past May).

I have never visited Langkawi, and so have no thoughts to share with you on that destination.

Have a great time!

Guenmai Aug 17th, 2008 06:35 PM

As for Kuala's very interesting architectually. However, I found it rather boring otherwise. I'd give it two full days with a private driver. A friend and I had one and got everything that we needed to do done in about the two and a half days we were there...including going outside of KL to explore architecture. Happy Travels!

rhkkmk Aug 17th, 2008 06:36 PM

kathie makes some good points...i was recently in K/L and enjoyed a couple of days there but that was kathie says it can't compare with any of the other SEA cities....personally i would spend 2 full days there and be happy with that....when in transit the pan pacific hotel at the airport is very nice....they have special rates for certain airline customers also...

Guenmai Aug 17th, 2008 06:36 PM

I meant 3 days that we were there. Happy Travels!

Cilla_Tey Aug 17th, 2008 07:34 PM

Yes, 3 days would be enough unless you love to shop and eat. I can happily spend a week in KL but then I have heaps of relatives living there to have breakfast, lunch and dinner with. And I love to shop!

JamesA Aug 18th, 2008 03:11 AM

Not much to add, I like KL but again, for a couple of days, Langkawi really is simply to relax.

You mentioned KL would be easiest to fly into based on spending time on Langkawi. If you plan on Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand perhaps do you beach 'relaxation' in Thailand or even Vietnam ( depending where you plan to visit ).

Without getting into the Singapore v KL debate, you can easily fly from Singapore to Langkawi, not as many flights but timewise it's 55 mins from KL or about 80 minutes from Singapore.

There 'were' flights from Bangkok to Langkawi with Air asia but I belive they have stopped.

Perhaps if you can tell us where you are flying 'from' and then add your interests we could add some ideas and route ideas.

I 'like' Langkawi but if you are wanting to see Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Bangkok I don't think adding KL and Langkawi is going to add much to the trip, perhpas spend more time in the others and if you want to add some beach relaxation perhaps one of those Vietnam new resorts ( others know them, I don't ! ) or just take some quiet beach time in Thailand near Bangkok.

Guenmai Aug 18th, 2008 06:58 AM

I agree with the above. And Singapore would definitely be my choice over Kuala Lumpur. I go to Singapore pretty regularly, but have not been back to Kuala Lumpur. Happy Travels!

FromDC Aug 18th, 2008 07:45 AM

Guen, how about sharing the name/contactof your driver? We will be in KL for 2 days at the end of our trip, I would like to do one day in Malacca.

Guenmai Aug 18th, 2008 08:59 AM

Someone asked me a few years ago and I gave the poster the driver's contact info, but the person couldn't get in contact with him directly. I think he had moved.

So, then I told the poster to ask at the Ritz Carlton as he hangs out in front of the hotel, but is not associated with it. I stayed at the Ritz Carlton and he saw a friend and I there and then saw us on the same day a few blocks away and asked if we needed a driver. My friend remembered him from sitting out in front of the hotel. So, we bargained an hourly rate and he said OK and for the whole 3 days we had a driver. He even drove us to the airport on departure day.
The poster asked the Ritz Carlton about him and they said they knew him and were trying to set up something. But, the poster decided to do something else and unfortunately didn't follow through as I had asked him/her to please get the new contact info on the driver so I'd have it. Then if I returned, I'd go directly through Mr. Pau again and not through the hotel as the hotel prices are high...which is why I bargain with drivers on the street in S.E. Asia. If I get a taxi driver I like, then I ask if he could be my private driver for a set hourly or day rate.
My KL driver's name is Mr. Pau and, according to the poster, he has a new car now. You might want to type his name in the Search box and maybe the info on how to go about getting in touch with him will pop up.
So, good luck. He was a great driver and my friend and I had a blast with him. He was perfectly on time each day and even would drive us back to the Ritz Carlton so that we could make tea time and then come back for us after tea time.
He also drove us to places we didn't even know existed like a beautiful Chinese temple on top of a hill. He's Chinese Malay. Happy Travels!

debalyin Aug 18th, 2008 06:18 PM

Thanks everyone for the great responses. We are flying out of Chicago to Tokyo then somewhere:) We are now thinking about buying an around the world ticket and that will change which way we go. Out of the three weeks we really wanted to spend 5 days laying on a beach hence the Langkawi stop, but have since heard about a resort in Koh Samui (Four Seasons) that is supposed to be gorgous. Has anyone been to any nice resorts in Penang? Thanks for everyones suggestions.

Kathie Aug 18th, 2008 06:57 PM

The beaches on Penang are not very good. But if you are interested in the historic Georgetown area, you can stay at the fabled E&O Hotel there. It's right on the water, but you'll lay by and swim in the pool. Staying at the E&O is worth the whole trip! Take a look at my trip report on Penang from a couple of years ago.;tid=34904681

If a beach is a top priority, I'd recommend a Thai beach rather than Langkawi.

It sounds like you are re-thinking your itinerary, which I think is a good thing. SE Asia has so much to offer, but you have to slow down or you'll miss it all. If you could add another three weeks to your vacation, you could do most of your original plan.

sweehart Aug 19th, 2008 02:44 PM

I grew up in Penang and KL and all I can say is that things have changed drastically. The hotels are not too bad if you stay at one that is a 4 star hotel or higher.

KL is just a huge city... if you like shopping, then it's fun as things are definitely much cheaper. The new city, Putra Jaya, is kind of neat to tour... You can basically do the basic tour of KL in a day or two, I'm sure. I'm not a big fan of big cities, but KL does have some nice architectural buildings.

KMLoke Aug 21st, 2008 07:51 PM

I'm in KL since Wednesday for work. Staying at the Renaissance Hotel across the road from the Concorde Hotel (where Hard Rock Cafe is located). Rooms are big enough. The pricing for some stuff are expensive. For example to wash and press a shirt costs RM25. They are charging RM25 an hour for broadbank internet access. Don't have much time to explore. Went to KLCC as it's a 15 min walk away for dinner.

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