Singapore or Kuala Lumpar?

Old Feb 9th, 2008, 07:33 AM
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Singapore or Kuala Lumpar?

For the past 3 years my OH and I have visited Thailand, but have decided this year wed try Malaysia. We have decided on Penang first, then Lankawi but now we cant decide on finishing in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur or doing both! Our trip will be in December.

We have been to Singapore before, about 15 years ago, and absolutely loved it and have no problems with going back and revisiting some of our favourite and memorable places. Im sure it has changed substantially in the past 15 years so we are keen to see it again.

We are however, transiting through KL for a flight to Langkawi, we could fly direct from Penang but FireFly Airlines has luggage restrictions and we dont travel light so have opted to fly to Langkawi from KL. We wondered if it would be worth stopping then in KL before flying onto Langkawi?

Or do we go straight to Langkawi, miss out KL and just spend our last couple of days in Singapore and not see KL at all?

Any help or advice would be really gratefully received.

Thank you.

AP
AndyPandy is offline  
Old Feb 9th, 2008, 08:42 AM
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First of all, Penang and Langkawi are so close together, it makes no sense to waste most of a day getting from one to the other by transiting through KL. Even if Firefly has luggage restrictions, you can pay overage fees which would almost certainly be less than the cost of flying Malaysian AIr from Penang to KL and from KL to Langkawi.

Both KL and Singapore are interesting cities. I find more to do in Singapore, but Singapore is a more expensive destination these days if you are coming from the US. Given your itinerary, my recommendation is to go directly from Penang to Langkawi, and visit Singapore at the end of the trip.
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Old Feb 9th, 2008, 09:11 AM
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By the way, I do hope you are staying at the E&O in Penang - the hotel itself is worth the trip. And if you haven't seen it, do read my Penang trip report from 2006. If you search on Penang and my name you should find it. I'm glad to answer any other questions I can about Penang.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 01:21 AM
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On the whole I found Singapore boring. The National Museum there is superb, and it is interesting to find oneself on a tiny island that has made such a place for itself.

But it's very sterile - and I think they have closed the Changi Prison Museum. So apart from aforesaid museum, and a look around Raffles, it's all about shopping I guess.

I prefer KL.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 08:24 AM
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Much prefer Singapore. Lots to do. See my recent post for ideas.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 09:51 AM
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I enjoyed your post, degas. And someone else recently listed a dozen or so things they enjoyed in SIngapore. And several of us added ideas as well. There is plenty to keep you interested and occupied.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 10:09 AM
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I found both cities boring -- too modern and western for me. But of the two I suppose I would pick Singapore.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 11:02 AM
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The thread with a nice list of things to do in Singapore is called Day Trips from Singapore. Take a look and see if some of the activities listed are ones you are interested in.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 11:30 AM
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I visited both on the same trip in 2002, and if I was only visiting one I'd pick K.L. as being more interesting. Not that there isn't plenty to do in both places, but Singapore feels more "Disneyfied" to me.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 12:11 PM
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Okay, I'll bite - going to KL this spring. What is interesting to do?
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 12:27 PM
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LOVE both places but KL would be my pick. It has all the modern wonders of Singapore, but there's also the older, less sanitised side of Asia to enjoy.

For shopping, there's the art-deco Central Market, a great place for crafts and souvenirs, an excellent Chinese night market on Petaling St and, for modern malls, the Bintang/Golden Triangle area where prices are much lower than Singapore.

Malaysian cuisine (nonya) is well worth trying, a mixture of Chinese and Indian. The restaurant upstairs at Central Market is very good: try the beef rendang.

Some of the architecture in KL is stunning, especially the old Railway Station and Central (Merdeka) Square - an odd kind of Asian gothic.

There are also the Petronas Twin Towers, no longer the world's highest buildings, but pretty spectacular, as well as the KL Menara tower with its spectacular views and revolving restaurant.

Out of town, there are the Batu Caves but, to be honest, I wasn't a fan.

All in all, KL has a lovely feel to it, a mixture of Chinese, sub-continental and, of course, Malay. The people are hugely friendly and welcoming also.

By the way, in Langkawi, I recommend the Mangrove Swamp tours. Most hotels organise them and don't be put off by the name. We saw everything from monkeys, to kingfishers, to dolphins to sea eagles to flying foxes. Brilliant!

Enjoy.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 12:38 PM
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K.L. - in addition to Graham's list: architecture - add the National Mosque, the Anglican cathedral, assorted Hindu, Buddhist and Taoist temples.

Sightseeing - add Bird Park and the Islamic Arts Museum.

Food - I don't think I had a bad meal in K.L. - make sure you eat in both the Chinese and Indian sections. Checking my trip report I see I thought well of the Old China Cafe, if it's still around.
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Old Feb 10th, 2008, 12:52 PM
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I admit to missing the garden district on the last trip. Central market was okay, but nothing to get too excited about. Central (Merdeka) Square was nice.

Not trying to be negative, but the city just didn't grab me much. I'll keep an open mind.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 08:57 AM
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THE Old China Cafe! Is that the one on the cul-de-sac at the end of Petaling Street, with the swing doors like a Western Saloon? If so, I'd strongly recommend it too. We had a fabulous rendang there with a pitcher of chilled Tiger; then back for more bargaining at the night market. What a happy evening. Sigh...
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 09:03 AM
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GrahamC - I think so! Here's a clip from my 2002 trip report: "I dined at the Old China Cafe behind swinging wooden doors on sambal petai shrimp -- shrimp and fava beans (although I didn't recognize them as favas) in a candlenut and tamarind sauce. Hot and sour and delicious." Google turned up this site: www.oldchina.com.my/ocklindex.htm - which includes a photo of beef redang and some interesting history.
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 09:17 AM
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Thanks everyone for all the replies and great suggestions for places to visit etc. It looks like we will try and do both KL and Singapore, KL will be new to both of us and it will be nice to see Singapore again.

Kathie: I've read your trip report which was a great read, making copious notes along the way! I've searched out various other reports which all have given me a idea of what Malaysia will be like.

We haven't decided on a hotel in Penang yet, although we've got The Datai booked for Langkawi.

No doubt I will be back on this board with more questions on Malaysia.

Thanks for your help so far.

ap
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 10:20 AM
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andy...we will be in both K/L and singapore in may/june, so watch for my reports at that time
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Old Feb 11th, 2008, 04:13 PM
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You may be able to search my previous posts on cheap local eats in Singapore.

Anyway avoid going to Newton Circus Food Center especially the seafood stalls cos some of them have been suspended previously for touting and are known for ripping off tourists.
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