Thailand v Malaysia

Mar 12th, 2006, 11:01 PM
  #21  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 888
thursday - perhaps you had a different experience to us. I liked the beach and the snorkelling straight from the shore. I found the room smelt mouldy (including my pillow), the restaurant empty and the food not very tasty, the swimming pool was dirty and no guests were using it and the staff at reception was very welcoming but very unresponsive to queries/concerns. This was in June 2002 so perhaps it had changed by the time you got there. I think it needed a little TLC and got its custom by virtue of being the most luxurious resort on Perhentian (ie no competition at that level) rather than on its own merits. Compared to Coral View, I found it devoid of atmosphere - particularly in the communal places. But I think up to date reviews would need to be considered by anyone looking to stay here.

Maisy - will check how we got to Redang - we went there separately on a different trip. The snorkelling is great there too - there are some more luxurious hotels as well. Another lovely place to visit.

Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Mar 12th, 2006, 11:20 PM
  #22  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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hi

You can get to Redang via Marang (via bus or car) - a little village in between Kuantan and Kuala Terenganu (you land here and catch a ride to Marang if you fly. It is the usual launchpad for the Ferries.

If you are staying at the Berjaya Resorts (they have one by the beach and another on a hill with golf course), the package includes the ferry.

Hope this helps!
greenham is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 05:12 AM
  #23  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,501
Hi

I enjoy Thailand as well. My wife and I have been there twice and we like the food, people, nature, price level etc This year we are going to Malaysia and we will go to KL, Langkawi and Perhentian Island...I'll post a trip report on my homepage http://gardkarlsen.com when I get back and I think the comparison of Thailand and Malaysia will be a topic

Regards
Gard
Stavanger, Norway
gard is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 06:46 AM
  #24  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 284
Hi Bella_Bluebell,
This summer, where are you going and what is the plan? Thank you for sharing.
clear is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 10:22 AM
  #25  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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clear, we are in Thailand for 5 weeks this summer. Our first trip to Asia with our daughter, who will be two. We spend 4 nights in Bangkok, 6 nights in Chiang Mai and then back to Bangkok for a few more nights. Then 3 weeks down in Ko Samui, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Tao. We get married in Ko Samui on 9th August at this place - www.rockyresort.com - I am very very excited about the wedding and the holiday. What makes it all the more special is that our families are coming out too and we will be showing them around Thailand.
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 10:37 AM
  #26  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Hi Bella_Bluebell,
Congradulations!!! Oh my, I'm very excited to hear that your wedding will be in Samui-WOW, & 5 wks in Asia, lucky you! I get so excited reading people reviews and I feel like I'm there even though my body is in Texas. Please share your wonderful wedding/experience later on. If possible please post pictures too. Are you wearing something light and comfortable for the weddding? Thank you.
clear is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 11:53 AM
  #27  
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Gard how did you book your accomdation. Was it through the internet or with an agent. If internet what sites did you use. Where are you staying in the Perehentians. I think more and more I am leaning towards a Malaysian holiday this year and maybe back to Thailand next year. Have you found it is more expensive to go to Malaysia than Thailand flights/accomodation etc or similar pricing. I have not priced anything up yet but with my limited research it looks like accomodation is going to be more expensive???

Thanks everyone for there replies keep them coming it is great hearing everyones experiences. Any travel tips that will make transfers etc easier are welcome.
maisymoo is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 12:40 PM
  #28  
 
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Congratulations Bella_Bluebell!! That looks like a totally awesome place for a wedding - I hope everything is magical for you.
thursdaysd is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 01:03 PM
  #29  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
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clear and thursday - thank you for your good wishes

I think it will be magical - and I will certainly be posting back and taking lots of photos. I am wearing a full length dress but it is made of light material so should not be too hot. I am having it specially made as most of the weight of the dresses in the UK would have me wilting in the thai heat!
Bella_Bluebell is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 07:41 PM
  #30  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 179
Subject on Malaysia's P.Redang and Perhentian. There are two ways to go to these islands. If you fly to Kota Bahru, you'll have to catch a taxi to the seaside hamlet Kampung Kuala Besut where there are boats ready to ferry you to the islands. Taxi ride from airport to Kuala Besut is about 2-3 hrs thru coastal villages. If you fly to Kuala Terengganu, visitors usually take taxi to Marang jetty to the island. It's also about 2-3 hours ride. Nonetheless, I'd rather fly to Kuala Terengganu airport because the place looks more organised for taxi bookings (at least, on my last trip). From the jetties (either Kuala Besut or Marang), an average 40 footer boat will need about 4-5 hours to get to the islands, in good weather. But I've taken the speed boat which only took 2 hours (a bit costlier but worthwhile).

Apart from spending lazy hours at the Perhentian Besar (meaning big) or Kecil (small) beaches, one should really try getting a boat ride to Pulau Lima nearby. Lima literally means five. It's a cluster of five outcrop hills and snorkelling among the tight corridors is simply out-of-this-world. These corridors are shallow and flanked by colourful table corals. Imagine swimming in an underwater ravine.

If you have the time, also try going to a village near Perhentian Island Resort. Village houses are on stilts and you can walk about on wooden planks that strung houses together. For a taste of local food, ask for "keropok lekor" (fish paste fritter), "goreng pisang" (banana fritter), "nasi dagang" (steamed unpolished rice with fish curry, usually packaged in banana leaves) and perhaps "roti canai" (flat fried bread eaten with lentil sauce). They are usually sold smallholders around the village.

Yes, August is a good time to visit Msia's east coast. Drive from Spore to Marang? It's a 10-12hrs back breaking drive thru coastal road Spore-Johor Bahru-Desaru-Mersing-Pekan-Kuantan-Cherating-Balok-Paka-K.Terengganu-Marang (yes, that many main towns you'll be passing thru). If you intend to drive all the way from Spore to Marang, I think the driving journey itself is a holiday adventure. It'll take you to some of the best beach romps around the country. Stopover Mersing, get a boat ride to Tioman Island - voted top 20 most beautiful island in 80s', movie "Bali Hai" was shot there partially. Pekan is the royal home of Pahang's Sultan and his family, you can expect a town steeped in royal Malay tradition. Check out the bustling river mouth town of Kuantan. Don't forget Cherating beach - during low tide, the beach looks like a vast desert. Club Med is also there. Sail surfers throng Balok's windy beach every year for the "Monsoon Madness" challenge.

There are just too many outstanding places along Spore-Marang route to list them all. You can easy spend 10-14 days combing interesting places along the route.

TravelTwiddle is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 09:00 PM
  #31  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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Hi

We have booked accomodation using the internet both on Langkawi and Perhentian island. We are staying at Perhentian Island resort and we have bought a package deal (hotel, food, snorkellig etc). We have also booked planes on the net. It seems to be a bit more pricy then Thailand but I will get back to you with more details when I get back

Regards
Gard
http://gardkarlsen.com - trip reports and pictures
gard is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 09:27 PM
  #32  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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i just want to add that i think driving along the coastal road in east malayisa is a good idea. its scenic, rural, idyllic and relaxed. i think if you want to get to perhentian / redang in a leisurely manner, you probably would want to do it over AT LEAST 2 days.

travel twiddle already mentioned possible stops. i drove from kl to terengganu once over two days. i think you could either stay at cherating or kuantan before heading all the way up to terengganu. in terengganu, there used to be a charming place called marang rivers and safaris resort. dont know if it is still there. in my case, after a few nights at redang (having parked my car in MERANG, not MARANG) , i drove across the east west highway to my hometown alor setar in kedah. you could do the same and drive to penang instead and either drop your car there or after a few days in penang, drive down the north-south highway to kl (that takes about 5-6 hours)

by the way, i thought that one takes the boat from merang, not marang to go to redang. or could you do both?

i went to redang in 1988 and again in 1996. although the beaches were still beautiful, i did see that marine life there had suffered for the 'development'. in the deeper waters, there were still lots of marine life but before you just had to be walking at the beach to see the fishes.

finally, with regards to malasyia being dirty, i think whoever made that comment must have meant our public toilets. which are shameful. i normally tell people to bring a supply of tissue or toilet paper eveywhere they go and to use hotel toilets as far as possible. to be forewarned is to be forearmed!
hornbill is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 10:41 PM
  #33  
 
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Hornbill,

You are right - thanks for catching it. Kg Merang to catch a boat to Redang. Marang is closer to P. Kapas (which is another smaller island, with golf course!)

BTW, one can catch a ferry from KT too to P. Redang, but I think it is a longer boat ride.

Someone mentioned 2-3 hrs boat ride from Merang to Redang - my impression is it is closer to 1hr...maybe?
greenham is offline  
Mar 13th, 2006, 10:47 PM
  #34  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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I took a speed boat ride (comes with the resort package, otherwise it costs less than US$10 for the transfer) from Merang to Redang a few years ago and it only took 45 minutes. I think it's just a little bit further to the Perhentian islands.
JannaG is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 12:29 AM
  #35  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
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Well hornbill, you really hit the nail on the head with regards to Malaysian public toilets. True, in most respects Malaysia is a fairly clean country but for some reason nobody wants to clean the public toilets. I remember some Chinese business friends taking me to a dinner club in PJ, this place was very upmarket & expensive, but every time somebody opened the toilet door a revolting stench floated out and filled the room. To me it was almost unbearable but my friends didn't seem to notice, they were probably used to it.
TexasSlim is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 01:56 AM
  #36  
 
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i know. our toilets are a real embarrassment. even at KLIA!

hornbill is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 06:12 AM
  #37  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
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hornbill,

Do you know any travel agency in Malaysia? My cousin is going to Kuala in November and wants a travel guide to show him around. OR should he book through the hotel? Any suggestions is greatly appreciated. Thank you.
clear is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 05:41 PM
  #38  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Sorry. I made a mistake too. Yes, Merang is nearer to P.Perhentian than Marang. Of course, many still catch a ride to the island from KT and Marang. I once took a boat to Redang from KT's wet market jetty. But it took longer to reach the island (which cancels out time spent on taxi ride to Merang). Merang/Marang - visitors beware, there're a lot of towns in Msia with similar names. Something you'd want to watch out for during your stay here. In my home state alone, there are 2 towns with "Sungai Siput" name.

BTW, Merang is fueling local headlines today. Jean Todt, CEO of Ferrari F1, has decided to build a holiday home in Merang. Lucky guy.
TravelTwiddle is offline  
Mar 14th, 2006, 08:15 PM
  #39  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
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sorry clear. i do not have a travel agent for kl. as guenmai said in reply to another message, you dont really need a guide to move around in kl or singapore. maybe if you could let us know what your cousin would specifically like to see, fellow fodorites can give suggestions on how to go about it.

hornbill is offline  
Mar 15th, 2006, 12:03 AM
  #40  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4
Hi Maisymoo,
I am currently living in malaysia now for a few years and I love it. quite a bit different than thailand, but definitely worth a trip. the east coast is great. Make sure you come between March- October, otherwise it is monsoon season and most islands are closed. I have gone to 3 really great islands on the east coast:
1) Perhentian - lovely, but getting very touristy. Far from Singapore, about 11-13 hr bus ride. really nice... especially for diving. Stayed at Coral Island resort, didnt like it at all. Make sure you hire a little boat to take to you some remote beach for the day. not expensive and so nice to have a whole island to yourself for the day. they even pack your lunch for you! just ask around, someone will do it.

2) Tioman island- a party place with duty free alcohol, so its really cheap! a great place if on a budget. Try salang beach or ABC.

3) SIBU island, only 3 hrs from Singapore. not popular yet, so very untouched. the best place to stay is Sea Gypsy Resort as its location on the island is the best. Great bar that never closes. they have budget and midrange accomodation. I go there often due to its proximity. If you have a few days I highly recommend it.
hope this helps, and happy travels.
suz83 is offline  

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