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Thinking About Our Next Trip - Malaysia?

Thinking About Our Next Trip - Malaysia?

Old Mar 10th, 2010, 02:45 PM
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Thinking About Our Next Trip - Malaysia?

I have looked at other posts on this and people seem to be as confused as I am. I have looked at a couple of guide books and read both of Kathie's trip reports and know that we want a diversified experience - some history, some city, some beach, some country/villages. We'll probably have 12-13 days on the ground - not sure exactly when but it doesn't really seem to matter, weatherwise. We have the airline points now to get there.

First question is Singapore versus Kuala Lampur - not sure we need to "do" two cities on this trip - FF miles may favor Singapore. Can we miss Kuala Lampur?

We really need to slow it down on our next trip - less flying and more time at destinations. This does not mean going to a beach or other resort and hanging, doing nothing. It means going to a place with lots to do relatively close by - history, moderate hiking, wildlife, snorkeling and local tribal culture (photo ops). Unfortunately, it seems that the more hassle it is to get some place, the more rewarding it tends to be - Kathie's trip to the Borneo Rain Forest Lodge is a good example of this.

I think Jeane (my wife) is pretty psyched on this destination due to a recommendation from a patient. It has been on my list for a while. A combination of tourist spots such as Penang/Georgetown, Lankawi and/or Kuching plus an isolated destination (suggestions?) would be ideal - probably 3 total plus Singapore (if that is the consensus) would make for a great trip.

Looking forward to all suggestions - there is not a lot of information here.

P.S. Yes, I am working on our photos from India.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 03:44 PM
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Hi Craig, yes, Malaysia has a lot to offer. I have to admit that KL is not my favorite city... I find it rather dull. I certainly respect your wish to slow it down this trip - your India trip meant you were on the move every minute.

I'd recommend you think about either all Malaysian Borneo - Kota Kinabalu, Kuching, and BRL if you're up for it - or all peninsular Malaysia - Penang, maybe Lankawi, maybe a spot in the Cameron Highlands (where Jim Thompson disappeared).

I do prefer Singapore to KL.
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 05:33 PM
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i looked at brunei a while ago and did not see any reason to ever go there...

we have been langkawi and loved it....its has a remote feeling, some lovely resorts: bon ton and datai come to mind and a four seasons...

we look forward to penang this fall and take a look at clove hall as a place to stay... it has jeane written all over it...

remember malaysia is perhaps the most developed economically of all the SEA countries except singapore and as such tends to be a bit more modern despite its muslim backbone... i find it the least interesting also... I have not been to see the apes and am not sure its worth the effort when time is of the essence... shopping is ok but not fabulous...K/L is like singapore with huge malls but few interesting little shops...
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 05:41 PM
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btw...no future planning is allowed until pics of the last trip are available for general consumption!!!
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 05:49 PM
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I think we are looking for a more relaxed, slower paced trip with more outdoorsy stuff without worrying about tourist infrastructure...
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Old Mar 10th, 2010, 06:38 PM
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I have to agree with Bob (!). Because peninsular Malaysia is so developed economically, I found it less interesting. I would go with Kathie's suggestion and consider spending more time on Borneo than on the peninsula.

I thought KL was ok, it holds the same level of interest for me that Singapore does (2 nights is plenty).
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 02:48 AM
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Have you thought about going to the basement of the AL East? I know it's been quite a while since you've been there and things may have changed.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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Right now the entire AL East is in the basement. See you April 4th when the good guys from the Bronx arrive in Bean-town...
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 06:54 AM
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"Good guys from the Bronx"? An oxymoron of the first order. Do you ever see a sign that says"Go Home Red Sox?" Nope. Did the owner of the Red Sox ever get convicted for a felony? Nope. Did the OP root for Darth Vader in the Styar Wars movies? Yep!
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 07:04 AM
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Craig,

Does Bean-town meet your requirement for your next destination? Quote "diversified experience - some history, some city, some beach, some country/villages, history, moderate hiking, wildlife(Gpanda), snorkeling and local tribal culture (photo ops)". If I'm not wrong the only thing they don't have there is snorkeling.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 07:22 AM
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Pook-while the snorkeling is not great up here, there are lots of scuba divers and many dive shops. Two weeks in Boston in February would be a dream vacation for a Yankee fan that lives in Hartford. The village of Cambridge is particularly quaint.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 04:30 PM
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Pook and Gpanda, unfortunately Bean-town cannot be reached by traveling half-way around the world via airports that are affected unpredictably by bad weather. Also, the political atmosphere in Cambridge, while much improved as a result of the recent senatorial election is still rather depressing. So I'm afraid I have to rule out a trip to the area next February.
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Old Mar 11th, 2010, 06:28 PM
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wise decision craig....
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 03:35 AM
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OK, this thread has lost its direction. Back to Malaysia and the OP's questions concerning 12-13 days of travel. Singapore is defnitely worth 2-3 days, if you have not been there.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 09:40 AM
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Also interested in Malaysia just after Christmas. We were there at that time of year four years ago-Langkawi, Penang and KL. My husband is particularly keen on staying in Bon Ton where we ate. I loved Langkawi but was ready to leave after five days and don't feel I want to return for a week. Is there anywhere else similar in Malaysia but to which we haven't been?
Sorry Craig but I think that the answers to this will be very much what you are looking for too!
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 12:02 PM
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Langkawi is a beach resort area. Are you just looking for another beach resort in Malaysia or was there something else about Langkawi you are looking for, Frances?

Malaysia has lots of beautiful coastline.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 12:27 PM
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Kathie, I am looking at Kuching and the unique experience you had there with Hornbill - not sure if this should be a priority. We see a trip that involves Singapore, Georgetown (Penang), some place on Sabah (maybe BRL, maybe not) plus either Langkawi or Kuching. I'm pretty clear on what Langkawi is about but for Kuching, I don't have a clue. Can you provide some insight? I should mention that we are going to Kuaui (one of your favorite destinations) in October so we don't need to OD on beach destinations unless Langkawi is really unique.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 12:49 PM
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Craig, we loved Kuching, and not just because of Hornbill, though she was wonderful.

It's a charming small city. Situated on the banks of a river, there is a lovely river walk along the waterfront. Chinese shophouses across from the river hold an interesting variety of businesses including small stores selling crafts, traditional weavings, even the local rice and peppercorns. (If you go, I might ask you to bring back some locally-cured peppercorns. We've run out!) There is a "Little India" area that we enjoyed wandering through and shopping a bit and a local cultural museum.

From Kuching, you can get to Bako (it's on our list for next trip) and Sepilok. You can also drive to to Damai (20-30 minutes), a beach resort area that also has great seafood places.

Kuching is the kind of place where we immediately thought "We could live here!"

The food is excellent. Lots of fresh seafood, and the local foods are an interesting ethnic mix. Kuching Laksa is wonderful. We also ate some interesting jungle foods, midrin and ferns that were excellent (rather like eating fiddleheads).

We also visited the nursery of the "Orchid King" (if you or Jeane have read the Orchid Thief).

Let me know if you need restaurant recs for Kauai.
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 01:03 PM
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Sorry Craig I'm hijacking again!
We are coming from the U.K. and so I would love time in the sun and to swim but I can't do that for a week. I enjoyed what there was to see in Langkawi(and Penang which I think was just about THE most interesting place I've ever been)I want to see culture at leisure and good local food-not necessarily haute cuisine.We may only have a week and so it needs to be accessible from an airport. Hotel full of character and I would be a really happy bunny! (The character and hotel bit and food is why my husband wants to go to Bon Ton!
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Old Mar 12th, 2010, 01:19 PM
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So kathy ..is Kuching similar to Malacca on the main peninsula? We had a lovely laid back/leisurely 3-4 days just walking around the town. I am looking at my Eyewitness travel guide for Malaysia and it looks like a few days in town and a few doing things in the surrounding area would make a nice stop.
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