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Thinking Again About Next Year's Malaysia/Singapore Trip

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Aug 4th, 2010, 08:41 AM
  #1
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Thinking Again About Next Year's Malaysia/Singapore Trip

Yesterday I redeemed 62,500 miles for business class seats on United one-way to Singapore at the end of next June. While I'll have to wait a couple of weeks to "purchase" our return flights, I've begun to look at lodging choices and flights within Malaysia and Singapore.

Tentative itinerary is -
1 night Singapore (Crowne Plaza Changi)
3 nights Kuching (Pullman Kuching)
3 nights at The Last Frontier Boutique Resort (in Sabah, 2 hours from Sandakan)
3 nights Georgetown/Penang (? - see below)
3 nights Singapore (Intercontinental)

Here a my questions:

1. Because of flights we won't have much more than 2 full days at each destination. Is there any destination that deserves more or less time?

2. In some cases we have a choice between Air Asia and Malaysia Airlines. Assuming that flight pricing is similar, which airline is better?

3. Going from Kuching to Sandakan and from Sandakan to Penang requires 2 flights each. While the connections seem to work, It seems I can only purchase the flights separately. Assuming we use the same airline for both flights, will we be able to check our bags to our final destination or will we have to collect them and recheck them between flights?

4. rhkkmk wrote a great review of Clove Hall in Georgetown but he also mentioned another property which looks great - Malihom on the southern end of Penang. Is Malihom too far away from the center of things to make it worthwhile to stay there?
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Aug 4th, 2010, 10:02 AM
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1. Sigh, they all deserve more time.
2. Malaysian Air is a full-service airline, Air Asia is a budget airline with the issues that all budget airlines have.
3. I don't know why you can't buy the tickets together. Since you have to change planes, I'd suggest that you go on Malaysian Air. On Air Asia they won't transfer your luggage even to another Air Asia flight, and you'll have yo check in again. On Malaysian Air, they will transfer your luggage, and you won't have to check in again.
4. The only reason to go to Penang IMO is to be in Georgetown. So I wouldn't consider Malihom at all. Clove Hall is less in the center of things than the E&O is, which would be a consideration for me. We walked everywhere in Georgetown, Bob and Karen did not. It's not clear to be how much longer the walk from Clove Hall is than that from the E&O.
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Aug 4th, 2010, 01:22 PM
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I just discovered that I have an extra day - where should I spend it?
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Aug 4th, 2010, 06:25 PM
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Tough decision Craig. I guess the one thing I'd say is don't spend it in Singapore. While I always enjoy Singapore, there will be plenty of other opportunities for you to see Singapore as you transit to another location.
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Aug 4th, 2010, 06:48 PM
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strangely we loved our return visit to singapore...i can't wait to go back again...

i think the extra nite might be good in georgetown...

clove hall is a 10-15 minute walk from the center of town really....too far for me, but maybe not for you....

E&O rooms are beautiful and the hotel is a true gem, but we loved the serenity and personality of clove hall and its sense of service....the rooms are huge also...

we love air asia and have never had a problem with them, but as kathie says each flight is a segment unto itself with no overlap....allow time between flights in case of any delays...

malay used to have an "around malaysia pass"---not sure if they do anymore...
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Aug 5th, 2010, 07:46 AM
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Thanks for the feedback - I think we will spend the extra night in Georgetown.

Malaysia Airlines doesn't have a Discover Malaysia Pass anymore but it's advance purchase pricing is pretty low:

Kuching-Kota Kinabalu-Sandankan $73pp

Sandakan-Kuala Lumpur-Penang $104pp

Penang-Singapore $45pp
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Aug 5th, 2010, 07:56 AM
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Craig
we found Malaysian airlines great and yes some of their prices are pretty low anyway. I really liked Penang, i have a list of some nice places we went too and some we didn't make it too (including a lovely handmade jewellery shop - i met the designer, i still wear the pieces i bought often) i can email it to you if you like?
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Aug 5th, 2010, 08:10 AM
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Nicky - yes, please e-mail it to me. Let me know if you need the address...
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Aug 5th, 2010, 08:16 AM
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Craig - i have it. will do it when i get home tonight.
Hope you and Jeane are well?
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Aug 5th, 2010, 08:21 AM
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Yup, making the most of a VERY hot New England summer and looking forward to our trip to Kauai in October.

Thanks.
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Aug 5th, 2010, 10:05 AM
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you could bring the suggestions to them at the boston GTG if you could persuade the muffin to come across the pond
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Aug 5th, 2010, 10:23 AM
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Not a chance i'm afraid.
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Aug 5th, 2010, 11:45 AM
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Craig - I have sent you the file, let me know if you don'tget it.
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Aug 5th, 2010, 12:19 PM
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Thanks, Nicky.
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Aug 6th, 2010, 10:07 AM
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Craig: I will also be following along as you plan your trip. While I've traveled a fair amount in peninsular Malaysia, I' ve not been to Sabah or Sarawak. Could this be the makings of my own next trip to the region?

I loved Penang and will put my vote in for the E&O, but my visits were years and years ago, so...
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