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Tips required for travelling around Malaysia

Tips required for travelling around Malaysia

Sep 20th, 2003, 12:24 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 42
Tips required for travelling around Malaysia

Hi guys

A friend and I will be spending most of October travelling around the beautiful countryside of Malaysia, could anyone help us with the following queries?

We will initially be travelling up the west coast by a combination of bus and train, then crossing over to the east coast and hiring a car to enable us to fully explore the east coast, ending up in Singapore where we want to drop the car off. Can anyone recommend a good but reasonably priced hire company?

We also wan to find a "paradise island" to chill out on for a couple of days, but I have heard that Tioman is too touristy, any east coast island recommendations?

Any other "must sees" and "forgets" would be appreciated.

Many thanks for any replies,

andy_franks is offline  
Sep 20th, 2003, 06:13 AM
Join Date: Aug 2003
Posts: 392
Sounds like a wonderful vacation. We visited Malaysia and stayed in Penang for a few days eight years ago, but I can't advise if it's what you're looking for. We did enjoy it.

What I can tell you is that my husband came home with dengue fever (a malaria-like disease) that is of epidemic proportions in various countries, according to our last report. It is not difficult to understand why with pools of stagnant water in various tourist places and other conditions that breed mosquitos.

We westerners do not have a built-in tolerance I guess.

So go protected and have fun.

michi is offline  
Sep 21st, 2003, 10:23 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Check out Air Asia for cheap domestic flights. Mayflower is a good local car rental company, locations most places. Rail services are good, cheap and reliable, but I would considor using the cheap domestic flights too.
JamesA is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2003, 08:49 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 72

Hi, Andy, Pulau Redeng and Perhentian Islands are not as commercialised as Tioman island. It will depend when you are going to hit the east coast of Malaysia, with the unpredictable weather these days, the monsoon season can start at the end of October. Pulau Langkawai is pretty relaxing if all you want is to lying on the beach.

Malacca is nice old town to visit if you passing the west coast. Taman Negera is a must if you like nature. Kuala Lumpur worth a day or two if modern city scape is your cup of tea. Cameron Highland is worth a visit for its tea plantation and cool climate. Penang is pretty colourful in terms of culture, food and architecture.
Naturaltan is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2003, 11:29 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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I am a huge fan of Malyasia, esp the East Coast which is hardly ever mentioned here. I have topped two posts on the East Coast and other parts of Malaysia for you. Can't say enough good things about the island of Rawa off the East Coast, really one of the most beautiful beaches I have seen so far in 40 years of wandering beaches...

Do take a look at weatherbase.com for historical average temps and esp rainfall. The later you are on the East Coast in October, the better chance you have of encountering rain. (Rawa used to close from November to about March because of the monsoon season; they now stay open but lower their prices, which is an indication...)You might want to do the East Coast first, esp if you are coming from Singapore as it is just as easy to go up the East Coast as the West.
Cicerone is offline  
Sep 30th, 2003, 09:44 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 88
Yes, I agree that you should try to do the east coast at the beginning of your trip. Everyone here in Malaysia says September is the BEST month for the east coast, so I suppose the beginning of October can't be too shoddy. Also keep in mind that the Tioman/Rawa area isn't as effected as the Perhentian area for rainy season, so hitting an island to the south is a better idea. There are quite a few - search for "Pahang island" and "Johor island" (those are the states most of the islands are in). Most of them are accessible from Mersing (though I think you can catch a ferry between Singapore and Tioman as well).

I went to Rawa in July (thanks to Cicerone's recommendation, in fact) and it was beautiful. The beach is fab. It's the kind of place you just lay on the beach, swim, eat, sleep. Beach huts have air/con, hot water, and are very clean. I think they have recently renovated as the accomodations look completely different than they do on their brochure. There were hardly any mosquitoes, which was lovely (the previous weekend we went to Pangkor Laut - which is a real treat if you've got the money - and were eaten alive)Small island - we kayaked around it in about 40 minutes (not much to see on the other side, I might add!). They have deals at their web-site for food inclusive, snorkel trips, etc, I think. Should be www.rawasfr.com. The snorkelling right off the beach isn't great - I'd do Tioman for that (lots of people won't agree with me on this, but if you stay at Kampung Salang and swim fairly far out, the snorkelling is still the best I've seen in Malaysia, including Redang). The service at the restaurant sucks - they are so slow... but what else is there to do but sit and watch the waves? Bring good sunglasses - the sun reflecting off that white sand is blinding, I kid you not. Oh, and bring yourself a bottle or two of duty free liquor because their alcohol is *way* overpriced.

The bonus with Rawa is that the boat ride is short. The ride to Tioman was long and made me sick both times I went (ok, so I was pregnant at the time, but my husband got sick, too!).

There is also Tanjung Jara, up in Terranganu - same company as Pangkor Laut and almost as expensive. If you're up for a splurge, that is. It's on the mainland, beach isn't spectacular but lovely just the same.

Can't recommend rental - we were forced to rent when our car broke down in June and thought it was outrageous. So good luck with that.

Do come to Melaka... such a great town. Was just walking down Bunga Raya on Monday and am still excited by everything after living here almost three years. Have banana leaf at Selvam's on Friday, and won-ton prawn at the place behind the old cinema (just ask someone). Coconut House for cheap pastas, and down to The Geographer on Jonker's (Friday, Saturday or Sunday if you want the pedestrian market) for drinks. Bonani's in Melaka Raya for Northern Indian food... my absolute favorite place to eat in town... shall I continue? ;-)

KL's a big city... but Batu Caves are worth a look.

Whatever you do, don't go to Genting Highlands. Or Colmar Tropicale, for that matter. Yuck.

Yes, dengue is a problem here - a woman I know just had it a couple months ago. The kind of mosquitoes that carry dengue have black and white stripes -
so if you see those, take particular care. But don't be paranoid... I've lived in Malaysia since Jan 2001, haven't been particularly careful, and haven't gotten any strange illnesses or parasites yet!

Have fun!

Jenner is offline  
Oct 1st, 2003, 02:09 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,751
Jen, thinking of driving through from Hat Yai as far south as Port Duickson sometime in the year year, pressume the roads are excellent. Anything I should be wary of? Will be 'Thai plates' vehicle, I know we have to have the additional 'number plate sign' in 'western'( sorry don't knowe the real term ) lettering, plenty of fuel and food stops I gess. Plan to stay penang and then spend about a week along the coast with family. Tks.
JamesA is offline  
Oct 6th, 2003, 01:37 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 88
I don't have a clue about driving across the border, except that most people in Malaysia say it's better not to bother - all the paperwork and hassle. That said, I occasionally do see Thai license plates on the roads here (and in Thai, as well).

? Sorry, really can't help there.

The north/south highway on the west coast of Malaysia is a good one, at least the bits I've seen (as far north as Penang and down to Singapore).

Why Port Dickson? Ugh! At least come as far as Melaka, and give Port Dickson a miss on your way. Nothing there but a crappy beach and overpriced hotels (Avillion is the fancy one there, and you'll note they are on stilts over the water because the beach so isn't worth it!).
Jenner is offline  
Oct 8th, 2003, 02:05 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 42

Many thanks for all your suggestion/advice. We are off on Friday (10th Oct) and looking forward to a memorable holiday.


andy_franks is offline  

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