hello! i will be working in KL for a few weeks (first time in KL)in august/Sept and then plan to take ten days' hols to go somewhere with good beaches, maybe some diving, and maybe trek one or two days. Is there anywhere you'd recommend not too far from KL (max 2 hours by plane) which might fit the bill? Thanks!
check Penang & Melaka - for cultural values.
cameron highlands for trekking
good tips!!! i'll try some more, just to have a few more options and get u more confused but eager to travel around that amazing area!
sea and diving:
- pulau tioman, perentian islands in malaysia.
- thai islands of course (although monsoony in that season).
trek and jungle:
- sabah and sarawak if u wish to stay in malaysia.
- taman negara is the best known malaysian national park;
- kalimantan or northern sumatra to see orangutans (indonesia), relax at bukit lawang or danau toba if u're in sumatra;
- check the thai national park in the south (thaleh ban) if u don't want to fly and want some more experience with people and borders.
- the mentawai islands in sumatra host very ancient and fascinating tribes, and sumatra itself is famous for the minangkabau ethnic group.
- both malaysian and indonesian borneo are inhabited by amazing peoples.
lucky u, i'm sure u'll enjoy!
perhentian islands is a most!
top of the list which includes
koh phi phi
sapi (off K.K in borneo)
lets just say dont miss perhentians especially if you're working in K.L and need a break.
If you'd like to try Indonesia, the underwater paradise, the best ones are somewhere east. Bunaken underwater national park, North Sulawesi. Or Papua. But you can also fly to Bali and dive in Nusa Lembongan island. Even if you only fly to Jakarta, you can go to the Thousand islands and go diving in Kotok Island.
Why dont you find out Redang Island, Terengganu, Malaysia. There is flight Berjaya Air which land direct to the island and it take less than an hour.
Beaches : Perentian is a must !! It's beautiful, the snorkeling is great, and the beaches are paradisiac. Redang Island is a second best. Tioman is overated (though the snorkeling is good), and Penang is polluted (but great for the city life). Langkawi is OK, but touristic : just for the beach (and the tax-free alcohol).
Regarding the trekkings, I would rather go to Cameron Island : it's close to KL, there are a few jungle trails, it's quite beautiful, and there is a city life for the evening. Taman Negara is of course much bigger, but it is secluded, it takes some time just to get there, and you'll have to hire a (paid) guide if you want to walk some significant distance. From my point of view, it's only worth if you want to make a "real" three-four days trekking, including bird/animal watching.
There is a low-cost airline operating from KL : Air Asia. It's really cheap (for us, even at full rate), and you can choose from a wide range of destinations, domestic or abroad ! (check the Internet to have an idea). It could be the (cheap) way to go trekking in Kota Kinabalu (great mountain walk).
Malacca is a good place to visit : pleasant, easy going, cosmopolite at the same time, and very close to KL. Plus some great restaurant where you can try the "babanyonya food".
Kota Baru has a reputation of "cultural foyer" in Malaysia. It's worth to visit, if only to get a different touch of the country. Plus, the beaches are beautiful (very few people- but very strong currents).
Thanks for all these suggestions - I just wish I had more time here to explore them all! It's difficult what to choose, i already visited the perhentians a few yrs back.. Only got a week holiday so thinking of trying either redang or tioman. Melaka this sat. I'm working in KL now for couple weeks first before hols. Let me know if any of you guys are around!
Tioman is great!
Malacca? Nicee... take note of this hostel - Sama-Sama Guest House, cheap and nice! (and no air-cond tho I don't mind)
Try the Lut-lut satay in Jonker Walk, yum yum!