hoping some of you well-travelled people can help me!
we are looking to go to malaysia for 2 weeks and have done some research, but there seems to be so much to see and do! also, we cannot work out what a good route would be (or how to book the internal flights from the UK)? sorry, lots of questions but any help gratefully received.
at the moment we know we want to stop off in kula lumpur for 3 nights or so (probably at the traders hotel), but not sure after that! we have been looking at :
-the cameron highlands (but the hotels all have bad reviews - is this an area we should drive through/visit, rather than staying here? it sounds like it might be quite isolated and very quiet too.)
-langkawi (sounds great, which area is the best to stay in for exploring other islands?)
the hotels at cameron suck a bit, but dont let that deter u, cameron is a great place to stop over for a few days. its isolated but not in the sense tt u dont see anything but plants for the next few miles, but just that the highland community - small town of brinchang is a bit cutoff from mainland. this i felt only added to its surrealisitc charm and appeal... and its popular with holiday goers as well, so again, its not really isolated, except for that fact....
an idea on a route would be to head south from kl to johor bahru before flying from senai airport in the south to borneo, and fit in the stops in between...
Cameron highlands are worth a visit - we stayed in a backpackers which was fine, but it depends what kind of standard you are looking for. There are some nice short treks around this area. Taman Negara national park is something that it is not to be missed on a trip to Malaysia though, so you should factor some time in for a few days there if you can. The Perehentian islands are lovely, but make sure you go at the right time of year as they virtually close down in the rainy season.
Melaka is worth a stop for a day or 2.
hope this helps a little.
The Cameron Highlands aren't really very cut off! They're well on the main tourist track, and there are lots of places to stay even if they are a bit inexciting. We stayed at a backpackers-y type place which was perfectly adequate if a bit spartan. I think it is worth staying for a night or two, because the area is really attractive - I particularly like the Tea Plantations. The easiest way to get here from KL is on the bus - the Super Deluxe Express buses are particularly comfortable and not that expensive.
Where you stay on Langkawi is going to depend somewhat on how much you can afford to spend. Most people on a budget stay at Pantai Cenang which is okay, has a nice enough beach and plenty of places to eat out etc, a good place to sit in a hammock for a few days. At the other end of the scale is Datai Bay which is beautiful, and is taken up by two world-class hotels, The Datai Langkawi and the Andaman Datai. You can fly to Langkawi from KL with Air Asia - should be able to book online at airasia.com.
Guys thanks so much for all of your help! I'm going to do a bit more research based on these suggestions and will come back to you if I may!
We are now thinking about going to Borneo first then to Kuala Lumpur and then either the Perinthians or Langkawi. Would love to see the Cameron Highlands but don't think we can fit it in - we are only planning on a two week stay and don't want to do too much travelling, we are both getting on a bit! We want to see the best the country has to offer but are not up for a back-packing experience and want fairly decent hotels and not to be too disturbed by packing up every couple of days and lugging the suitcases around! I am having a bit of difficulty though with finding a nice hotel in Borneo. I have heard that Sandakan is central to all the nature in the area, but other than that there is no reason to do anything here other than to pass through it (not my words)! Can anyone recommend a nice hotel/area with easy access to the jungle treks, orang utangs, turtles etc in Borneo? I don't mind staying in a lodge but have not found one with good reviews!