I'll be arriving in Kuala Lumpur on Feb 21 as part of my stopover on the way to Sydney. I'll be leaving Mar 5. I dont know much about Malaysia, but i'm very interested. I will be buying a guide book soon (either lonely planet or rough guide) but i would like to some input from some people here. What would you suggest I do? Where should i go? Where should i stay? Any help would be appreciated.
well, since you have 12 days, i would propose you to go to Langkawi, Penang and Malacca. And you can add one more, Cameron Highland.
So you've chosen Malaysia Airlines!
Arriving on 21 Feb? Great! Just in time to witness the lion dance performances in KL Chinatown (aka Petaling Street) on the last (15th) day of Chinese New Year (23 Feb).
Anyway, I suggest this:
2D Kuala Lumpur
2D Kuching, Sarawak or Kota Kinabalu, Sabah (Fly AirAsia)
For more information on the above, check out these sites:
Where to stay? Hmm... what's your budget like?
Thanks for the replies. But i have a question for you hien, is it worth it to go to sabah or sarawak for only 2 days. I know the flight is pretty cheap, but is it worth all the hassle at the airport?
Also whats the best way to get around? bus, train? Sorry for all the questions, I should really just buy the guidebook.
Oh and my budget.... well lets put it this way. I have enough money but I would like to save as much as possible for australia. So i can splurge on a few things, but would like to keep it relatively cheap.
I'm also very happy that i'll be able to be there for the end of chinese new year. I tried to book my flight earlier to be there by feb 9 (the first day of chinese new year and also my birthday) but all the flights were booked. I'm glad that i wont completely miss out on the festivities, i didnt know that it lasted so long.
I was in Malaysia this time last year. Had a fantastic time. We were based in KL but also went to Taman Negara and took a day trip to the Batu Caves and Genting highlands.
I suggest visiting Penang and Cameron Highlands. Buses are a good option. There is a bus depot in KL near Chinatown (forget the name) where you can buy tickets to just about everywhere. The Malaysian locals on this forum are probably more helpful than I am
Don't worry too much about the money issue. Things are really cheap in Malaysia. And Sydney is well priced too..take that from a local
Two days in Sabah or Sarawak is fine for a quick tour, but I guess it can be a little rushing, i.e. departing on the earliest morning flight, go for a city tour on the first day, then on to the traditional village tour on the second day, and return in a night flight. Three days would be better for sure but you may have to visit one place lesser or cut short the time for a place. If you feel that it's not enough, come back for a "Tour of Malaysia: Part 2" on your way back home from Sydney. Then you'll have more time for more places!
You can take a bus ride to every major cities in the peninsular from the Puduraya bus station near Chinatown. But for Penang, I'd suggest you to take a train ride to see the sub-urban cities, small towns, villages and beautiful sceneries in peninsular.
As for accomodation in KL, since you won't be there for more than two nights, staying in the city centre at the business/shopping district would be a wise choice, preferably nearby the subway line. You can get a 4-star-hotel room for about US$40 a night. Or if you wish to save, get a private hostel room for about US$15 a night, or stay in a dorm (quad share) for less than US$10.
Apart from the Chinese New Year eve on 8 Feb 2005, the midnight of 16 Feb (eve of the 9th day) is a bigger celebration for the majority Hokkien Chinese. If you really wanted to come earlier for the start of the Chinese New Year, I suggest that you go wait at the airport, put yourself on standby list, and hope that someone doesn't show up! Hehe...
BTW, are you coming here alone?
Well i was sorta planning on doing a tour of SE Asia on the way back from sydney, so i guess sabah or sarawak (or both) can wait till then. Thank you so much for all the info, it's great getting advice from a local, as well as travellers.
I'm in the Cameron Highlands at the moment and it is a great way to relax if you have had a busy tour so far. The climate is so much cooler here (still able to walk round in a T-Shirt though) so it's really easy to be motivated to go for long walks etc. The people are all so friendly and it's just a generally nice area.
Don't forget to visit Pangkor Island when you're in Malaysia. Around 26th Feb, there will be the greatest Indian festival on the Island. So don't miss it.