I will be around Southern Thailand around 17th November this year and really wanted to hop over to Malaysia to visit the Perhentian Islands. However, I've heard that it's heavy rainy season around that time on the East coast of Malaysia and boats don't even to those islands.
Was wondering if there's anything good to see on the West coast of Malaysia during that time? Not sooo keen on Langkawi as heard it's very touristy.. but I could be wrong.
Check out Georgetown, Penang, one of the most pleasant cities in SEA!
from thailand you can transit to Kota Bharu for couple night and go to Cameron Highlands. Nice place .. still at Father Guest House and at Kota Bharu still at Myplace Guest House ( new open 2010) nice place and clean.
I will also vouch for Georgetown, Penang and Cameron Highlnads though the latter being hilly would be quite cold.
will def looking into those and see what we can fit in
langkawi is actually pretty nice. it has been spotlighted as a tourist destination, but you don't actually feel the press of tourists like say e.g. in koh phangan. there are cheaper options for accommodation in pantai tengah and cenang areas - some are pretty nice boutique-y places. and everytime i've been there, it's always been a surprisingly pleasant and lovely experience.
but penang rocks as an island city to spend a few days in. the beaches are not great (except for 1 or 2 hidden coves), but there's rich heritage, amazing food, and well, i just love the energy
Perhentians are closed for this season, but they are a must for people who are into quiet and beautiful beaches.
Currently I am in Penang, beaches aren't that good and swamped with jellyfish .... food is pretty good, and not that expensive either, a little humid of course.
My friends just got back from Cameron highlands and they were going on and on about how great it was. There is rafting and kayaking near Ipoh if you are into that. Taman Negara is a great option if you into jungle activities.
Have a good trip.
We went to Langkawi, we had lovely time, we went on one of the steepest chair lifts in the world, which was great.
We didnt like Penang so much, from Penang we booked a coach ride to Gentings Highlands, this is like a casino in the clouds - look it up on internet, you have to take a 5km chair ride over rainforest to get there, one night is enough though!
Yes, your right during the monsoon season for the east coast of Malaysia most of the boats stay in port due to the high rough seas so most of the resorts closed down for the season.
There are a few other islands that you can travel to instead of the Perhentians.
Penang is a great place to travel to on your trip to Malaysia. It is an ideal place if you want to take in a bit of the Malay culture as it is full of colonial history. I would recommend a stay in Georgetown during a stay on this island, while your here jump onto a trishaw for your own personal tour of the island. The north of the island is where the beaches are but these are not particularly that great and there are other islands in Malaysia where you are better to travel to if this is what you want out of your stay.
If you fancy a beach stay but dont want to travel to Langkawi then I would suggest that you spend some time on Pulau Pangkor. Its a great small island where most of the Malaysian locals travel to during the holidays. The beaches are good and it has a really friendly, chilled out atmosphere.
Thanks so much Sarah, that's really helpful!! only 4 weeks til trip begins, so getting v.excited!