I will visit Malaysia for 3,5 Weeks with my Girlfriend this summer.
We dont want to "rush" things, since we're not that immune to humid heat (e.g. we won't be hopping on and of busses every day to "see as much as possible"). We want to see nature and culture, but we wont do heavy-duty-trecking (i.e. overnight-stay in the jungle, daytreks should be fine however)
The following stops are decided for now:
KL 2 nights at the beginning
Taman Negara or Cameron Highlands (not sure yet)
Perenthians for snorkelling (3-4 days)
Final days in Melaka (read that its only 2hr drive to the KL-Airport).
First question: do you think it's possible to do a malaysia-tour with a suitcase rather than a backpack (my girlfriend doesnt own one)? I travelled Thailand and Vietnam, and the most I've carried my backpack was about 150meters to a bus or taxistation... but the streets suck for a trolley.
Second: Should we add or discard any of the above stops? How much time would you recommend for each of them? Should we add Georgetown? What is an absolute must-see?
Also, we are vegetariens, but i read it should be no problem in Malaysia. We also want to take a cooking class, is Melaka a good place for this?
Thanks a lot in advance!
#1 nochnbier has been a member since 27/10/2010. Posts: 26
I spent more than 3 1/2 months in Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo and loved it. Your plan is achievable but your might want to change the order...Maybe start in Kota Kinabalu 1-2 days...Mabul Island 2-3 days (some of the best snorkelling in Asia!), Kinibatangan river basin 2-3 days (some jungle trekking -wild orangutans)..fly to KL 2 days... Melaka 2 days...Cameron highlands 2-3 days (quite cool temperature wise!) Then you decide between Perhentians (depends on when your going) Penang (wicked food - great China town) Georgetown (didn't do much for me! but each to his own) and Langkawi (quite touristy but nice if you've never been there! awesome tram ride)...seeing as KL is in the middle of it all you'll have to back track somewhere along the line but Malaysia is very easy to travel by bus, train and taxi - I backpack - but saw many people with luggage everywhere...and yup, struggling down the roads!
Depending on time - must see's
- kinibatangan river
- Pinnacles in Sarawak (Kuching is a cool city)
-gunung mulu national park - caves
- street food in KL and Kuching..hell..everywhere!
-view of Mt. Kinabalu from Kundasang
I am not sure but imagine you can get a cooking class anywhere but I can't recommend one. Just relax and enjoy. You'll probably find Malaysia safer than Thai or Viet Nam...I was hitch hiking in Borneo - no problem.
For a twist try checking out the sabahtourism.org website for a homestay in the kinibatangan -incredible experience!
Hope this helps a bit, have a great trip!
Oh! If you see wild apes - skip the sanctuaries, and Melaka didn't do much for me but like I said...
One thing to take note. Melaka is about 2 hours from KL airport, only if there is no traffic. Usually around the KL area, it is notorious for bad traffic, especially during the rush hours. So do ensure you factor an extra hour or so in the travel time, to ensure you reach the airport on time (in case there is traffic)
#3 Alec has been a member since 2/6/2011. Posts: 21
1. For the nature of you suggested route, I suggest leave the suitcase at home.
2. You schedule is doable,
3. Last days at Melaka should be fine. From Melaka you dont need to pass Kuala Lumpur to get to KLIA. The airport is approximately 100 kilomters away and with the expressway that goes straight to the airport from melaka,you will be there in no time.
Perhentian Island is on the East coast of Peninsular, so it's not recommended to go at the end of the year ( I'm not sure ur summer time is during June or December). The reason is the tide of sea is higher on East coast at that time and that area will come to almost a month of rainy season.
For Borneo, Mt. Kinabalu and Mulu Caves should not be missed. Other suggestion is Bario besides those mentioned above.
#5 childly1979 has been a member since 27/10/2010. Posts: 24
first of all, thanks for the answers!
Again, I have some questions:
1. We arrive in KL in the morning. Would it make sense to fly over to Kuching on that day and put KL to the end of the journey (check out the itinerary below)?
2. We might not have the right clothing for the climate, so we wanted to shop the needed stuff in Malaysia (should be a lot cheaper there also), is Kuching ok for shopping?
3. Which Island on the east coast would you recommend for relaxing / snorkelling? Perhentians, Redang or Tioman?
Time is running low now, so we did a lot more reading and put together a little itinerary now:
23rd of July: arrive in Kuchingin the evening (after approx. 24hr journey)
24. Relax and shop
25. Daytrip: Mangroves
26. Daytrip: Pulau Satang Besar (Turtles)
27. Daytrip to Wind or Fairy Cave?
28. Daytrip Bako Nationalpark
29. Kubah Nationalpark
30. Fly to KL, then bus to Cameron Highlands (is this possible?)
31. check out the Highlands
1. travel to Penang/Georgetown
5. Travel to Taman Negara
6. Taman Negara
7. Taman Negara
8. Travel to (insert your favourite eastcoast island here)
9.island / snorkel / relax / dive
10.island / snorkel / relax / dive
11.island / snorkel / relax / dive
12. island / snorkel / relax / dive
13.Travel to Melaka (how...?)
15. head to KL
18.flight back home
Any suggestions / comments? Too cramped or fine?
and what's your opinion on booking ahead?
#8 nochnbier has been a member since 27/10/2010. Posts: 26
Kuching would be fine for shopping, however you won't find the variety you would in KL. There's quite a few shopping malls; many are attached to the big hotels near the riverside, such as the Pullman or Riverside Majestic and house big brands such as Guess, Calvin Klein etc. I didn't go into any of these so can't advise on prices.
In a week there I didn't come across anything like the inexpensive clothes markets you find in Thailand's tourist areas, but there are shops with cheap Korean style clothes in the Hills Shopping Centre and behind McDonalds on Jalan Abell if your girlfriend is small and into kitsch
Personally, I think KL would be better as you could do it just as cheaply (if not more so) and all in one night by hitting the sales racks at the massive Zara/Topshop/H&M's there. There's so much to do in Kuching that I'd feel I was missing out shopping there whereas in KL the reverse is true...