Please can anyone advise me the most efficient and quickest (in terms of time spent travelling) order in which to visit these places? I will be in KL and wish to visit the Perhentian Islands, Cameron Islands. Penang and Langkawi. Then I wish to enter South Thailand to visit the islands there.
Any tips would be greatly appreciated
many thanks for your time
Your biggest problem is likely to be getting to the Perhentians. They're quite a long way from the other places you want to visit, and not that well connected. Last time I researched it, a couple of years ago, getting there from KL was about 8-9 hours on a bus to the coast, then a short boat ride to the island. Unless the situation has improved since then, you're basically looking about a day lost on transit, each way.
Cameron Highlands are easy - that's about 4 hours by bus from KL.
You can then catch a bus from Cameron Highlands to Penang. The main long distance bus station was south of the centre of Georgetown when I visited, so a bit out of the way and you'll need to then take a local bus or taxi to get to the centre. The other option (and one I personally find more enjoyable) is to take a the bus to Butterworth (on the mainland) instead and catch the ferry across to Central Georgetown.
From Penang, you can catch a ferry to Langkawi (takes a couple of hours).
From Langkawi, you can catch a ferry to Satun (in Southern Thailand) and progress up through Thailand from there, or fly to somewhere convenient in Thailand.
The most logical order is KL - Perhentians - Cameron Highlands - Penang - Langkawi - Thailand.
Buses from KL to Kuala Besut (where the Perhentians boats leave from) are run by Mahligai Express. There are two per day, a day bus and a night bus. The scenery is worth seeing in my opinion. (Or else you could fly to Kota Bahru with Air Asia and taxi to Kuala Besut).
From Kuala Besut you can get a direct minibus to the Cameron Highlands.
From the Cameron Highlands you can get a bus to Ipoh and then another to Penang.
From Penang to Langkawi you have the choice of boat or flying Air Asia or Firefly.
From Langkawi there are boats to Kuala Perlis near the Thai border or to Satun over the border.
#3 neilmason has been a member since 31/12/2012. Posts: 42
From the Cameron Highlands, some buses go straight to the long-distance bus station in Georgetown (the one that's outside of the town centre, near where the bridge to the mainland is) and others go to the big Butterworth long-distance bus station, on the mainland. The Butterworth station is essentially used as a second bus station for Penang.
The Butterworth long-distance bus station is next to the ferry that crosses to Georgetown - the ferry runs frequently (every 15 minutes or so), is quick (takes about 15 minutes if memory serves) and drops you at the eastern end of central Georgetown. Depending on where you want to stay in town, you can walk to your accommodation, or hop on one of the free local buses that run in a loop around the centre.
If you end up on a bus into the Georgetown long-distance station, you can take a taxi to the centre, or take a city bus (which may drop you at the Komtar mall, which is the central bus station for local buses. This is reasonably convenient if you're staying in the western side of central Georgetown. You can also hop on the free local loop bus from Komtar, I believe). You might be able to find a local bus that goes to other locations in central Georgetown that might be more convenient for your accommodation, but I'm afraid I don't know these buses so you'll have to try and find them online.
Finally, if the buses from Cameron Highlands direct to Georgetown or Butterworth are full up, or at times that don't fit your schedule, you also have the option of changing buses in Ipoh. But it's a long enough journey (I think about 6 hours) that you probably don't want to add on waiting time for a change, so hopefully you can find a direct bus.
The buses from KL to Kuala Besut leave from Putra and cost RM40. You can also catch them at Greenwood (but I don't know where that is!).
There's a really good site which gives timetables of all express buses in peninsular Malaysia: www.mypublictransport.com.
#8 neilmason has been a member since 31/12/2012. Posts: 42
hi all... I will be travelling from bangkok---malaysia---singapore mainly by train with a few stopovers along the way. I am just thinking of 2 options.
1: travelling during the day and stay in budget hotels at night to enjoy maximum of the scenery.
2: Travelling at night to save a nights cost of accomodation.
Can anyone advise me if it is worth to spend a few extra dollars on option 1?
which parts of the travel has good scenery and should be travelled in daylight?
#9 umar_gcc has been a member since 4/12/2013. Posts: 3
I have a bias towards option 1 as for me the journey is often as pleasant as the destination, if one takes one's time. However I have to admit that south of Butterworth/Penang the scenery is not very interesting, so you wouldn't be missing much if you did that sector at night.
#10 neilmason has been a member since 31/12/2012. Posts: 42
Thanks neilmason... Appreciate your help
Would love 2 reveive more help and info
#11 umar_gcc has been a member since 4/12/2013. Posts: 3