what are some MUST see attractions in the malay peninsular [ preferably the north]? need to make a border run from southern thailand. is KL actually worth the travel? and is Malaysia relatively inexpensive compared to thailand? ill be traveling some time around mid january
I wish i knew! I'm going through at the end of the year and had a lot of trouble finding interesting places to visit.
I'm stopping at KL, Cameron Highlands, Penang & Langkawi, but i'm not particularly excited about any of them.
Other places i was considering were "tamah negara" (sp) and Ipoh.
Of course the east coast gets a great right up, but i think its still monsoon at that time.
As for costs, i can only speak for KL, but it's a bit more expensive than Bangkok. Taxis and Hotels are particularly more expensive IMO (basically because you can't get them to use the meter), beer or any alochol is also heavily taxed.
You should be aware that the Thai embassy in Penang has recently had a crackdown on visa runners...so make sure you are eligible to go back to Thailand legally. This is just what i have heard though...
#2 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180
And as for KL being worth the travel, IMO NO, it is not. It's a boring city, with not much to do and doesn't have the atmosphere of BKK
#3 furneburner has been a member since 5/9/2009. Posts: 180
Malaysia is more expensive than Thailand, particularly accommodations. For a fan room with shared bathroom expect to pay around 30 RM.
I like KL -- good shopping, good food, and the Petronas Twin Towers tour is worth waking up early for (plus it's free).
Otherwise, these are the main attractions in NW Malaysia.
Georgetown, Penang -- vibrant city full of history, culture, and fantastic street food. The beaches here are OK and you can find cheap guesthousts.
Langkawi -- Malaysia's version of Phuket. Super-developed beach town, resorts, man-made attractions.
Cameron Highlands -- lush green hills, cheap backpacker lodges, strawberries and tea plantations, hiking without it being sweltering hot
Taman Negara -- fabulous national park if you like hiking or want to see some animals. A bit of a pain to get to, but amazing primary rainforest here. You can camp in the park itself or there's cheap guesthouses in the town outside its boundaries.
if just to make a border run, KL might be too far unless if you can get a cheap Air Asia ticket from BKK. If you have been to BKK then KL might not offer too much wow factor for you. However, it is still attractive in its own right, just less exciting than BKK. Penang might be a nearer and better bet for your current need - you'd most likely enjoy it (it's now a World Heritage City). Prices in Malaysia are just marginally higher than Thailand, and I feel food prices is the cheapest in Malaysia than in any other SE Asian countries, only that alcoholic drinks are at least twice the price due to heavy taxes.
MUST SEE places? if you have the time... Melaka, Penang, Perhentian Island (and/or most of the east coast islands), Taman Negara (go camping if you are tough enough), the east coast states of Kelantan and Terengganu (probably the last of the Malay backyard states), the Kenyir Lake, the Endau-Rompin National Park, Cameron Highland, Taiping, the jungle train (http://www.malaysiasite.nl/jungletrain.htm)...
#6 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154
Where in KL can you find guesthouses?
#8 Precious24 has been a member since 21/11/2009. Posts: 22
The cheapest guesthouses in KL are in the Chinatown area. This is also a great location for cheap food, night market, and the main bus station.
There are some very nice guesthouses in the Golden Triangle area (Bukit Bintang) near the big shopping malls and city centre, but they're usually 80 RM and up for a private room.
What kind of room are you looking for and what's your budget? Perhaps I can make a recommendation.
Do prices go up in Malaysia in high season (winter), and is this the best time to visit. I'm thinking of February for both East and West Malaysia.
#10 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,111
most parts of malaysia are good to go all year round, except that you might want to avoid the eastern coast states of Kalantan, terengganu and those eastern coast islands of west malaysia like perhentian, tioman, and redang during the monsoon (November to March) - haevy rain, floods, and big waves. otherwise you can go anytime to anywhere. prices don't fluctuate much in malaysia, the only thing is you might find it harder to book accommodation in touristy places during the period when the weather is great or during school holidays. February should be fine.
#11 chopin has been a member since 28/4/2007. Posts: 154
Idreamofdurian, I've been skimming around the Malaysia forums (going in March) and saw your kind offer to recommend guesthouses in KL. I'll be traveling with three friends and we're more interested in charm and cleanliness than fancy (if that makes sense). Perhaps on the lower end of mid-range, budget-wise. Thanks so much in advance for any recommendations.
#12 gogohanneson has been a member since 19/7/2009. Posts: 9
I am planning my trip to this area by flying into Kuala Lampur. It would seem that there is a lot to do depending on well, what you want to do. After a few days at this web site I am overcome with the wealth of info and, other than a hostel on arriving, I'll take my own and others advice---DONT OVERPLAN...seems to work in the past.
Idreamofdurian you seem to have great advice as a westerner living in the region so just a word if you can on my `basic` plan once I have left Canada(St. John's to be precise. Late March , April and May.
I am thinking of a few days in Kuala Lampur and then Borneo, backtrack maybe to Kuala Lampur and then head north to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam with an Air Asia flight back to KL for the return home.
I am a chef by trade and an anthropologist by schooling so I'll be looking for food everywhere and my general pursuits will be hiking, climbing, rafting of any kind, rocks, and then of course the quite time on a beach....freddychef.....I'm very open to suggestions or advice.....
#13 freddychef has been a member since 5/3/2010. Posts: 2
Most of us love travel to see places and faces. Has anyone thought of looking at what some people do for a living in Malaysia?. Rubber tapping. It has always fascinate me to see them working.
For this, you may need to spend the night at some rural places, example Ledang Park. This park is located very near to rubber estate. You need to get up very early, say at 5 in the morning and walk into the estates. You will see lights moving around in the darkness,.. its the lights from the tappers, battery operated strap to their forehead, just like miners headlights.
Smell the fresh latex flowing from the rubber trunks,.. its very sweet, very nice odour.