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Trip to Malaysia Recommendations.

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[OP]
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Feb 29, 2008
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Trip to Malaysia Recommendations.

Well be spending three weeks in Malaysia this summer. Based out of KL.

Recommendations for must see stuff?

Is the trip out to Panang worth it?

Any suggestions for nice resort type hotels we can stay in for a few days?

We have two kids with us.
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We did 6 days in Malaysia - 4 in KL and 2 in Langkawi. Its absolutely beautiful and cheap. I would highly recommend Langkawi Islands. I had researched on Panang and decided against it.

Ours was a budget trip. In KL, we did Batu Caves, Petronas light show, KidZania, all the street markets - Chinese, Kasturi Walk, Little India, Tamil temple, mosque, Chinese temple.

We gave a miss to Genting Highlands, Petronas (going up the tower).
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Kuala Sengalor for fireflies boat tour. Kids would probably really enjoy this. Book it as part of tour. Will likely include stops at some temples along the way, Batu Caves, dinner, Bukit Melawati to see the silver-leafed monkeys (again, something kids will love).
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Just back from 10 days there (20-24 April and 1-7 May). Food is still cheap and good for the most part - the fare is very familiar for me so I'm biased.

I would not base out of K.L. as it isn't very interesting nor ever was, other than for the food.

I'd highly recommend both Penang and Malacca/Melaka for the cultural heritage. Stay at the E&O in Georgetown (rooms are over 500 s.f. so you might be able to get everyone in one room - quite affordable too if you can find special rates) as it is steps from Georgetown. I'd avoid Batu Ferringhi as it is incredibly built up.

Depending on how old your children are and how much they like water, the islands off the east coast are nice for snorkelling and scuba diving. No nice resorts (I find it way too hot and humid, especially right now, and sand fly potential). I'd avoid Port Dickson (lots of over-water resorts there) due to 1) oil tankers moored/unloading/loading nearby, and 2) not very clear waters, and 3) right under the flight path for KUL.
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thriftshopper wrote: I would not base out of K.L. as it isn't very interesting nor ever was, other than for the food.
I think the only reason to base out of K.L. is for the cheap flights from AirAsia since that's a main hub.
But I agree, I wouldn't spend much time there...even for food.
I'd much rather go to Penang/Georgetown & Malacca for the food and the heritage (there are many UNESCO World Heritage sites in Penang & Malacca) and Langkawi for beaches.

Personally, I enjoy spending more of my time on the Borneo (Kota Kinabalu) side...mostly cause I was born there and most of my relatives are still there.
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Being in KL does give you more choice of internal flights but between AK, OD (Malindo) and FY (Firefly - MAS LCC), there's possibilities to fly to other parts of Malaysia w/o going through KUL/SZB. The OP should also consider driving. Not a bad way to get around as long as one doesn't require shift-your-brain-to-neutral driving style we have here. Just dd KUL-Johor Bahru and back w/o incident. GPS helps too (Garmin maps free through malsingmaps.com)
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Jan 30, 2013
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Conquistador wrote: Kuala Sengalor for fireflies boat tour. Kids would probably really enjoy this. Book it as part of tour. Will likely include stops at some temples along the way, Batu Caves, dinner, Bukit Melawati to see the silver-leafed monkeys (again, something kids will love).
always wanted to try the fireflies tour,Was mosquito bite a problem?
what about Dengue fever and malaria(prevention)
?
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Malaria is not an issue in Malaysia. Dengue fever, just have to keep the mosquitoes off you (lots of DEET).

Mosquitoes don't seem to swarm on you like in many parts of North America during the summer. Still want to take the usual precutions (DEET, long sleeves, etc.).
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[OP]
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Mr Bean wrote: We did 6 days in Malaysia - 4 in KL and 2 in Langkawi. Its absolutely beautiful and cheap. I would highly recommend Langkawi Islands. I had researched on Panang and decided against it.

Ours was a budget trip. In KL, we did Batu Caves, Petronas light show, KidZania, all the street markets - Chinese, Kasturi Walk, Little India, Tamil temple, mosque, Chinese temple.
What's wrong with Penang? The Islands sound nice. I'll have to look for flights I guess. Any recommendations where to stay?
thriftshopper wrote:
I would not base out of K.L. as it isn't very interesting nor ever was, other than for the food.

I'd highly recommend both Penang and Malacca/Melaka for the cultural heritage. Stay at the E&O in Georgetown (rooms are over 500 s.f. so you might be able to get everyone in one room - quite affordable too if you can find special rates) as it is steps from Georgetown. I'd avoid Batu Ferringhi as it is incredibly built up.
We're actually staying just outside of KL in Selangor, near Petaling Jaya. We are staying with family, so free is hard to argue with. For Panang I was hesitating between Georgetown or Batu. This will only be for a few days in the trip. Is Batu Ferringhi that bad? The Parkroyal looked well priced.
thriftshopper wrote: Being in KL does give you more choice of internal flights but between AK, OD (Malindo) and FY (Firefly - MAS LCC), there's possibilities to fly to other parts of Malaysia w/o going through KUL/SZB. The OP should also consider driving. Not a bad way to get around as long as one doesn't require shift-your-brain-to-neutral driving style we have here. Just dd KUL-Johor Bahru and back w/o incident. GPS helps too (Garmin maps free through malsingmaps.com)
Driving on the wrong side? No thanks!

Flights out of SZB seem quite affordable.
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aznrsx1979 wrote: I think the only reason to base out of K.L. is for the cheap flights from AirAsia since that's a main hub.
But I agree, I wouldn't spend much time there...even for food.
I'd much rather go to Penang/Georgetown & Malacca for the food and the heritage (there are many UNESCO World Heritage sites in Penang & Malacca) and Langkawi for beaches.

Personally, I enjoy spending more of my time on the Borneo (Kota Kinabalu) side...mostly cause I was born there and most of my relatives are still there.
So what's there to do in Kota Kinabalu if you don't have relatives there? I see there are some cheap flights from Manila with Cebu-Pacific.
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thriftshopper wrote: Malaria is not an issue in Malaysia. Dengue fever, just have to keep the mosquitoes off you (lots of DEET).

Mosquitoes don't seem to swarm on you like in many parts of North America during the summer. Still want to take the usual precutions (DEET, long sleeves, etc.).
thank you Dr. but I prefer to trust the centre for disease control for rural area where fireflies can be viewed:
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook ... seldyfm879
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been living in malaysia for the past 2 years after moving here from toronto. although there isn't a lot to do in KL itself, there are a lot of other options depending on whether you want to drive or fly (or a combination of both).

driving:

1. genting highlands is about an hour away from KL. not much to do since you will be with 2 kids (though if you want to hit up the casino after they're asleep you can XD). you can still walk around the mall though and skytropolis is now open (mini-amusement park area that your kids might enjoy). the weather is also really cool up there in case you need a break from the heat. you can also visit batu caves, which is on the way.
2. melacca is about 2 hours way from KL (closer towards 3 with traffic). has a really nice night market, and lots of culture / heritage. I would say it's definitely worth the drive down for 2-3 days.
3. cameron highlands is about 3-4 hours away from KL. I haven't had a chance to go there myself yet, but I've heard many good things about it.

driving around isn't hard - just download waze and you won't get lost. just be careful, mainly looking out for motorbikes (though they're pretty good at dodging you).

flying:

1. langkawi is about 45 minutes away from SZB airport. I've been twice - the beach is nice but tbh I'm not a huge fan of the beach. I would not be in a rush to go back, though it may be worth a trip there just for 2 days because flights should be relatively cheap. you can also rent motorbikes and take a trip up to the waterfall (which is about 1-1.5 hour drive). booze is cheap there too :p we did do an island hopping tour that included snorkelling which was fun.
2. penang is about 50 minutes away from SZB airport. similar to melacca in terms of culture / heritage - and a bit more to do since you can walk around georgetown, visit penang hill, or take a trip over to ferrenghi beach or to the national park.
3. there are quite a few other islands that you can fly to that have nice snorkelling and beaches. a few that come to mind are the perhentian islands, redang island and tioman islands. some of the islands take a bit more of travelling (ie. you will need to fly somewhere and then take a ferry to the island) but since you will be in malaysia for 3 weeks it could be an option.

hope that helps! if you have any other questions you can ask.
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May 11, 2008
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Dealmaker1945 wrote: So what's there to do in Kota Kinabalu if you don't have relatives there? I see there are some cheap flights from Manila with Cebu-Pacific.
In Kota Kinabalu, I'd say the top things to do would be the night markets along the waterfront, Gaya Street weekend market, climbing Mt Kinabalu, take a 30-45 min boat ride from Jesselton Point to some of the smaller islands like Sapi Island and there's also the zipline from island to island called Coral Flyer. It's fun to try once but that's about it.
Personally I mostly just eat while I'm there...lol.

If you're wanting to go further out there's the Orangutan Sanctuary in Sandakan.
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I thought the Perhenthian Islands were one of the best places I've ever been to.
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mr_raider wrote: What's wrong with Penang? The Islands sound nice. I'll have to look for flights I guess. Any recommendations where to stay?
Like I said, I only had 6 days, so I had to choose. Overall, I thought Langkawi was more beautiful and scenic. I dont regret it at all.

The island is big. If you only have 2-3 days, then you can either do the west side or east side, not both. The airport is towards the west side, and we had rented a gearless scooter, so we decided to do the west side. We stayed at Pentai Cenang which is near to the mall, couple of beaches. The island has little traffic, so driving is no issue.

Make sure you visit the night markets. The food is awesome and you can see the local people and their culture. The markets are at 7 different places, each day of the week. If your night markets happen to be near where you are staying, that will be good.
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goldenball wrote: thank you Dr. but I prefer to trust the centre for disease control for rural area where fireflies can be viewed:
https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/yellowbook ... seldyfm879
That's new. I went to the Vancouver travel clinic (earlier part of the trip was going to Flores island which has more nasty stuff). AFAIK there is no malaria risk in peninsular Malaysia (the U.K. health authority certainly doesn't think so) and that was what the travel clinic advised at the time. I also question if chloroquine is even effective anymore, anywhere. I'd take doxycycline instead.
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skyblue12 wrote: 1. genting highlands is about an hour away from KL. not much to do since you will be with 2 kids (though if you want to hit up the casino after they're asleep you can XD). you can still walk around the mall though and skytropolis is now open (mini-amusement park area that your kids might enjoy). the weather is also really cool up there in case you need a break from the heat. you can also visit batu caves, which is on the way.
If you go to the bowels of KL sentral rail bus station, they're offering a round trip bus ride, meal + admission for a ridiculously-low price. Equivalent of CAD 35 or even much less?
3. cameron highlands is about 3-4 hours away from KL. I haven't had a chance to go there myself yet, but I've heard many good things about it.
The place has changed a lot since I went there in the late '60s (went back again in 2013 and 2015). Very crowded, built up (i.e., high rise apartments and hotels, but no significant addition of road infrastructure). Lots of greenhouses and reportedly lot of chemicals used in agriculture. I've heard rumours that it has one of the highest incidence rates of cancer in Malaysia.

If you go, all the best bits are in the south so take the old road (one closest to KL) and you only need go as far as Tanah Rata.
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goldenball wrote: always wanted to try the fireflies tour,Was mosquito bite a problem?
what about Dengue fever and malaria(prevention)
?
We traveled throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Bali, Thailand and Malaysia and had researched required shots. Malaria and Dengue were not among them.

I don't recall that mosquitoes were bad in Kuala Sengalor but then we would have also used bug spray.
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Conquistador wrote: We traveled throughout Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Bali, Thailand and Malaysia and had researched required shots. Malaria and Dengue were not among them.
No effective prophylactic treatment (i.e., vaccine) for Dengue other than to avoid getting probed.
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Where do you guys book hotels? General sites like Travelocity or local sites that I'm not aware of?

Somehow the web sites seem over priced.

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