Explore the wonders and culture of Malaysia.
My personal list of handy Malaysia travel tips. All first hand knowledge - written during my travels in Malaysia.
All the tips have been categorised into sections. Just click on each tab to fully open and start reading.
Malaysia travel tips - cities
BANKING AND CURRENCY
- Money exchange rates are always best when you change in the city centre of your destination. So in Kuala Lumpur, I found the money changers on the main street of Jalan Bukit Bintang had the better rates.
- Alternatively, its just as easy to withdraw cash from ATMs using your credit card. Provided you have added cash into your credit card and have checked the fees with your bank.
- The cheapest way from KLIA airport to KL Sentral Station is by bus for RM11 one way. There are three bus companies to choose from, so there is always a bus departing nearly every 15 minutes. Then you can pay for a shorter and cheaper taxi fare from Sentral Station to your hotel – approx. RM15.
- If you don’t like the inconvenience of bus travel, then take the super-efficient and super clean KLIA Ekspres train. It cuts the travelling time by half compared to road travel. However, at the price of RM55 per person, if there are two or more people travelling, then it will be more economical to take a taxi at RM74.
- When taking a taxi from your hotel back to the airport, note that only the blue taxi’s line up at hotel foyers. They are more expensive at approximately RM140-150. Alternatively, hail from the street a ‘normal’ taxi and pay a reduced fare of approx. RM80-100. Do allow for 1.5 hours for the journey, due to traffic jams.
- If you like using public transport, then you will most certainly pass through the main station called KL Sentral. Avoid taxi drivers at the bus exchange as they will try to rip you off. Instead, go upstairs to the top concourse and prepay your fare at the taxi booth, just before you head out to the taxi stand. No haggling required!
- Save time queueing up at Petronas Towers to purchase a ticket for the Skybridge and Observation Deck tour. Purchase online – sometimes up to two weeks in advance. http://www.petronastwintowers.com.my/. Be aware that you can get hazy days in March, due to forest burning conducted in nearby Sumatra.
- The Bijan restaurant is the best Malaysian food in town. Exceptional service and tasty local food. It's located on Jalan Ceylon, right at the top of the hill of restaurant strip Changkat Bukit Bingtang. Just keep walking up past Pinchos. The only place to know about gluten free food!
- Upon arrival, you have to book and pay for your taxi at the taxi stand (either at Customs or after customs). It is a set price and you’re given a taxi number. Therefore, you can’t hail your own taxi.
- All taxi fares around the island are set prices. No need to barter with taxi drivers. It ensures that all taxi drivers are paid the same rate.
- Alcohol is much cheaper at Cenang shopping malls (Zon or Coco Valley) compared to the airport duty free. It was nearly half the price.
- Very difficult to find any retail shops or hotels that accept American Express. Therefore, I recommend to bring Visa or Mastercard only with you.
- Cenang Beach is the busiest on the island. Consequently, it has the main shopping street.
- Pantai Tengah beach is the next beach south of Cenang. A quieter beach with less hotels, shops and nightlife. So stay here for a quieter, relaxing holiday but you can always walk to Cenang Beach (10-15 min walk).
- If you’re looking to get away from large resort style accommodation, I can thoroughly recommend the Frangipani Hotel in Pantai Tengah. It’s a low key hotel with bungalows along the beach front and 2 storey buildings with standard rooms at rear of property. You can walk straight from your bungalow straight onto the beach. Breakfast bar overlooks the ocean. They even serve organic food and juices. A very chilled and relaxing place – feels very much like a quiet secluded beach holiday. And its only an 10 minute walk to the main shopping drag.
- If you only do one tour, then you must go to Panorama Langkawi to ride the SkyCab. Its the steepest cable car ride on earth. Plus you can walk along the SkyBridge – a very high suspension bridge with spectacular views. Hope you’re not scared of heights!
- Furusato Spa in Cenang. Went there twice. The cutest, rustic spa centre that felt like you are in an underground palace. And their spa treatments were excellent, using top quality products. Both times I walked out feeling like I was floating on clouds.