Singapore | Myanmar | Malaysia

Malaysia

General

Malaysia advertises itsself with the slogan "Malaysia Truly Asia" to attract tourists. It's rather questionable whether Malaysia is really the true Asia. However Malaysia can offer some of the most beautiful beaches in the world along with several other wonders of nature. Unfortunately deforestation has advanced very far, but especially in the eastern part of Malaysia (Sabah und Sarawak) you can find some National Park with remaining primary rainforest. In addition industrialization associated with pollution has not progressed as far as in western Malaysia and there are way less tourists.

Sonnenuntergang auf Pulau Tiga

Transportation

Domestic flights You can find a dense network of domestic flights in Malaysia. The major airline Malaysia Airlines (MAS) together with her subsidiary MAS Wings in Sarwak and Sabah wie as well as the budget carrier Air Asia offer flights to nearly every city. Kuala Lumpur is the main hub, but you can also find a lot of flights connecting cities without flying via Kuala Lumpur.
Bus There are bus connections between major cities with comfortable coaches. The number of companies offering bus services is often limited and fares are not negotiable. In general roads in Malaysia are in a very good state comparable to Western Europe or the US.
In the bigger cities you can also find a network of public transport with busses.
Shared taxi Shared taxis connect the big cities, but they also drive to smaller cities and villages. They often depart at the bus stations. Fares are slightly above thoses for normal busses. Sometimes you have two wait several hours until there are enough passenger sharing the taxi with you.
Taxi In the big cities and the tourist places you will always find a taxi. Most of them have a metered fare which is quite expensive. Fares are hardly negotiable, mostly they are fixed (for example a cab from Kota Kinabalu Airport to downtown will always cost you 20 RM).
You can also take a cab for long-distance drives to other cities. Most of the time you can find these special designated cabs at the bus stations. You can negotiate the price to a certain extent, but due to the high prices you should always find someone to share the cab with.

Money

Cash Cash is good for paying small amounts in super markets, restaurants and food stalls as well as for transportation.
Credit cards Credit cards are widely accepted.
ATMs Especially in the big cities you will find a lot of ATMs. Check with your bank whether they offer special conditions for withdrawl of money at certain other banks.
Money Changer You can find licensed money changers at the airport and in the shopping malls. Most of the time the exchange rate will be better than in your home country.

My Favourites

Pulau Tiga For sure there are islands with even more beautiful beaches and even clearer water. But you can hardly any other island that can offer you lots of nature, jungle, mud vulcanos and animals like snakes and monitor lizards along with beautiful beaches. The visitor hype has also decreased within the last few years when the TV show "Survivor" was shot here.
Gunung Mulu National Park This National Park offers lots of jungle along with some of the largest caves in the world. Don't miss it when several millions bats fly out of Deer Cave in the evening. As they will only fly out if the weather is good you might want to go there for several evenings. But this true miracle of nature is definitely worth it. Also you shouldn't miss the jungle trek to Camp 5. This will take you two days and if you are a littlebit adventurous and in good physical shape you might also consider to climb to the Pinnacles from Camp 5. This will take you another day, but anyway Camp 5 is worth a visit. Sitting on a creek in the jungle and experiencing the sunset in front of 600 metre high riff is simply astonishing.
Mount Kinabalu With a height of 4095 metres Mount Kinabalu is the highest mountain in Southeast Asia (at least as long as you don't consider the Hkabo Razi in northern Myanmar) and one of the most valueable destinations in eastern Malaysia. If you always dreamed of climbing a 4000 metres high peak and if you are in a good physical condition you should definitely consider Mount Kinabalu. There is no other peak in the world of this height which can be climbed that easily. The climb takes you through different zones of climate and vegetation. If the weather is good you will enjoy a great view and an unforgetable sunrise on the top. Accomodation is quite expensive and should be booked several weeks in advance.
Poring After a tough climb to Mount Kinabalu the Hot Springs in Poring are the best way to relax. Poring lies on the border of Mount Kinabalu National Park and along with the hot springs it also offers you a lot of nature. Other attractions like the Tropical or the Orchid Garden are not worth a visit, but you shouldn't miss the Canopy Walk. Try and go there in the early morning or early evening to see as many animals as possible. Just as for Mount Kinabalu accomodation is also very expensive and should be booked in advance.
 
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