Malaysia – Truly Asia

We recently went to Malaysia, on our first trip to SouthEast Asia region, so thought to share some quick guiding trip for those who haven’t been to this beautiful country and make this trip a wonderful memory. I have learned a hardway doing the trip, since I planned to do it by myself without any travel agent’s help. So I had to spent considerable amount of time seeking what to do. What I have decided to do for this post, is to give short and summarized version of everything. I did all my research through Google and YouTube so you will get plenty of information from it. But the best first source is Malaysia tourism website itself or write tourist destination of Malaysia / KL / Langkawi you will get more personalised details, You don’t have to look anywhere else. It’s a short precise website of every tourist destination in Malaysia with website links where possible. So here we start:

Do’s / Don’t’s:

  • Keep in mind, you have to sacrifice your rest, in order to get the maximum out of your trip. Langkawi is a place to relax your mind and body.
  • Take a slightly big backpack or stroller you need to carry loads of water bottle and shopping bags.
  • All the activities, majority of them are in the day. After sunset, the outdoor activities are closed majority of them, shopping malls are open till 9:30pm or max 11:30pm for movies only. You have to wake up at around 7am so that you can have a heavy breakfast and to be on the road by 9 – 9:30am, in order to get the max out of the destination and different sites.
  • Takes load of t-shirts and preferably not jeans, since it’s hot and humid, so you have load of sweating. Preferably pure cotton stuff will work.
  • You have to walk and walk and walk. So if you want to enjoy the trip, specially in KL start walking routine.
  • Try to sort out your list of tourist spots, most of the tourist destination website is available, which will be handy to tell you the timing and the ticket price. In order to make a budget. What I suggest, let suppose you arrive today at 1pm like mine, so take the rest of the day as break and start fresh from tomorrow.
  • At the moment, 10 Malaysian Ringgit = 2.30 US Dollar. Key chains / T-shirts fall between 5 – 15 Ringgit. Gift items likes Twin Tower model or things like that is expensive can go to 350 Ringgit or higher.
  • Before leaving hotel make sure you have big water bottle all the time, since we sweat alot, so it can be handle. Due to heavy sweating, my sugar level went down while going to Birds park, luckily we have plenty of dates, lollipop, chewing gum or toffee to restore it. We went in March, and the rains were mostly drizzle, so it was quite hot and humid temperature. Keep in mind. Especially with kids.
  • The taxis have fixed rates usually, but they do bargain, specially if it’s Chinese drivers. So same location in 20 Ringgit you can get in 10 if you know the place. They all use Google Map, so you can track your location to the destination, to know how much traffic jam you might end up. Which will help in bargaining.
  • We arrive in KL at around 12:45pm and we have a timing difference of 5 hrs. So on the day we arrive, due to jet lag we couldn’t able to visit anything. But quite late in the evening we went to Petaling street which was near to the hotel on walking distance. So make sure, to plan your schedule with that in mind.
  • If you are and most likely you will visit Langkawi, even if it’s like 1 hr flight, in your schedule leave atleast as Half a day idle. Since KL airport is out of the city so which will take 1 hr minimum, than preflight departure, flight time and check in. Similarly when you are leaving from Langkawi. That will make proper utilisation of available time.
  • You need minimum of 14 days to really enjoy Malaysia. 9 days is too short so better to be around KL. Gentling, Cameroon and KL itself.
  • Most of the Chinese traders don’t bargain at all. You have to really squeeze them out. If you are in Petaling Street in KL, try to bargain alot.
  • I haven’t found any who can’t speak English, so they help you alot.
  • All the hotels staff are way above cordial and supportive to the best they can. Also, I have found specially in KL where I was staying they help in keeping my truck load of luggage with them while I went to Langkawi, without any charges, so do ask your hotel if they provide this service.
  • Try to give good tips, at the end, they won’t ask usually, but I have a habit to interact with staff so they work like labor their day start before 7am till 9pm with one off day. The pay scale was like 1,500 – 2,500 Ringgit, which is not much.
  • Also the hotel, I have booked in KL, the toilet door was a gloss wall within the bedroom, so we have to close the bedroom sliding door, in order my daughter not to come inside. So if you are coming as family or Muslim, keep in mind of this factor.
  • You will find Masjid (Muslim praying area) not commonly found, so keep a small mat in this regard in your bagpack.
  • If you are Muslim, be careful, if it’s a Chinese restaurant. You can find pork cooking overthere. However, I was having a good long chat with one of the resort chief chef, he mentioned in Malaysia, they have strict rule to separate pork with Halal (Muslim way of slaughtering meat). Even the freezers and area of freezer are separate.
  • I came to know later, when we arrived back home, they have Hop on Hop Off bus service, in case you don’t know what is it, it’s a bus service for which you paid once for 24 hrs service, they will take you undermentioned service which covered majority of the tourist destination, so you won’t have to pay extra for ride.
  • I personally wouldn’t suggest doing shopping in KL, in case you are finding Gift items or T-shirts, you will find more cheap in Langkawi for 8, 10, 15 and 21 Ringgit.
  • Each tourist destination you will find gift shop, do try to purchase something.
  • If you are planning to go to Redang, it’s seriously very beautiful but go only if you know how to do snorkeling or deep sea diving. Otherwise, you will waste lot of money for nothing, You won’t find any other activity.
  • In Kuala Lumpur, try to stay ONLY IN SENTRAL STATION AREA (They write Central as Sentral), majority of tourist destination will be around the Central Station area. Like Petaling Street, Central Market, India Gate, Masjid Negara, Planetarium, Bird Park, Butterfly Park etc etc
  • KL has 3 Metro services, seek about it, each will go to separate destination.
  • If you stay in the Central Station area of KL, a majority of the sites you can visit by walking, which can range from 15 – 30 minutes of walk.
  • In Cameroon, try to stay at Copthorne Cameroon Highlands Hotel, the reason simply being, it’s the hotel on the highest peak from which you can see the whole valley in the morning, specially the morning when the fog covers the whole valley. Try to book the room with the open view. On booking dot com, they offer two types of room view. Do look at it carefully.
  • You need to have full one day for Sunway Lagoon.
  • If you haven’t heard of Cameroon Island, it’s only 2.5 hr drive from KL, you should or I would say must go. You won’t regret the trip.
  • When I was planning the trip, majority of the trips we selected were coming in Sabaa region, they consist of hiking. So if you have kids better to avoid it. I don’t know the level of service provided, but what i have read online you have to had camping gear and go ahead. They do offer all the services, but it was expensive. You can check online about it, when you go to Malaysian tourist website or just google.
  • Do watch Youtube videos about the destination you are planning to visit. That will give you a better idea about the place.
  • In Langkawi, try to book a place near to the Central Market (Pantai Cenang) all the shops, markets and restaurants are on this street. The taxi rates are fixed, with 2 Ringgit additional if you are leaving after 12am. But try to locate a hotel / resort near to this street.
  • Try to do all of your shopping in Langkawi, because it’s tax free zone, so the prices are way low than anywhere else.
  • In Langkawi, majority of the hotel offer package deal for the attractions, have a look at it, else you can go the Central Market area and book overthere. We have it done, from the hotel itself.

Now I will tell you the places / attraction we visited / experienced in each city, For some of the tourist spot, which I have mentioned I haven’t personally went, are quite superb what I have googled and researched, which is why I am recommending it, I didn’t went because of shortage of time:

  1. Kuala Lumpur 
    • Birds Park
    • Butterfly Park
    • Batu Caves
    • National Palace
    • National Museum
    • Masjid Nigara
    • National Monument
    • China Town (Pentling Street)
    • Central Market
    • KLCC (Petronas Tower)
    • Time Square (For shopping, you need almost full day for it)
    • Merdeka Square
    • Sunway Lagoon (I didn’t personally went, but highly recommend to google and put it in your list)
    • Thean Hou Temple
    • Berjaya Times Square Theme Park
    • I-City Shah Alam (I didn’t personally went, but highly recommend to google and put it in your list)
    • KL City Gallery (Must watch the show)
    • KL Railway Station.
    • Masjid Jamek.
    • Beryl’s Chocolate Kingdom
    • Menara KL Tower
    • National Monument (I didn’t personally went, but highly recommend to google and put it in your list)
    • National Planetarium (I didn’t personally went, but highly recommend to google and put it in your list)
    • National Science Center (I didn’t personally went, but highly recommend to google and put it in your list)
    • National Zoo, you can see panda, but you have to pay extra for it (I didn’t personally went, but highly recommend to google and put it in your list)
    • Perdana Botanical Garden
    • Petronas Twin Tower
    • Skytrek Adventure (I didn’t personally went, but highly recommend to google and put it in your list)
    • Sultan Abdul Samad Building.
  2. Langkawi (Mainly different activities are overhere):
    • Sky Bridge
    • Cable Car
    • Elephant Park
    • Island Hopping
    • Eagle Feeding
    • Crocodile Park
    • Bat Cave
    • Mangrove trees tour
    • Paddy field
  3. Cameroon:
    • Strawberry Garden (You can do Strawberry picking yourself)
    • Lavender Garden (Do try the Lavender / Strawberry icecream)
    • Rose Garden
    • Tea plantation (Do purchase loads of tea from here, they are really superb)
  4. Redang:
    • Snorkeling
    • Sunrise and Sunset (It’s a must watch moment)

Let me know, if you have any question I might able to help you in anyway.

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