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Topics include Transportation, Malaysia: For Foreign Visitors & more!
Using Kuala Lumpur as a base, there are many interesting places you can visit if you have a number of days to spare, especially using cheap air, road or train travel.
Here are some suggestions.
Taman Negara National Park is located 219 km / 3 hours on the freeway north of Kuala Lumpur and 220km / 5 hours drive from Penang. It has developed into a famous ecotourism destination in Malaysia [however much a contradiction that is]. There are several geological and biological attractions and resorts in the park, but getting there is not easiest – 2/3/4 DAY TRIP
NOTE as of FEBRUARY 2015 THE JUNGLE RAILWAY WAS NOT OPERATIONAL - please check before booking. You could also get the Jungle Railway, from Mentakab the nearest point by road to Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan to Wakaf Bharu the station nearest to Kota Bharu (via Merapoh - gateway to the less used gate into Taman Negara National Park or Jerantut - main access point to Taman Negara National Park Google Jungle Train for lots of helpful information about this long train journey along the centre of Malaysia!
To get away from the humity heat, the old colonials headed to the many hill resorts a few hours away from KL.
The most famous 3 are - Genting Highlands, Cameron Highlands and Fraser's Hill. Overnight stay at these resorts are advisable if you want to see the most of this places.
Genting Highlands is by far the more popular entertainment resort, for both locals, Singaporeans and other Asians. Genting Highlands has Malaysia's only casino. Most go there to use the theme park and casino. Genting Highlands is about 90 minutes away by car from KL, and can be done as a day trip.
There are many activites for visitors at Genting. Halfway up the resort is the Awana Genting Highlands Golf & Country Resort. A favourite for retreats, short stays over a round of golf. It is also next to the cable car station that takes you all the way up to the top of the hill. The cable car ride is an attraction itself.
At the top of the hill is the main Genting Resort. It boasts of a number of hotels, the casino, an outdoor theme park, and a number of indoor theme parks. Concerts featuring top foreign talent are hosted regularly at their Arena Of The Stars amplitheather.
Information on accomodations and how to get there can be found on Gentings website Genting Website
Cameron is about 300km from Kuala Lumpur and 3.5 hours by road (which is the only way to get there). It is one of the largest hill resorts in the country. It is a leading producer of flowers, tea, and temperate climate produce such as tea and strawberries. Visitors normally stay a day or two, and wander the towns and visit the many flower and vegetable plantations.
The highlands boasts of a wide range of accomodation, from simple to tudor styled. Some examples are show below
Detailed information and how to get there can be found at the Cameron Highlands website Cameron Highlands
Fraser's Hill is 1,500m above sea level. Named after a solitary Scottish pioneer, James Fraser, who set up a tin ore trading post in the 1890s. It actually consists of seven hills. It is perhaps the prettiest of the Malaysian Hill Resorts.
Fraser's Hill is about 100 kilometers from Kuala Lumpur. Like Cameron Highlands, it is probably better so spend a night to really enjoy the resort.
There are a number of things you can do at Fraser's. You can enjoy nature, do bird watching, play golf, fish at the lake, walk the jungle trails, do white water rafting at the foot of the hill, horse ride, or just hang out and relax.
There are also a range of hotels where you can stay. Some pics on Fraser's Hill below pics below -
Also look at
The Elephant Santuary at Krau Game Reserve some 90km north east from Kuala Lumpur
Templer’s Park a small patch of tropical rain forest 21km north of Kuala Lumpur
Fireflies Kuala Selangor, 90 minutes north west of Kuala Lumpur
Berjaya Hills (formerly known as Bukit Tinggi) is 45 minutes drive away from Kuala Lumpur
Sunway Pyramid and Lagoon theme park / Mall
Sham Alam 25km west of Kuala Lumpur
Putrajaya, the ultra modern administration city 5km south of Kuala Lumpur
Port Dickson a so so beach resort 90km south of Kuala Lumpur or 50km from KUL airport
Sepang Goldcoast is just 25 minutes from KUL airport
Or futher afield:
To Singapore by Train
There are no more direct trains to Singapore from KL Sentral Station. All trains now stop at JB Sentral Station in Johor Bahru, just across the Causeway to Singapore. There are shuttle trains between JB Sentral and Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore, which are timed for transfer from the long-haul intercity trains, but tickets are sold separately and connections are not guaranteed.
From KL Sentral to JB Sentral, there are 3 trains a day - morning, early afternoon and at night [ 2300hrs aprox]. The travel time is long, around 7-8 hours. At JB Sentral, change to a shuttle train to Woodlands Checkpoint in Singapore, from where you can catch a taxi to anywhere in Singapore. Tickets can be booked on line, or at the KTM counter in the station at Kuala Lumpur. Modest cost [ approx MYR 60 per adult]. A different way to see the countryside, but not a day trip!
Beaches or Diving
Malaysia has some of top dive sites in the world. Learning to dive in Malaysia is also affordable, with a PADI Open water certification course going for as low as RM 1,000 (excluding dive resort accomodation and fees). There are a good number of good dive centers that offer these coruses, as well as the dive centers at the resorts.
East Coast - Generally, the best dive sites are located at the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. However, the monsoon season rages from November to Febuaray so the best times to dive in the East Coast is from probably March to October. Islands like Tioman, Redang, Pulau Tenggol and Perhentian are famous the world over for their crystal clear waters. Tioman and Redang also have 4-star resort class hotels operated by the Berjaya group and can be reached by planes operated by Berjaya Air from Subang Airport. The other sites can be reached by a combination of short flights (Air Asia), followed by taxi and boat transfers.
West Coast - Generally water visibility is not as good as the east coast, but the accomocations are much much better, with many places offering up to 5 star accomodation. Places to dive include the waters around Pangkor (stay at Pangkor Island or Pangkor Laut) and Pulau Payar (stay at Langkawi).
Sabah - Sabah hosts some of the world's best dive sites, including the top wall dive in the world on the island of Sipadan. Layang Layang is famous for observing Hammerhead sharks, and there are a number of other excellent dive sites to be found. Labuan, the offshore banking city one hour from Kota Kinabalu, has 4 excellent wreck dives. Reaching these places will be short flights from KL (both Malaysian Airlines and Airasia), which may include a air transfer at Kota Kinabalu.
Tioman (pic below)
Layang Layang (pic below)