Malaysia Transportation Tips by ant1606
Malaysia Transportation: 223 reviews and 160 photos
Chance for an elevated point of view is provoded by the efficient Monorail running through and around downtown Kuala Lumpur. The ride spares the street-level traffic and gives the impression of being out in a different space until the 22 million yearly passengers step down to Earth again.
A dream-like ride facilitates naps, although the evanescent environment can still be colorful through the eyes of those who stay awake.
Trishaw in Melaka
Melaka is a small but interesting city. Downtown lies around the main square and here gather the trishaw drivers - or riders. These mucle-powered vehicles consist of a bicycle to which a side car for two adult passengers is attached. Trishaws are the stunningly loud result of owner's imagination, who adobe them with lights, plastic flowers, carmakers logo, music and whatever you can't think of.
Service is provided for a few Ringgit around town for rides that can stop at locations of interest upon request.
Convenient air hopping in Malaysia can be done through Air Asia carrier. This company offers low fares for connecting flights within domestic locations in Malaysia and between Malaysia and neighboring countries.
We flew between Johor Bahru and Kuching, for a return fare of 30 Euro (37 US$) per person, flights was booked in advance via Air Asia website.
The aircraft was in excellent conditions. Seating is free as it's not assigned at check-in. Like any other budget airline there is no free service on board, although there's the chance to purchase snacks and drinks at a reasonable price.
Two-wheelers are a peculiar constant in Asia and Malaysia in no exception.
Motorcycles are conveniently useful to move around congested urban areas. And used to transport or deliver goods of any kind.
Many shopping malls have dedicated lockers for helmets, and Malaysian toll highways have a dedicated toll-free lane for motorcycles. This should be enough to tell about the quantity of such vehicles on the roads. At times, they cruise like a river stream.
We rented one in Penang, Batu Ferringhi area, for the price of 30RM (6 Euro) per 24 hours. The small semi-automatic gear, 4-stroke engine sucked less than 3RM (about 2 liters worth of gas) to take us around all day. Is there any cheaper way to be independent? I simply presented a translation of my driver's license and I wasn't asked for more documents. Advance payment included a deposit of extra 100RM that was refunded upon return. Helmet is mandatory and we got two along with the bike.
Cab in Penang
Most cabs belong to local companies and they can easily be spotted through traffic for their colors, say red/white or red/yellow dependingly on which city.
There are also "private" cabs, which are not licensed. Normal cars with driver offering the service outside bus stations or nearby places. We got out of Puduraya bus station in KL and found regular licensed cabs right on our way but they gave us a ridiculously high price for a ride of less than one mile. We decided to walk as we also wanted to see the surroundings with time on our side. Ride fare can be higher than normal for wanna-be-ripped-off tourists. Always ask and negotiate price prior to climb aboard. If you have no idea of what a fair price it would be from point A to point B, try to ask at the hotel desk or restaurant waiters for hints. Then go bargaining.
Other cabs include cars or vans owned by some hotels, providing or selling shuttle service to/from airports or other locations. Ask for it when contacting a hotel, as some upper end accommodations have shuttle service included with room rate.
Regular cabs are domestically manufactured Proton brand cars, their level of interior accessories varies according to the driver's taste. Some of them are very fancy. Or adobed with practical features such as a spring bicycle rack adapted against the roof.
Driver waving at other buses
Traveling by coach is probably the best way to tour Malaysia.
Several companies operate lines connecting the main cities throughout the country. The quality and comfort of coaches varies from acceptable to luxurious.
Bus stations are quite chaotic but safe. Too many ticket counters to choose from, each of them acting as an independent travel agent or being the official counter of a major coach company. Pushers compete to prompt you to buy a ticket, many of them continuously yelling out the name of a destination. My advise is to avoid listening to these guys but rather look at coaches pictures and read the schedule signs posted on most ticket counters. Ask for some prices and time of departure, then choose the most appropriate. Ride connecting most important cities can have as many departures as every 30 minutes.
Boarding gates are organized by numbers, make sure to go to the right one as the company name on your ticket may be different from the one written on the bus. Show your ticket prior to board to be double sure.
We chose to select the upper end of fare range and always traveled aboard comfortable and air-conditined coaches. As an example, fare betwen KL and Penang was 27 RM (6 Euro) each for a 4-5 hours direct ride with only one stop middleway for body leaks.
Drivers might franticly wave at any other coach they come across on excellent conditions highways.
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