Malaysia Travel, Tips on getting around the country

Malaysia Travel

Being an emerging nation in the Asia Pacific region, the public transportation system in Malaysia is quite up to date and is in line with its development plans to reach a fully developed nation status by the year 2020.

Travel within the country is relatively cheap and efficient. All the major cities and towns are equipped with an airport and the roads are generally well maintained.

Malaysia Travel - Travelling By Rail

Malaysia Train Travel

In the capital, Kuala Lumpur, the public transportation infrastructure is pretty good, what keeps the city from congestions is the Mass Rail Transit system (MRT) and Light Rail Transit system (LRT). These rail systems, link the capital, KL, to the suburbs of the state of Selangor.

There is also the commuter train system, which is operated by Keratapi Tanah Melayu (KTM) this services Kuala Lumpur and its surrounding districts.

KTM also operate the intercity train services, they ply the whole length of Peninsula Malaysia right down to Singapore. Regardless of which rail lines that you travel on in Malaysia, the entire rail infrastructure is integrated as a network with the Kuala Lumpur Sentral Train Station serving as the hub for the entire Peninsula Malaysia.

Malaysia Travel - Travelling by Air

As discussed in another article on travel to Malaysia , all the major cities and towns have their own airport, which comprises of 7 international airports and over 50 domestic airports!

The Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) serves as the main hub for air travel within Malaysia. In the state of Sarawak, even some of the smaller towns and villages, especially those in the mountainous regions are linked by Malaysia Airlines' (MAS) Rural Air Service, where air travel is an adventure by itself!

Malaysia Travel - Travelling by Ferry or Express Boat

In certain parts of Malaysia, the main mode of transportation is the riverine transport system. This is especially so in Sarawak where ferries and express boats ply up and down the Rejang River, the longest river in Malaysia.

Further up north, Labuan is interconnected to Kota Kinabalu City by express ferries as well. These boats or ferries are known as “Express Boats” for one reason only, they are fast! Powered by high speed marine diesels, these missile shaped boats can travel up to 30knots against the current while fully loaded with a hundred passengers.

In Peninsula Malaysia, certain areas especially the islands are also serviced by ferries. Penang Island is linked to Mainland Butterworth by ferries in addition to the Penang Bridge.

Pangkor Island and Tioman Island are also serviced by boats.

Malaysia Travel - Moving around by road

The backbone of the road infrastructure for the west coast in West Malaysia is the North South Expressway (NSE).

The NSE Expressway runs the entire length of Peninsula Malaysia and stretches from Bukit Kayu Hitam (Kedah) near the Malaysian-Thai border to Johor Bahru at the southern most end of Peninsular Malaysia.

Travel to the east coast side of Peninsula Malaysia is facilitated by the East Coast Expressway (ECE) or Lebuhraya Pantai Timur (LPT) in Malay.

East Malaysia also has the Pan Borneo Highway which links Sarawak, Brunei and Sabah together by road.

Apart from these major expressways, there are also many feeder roads that link the smaller towns and villages.

Malaysia Travel - Taking the bus and coach

With numerous bus companies providing interstate travel on air-conditioned coaches, it is relatively easy to move from state to state on the cheap.

All the major towns have these interstate bus services and the prices are pretty standard for each destination, regardless of which bus company that you are using.

Travel within the city is also serviced by buses. The best and newest buses that are available for intercity travel are those found in Kuala Lumpur and its suburbs.

Malaysia Travel - Travelling by Taxis

Apart from intercity services, taxis in Malaysia also cover interstate routes.

These taxis normally charge on a per person basis unless you charter the whole taxi for yourself. Intercity taxis in the capital run on metered fare, while fares for those taxis in other cities and towns are based on a negotiated rate.

Malaysia Travel - Renting a car to travel around Malaysia

This option exists for those who are above the age of 18 and have an international driving licence. Although self drive provides a lot of freedom, unless you are familiar with driving on the wrong side of the road (Right hand drive) and have the stomach to weather the atrocious grand prix driving skills of Malaysian drivers, you are better off taking the bus or the taxi.

Malaysia Travel - Sightseeing using a Trishaw

The best thing about trishaws is the fact that they are environmental friendly, using pedal power.

You can still find trishaw in Penang and Sibu town. This novel means of moving around is actually meant more for the curious tourist rather than the locals.

Make sure you negotiate the fare first before climbing into one of these trishaws.

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