Malaysia

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Location

Egypt
4° 26' 22.2756" N, 102° 13' 19.0092" E

It's a country of diversity and rapid progress.

Quick Facts

Visa:

30 days on entry, except Israeli passports (not recognized in malaysia)

time zone:

GMT +8

Note: Cairo is GMT+2 which means that Malaysia starts the day 6 hours earlier than Cairo.

Capital:

Kuala Lumpur

Divided into:

Peninsular Malaysia, Malaysian Borneo (east Malaysia)

Currency:

Malaysian Ringet (RM), RM 1= LE 1.7

price guide:

can of carbonated drink = RM 1.4

local food:

Nasi Ayam (chicken rice), nasi = rice, ayam = chicken.

low cost carriers:

Air Asia, Firefly

PeninsularMalaysia Region

Kuala Lumpur:

Kuala Lumpur is the capital ofMalaysia, an is mostly recognized by PETRONAS twin towers (the two metal towersconnected by a bridge), it is a main attraction for Arabs for shopping andother stuff; seriously, you will pump into arabs more often, and as an advicetry to hide your arab identity as they will suspect that you are only there tospend loads of cash for nothing.

MainAttractions

Petronas tower: in the center of K.L., called KLCC includes a mall and ascience museum (petrosains), to climb the sky bridge (41st. floor) free ticketsshould be booked by early morning, starting at 8:30 am.

Menara KL: KL tower is highest tower in malaysia, good for a panoramicview, recommended time of visit is before sunset, ticket is RM 20 (if iremember correctly)

Bukit Bintang: the most lively street in KL, has the biggest mall(pavilion), crowded with arabs, as there is a lot of arab restaurants(recommended Tarboush).

Jalan Petaling (china town): replicas (watches, clothes)are everywher, just keepbargaining til you get a good price. (aham 7aga: fasel kteeer :D)

Central market: here you can buy souvenirs and cultural gifts (batik,malaysian crafts)

Low yat plaza: for buying electronics

Pudu plaza: for SLR cameras and accessories, go to pudu plaza 2ndfloor, there is a camera shop that only sells SLR and their accessories, newand used. it is the cheapest place but always bargain.

GettingThere and Around

getting there: getting to KL is easy, either by air ariving at KLIA (KUL),or by land from other states by buses (dozens ofbus companies), or by the trainwhich is newly refurbished.

Around: buses (rapid KL tickets are RM 2 per day), other traintransportation as: LRT (2 lines, zy metro l anfa2), monorail,  ktm comuter;ask for train maps at stations, for taxis always insist on using the meter

Accomodation:

KL has a wide variety of sleeping choices,whether you are on a budget and you are going to stay in a dorm, or you wantrelaxation in 5 star hotels

lodges and dorms: located in 2 spots, PUDU raya (the main bus station), andin china town, prices start at RM20

Low and mid range budget hotels: best choices are in bukit bintang, double rooms start atRM80

Luxury5 star hotels: in bukit bintang and in KLCC area,no idea about the prices.

 

Penang Island:

Is the second main city in Malaysia,a lot of IT factories and HQs are there, dell is the most famous one, the citytends to sleep a little bit later than the rest of Malaysia 12am, in penangroad, so somehow you will feel you are not the only one up after 10pm. If youwant to campare with Egypt, Penang to KL is like Alex to Cairo. It is also thebest way to go to Langkawi by jetty. Penang is famous of its local cuisine.

MainAttractions

Penanghills: take the train up the steep hill toenjoy the spectacular view over the island, trains are every 30 min.

Botanicalgarden: also locally known as waterfallgarden, is a good place for relaxation and some photography, don’t feed themonkeys as they would probably attack if you don’t provide more food, and thereis a fine as well. There is only one bus to their from komtar but it is neveron schedule.

Georgetown and penang road: this is the most lively place inpenang, the street is crowded with clubs, bars and hotels. During the night,food carts starts services and the probably would serve roti, 7aga keda zy lfteer, which you should try

Komtar:the old tower of Penang, the localbus stop is there while there is a mall where you can buy the pirated softwaresand games (the best place in Malaysia)

BatuFeringi: the main road by the sea, a lot of 5star hotels are located in this raod, also you can find the public beach and avariety of sea food restaurants.

TheCastle: a small castle from the British occupationsituated by the sea to defend the water front. Placed in front of Lankawi jettyterminal

GettingThere and Around

Getting there: the best way to get there is to take the bus to butterworth,then take the ferry to George town, while the other method is take the bus topenang island, but the bus stop is situated far from the touristic places soyou would be charged a lot for the taxi

Around: mostly people uses taxi, but the busses (rapid penang)started operating since 2007, the main bus hubs are in komtar, George townferry terminal, and butterworth.

Accommodation

Varietyof sleeping options for budgets starting from Rm40 for a double room, the mostcommon is RM70 and way up to RM1000 ++. Stay in penang road and the streetnearby for accommodation.

 

Taman Negara:

The oldest rainforest open as a nationalpark, and home of the world’s longest canopy bridge (0.5 km)

Activities

Camping: camping in the jungle is an experience you have to try ifyou went there, costs 5RM/day  excludingcamping gear, a tent is a must to protect you from night showers and sniffingwild pigs ( as they would move away from the tent). Camp fires are not allowed.

Bird watching: a lot of tourists go to Taman Negara for bird watching asthe tropical jungle is filled with different species of birds.

Jungle trekking: a guided tour for information on the rainforests and itstrees, or just wonder on your own, but be careful you can get lost easily, sostay on the trail get a map and use your compass, if you get lost approach the riverand walk by its side until you reach a safe place. (Important rule: neverwonder in the jungle at night as animals go for their hunt), make sure that youhave enough water (1.5L), snacks and isotonic drinks (1.5L).

Cave exploration: caves suiting your skills and time, they range from smallcaves (solo in 2 hours) to big ones where the guided tours take about 4-6 days( it is worth the time and money but that if you have the time)

Wildlife spotting: wildlife go out during the night for hunting and drinking asthey hide from humans in the morning, take a night walk with a guide to spot smallanimals, spiders, snakes and bugs, or a night safari to go deeper in the forestfor more chance of spotting animals (but no insects or small wildlife), you canalso try staying the night in a spotting tower to see more animals (useful forbird watching at day also), but make sure that you have a strong torch light.

Visiting the Orang Asli: the orang asli are the native people of Malaysia, they liveby the river, check their ways of living.

GettingThere and Around

Getting there: there is only one travel agency (Han’s travel) thatoperates the transportations to and from Taman Negara, buses move from KL andCameron Highlands in the early morning.

Around: boats are the main transportation in the jungle besidesyour legs for sure, crossing the river to enter the jungle costs 1RM/way.

Accommodation

Lodges, hotels; starting from 10RM/bed to more than 300RM/night.

 

MalaysianBorneo Region

Sabah:

Sabah is the largest Malaysianstate, it is the home of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in south eastasia 4095m, it is also the home of the orang utans, don’t miss them. Once youarrive at the air port, take the free brochures and maps , they are veryaccurate including all small alleys. They point out the main attraction and thehotels and hostels.

 

MainAttractions

MountKinabalu: climbing mt. Kinabalu mightbe the peak of all Sabah activities, spectacular view and the adventure ofconquering the 4100m mountain. It is recommended to book for accommodation atthe top of the mountain earlier via internet to avoid having to take the 1 daytrip.

OrangUtan Rehabilitation Center: maybe this is the only chance to see an orang utan in the jungle, take the bus“Batu 14” from Sandakan, feeding times are 9am and 2pm, fees are RM 30 and RM10 for the camera

Divingin Sipadan Island: sipadan island could not be missedwhile in Sabah, Malaysia claims that it is the best diving spot in the world,allowing only 150 divers per day and no accommodation on the island, divers gofor semporna early in the morning 8am and leaving 4 pm.

Raftingin Padas river: rafting 25km in a grade 4 (out of 6)river is extremely exciting.

GettingThere and Around

Getting there: travel to Sabah by air from KL, the cheapest way is airasia.

Around:  from KK city tokinabalu park take a microbus, to go to Sandakan it is better to go after theclimb from mount kinabalu take the bus from the park, from Sandakan to Sempornaonly one bus leaves at 8am, from Semporna to KK bus leaves at 7pm.

Accomodation:

Forbackpackers:

Sabahis full of backpackers lodges with friendly staff, I‘ve tried the Backpackerslodge which I highly recommend.

 

ImportantNotes

For air asia travel www.airasia.com

always book your ticket asearly as possible as the ticket prices tend to increase as you approach thetravel date. Also check if there is a discount or sale period, if you are neara public holiday (eg. Chinese new year, Christmas, hari raya aidil fitri “3eedl fitr”), there is probably a sale in these periods.

Eating

don’t miss roti canaiwith curry, roti bom with susu and roti milo pisang